...Get a Hold of Left Brain Games:
Let's start it off with an easy one.
You can reach Left Brain Games by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the main office by telephone at (860) 921.5611.
Once you've reached out to us, you might have a few questions. Read the FAQ below and see if it answers any questions.
... Easily Get Some Questions Answered:
The curious often ask very similar questions. Let's go ahead and tackle some of the common ones:
- Q: I want a game.
- Q: How do you price your services?
- Q: C'mon! Can you give me a ballpark figure?
- Q: I've got a great idea for a game for the XBox!
- Q: That can't be!
- Q: Do you have your own in-house developers, or do you farm out your work?
- Q: What tools do you use?
- Q: How long does it take to get a full-blown game completed?
- Q: Now that we're done, who keeps what?
- Q: Well that's all pretty spiffy! Do you only do games?
Q: I want a game.
A: Of course you do. That's not really a question, but we'll let it slide.
The first thing we'll need to know is what type of game you are considering. As you might imagine, games have a broad range in development costs; from relatively inexpensive (simple games built from previously developed engines) to huge development efforts. With a better understanding of your ideas, we can determine what sort of solution best fits your needs and budgets.
Q: How do you price your services?
A: As you might imagine, the games we produce are uniquely designed and tuned to the project at hand, so it is difficult for us to gauge costs without at least one in-depth conversation with those involved. Without knowing the target audience or the potential customer's level of commitment to their online promotions, it is challenging to put together any information regarding type of game or animation that would be most appropriate.
"It depends" is rarely what someone hopes to hear, but it is appropriate in this case. It depends. We'd suggest you pull together a game or two from our site; the ones you think best fit your intentions, and propose your ideas around them. If we are building from existing game engines we can produce something more quickly and at a lower price. Custom, original games (and the technologies used) all factor into the final cost.
Can you give us some more information about what you're looking to achieve? Have you any game ideas already percolating? We'd love to hear about them, and with the additional information, we can probably give you a better idea of what sort of costs we'll be looking at. To make you more comfortable discussing anything further with us, we certainly could sign an NDA with you.
Q: C'mon! Can you give me a ballpark figure?
A: Art, animation, sound effects, and game design all take a variable amount of time depending on the goals of the marketing program. While these amounts can be driven by a target budget, we can give you an idea of project costs that would get us in the right range.
Starting from an existing game and customizing it is the least expensive approach to take. The amount of customization that is done really depends on how unique and targeted you would like your message to be. Most of the budget goes to developing new artwork and animations, and incorporating provided game elements into the game.
More robust, complicated games (especially those using 3D), or those with a lot of unique animations can double in cost.
Q: I've got a great idea for a game for the XBox!
A: Of course. Bear in mind, though, most games developed for game systems like that have seven figure budgets.
Q: That can't be!
A: Another statement rather than a question. Either way: from GameSpot, August 2005:
Microsoft's Xbox is the most costly platform for game development, followed by Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube, says the latest report by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) in Japan. This week's issue of Famitsu covers figures from 2004 given by CESA, which calculated the average development costs for games on current-gen platforms. The reported figures are based on development fees that were voluntarily disclosed by 28 companies.
According to CESA, the Xbox is the most expensive due to the platform's high-end hardware specs. Development figures taken from 13 Xbox games came to an average of 202 million yen ($1.85 million), more than double the cost of other platforms.
Mbr> The PlayStation 2 ranked as the second-most-costly platform to make games for, with development figures for 194 games averaging 96 million yen ($877,000). The GameCube came in third, with figures taken from 11 games averaging 90 million yen ($822,000).
Surprisingly, games for the handheld PlayStation Portable reportedly cost the same to make as GameCube ones.
Q: Do you have your own in-house developers, or do you farm out your work?
A: We have developers, animators and composers on-staff, so all content would be generated by Left Brain Games folks.
Q: What tools do you use?
A: Our development team utilizes Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Flash and Director for web, desktop, and CD-ROM distribution, enabling us to create applications and games for both the Windows and OSX operating systems.
Our artists, video, and sound designers? Frankly I couldn't tell you; I don't hang with them too much. I think 3D Studio Max. Photoshop for sure.
Q: How long does it take to get a full-blown game completed?
A: My Magic 8-Ball says...
Actually development time varies from project to project. Customized animations (especially long ones) can be very time-consuming; as can advanced artificial intelligence and heavily nuanced gameplay. A simple re-skinning of a game may take five weeks from inception to complete. A complicated, multi-level game, or game full of games (don't ask) may take several months.
Q: Now that we're done, who keeps what?
A: We usually maintain rights on the source code, but we can work out an arrangement that would be to everyone's satisfaction.
Q: Well that's all pretty spiffy! Do you only do games?
A: As a matter of fact, no! Each member of Left Brain Games, while having worked in gaming and edutainment for what seems like ever, also has an extensive background in education. We have done testing applications for educational providers as well as, most recently, a Design-Online tool for the printing industry.