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The months before release...


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How do you guys support yourselves? Do you get various odd jobs, or just live in debt until you can pay off your debts when the game is released?

I ask because, well... Half Life 2 was in development for five years, but they had endless expansion packs, not to mention continuing sales of a very popular game - by extension probably the most important and popular multi player shooter for quite a while(Counter-Strike). Then I got to thinking, how do developer's handle this normally? Do they just not eat or sleep? Are they robots themselves?

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I bet the folks who invested in Daikatana ended up pretty unhappy.

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you

But I get the feeling that you don't like it

What's with all the screaming?

You like monkeys, you like ponies

Maybe you don't like monsters so much

Maybe I used too many monkeys

Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

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How do you guys support yourselves? Do you get various odd jobs, or just live in debt until you can pay off your debts when the game is released?

I ask because, well... Half Life 2 was in development for five years, but they had endless expansion packs, not to mention continuing sales of a very popular game - by extension probably the most important and popular multi player shooter for quite a while(Counter-Strike). Then I got to thinking, how do developer's handle this normally? Do they just not eat or sleep? Are they robots themselves?

Well, there's two types of agreements. Valve is self-funded, I am pretty sure. So they will finish when they finish and collect money from Half-Life 2 sales almost instantly.

 

Most developers work based on milestones and payment for milestones. The time between the start of a project and the ship of a project is divided into chunks (usually monthly). The developer agrees to deliver the game to the publisher with x amount of content and features implemented for each milestone and the publisher pays them some money. The royalties on a publisher-funded title generally pay out at higher sales numbers, but your project is funded by the publisher, so as long as the publisher can pay you and you meet your milestones, you don't go hungry. Less risk for the developer, more risk for the publisher.

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