I've seen horrible games charging $20 and people buying them. $5 or $10 is generous at times. Unreal World also has an excellent commercial system.. it charges like $3 for the full game (no updates), $10 for small patches, and $55 for lifetime registration. Combined with a rather amusing anti-piracy system, I've never once seen a pirated version of URW. URW is also a good benchmark, once you have an established game with some fans.
Well, assuming that you have what's planned to be the best game in the world, with an army of fanatics. DF has some very highly educated (and highly paid) fans, so that pattern's about as generous as donations get. It's around $1000-$2000 a month, with a few donation spikes after minor releases, sometimes hitting $5000 after a major one. But DF does get some massive $500 or so donations when things are slow, only possible with an ambitious game.
Also, note that even Wikipedia has trouble getting donations, but their target was like $3Mil. Established sites like TDC has trouble gathering a measly $1000 per year, so don't expect games targeted at klikers to gain more than $300 per year.
If you don't want to code a supergame for food money, there's always the little shareware things like what Facebook games do. Make a free online game, and charge people for bonuses.
Edited by Muz
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.
Originally Posted by Devernath This is all interesting information.
The only reason I thought the donations would be a good idea is because I think it would attract consumers to like you more.
To only give a demo version for a game with let's be honest, not so hot graphics, is kind of a douchebag move. But a donate button could be more like generosity.
I don't expect to be making tons of money soon, but it is something with which you CAN build upon. So, I want to attract a good audience before reaping a huge profit, since I'm still in college and I'm in no rush financially.
But if I were to sell it, what should I charge? 2 dollars for a full version? At least for now.
Donations are a good business model, but it's all about selecting what is right for your needs and resources. At TDC, it's probably a really great one as a lot of the people here are starving gamers Well, a lot of people are still at school, possibly with no income, so paying a lot of money is not an option. Donations allow anyone to give at least something for the game. And yes, I think people are going to like it more but depending on the quality of your game, people might like you just as much as if it was a set price of say $10 for a really crazily cool game. But at TDC, even at $10-$15 games still just get a lot of "Oh, I'd buy this game it looks cool but I don't have any money." Which is a shame, really. Consider that here in Australia you could pay up to $90-$100 for a brand new Wii/Xbox 360 game. Up to $70 for a new DS game. Around $100 for a new computer game. So $10 is not really asking that much, but I'd say more than anything it's the doubts that people will have because perhaps you don't have graphics as flash as the new PC games or you don't have some sort of advanced physics engine to play with. But it boils down to fun, and even if you spend $100 on the latest console/PC games, a lot of those turn out to be shit and bore players quickly anyway.
Ultimately, Klikmaster is correct and you have to be the judge on what your game's worth.
Also, on what Muz/OMC was saying, you can make an online based game in Flash runtime and get those ads to display on your page, to earn a bit of money. Then charge for full version downloadable with no ads. That's common for a lot of different services, free to play or use but if you want more features, pay and get it downloaded to your computer to use any time when you're not online and don't be bothered by advertisements.