I’m a professional video game developer and author making a living solely online. Every few months I share a transparent income report which documents my latest earnings and experiences. My goal with these income reports is to inspire others and demonstrate that it’s entirely possible to make a living doing what you love – for me, that’s creating games!
You can find out more about me or continue reading below.
What I Did This Quarter
Before I get into this report, I need to recap a major change in my schedule…
I have been running my game development business for 5 years now, and during that time I’ve aimed to publish an income report every single month. However, due to my increasingly overwhelming workload, it has become difficult to post income reports in a timely fashion.
It has gotten to the point where I have been publishing reports extremely late or combining multiple reports into a single post. Keeping up with this schedule has become quite stressful and I imagine the inconsistency can be frustrating to readers.
To resolve this problem, I have decided to cut down on the total number of income reports that I publish. Now, I will publish an income report every 3 months, instead of every month. This quarterly schedule should make it easier for me to share reports on a consistent basis, and it will allow me to reallocate time to projects such as my upcoming book Learn To Make Games and current major project Kingfall.
Kingfall Status Update
This quarter, I focused on spending the budget for Kingfall prior to the end of financial year (EOFY). The initial budget for Kingfall ($30,000 raised in late 2016) has now been fully allocated to team members directly and via escrow. In addition, I have personally spent over $10,000 USD out of my own pocket on development costs, so far.
That’s a lot of money! And it took a surprising amount of time & energy to spend.
Kingfall is a serious attempt to produce a commercial-grade MMORPG so it’s clearly more ambitious than any game I have worked on before. I’ve had to cover numerous expenses, including artwork, client/server programming, and the production of a soundtrack. I also had to acquire an expensive domain and cover the significant legal costs associated with launching a project of this scale.
I’m trying to accomplish so much on a relatively small budget. It’s really difficult.
Since my current role in the Kingfall team is the project manager (in addition to game design, marketing, sales, and additional programming), the bulk of this organizational work falls to me. It was exhausting negotiating contracts, dealing with escrow services, and making sure everyone was paid on time.
But now that I have dealt with this, I can return my focus to designing the game and working towards initial alpha testing.
We’re only 6 months into developing Kingfall and the game will undoubtedly require more funding in the future, so I’ll have to leverage profits from my core business when the need arises. I’m saving as much money as possible and working to reduce my personal expenses, too, so that I can invest more into Kingfall. I’m putting everything into this project so it really needs to pay off (and if we can get the pieces in place, I’m confident it will).
I’m currently playing Overwatch which is a popular first-person shooter for PC/console. I’m a filthy Junkrat main (Diamond rank) and just unlocked the silver portrait frame for reaching level 600. The best movie I saw this month was Get Out which is a horror/mystery film that hooked me in and kept me hypnotized – highly recommended. Finally, I have been watching the dark television series Taboo which I found refreshing and original.
Here’s a quick look at how my online platform performed during Apr/May/June 2017.
The games I publish were played 1,855,926 times (48,073,859 total).
My websites were viewed 44,128 times (6,132,840 total) by 20,407 visitors.
I have a total of 27,864 subscribers across various platforms.
I’ve been somewhat absent on social media this quarter, so growth was much weaker than usual, however, my mailing list performed well. Be the first to hear about my latest games, articles, and giveaways by signing up to receive my newsletter.
Online Income Report
I was concerned about how my income streams would be affected after I switched from publishing monthly reports to quarterly reports.
During Apr/May/Jun 2017 I earned $10,563 USD solely online ($402,903 total), down $2,107 from last quarter.
Sales of my books Making Money With HTML5 and Learn To Make Games were my main concern, and they did take a hit of roughly 25% this quarter. My other income streams are more volatile so I can’t draw any accurate conclusions from those swings.
Sales of my HTML5 games were relatively strong, aided in part by the production of a custom HTML5 game for a corporate client. I haven’t made any big bulk sales so far this year, but the smaller sales are certainly adding up. The HTML5 games market has seen a significant uptick with positive developments bolstering confidence, especially with the success of Facebook’s Instant Games platform which is powered by HTML5 games.
This quarter I welcomed a new client to my HTML5 consulting service and sold a couple of copies of my Mobility Engine. Some of my products, especially the Mobility Engine, are overdue for an update and I’m starting to get annoyed at myself for taking so long to update them. The problem is that I’m balancing a hundred (thousand?) things at once, and my priorities shift on a daily basis, so these updates keep descending my to-do list. I will catch up, though.
Finally, I would like to thank my latest top supporters: Robert Taveras and Michael Rogers.
I’ll be taking a week’s break to play the official launch of Albion Online, an MMORPG which is being released after years in beta. It’s been a long time since I had the opportunity to grind an MMORPG from day one so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ll also be studying the game’s core mechanics, especially the economy of the world, as I continue to refine my vision for Kingfall.
Of course, Kingfall will remain my top priority throughout the next quarter, but my core business demands attention too. I’m planning to update several of my products and add new custom-made sound effects to a number of my HTML5 games. I have an extremely demanding schedule ahead but at least I’m still enjoying my work :)
Thanks for reading!