Since we had a pretty good outline for how the game would function, it was time to discuss some final questions to figure out how much work would be involved, and therefore how much it would cost.
We heard from Scott:
Hey folks, Happy Monday! I just wanted to let you know Tyler and I are in the process of estimating our time now and should be able to get you a document outlining the features we are aiming for and how long they should take. I’m personally a bit of an “over sharer” with timeframe stuff so that if things don’t line up perfectly, we can prioritize certain ideas more than others and adjust the scope.
Also just to give you a ballpark of what to expect, our rates are 50/hr for design, and 75/hr for development / devops, and 30/hr for general work such as QA and Browser Testing.
I may have more questions as we tighten this up, but a few initial ones are on my mind:
(editor’s note: my answers are inline, after Scott’s questions)
Do you have an idea for a theme / graphics wishlist for the game?
We were considering top down looking at a calm sea. It may be a bit of scope creep, but it could be fun to see it get stormier as the churn beast grows. I was thinking what fun we could potentially have with your lifesaver ring logo motif. We also kind of see the Churn Beast as a floating ball monster. If you’re familiar with DOOM and Monsters inc, I kind of see it being somewhere between a Cacodemon and Sully. But definitely cute, at worst, an unruly teenager, never mean or violent.
I don’t really have any ideas for themes/graphics, but having it get stormier as the beast grows would be good. I like your ideas here. I have played/am playing a lot of games, but this is the first one I’ve been involved in any way in designing, so I might be of limited help here. I can definitely point to things that I like, though.
Do you have a preference for Pixel or Vector Art?
We noticed you make use of clean vectors on the site, and we can match that style, or work in an entirely different one.
I’d rather Vector art here. I could see a Pixel art version looking really cool, but Vector is more of our brand.
Who will handle hosting / deployment?
This is a service we can provide, or we can hand you a .zip of the game and let you take it from there. (Or anywhere in between)
I will. I’m a web developer, so I can handle that part.
Do you need a copywriter?
Do you plan on providing all of the text for the game, or do you need someone to write this? I have a few contacts, if needed.
Nope! I wrote all of the copy on our website too. I can write whatever needs to be written.
Are you looking to support mobile devices?
This is something I regularly do, and should be completely possible for this project, but will require the extra time needed to add mobile controls and a responsive UI.
Are you looking to support IE11?
At an all time low usage rate of 0.94%, we may be at the end for this one, however, my tech stack does support IE11. That being said, it usually requires a bit of extra time to go in and correct unexpected bugs.
Nah, if there was just a message in there saying that their browser was unsupported and to use “recommended list of browsers” that’s fine.
Then we heard from Scott again, as he was already having fun building a prototype of the game, which looked like this at the time:
My team is excited to move on this one, I think we’re going to make something great. I’ve started prototyping around with what I’m calling the “Payment Field” and the beast hunting for payments. Its just circles at the moment, but interesting…
Pretty cool, right? At this point, I was already excited to see this game come to life.