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Should I Jump? - pack in the day job, get a business loan, make games?

StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
Hello their fellow entrepreneurs.

After a Friday evening with my wife drinking a cold glass of pink girly wine and staring at some depressing excel spreadsheets, tapping away on my iphone calculator and scribbling down how much money we don't have. We realize I need to earn some more money (pronto).

The sensible thing to do:
Keep my well paid 9 to 5 video editor/animation job. Spend less money each month and continue trying to finish some iphone games and hope to eventually earn enough to cover all my bills, mortgage and food costs for me and the family. Once I earn enough safely pack in my day job and work for myself making iphone games (plus some freelance animation jobs). Eventually sell our house and move to the beach.

Or

JUMP NOW!:
Better to fail trying then never try at all. Find out about business loans, get one which will pay my mortgage, bills, food for at least 9 months. Pack in the day job, and frantically make games and pray to whoever that I can earn enough to be able to start covering all my costs, plus the loan within 9 months. Then when its all running smoothly, go buy that house on the beach.

OR

Option C ?
«1

Comments

  • AddictiveGamesAddictiveGames Posts: 105Member
    I understand your thinking, I'm in a similar position although I don't have a mortgage I do hate my day job in IT (yours sounds cooler tho).

    I'm going down the safer route (even though I don't have any secured debt) by trying to develop games and sites, make enough cash to be able to do this (and other web development) full time.

    Maybe you should put up a poll?
    Good Luck mate whatever you decide.
  • LuckyLurcherLuckyLurcher Posts: 343Member
    If you have kids you need to keep the 9 to 5 job. You could cut down on food bills by putting your wife on a diet. ;)
  • DhondonDhondon Posts: 717Member
    Great games does not always mean good revenue. There is to much luck involved on the AppStore. I would go for option A.
  • simo103simo103 Posts: 1,331Member, PRO
    @stormy ... 100% pick your first option. You will then have the security, money and be able to do games. Your second option takes two of those three away and can do you great harm. (Not to sound like I'm pouring cold water on your dreams but I've done the 'jump first' route and it has been a hard slog and it will likely be the same for almost all that try).

    Since it will likely mean extremely trying times with a huge amount of effort to make it as a game maker, I suggest you prove to yourself that you have what it takes by almost killing yourself now whilst you still have a job and money. Work crazy off hours on your games, push yourself to remain focussed and finish on set deadlines and to set goals. You can do it and if you do you will have games to publish and games to make money. Make more money than you make in your day job THEN quit ... not before!

    Not least of which this will save you from the cold slap in the face the bank is likely to give you if you go in looking for a loan with a mortgage already and giving up regular income. I haven't met a bank that will loan you money for food, rent .. a business loan will be for expenses of running a business and they will want a serious business plan with 3yr projections etc .. a lot of work which they will pick apart. Man I think I still have scars from some of those meetings.

    Please, please take my lessons and use them to learn from rather than trying to find out for yourself. I think you might find others who might push the other route but I assure you they will all be young and dreamers (not bashing anyone ... we all were young and dreamers) but the older ones I'm quite confident will steer you the same way I am.

    GL in either choice.
  • StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
    ...it's annoying...but I know full well your all right.

    day job isn't a bad job really, its just never gonna pay much more. So a career change needs to happen at some point. Working for myself is what I've always wanted to do.

    I guess I'll try and make one game a month. Some good some rubbish and eventually after making 24 games the chance of success should be a bit better.

    Currently make about $200 (£100) a month off the back of one game. So if I can just make 22 more of those that would be sweet.
  • simo103simo103 Posts: 1,331Member, PRO
    @stormy .. you are tremendous at community organizing as well (perhaps GS should make you a part time staffer or paid consultant!) ... I saw an old thread where I think they ran contests but that appears abandoned ... yet your version2 is off to a great start!
  • AquariusAquarius Posts: 282Member
    having a job like yours is some peoples dream. :)

    i say do the obvious. a good game doesnt guarantee money. infact a crappy game might! thats how unpredictable it can be!

    don't worry u will make ur bet. a good idea will come to you. remain positive and optimistic and the universe will bring you what u want.
  • ZackGSZackGS Posts: 313Member
    I did it stormy and it was a gamble. A gamble that hasn't paid off to date and I am actively seeking a job and going to revert to the game making as a hobby once more, and use the revenue as pocket money :)

    I guess the rule of the thumb is, wait until you make it until you take the plunge :)
  • SlickZeroSlickZero Houston, TexasPosts: 2,870Member, Sous Chef
    Option #1 is the safe bet for sure. Although, I personally never gained anything by playing it safe. The only advances I've had in life are when I took a chance. Sometimes it payed off, sometimes it didn't, but at least I didn't have that "what if" question lingering in the back of my mind. I'm coming off the back end of a failed attempt at changing the quality of my life, but it didn't work out, and I'm moving forward. Did I fail? No, I just found another way that doesn't work, so I won't make that mistake again in the future.

    So here recently, I took the plunge into game designing. I do Multimedia, and websites and audio/video editing like yourself, and making kiosk programs with Director and Flash, so this isn't really changing my career, I'm just taking it in another direction. The same could be said for you as well. So far it's looking like it will pay off for me, my game isn't making a lot, but it's making enough to make me realize what 20-30 apps out can possibly do. It's not guaranteed by any means, but so far it looks promising. Key word being "looks".

    If you choose option #1, you may never get around to living out your dream of being a full time game designer. If you choose option #2, you may fall flat on your face and not sell a single game. That's highly unlikely though, you will sell if you put quality in every aspect of your product. You may have to have a library of 50 or 100 games to support you and your family, or more, you just never know. Could be just 1 game that does it. You'll never know unless you try.

    I have no friends. I'm a loser that makes video games all day. Will you be my friend?

  • RiffelRiffel Posts: 1,272Member
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    I would say option 1.
    The main reason is there is no guarantee with the app store and if your hurting now you will be hurting more if you loose your income.
    Second the purpose of a business loan is to provide you money for startup costs like equipment, office space, advertising, and some employee salaries. You will have to write a business plan explaining what every bit of the money you are asking for will go to.

    The unfortunate thing is the banks are not to concerned with loaning your business money to pay for your salary. So you will have to essentially lie about what the money's for or inflate what you need for your business to cover your wages. banks will do their research on a lot of that stuff and will likely see right through what your actual purpose of the loan is.

    I would say don't quit your day job until you have enough in the bank to do without that income for while. It would be quite irresponsible to do so especially if you have children.

    I'm pretty sure most people here who have quite there day job to make apps did so only after getting a hit app that basically covered their income for the year.

    It's not my fault I never learned to take responsibility for anything. ;)

  • StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
    ok... so the obvious consensus is... hang tight... keep making games in my spare time (every waking hour that I can find) and hope to get a hit or produce enough games that the revenue means I can make the jump...

    The obvious problem is time there's just never enough... that's where the appeal of doing it full time really is, all that time like 12 hours a day 5 days a week you could spend on making a game. I could be so much more productive, having larger lumps of time means problems are easier to solve whilst you know your rules inside out and aren't just trying to remember how you put something together weeks ago (which wastes so much time).

    Maybe I should book some holiday and dedicate that to making a game or 2...

    Either way, thanks for all the replies... I guess I'm staying put at work for now. It's not a bad job (corporate animation, nice co-workers), just not quite living the dream...
  • apps4everyoneapps4everyone Posts: 103Member
    I'll buck the trend a little bit.

    My experience is that some people are naturally entrepreneurs. They spot opportunities everywhere, they have a keen sense of what will work and what won't and they can back up their instincts with sound business analysis. More than that, an entrepreneur is a risk taker, someone who will gamble everything and who considers the possibility of losing it all as an acceptable risk, given the potential rewards. An entrepreneur accepts responsibility for everything. Being an entrepreneur is not a career choice - it actually chooses you!

    Some people are not suited to working for themselves. They have great business ideas, maybe even a valid business case, but the thought of risking everything is too great and they never take that final step. If they do, they live their whole lives in fear rather than excitement!

    I don't know you at all, so I don't know what kind of person you are. I am, however, going to make a huge assumption.

    If you had asked, "how much money will I make as a full time app developer?", then that would have shown me that you had spotted an opportunity and were researching the feasibility before deciding whether to go for it.

    The fact that you have asked, "should I go for it?" tells me that, most likely subconsciously, you don't want to take responsibility for the risk you would be taking.

    I apologise if I am wrong.

    If you are entrepreneurial, however, then you may find you have no choice but to resign from your job and work for yourself. And if you are entrepreneurial then I would whole-heartedly recommend that you do. The excitement of it all, the buzz of getting your first sales, the thrill of 'writing your own rules' is huge . . . and if you find this isn't 'the big one', then you just get all excited about the next opportunity that you'll work on.

    And if you lose everything (which I did - house, car, savings, pension . . . everything), then you consider this merely a big set of lessons that you have learned and will take with you into your next company.

    Failure is not falling down, it is not getting up again.

    Does this help, or put you more in a dilemma!

    Yours,

    Simon

    image
  • IsabelleKIsabelleK Posts: 2,807Member, Sous Chef
    I voted 1. option too. First of all you have to think about your family. You could risk if you were single.

    I think, that in your situation it is best to make a nice, simple game once a two weeks/once a month. Then you will have many games and bigger chance that one title will be a hit. If not, and you will be making at least 100 USD a month from every game, it would be a nice amount with 10 or 20 games.

    It's more safer than making one huge game in 6 months, and get 50% chances that this will be a best seller.

    Just my two cents.
  • RattleheadRattlehead Posts: 485Member
    Voted for option #1...
    apps4everyone said:
    My experience is that some people are naturally entrepreneurs. They spot opportunities everywhere, they have a keen sense of what will work and what won't and they can back up their instincts with sound business analysis. More than that, an entrepreneur is a risk taker, someone who will gamble everything and who considers the possibility of losing it all as an acceptable risk, given the potential rewards. An entrepreneur accepts responsibility for everything. Being an entrepreneur is not a career choice - it actually chooses you!
    image

    I definitely don't mean any offense but I had to make my opinion on this paragraph as I don't agree with a single sentence. Maybe it's my age or something but I have seen people from all stripes go through phases where they were entrepreneurial in nature and have met people that never would have believed that they could take on that role do so with flying colours. I don't really believe in the 'natural' approach...

    I also disagree with the fact that entrepreneurs are risk takers who are willing to 'lose it all'. I feel that I am very entrepreneurial and have developed full blown business cases (as in taking-it-to-the-bank stage) but I have never been willing to throw everything to the wind. What I do believe in is mitigated risk; assessing the risk, determining ways to mitigate or lessen that risk, and then making a decision to move forward. I don't think that you mean to make it sound like an entrepreneur will blindly risk everything for a possibility of being successful (you do mention business analysis), but that is the way that paragraph comes across.

    Anyways, that was just my 0.0194 cents (I believe the Canadian dollar is actually worth more than the US for once).

    And best of luck Stormy in finding that happy medium. Keep plugging away at it and I am sure one day you will find a window open wide enough for you and your family.
  • jpmurphjpmurph Posts: 62Member
    Risk = reward
  • TouchTiltGamesTouchTiltGames Posts: 1,162Member
    Hey I'm in the same boat - I have a son, bills, debt, regular day job but I work from home as a Graphic Designer/Animator from home. I'm frankly sick of web work and want very much to make games full time. I've been trying off and on to get there when I have the free time for the last year, but it's tough. I would highly recommend keeping your secure job until you can manage to make enough from games.

    Work at it slowly, each game you make that makes you some significant $, you can cancel out that equivalent gig with your work or work less hours.

    cheers.
  • xyloFUNxyloFUN Posts: 1,593Member
    Hey stormy,
    I think "Infused Dreams" said it best!
    The trick on forum advise is to weed out those who mean well and those who know ... which is not easy but it you trust the wrong crowd, you WILL regret it for a long time!

    IF you were a coder (and most of us are not or we wouldn't be here) than I'd say between your own work and freelance stuff you "might" risk it, depending on how much your wife is willing to contribute and for how long.

    But if you look at the way things are, it's difficult to justify the big plunge.
    GameSalad could close the door any day, there is no guarantee. This would mean that all of your work is pretty much down the drain. The other day, a new guy (CEO) was introduced with great applause but no one caught it or dared to think about what triggered that.
    I don't want to speculate but such changes usually signal strong corrective measures from the sponsors/share holders or what ever they have.

    Do the math. At any given moment, the most ppl in the forum are less than 50. Yes, there are 500000000000000000000000000 new members signing up like clock work every few minutes but if GS does not generate revenue, they will "clean house".
    This fact and the uncertainty of app sales would make it hard to justify.

    Time goes by fast and should you be able to get a loan .... to make a long story short, you'd be in the same boat as gamesalad just on a smaller scale.

    If you value your marriage, please stick with the perhaps slightly boring but financially more secure option ... for now :)
  • apps4everyoneapps4everyone Posts: 103Member
    Don't want a to start a debate on what makes an entrepreneur, but I stand by everything I said. I am, of course, happy for anyone to have a different opinion.

    I never meant to imply that entrepreneurs gamble blindly; I'm sorry if I gave that impression and I may have overstated my case. I never said, though that an entrepreneur would be willing to lose it all.

    A very successful businessman once said, "You can't ever call yourself an entrepreneur; only others decide if you are". I think he's probably right.
  • osucowboy18osucowboy18 Posts: 1,307Member
    Well, not sure that there is much I could add here considering, like me, so many people have voted for option 1. Even though it would be great to do game development full time, you have to look at the fact that the App Store is very competitive and very luck-based. So even though it won't be tons of fun, your best bet is to keep your day job, then come home each night and continue writing games. Sure, you won't have much free time, but at least then you will be able to determine if you have what it takes to become a success in the App Store without sacrificing your financial safety. I have seen some of your apps, and they look quite good, so in time, I believe you will be able to quit your day job and start your own company, but until then, its best to play it safe. Best of luck :)

    - Alex
  • ozboybrianozboybrian Posts: 2,102PRO
    Safe Route brother, sounds like you have a family to support. Any risk you take is a risk on them.

    If you where on your lonesome then I would say GO FOR IT! but that's not the story.

    It could pay off, but.. What if it didn't.

    I say bide your time my friend, Spend one day a week making your perfect game and when you're well ahead of your bills, BAM! Unleash the beast. Good luck mate!

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  • RiffelRiffel Posts: 1,272Member
    same boat here.
    If there's no more love for your actual job, later you get fired... the young boy who loves edit videos deserve it. You cannot control it.
    I have a son, had a job like yours ( in a local TV station) , that happened with me,
    Im happy making games now. :-)
    Do games and some freelancer job. just my opinion.
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    xyloFUN said:
    GameSalad could close the door any day, there is no guarantee. This would mean that all of your work is pretty much down the drain. The other day, a new guy (CEO) was introduced with great applause but no one caught it or dared to think about what triggered that.
    I don't want to speculate but such changes usually signal strong corrective measures from the sponsors/share holders or what ever they have.

    Do the math. At any given moment, the most ppl in the forum are less than 50. Yes, there are 500000000000000000000000000 new members signing up like clock work every few minutes but if GS does not generate revenue, they will "clean house".
    This fact and the uncertainty of app sales would make it hard to justify.

    Time goes by fast and should you be able to get a loan .... to make a long story short, you'd be in the same boat as gamesalad just on a smaller scale.

    If you value your marriage, please stick with the perhaps slightly boring but financially more secure option ... for now :)

    I agree on your last statement about sticking to the more secure option for now!

    You do seem to be 'scaremongering' quite a bit though about GS's future without anything solid to back it up.

    Let me re-assure you a little. They're sticking around for quite a while longer, believe me!

    Cheers,

    QS :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • DreamLabDreamLab Posts: 2,127Member
    My advice (from a teenager), don't quit your job until you have hit 6 figures with your games. Don't quit until you have everything you could possibly worry about, paid off. The last thing you want is to put your family in a tight spot.
  • dingosmoovdingosmoov Posts: 130Member
    Go for it. But don't do it half hearted. If 90% of people are telling you be safe, go opposite. Successful people go opposite.
  • DreamLabDreamLab Posts: 2,127Member
    dingosmoov said:
    Go for it. But don't do it half hearted. If 90% of people are telling you be safe, go opposite. Successful people go opposite.

    You only hear about the successful people is why. Do you ever hear about the man who quit his day job and failed at life? no. You hear about the man who quit his day job and turned out to be a huge success.

    You should probably think this out. I can't imagine what I would say to my dad if he were to quit his day job for a hobby that might be successful. Just don't risk it until you have something to back it up with. The economy sucks right now, so it will be hard to get that job back if you need it.
  • steve86steve86 Posts: 806Member
    I think that after all this "take the safe option" opinions we should change the question on something that actually might aid him make a decision.

    Is anyone here currently living off game salad and only game salad? did It take you months or even years to start making money after lots of losses?. Do you recommend it for him? do you think (if you are making it big) anyone else can do it?

    I think all those questions answered by someone who is making it big (by making it big I'm not talking crazy big just about 6-9k per month) might help stormy make a better decision.

    good luck on whatever your choose stormy
  • cptongsgcptongsg Posts: 70Member
    Risk it if you can die for your dream, life is all about risk. What can it be worst if you fail? Choose to be either Rich or poor, no in between. God give you talent just don’t waste it. Sorry this is me only not recommending for anyone who have week heart. Ask your heart, It’s your chose nobody can answer for you.
  • DreamLabDreamLab Posts: 2,127Member
    steve86 said:
    I think that after all this "take the safe option" opinions we should change the question on something that actually might aid him make a decision.

    Is anyone here currently living off game salad and only game salad? did It take you months or even years to start making money after lots of losses?. Do you recommend it for him? do you think (if you are making it big) anyone else can do it?

    I think all those questions answered by someone who is making it big (by making it big I'm not talking crazy big just about 6-9k per month) might help stormy make a better decision.

    good luck on whatever your choose stormy

    I think firemaplegames is living off his games now.
  • cptongsgcptongsg Posts: 70Member
    cptongsg said:you can
    Risk it if you can die for your dream, life is all about risk. What can it be worst if you fail? You can either be Rich or poor, no in between. God give you talent just don’t waste it. Sorry this is me only not recommending for anyone who have weak heart. Follow your heart, It’s your chose nobody can answer for you.

    how about option c, freelance on your animation/editor skill, this way you can free up more time to do your game. Freelancer can earn much higher than regular job & this can minimize your risk taken compare to loaning.

This discussion has been closed.