How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

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How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Xyos212 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:22 pm

After completing my map de_serenity (Ill link to it at the end), I have been offered a few "contracts" to develop maps for people with custom assets. My question is how much should I charge for such a job? I have done this as a hobby out of my love for it for some years now, so I am not really experienced with the money side of it.

Any of you guys have experience getting paid to make models/maps? To focus on it, how much would you charge for say:

-A unique character rigged and ready to replace a CT or T faction for admins?

-A map with almost all custom content, with custom models, and animations?

-A weapon model (Unique model not a reskin)?

Should I ask for the money up front? Should I ask for half first, then the rest at the end, then hand over the map/assets? Any feedback or help I would greatly appreciate. I'm looking for fair prices, Im not looking to get rich off of this :)

A point of reference, de_serenity took about 3 months, starting from scratch with all models, textures, and the map itself. I developed a pretty efficient workflow, and have been doing this for years over a number of engines. I did it in my spare time on the side of working full time and just normal life stuff. Is 4 months a good starting point to give an estimate for map completion?

Latest worK:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =138979859
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby ErikKiller on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Browse the different Workshops and see what pops up at what price.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Xyos212 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:22 pm

I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but what are you referring to by "workshops"? What workshops?
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby ErikKiller on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:02 pm

The stuff where you buy items for your characters in like TF2 and Portal 2 xD
Am I tripping or something? You know, the whole Steam Wallet ordeal.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby SmileTime on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Custom maps for a community or server or random people you can reasonably charge in the hundreds. That's not uncommon.

Of course pro's charge alot more and rarely get rich from making environments, but there is nothing wrong with it if you one day do. Only super talented and productive artists get rich doing this.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Xyos212 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:21 pm

Like I said I do this just because I love it, but I wont deny its nice to make money off a hobby :)

I'm just trying to get some fair prices. Making a map with all custom assets is a lot of work, and a lot of time. Trying to reflect that in a price but keep it fair is challenging haha :)

I dont think the workshop is of any help to me. Those are single model items priced at a low price for the masses. Maps with the whole stamp thing is a pay what you want approach. What I am proposing is specific projects tailored to someones specifications.

Thanks for the feedback so far though appreciate it :)
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby DonPunch on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:43 pm

That is an almost impossible question to answer, and I get it almost every week. This is why:

Industry rates don't apply if you have to ask, it means you are not a "professional" and most likely your clients couldn't afford that anyways.

Basing it off what other people charge is also a hard way to base it. Some people work fast, some people have higher quality of work. There is no set hourly rate for freelance modeling/level design.

The best thing I would recommend, is to figure out what it's worth to you. If $500 to do something you enjoy is worth it to you, there you go. If you would rather do something else in those months that $x doesn't cover, then don't do it.

I suggest finding something you want to purchase (new pc, down payment on car, vacation to game con, etc) and base it off of that. Create a reward for your work that will motivate you more than just cash would.

When it comes down to it, it's just up to you to figure out what your time is worth to you.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Xyos212 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:52 pm

Thanks DonPunch that was very helpful. Ill figure it out myself and discuss it with the "clients" and go from there.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby nub on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:31 am

Just be sure you can trust these clients so you don't get ripped off. It would be a damn shame for them to not pay you and take your work and not even credit you for it.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Xyos212 on Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:26 pm

Thanks for the concern nub. I will keep that in mind and be cautious and careful with the payment setup and such.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Black_Stormy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:49 am

When I was freelancing I didn't really have a pricing structure, the only advice everyone gave me was the same as you're getting, figure out what you're happy with. This is helpful to a certain degree.

What I wish someone had have told me was that good enough is good enough. Don't worry that you might be getting ripped off if you are happy with the money. I charged bugger all for a lot of my models simply because I wanted to make them. I now realise I was vastly undercharging but I'm ok with that since I chose a price that I was happy with.

I would recommend erring on the side of caution though, maybe lean towards being a bit cheap and gauge whether or not you could have requested more. You can increase your prices next time, or talk it out with the client. Also remember that they are coming to you because you can do something they can't. I practically ran a charity whereas I should have been in control of the bartering.

Finally, if you get shitty clients, cut them off. I had some people who would ask ridiculous tasks and demand ridiculous prices and you just have to tell these people to stop wasting your time. A dude asked me to make the Prometheus space ship from the movie. That's just a straight out no.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Corewarp on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:39 am

Black_Stormy wrote:When I was freelancing I didn't really have a pricing structure, the only advice everyone gave me was the same as you're getting, figure out what you're happy with. This is helpful to a certain degree.

What I wish someone had have told me was that good enough is good enough. Don't worry that you might be getting ripped off if you are happy with the money. I charged bugger all for a lot of my models simply because I wanted to make them. I now realise I was vastly undercharging but I'm ok with that since I chose a price that I was happy with.

I would recommend erring on the side of caution though, maybe lean towards being a bit cheap and gauge whether or not you could have requested more. You can increase your prices next time, or talk it out with the client. Also remember that they are coming to you because you can do something they can't. I practically ran a charity whereas I should have been in control of the bartering.

Finally, if you get shitty clients, cut them off. I had some people who would ask ridiculous tasks and demand ridiculous prices and you just have to tell these people to stop wasting your time. A dude asked me to make the Prometheus space ship from the movie. That's just a straight out no.


ITT: Talented, but entitled, artist wants you to overcharge because you're 'special'.

But seriously. Stormy is a cool guy, talented and all that jazz. But unless you do professional projects don't expect to get paid much. My issue is, is that, you might be able to make profession-grade 'stuff'. But that won't matter if the people in control of the budget doesn't have the amount of money that you want. So would you either offer your services at a much, much cheaper price and potentially get something steady going(mean more money in the long term) OR 'Do a stormy' and more or less cut off contact because you want more monays?

Highlight to read:
♥ u Stormy
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby kraid on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:37 pm

I'd say it also depends a lot on the task, so you cannot say you charge the ammount of $x for every map.
Some clients might want a small map without to much custom content (faster download for the user) in it, others might want gigantic maps with tons of custom props.

In the end it depends on how much effort you have to put into the map, what you think that would be a fair price for it and what your client is able/willing to spend for a map.
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Black_Stormy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:20 pm

Corewarp wrote:You might be able to make profession-grade 'stuff'. But that won't matter if the people in control of the budget doesn't have the amount of money that you want.


This illustrates my point in a roundabout way. Some clients think that they deserve a certain price. You can talk this out with them but at the end of the day you are the one in control of the budget and you have to weigh up whether it's worth keeping them as a client or letting them take their business elsewhere. If an ongoing client is going to be constantly requesting prices that you're not happy with then you're better off spending your time working for someone who is more in line with the client base you want to build.

In other news:
Corewarp wrote:artist wants you to overcharge


Black_Stormy wrote:lean towards being a bit cheap
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Re: How much should I charge for a map with custom assets?

Postby Smurftyours on Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:44 pm

As I posted in the other thread, I think it would be wise to spend some time refining your knowledge in hammer before continuing onto any paid contracts. There was some pretty glaring issues you glazed over and some really hacky techniques to put that map together.
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