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How to Budget for a Product > Scalability - Pg. 57

Financing a Game Development Venture 57 How to Budget for a Product The number one developer error cited by publishers, agents, and developers alike is underbudgeting the time and money a product's development requires. Understanding your budget for a project is somewhat simple in theory: who will you need, for how long, at what salary, and what equipment and outside technology will it require? Unfortunately, it takes years of experience to even start getting the "for how long" coefficient correct, let alone the "who will you need." Note TIP When pitching your project to publishers, keep in mind that they areevaluating you, not necessarily for the project you pitch, but for yoursuitability to develop other titles they need. (Example: you pitch anoriginal IP fighting game; the publisher has recently purchased a boxing license; it declines your IP but offers you a work for hire developingits boxing license.) A big piece of that evaluation is whether you have arealistic understanding of a budget and timeline for a given set of features.A dramatically underbid project will raise flags for a pub- lisherthat you don't understand scope and that you will need additionalfinancing mid-project. If you are a developer, you are probably optimistic by nature; budgeting is a good time to get in touch with your darker side. Ask your technical and art leads to come up with the absolute most they could possibly imagine the product requiring, in duration and manpower. Factor in every last detail you can imagine, from per-employee phone use to taxes (don't forget taxes!). Then add in a profit margin, at least enough to let you pay everyone, keep the lights on, and quickly build up your cash Note CAUTION