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Retro Videogame Budget - What to pay People?

POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Posts: 3,470Member
edited November -1 in Introductions
Hey guys,

I have a few plans for the not too distant future to release games for the Mega Drive and C64. These would need to be coded natively and I was wondering what programmers charge?

I'm thinking, being older systems that I could get away with one coder, one muso and one artist for the first couple of games, which are relatively simple... not basic but not exactly 40 hours+ of RPG game time.

I was playing ARMALYTE on C64 last night and that was a team of three and it is BRILLIANT.

So the question is... what would it cost? I'm thinking somewhere between 50 and 100k for a game budget? I really have no idea what coders and the like charge, these days...

And yes, I know there are cart manufacturing costs, marketing, blah blah... I'm just talking about the actual software design, here.

Cheers :)


  • POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Posts: 3,470Member
    Oh and no, this isn't some "Anussex Engine" scheme. Hahaha, like I said, in the future I plan to do this... woking on making it NOT the distant future ;-)
  • synthesissynthesis Posts: 1,693Member
    Good raw coders (in the US) are pushing 6 figures in annual income and are in high demand.

    Making games for those old devices were ALL about memory management and used tons of really complex tricks with the hardware to squeeze out RAM allowances. These games ran on less than 4 megs of RAM. Coders with these abilities work for the big boys now...most as lead programmers.

    Sounds to me like a very big undertaking...and not sure if the market exists for it (if you are actually looking to release for those prehistoric consoles).

    Good luck with it at any rate.
  • POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Posts: 3,470Member
    Yeah, I thought they'd be hard to find. there are still heaps of hobbyist "demo" coders about... perhaps paying them might entice them to the world of games. They certainly know about memory management!

    As for the market. Pier Solar has already sold out its first run (okay that has taken a long time but hey, they were all sold on pre-orders!). Estimates are around 9000 carts at $35-55 each. But the REAL money is on the next gen console virtual arcade systems. Although I'd obviously love to make a profit, I'd be quite happy to break even, just to make quality games for true collectors ;-)
  • victorkin11victorkin11 Posts: 251Member
    Not only the memory, even the graphic have a lot of limitation, each scan line can't have more than 16 character, 2 background, not more than 1024 graphic cell for the same time, each character not bigger than 64x64 pixal, use 16color x 4 pattlet only out of 512 color. some effect need to programming output scan line to the video.

    Only if you have some MD library and programming tools, don't think about it!!
  • POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Posts: 3,470Member
    Have access to all that info, there is so much documentation online. The Pier Solar guys are all self taught and it looks like it's going to be one of the best SMD games ever!

    It's the coders I need. Even know of a guy who has an amazing music tracker for Mega Drive... might be able to bend his arm and let us use it... ie pay him. LOL.

    I guess I could talk to the Watermelon team after PS has been completed... a wealth of knowledge there and they'd love to work on a project that they'd actually get paid for, lol.
  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,384Member, Sous Chef, PRO
    check out, you can post projects and people bid on them.
This discussion has been closed.