Game Software Contractors?

Apprentice
Posts: 7
Joined: 2008.01
Post: #1
Are there any businesses out there where someone with a game idea, but no programming skills yet has a lot of money, can hire them to program the game? And if so, how much do you think they'd charge for, let's say just as an example, games like Monopoly, Munchkins or a basic war game?
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Moderator
Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #2
There are plenty of programming contractors out there, many people make their living off doing things of this nature (like me).

To write something like monopoly you can expect it to take about 2 months at 40 hours a week for an experienced programmer to write. Expect to pay between $150 and $200 per hour for a decent contract programmer. So you are looking between $48,000 and $64,000. For something of this nature I would typically offer a bulk code discount for a guaranteed 2 months work, but many development firms don't have policies in place like this. In short I would charge something around $40,000 to write something like monopoly from the ground up.

I am unfamiliar with "Munchkins", and time involved can vary greatly depending on what you mean by a basic war game.

I hope this was about to answer your question.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Apprentice
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Post: #3
Thanks for the response, Kodex! Your answer was helpful in giving us an idea of what to expect.

A follow-up question now: is there a place where we could post a job so contractors can look at it, decide they could do it, then send in a quote? For instance, one game we have in mind would work best if it was available on macs, windows, linux and the iPhone (later branching out from there to consoles and other cell phones if it succeeds), and it would be good to find someone who can handle all of them from the start.
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Post: #4
For something like that it would be much much cheaper to hire a full time employee for a year or so to write it. The savings could be around $250,000 for a full time employee over contract for that amount of work.

There are some sites where you can post a contractor programming opening, but I have yet to see anyone satisfied with an iPhone result from those sites. Windows yes, Mac and Linux questionable. Your chances of finding someone who can do all of it on a contract for hire site is about the same as being stuck by lightening while waiting in line to collect your lottery winnings.

I would contact the Seattle Cocoaheads Group and see if anyone is available for contract work there. Just a heads up if you expect any one person to write code for 4 platforms expect to pay a significant markup. From my understand though you have a large VC front, so it doesnt sound like it will be a huge problem.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Apprentice
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Post: #5
We know it's difficult to find a programmer who can handle four different platforms, which is why we're looking into contracting the job out. We figured a software contracting company would have multiple employees, each with a different platform specialty. The thing is, we only want to come out with one or two games at first to test our business model. If it works, then we'll most likely be hiring our own programmers and doing most of the development in house, maybe contracting out ports to other platforms or the like.
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Post: #6
I have not yet seen any large companies do contract work on the iPhone, that is typically reserved to 1-2 people teams at the moment. In fact I can't name a single 2 person iPhone contracting team =).

But if you have the investment money im sure you can make something happen.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Post: #7
Big Nerd Ranch does largescale contract work on the iPhone.

http://www.bignerdranchconsulting.com
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Post: #8
longjumper Wrote:Big Nerd Ranch does largescale contract work on the iPhone.

http://www.bignerdranchconsulting.com

Excellent link I had no idea Aaron was doing consulting work these days. Thanks!

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Apprentice
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Joined: 2008.01
Post: #9
Thanks for the link! If this pans out we'll contact them.
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