Excuse me for a moment, just thinking out loud again.
I've been thinking a bit lately about what it would be like to work with a team of people on H-games. Working alone, a single game's profit is enough to support me an entire year and then some. Assuming that I make multiple games in a year, this means that I would have enough money to basically fund a project, and hire artists who are far superior to myself.
Assuming I'd be making a 2d game, I would probably be hiring..
1. A spriter.
2. A background/tileset artist.
3. A CG artist.
Either the spriter or the CG artist would be responsible for designing enemies and character's. I would then do the programming, the (level/game)design, and the soundtrack myself, since I wouldn't really trust somebody else with any of those other than soundtrack.
Assuming the games produced would be of higher quality and polish than Kurovadis, which made around $30,000 in less than a year, it would be a fairly safe bet to make $30,000 my budget. How the budget is divided between the team would be based on the number of hours it would take each member to complete their work.
Let's say there are 30 enemies and CGs for half of them. A common commission price is around $70, which is absolutely pathetic, so let's assume they would at least be making around $20 per hour. If it takes 10 hours for one CG, that would cost a total of $3000 for all 15, which is reasonable. $6000 for 30, if they could take the workload. (or if I hired two artists)
This is a little bit harder to determine, since I only have myself as a basis for comparison. On a bad day, I can finish an enemy's animations in a few hours. However, the hired artist could be much better than I am, and yet take more time, or maybe less. If there are around 30 enemies and each one takes 4 hours, that's 120 hours of work. Add another 20-40 for the player. If I'm paying the sprite artist at the same rate as the CG artist, that would be $3200. The industry standard is around $30 for an artist, however, which would be a total of $4800, which seems more reasonable.
At least for me, tilesets take a lot less time than sprites. But then, my tilesets are pretty economic since I work alone, and are far from the quality I'd expect from someone who considers it a speciality. In other words, I have no idea how long it would take, however I assume the hourly rate would be about the same as the sprite artist. So for instance, if there are 4 areas, 4 tilesets in each, and a tileset takes 8 hours, then that would be 128 hours of work. So around $3840.
Of course, assuming I pay the two artists 30 per hour, I suppose I'd have to pay the CG artist that as well. Bringing it to $9000.
CG Artist: $9000
Sprite Artist: $4800
Tileset/ background Artist: $3840
In total, that's only $17,640. If I give them more money to cover income tax it's still only around $20,000. Let's also assume that such thinking is too optimistic and bump it up to $25,000.
That would leave the rest of the budget to me. Alternatively, I could spend the entire budget on the team and only receive the profit from the game. (Meaning I'd make money once the profits exceeded $30,000)
To put it simply, working with a team seems a lot more practical financially then I first thought. Even if I make less money myself, ideally the games would be of higher quality since each artist would be dedicated to his/her own position. The only problem would be finding people who are skilled and
reliable. It would also be difficult to find someone who doesn't have a full time job initially.
Anyhow, just thinking out-loud. It would be a while until I attempt something like that anyway, since I'll have to finish a few games myself first.
Time to get back to it.