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Ultratron > General Discussions > Topic Details
cprince  [developer] Mar 21, 2013 @ 6:02pm
Guess how long Ultratron took to make
In man-months.
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Showing 1-15 of 55 comments
DMZ Mar 21, 2013 @ 6:10pm 
3? Just a random guess since I can't imagine all the coding stuff that I have no understanding of.
Gummydrop Mar 21, 2013 @ 6:43pm 
Hm. I checked out the credits and there was only like 5 or 6 people, so I'll guess 10 man-months.
spiritofcat Mar 21, 2013 @ 7:37pm 
How are we counting?
Is a man-month 30 x 24 hours of work?(30 days of 24 hours)
Or is it something more like 4 x 5 x 8 hours of work? (4 weeks at 8 hours a day 5 days a week)

The Wayback Machine's first cache of the ultratron page on your site is dated June 20th 2005.
You had a demo available at that time, so you'd already coded the core of the game by then.
It's been almost 8 years since then, but I've got no way of estimating how much time you spent on it over that 8 year period.

cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 2:34am 
I mean total actual amount of time spent on it - not the gaps inbetween developments. In people x days sorta thing (average 20 days in a month). You'll be surprised. Keep guessing!
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 4:50am 
(They don't share a single sprite, though we do share a few sounds)
Last edited by cprince; Mar 22, 2013 @ 4:50am
ein Mar 22, 2013 @ 5:42am 
I don't think you'd brag about a really short time so I'm going to say half a year.
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:01am 
Ah bless, I'm constantly humbled by how astoundingly naive our lovely customers are when it comes to making video games. Keep guessing! I shall reveal later today.
xenoonex369 Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:11am 
It took 18 drunk man months
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:22am 
Lies! I've never had a♥♥♥♥♥♥ drinkstable.
xenoonex369 Mar 22, 2013 @ 6:57am 
Love all of your games, ROTT is my fav.
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 7:07am 
Ok I shall reveal all.

Ultratron took 24 man months to develop, or if you want to put a financial figure on it, about $120k at ordinary salary rates. Ultratron has so far made a loss of $100k.

Titan Attacks took approximately the same amount of time. Titan Attacks has just broken even after 7 years, so that's cause for a can of lager in celebration.

Droid Assault took quite a bit longer - about 36 man months, or $180k ish. Droid Assault has so far made a loss of about $120k.

Revenge of the Titans took about 7 man-years to develop, or about $420k. It's only just broken even. Sandbox mode took 12 man-months and has so far cost us $56k.

For most of the last 10 years, I subsidised all the development of the games by working as a menial contractor in the IT industry and effectively putting every spare hour of my life into them.

So now you know why a) you don't really want to be an indie game developer if you can help it and b) why we're not making any more arcade games :)*

This is such an interesting post now I read it back to myself I think I'm going to blog it.

* probably. Unless a genius can think of some way we can make them for about a tenth the cost that's palateable.
Cryophile Mar 22, 2013 @ 7:46am 
Wow, this is horrible :(
Is it a lack of marketing, high development costs, not enough popularity in retro gaming? All of the above?
Last edited by Cryophile; Mar 22, 2013 @ 7:59am
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 9:17am 
Our development costs are somewhat too high for a number of reasons:

1. We spend at least 3x as long as we should on the basic development because we really care about perfection. Let's face it, on the very surface of it, Ultratron looks to a lot of people like they could just bash it out in 3 months flat. And you could, maybe, if you were astoundingly talented, didn't have a family to appease, and crucially already knew the perfect game design in advance. We spent several months just trying out ideas until we got it right in the end.

2. We support the games intensely, listening to pretty much every bit of feedback on the entire internet (hurrah for Google Alerts), and we take everything very seriously. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time. Look at me now - I've spent about 2 hours answering replies on the community forums on Steam today, which has earned us precisely $0.

3. We go on supporting the games for years and years and keep them updated. In the case of Ultratron for example we've basically written a completely new game and given it to all our existing customers for free instead of selling it as a new version. We put in free DLC for the games like the special Christmas Modes in Revenge of the Titans and Droid Assault, which cost us months and months of time but actually earn no money at all.

4. We are total failures at marketing :D

5. Despite all the glowing reviews and fans ... there aren't enough glowing reviews and fans. Think about this: despite being on Steam with a very well targeted userbase of over 40 million people, we have, for example, only sold about 8,000 Droid Assaults, even at ridiculously low prices.
Carth Vayther Mar 22, 2013 @ 12:02pm 
Originally posted by xenoonex369:
Love all of your games
seconding this. When I say Ultratron on the Steam frontpage I directly thought: Oh, nice Puppygames and bought it :)
cprince  [developer] Mar 22, 2013 @ 12:05pm 
We need another 100,000 of you.
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