AOB

New planes production costs

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I read on another site about how a dev has worked 200 hours on producing a soon to be released plane for AFS2. That got me thinking .... I no longer work, but 200 hours of pretty focused work should be worth around $3350 USD to give a modest living to someone. That equates to about the sale of 80 copies at $42 USD per plane. Tack on another 20 copies to cover production costs and any overheads and a minimum of 100 sales would be needed to make the effort worthwhile.

Do you think that producers sell that many for AFS2? Not sure how many real users are out there. By real users I mean those who are willing to support the AFS2 sim by buying the products for it.

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AOB

Hello mate,

An interesting comparison, however, I am not sure how much value you are going to get with a product on which 200 hours has been spent and saleable for 42.00.

I do not profess to know about the development process for an aircraft for AFS2, but I cannot imagine Robert Randazzo being singularly impressed with those numbers for P3Dv4. His product takes a development team years to produce and get right.

I know that their products are dearer, but faced with a financial decision, I would think very carefully and want some reliable reviews before I bought the 42.00 product from an unknown developer. 

The concept, however, is interesting, particularly if you are converting a hobby to a payware product .... Look at MSFS who did some incredible freeware before going into payware.

Regards

Tony Chilcott

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4 hours ago, AOB said:

but 200 hours of pretty focused work should be worth around $3350 USD to give a modest living to someone.

Even if this value was NET (didn't include taxes and overhead, and health insurance etc.) that's $16.75/hr?  Minimum wage in OR is $10.75/hr.  Minimum wage in CA is $12.00/hr (going up to $15.00/hr soon I think).  Since you are quoting USD, I'll assume US, so not sure how you would equate that to a "modest" living?  Someone living on minimum wage is mostly like living at someone else's home (parents perhaps) or bunked up with several roommates as that wouldn't be enough income to pay rent, let alone attempt to save for a house.  

The knowledge and skill set required to produce aircraft (even basic ones) is considerable, even more so if one has to learn the AF2 SDK in addition to the 3DModeling tools supported by AF2.

200 hrs is 5 weeks (assuming 40hr work week) ... I don't know of anyone (freeware or payware) that has only taken 200 hrs to produce an aircraft (even if low quality).

Cheers, Rob.

 

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Posted (edited)

Not into naming names but it was an existing product converted to our AFS2. Money wise I was thinking of my idea of a comfortable income. Our national minimum wage is $13.31 USD per hour.(business.com.au) by the way. 

I will buy it as I love AFS2 and supporting devs but from what was said it seems there are no rich devs out there.

Edited by AOB
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58 minutes ago, AOB said:

I will buy it as I love AFS2 and supporting devs but from what was said it seems there are no rich devs out there.

As far as I can tell, that's been true of most developers for years. I suspect most are either retired, or do this as a side-job/hobby.

This being said, the developers I have spoken too seem quite eager to get their Aerofly work out there in the aether and see what happens, though just as with Orbx, I think there's a general knowledge that this is less about tossing a guppy in the ocean and coming to collect your grown whale tomorrow, as it is about making the investment in planting a seed in hopes of apples a few years from now.

It's a shame we never reached that point with either Microsoft Flight nor DTG sim, but Aerofly has been unique in surviving/growing and even forming its own slowly burgeoning modding-developing community away from the mainstream, just as X-plane had to do years and years ago.

I'm wishing good things for them, and for Flyinside sim, as well.

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Posted (edited)

The hourly rate of a developer depends of many factors: Experience, Expertise, Language the desired application / software needs to be developed, what it needs to be developed, where the developer lives, etc.

Of course the more technical and specialised the software is, the hourly rate is more expensive. This link gives some guidelines: https://www.fullstacklabs.co/blog/2019-software-development-price-guide-and-hourly-rate-comparison

Quote

uT0N1MZ.png

As another comparison, let's go into the "Games Developer" market: https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/How-Much-Does-a-Game-Developer-Make-an-Hour

Quote

Average Game Developer Salary Across the U.S.

  Salary Range (Percentile)
  25th Average 75th
Annual Salary $87,000 $110,539 $142,000
Monthly Salary $7,250 $9,212 $11,833
Weekly Salary $1,673 $2,126 $2,731
Hourly Salary $42 $53 $68

The average salary of a developer working for a firm - this is very important as it means the developer does not incurs in any overheads: IE:, Developing tools, management tools, corporate business tax, support costs, marketing costs, delivering product costs, etc.,  which is the reason freelance developers charge more money-  is about $53 USD per hour / $110,539 USD per year. However important note should be taken that the cost per hour can be much higher when you are hunting for a developer with a particular experience for any particular technology, this is due to "demand and availability", for example hiring a developer with plenty of experience with AFS2 SDK or P3D SDK would be more expensive as otherwise you would need to train a new developer with the technology which would also increase your costs and time of delivery of the product, so you could expect at least the maximum hourly rate or much higher.

12 hours ago, AOB said:

I read on another site about how a dev has worked 200 hours on producing a soon to be released plane for AFS2. That got me thinking .... I no longer work, but 200 hours of pretty focused work should be worth around $3350 USD to give a modest living to someone. That equates to about the sale of 80 copies at $42 USD per plane. Tack on another 20 copies to cover production costs and any overheads and a minimum of 100 sales would be needed to make the effort worthwhile.

Your formula suggest 200 hours of work would be charged at $21 USD (100 copies x 42 / 200 hours), this is 3 times below the average salary of any standard game developer out there. So IMHO the effort is not worthwhile at all with such figures. A good developer could earn easily 9,000 to 11,000 USD per month working only 9am to 5pm, which is only 35 hours a week, totalling to only 175 hours in a month..and it would not need to worry about all the overheads, support, etc. of owning his own company.

The reality is that you will find many developers working for the flying sim market, does it out of "Passion" initially and stays on this business on the long term because 3 posible reasons:

  • A) Because it does it part time, so the money is just an extra cash (as there is a main income from a full time job) and what is really driving him / her to stay is the passion for the hobby.
     
  • B) Because is retired and also does this part time, so again the money is just an extra cash and what is really driving him / her is the passion for the hobby.
     
  • C) Because the figures it can make from sales are extremely high, making the business really worthwhile as the only source of income, you can count with your hands the number of developers on this category, however the amount of hours are much higher than you guys believe for these types of add-on's and in turn they also require a very high number of sales (15,000 to 30,000 copies minimum per add-on released).

It is also important to point out the average successful add-on on this market only sells around 2,000 copies during its life time (no per year), and the average non study level add-on developing time is between 6 months to 1.2 years depending of complexity and experience (assuming building from scratch), were study level add-on's go from 3 to 7 years of developing time, so the amount of working hours are really quite high.

My 2 cents,

Simbol
 

Edited by simbol
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, simbol said:

It is also important to point out the average successful add-on on this market only sells around 2,000 copies during its life time (no per year)

Great post Raul ... another big problem is that I know a developer than sold 250 aircraft and when I do a YouTube search I find 8000 unique YouTubers showing videos using the very same aircraft ... theft is rampant and huge deterrent. 

If one is working for a larger gaming company, theft is something a game developer and/or 3D modeler doesn't have to worry about and can focus on providing best content possible.  It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft's new platform will tackle this problem.

Everybody seems to want more content, but it seems only a very small percent are actually willing to pay for it ... so returning to the OP's original comment ... are you factoring in theft to your financial equation and/or is the developer attempting any sort of theft prevention (more work)?

Cheers, Rob.  

Edited by Rob_Ainscough
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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2019 at 12:20 AM, AOB said:

I read on another site about how a dev has worked 200 hours on producing a soon to be released plane for AFS2.

 

On 7/9/2019 at 5:23 AM, Rob_Ainscough said:

I don't know of anyone (freeware or payware) that has only taken 200 hrs to produce an aircraft (even if low quality).

AOB is talking about a conversion of an FSX/P3D/XP aircraft and those 200 hrs has ONLY been spend on creating/redoing texture maps from scratch for the converted plane: diffuse map, specular and specular alpha map, reflection map, bump map and ambient occlusion. The developer also created an additional light map and self illumination map. Creating those maps took him around 200 hrs. Creating the entire add on plane definitely took a lot more than 200 hours... 😉 

Edited by Flamingpie
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Also remember that some will be doing this as a learning experience on how to convert aircraft to the new sim as the idea of porting becomes more interesting.

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