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July 28, 2014

Comments

toto

Sixty Second Shooter Prime link is broken

BrettWitty

This was a really useful look behind the curtain. Sucks about the Australian and New Zealand ratings boards, and that we'll be missing out!

Where did you get localization done? How extensive was this task? Would a more textual game have much higher localization costs?

Happionlabs

Localization was done mostly by my pals at www.rocketsound.net - not too extensive compared to most games, as half of it had been already loc'd for Deluxe. About 800 words. Yes, loc costs would go up proportionally for more text.

tonicboy

I'm a little curious why you chose those languages for localization. Spanish is the only one among those language which is in the top 5 languages spoken globally.

Ian

how do I go about getting a free dev kit from MS? I have a great indie game idea that I have not seen anywhere online or otherwise. A totally new take on games that will hopefully revolutionize how people look at an indie game.

Agar

Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a fantastic game, and the best $5 I've spent in a long time. Fast, fun, satisfying, and always with the "just one more game" feeling.

The graphics are perfect IMO, much better than a fake 8-bit retro look. The clean lines fit the feel that everything has been carved back to its most raw form.

Thanks for making it for Xbox One. I hope you have great success! (And not just because I'd love a sequel :-) )

StrangeDude

since when is "making a game" the same as releasing a pre-existing game on Xbox the same?

the title and content makes no sense

Sergio

As always, great insight! Very inspirational. What was the cost for labor, time spent in development?

Happionlabs

Tonicboy: Good question. EFIGS has been what we've standardly localized to for years and I just realized I don't really know why that is. It may have to do with what markets the Xbox has most penetrated. I also didn't want to do any languages that required double-byte.

Ian: To get in the ID@Xbox program you have to sign up here (http://www.xbox.com/en-us/Developers/id), but there is a long waiting list and they prioritize people with experience.

StrangeDude: Maybe, but it took about the same amount of time to make this version as it did to make the original version for Google Chrome. And even if it took longer to make an original title, the overhead would be the same.

Sergio: We had two coders (including myself) working for about three and a half months, but part time: 20 to 30 hours a week. We also had a musician who put in a few weeks.

Mjc0961

I like how most of these costs have nothing to do with Microsoft and would be incurred no matter which platform you release your game on.

Maintaining a URL for your game, buying a video capture device to record previews, trailers, and advertisements, hardware, localization, and ratings boards would be required for any platform. Also tell me how it's Microsoft's fault that you need to ship a dev kit to someone?

Also are you prepared to tell me that Sony, Nintendo, Valve, and other platform holders don't require that insurance you mentioned? Because if they do, strike that one from the list as well.

So, removing all the nonsense that actually had nothing to do exclusive with Microsoft and would be required no matter what platform you picked... It's either just the insurance or it's absolutely nothing.

It was very poor form of you to post this as if these fees are things you only run into on Xbox One. And you shouldn't have even listed things like buying a URL. Microsoft didn't require you to do that and you'd have been paying for that URL even if you didn't release on Xbox One.

Happionlabs

Mjc0961 - I wasn't trying to attack Microsoft. They could relax their policies about E&O insurance and rating the games in various territories, but I get why they do it. This was supposed to just be an informative post.

Sergio

Thanks Jamie! That helps a lot. Wishing you continued success!

Richard

Do you know if sony also requires e&o insurance and the ratings board costs?

Narg

Microsoft doesn't require the ratings, the local governments do. Point your frustration in the right place please.

Happionlabs

Narg, could you provide some evidence or a link for that assertion? Games on mobile or Steam don't always have ratings - why on the Xbox One?

Happionlabs

Richard, I'm pretty sure my agreement with Sony for Energy Hook does not require E&O. When I did Playstation Mobile stuff ratings were required, but they were all through free mobile-friendly ratings boards.

Gavin Greenwalt

Just one little annoyance, could we please stop excluding labor costs from our work when talking about budgets?

Unless your time is worthless your largest expense will always be your labor/opportunity costs/time. This is a huge pet peeve of mine when I see things like "Movie made for $500!" yeah... if you treat people like slaves and exploit free labor.

It's great to break out hard-costs but don't forget to also tack on:
"$5,000 hard costs and... $15,000 in labor."

That's why we see so many people come back to us and say something like "I want you to make a game/movie/song for me. I heard that you can make an entire game for $5,000 or an entire feature film for $50. So I'll give you $100."

Happionlabs

Sorry Gavin, but I work for myself and my partners are paid with rev share. So there really are no labor costs. (Other than the loc, which I mentioned.)

We could talk about the opportunity cost of me giving up my six figure Treyarch salary to go indie ... but then I just get depressed. :)

And see above, what I told Sergio about how much person-time went into the project.

Agar

Hey Jamie, hope you don't get frustrated by the perceived anger on some messages. It's an unfortunate reflection of the pervasive use of click-bait articles to convert console flame wars into ad impressions. It's easy to feel like everyone has an agenda even when there's none.

Anyway, now that there have been a few months of release under SSSP's belt, how are you feeling about a follow-up?

I'd love to see couch co-op (or competition, basically any local 2-player mode). Even if it was added as a $1 or $2 option there's still plenty of value - and perhaps could be a good upsell if you ever went down the Games With Gold route.

Beyond that, I have two tiny requests if there was ever an update. When I die, I always wonder how many missiles I had left (should I have risked my life to get that powerup??) and what my multiplier was. Unfortunately, they're cleared immediately when you die - and when I'm alive, I'm too busy avoiding enemies to look at the top of the screen to check them.

Oh, and with Xbox launching in India, China and Japan, localizing to those languages might have a decent ROI.

Anyway, do you think your Xbox One experiment was a success (i.e., worth the opportunity cost)?

Happionlabs

Hi Agar -

If it was all about dollars and cents for me, going indie is not replacing my AAA salary, so it's not technically worth the opportunity cost.

But it's not about dollars and cents for me. It's about making the games I want to make with no compromise, spending time with my family, being happy, etc. So as long as I can make a living wage I'm good. Which I did. (This time...)

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The Games

  • Energy Hook
    3D grappling-and-swinging-and-running-on-walls-and-doing-tricks ... with a jetpack ... for style!

Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game