Ron Gilbert Reveals How Much It Costs to Make an Indie Game

Have you ever wondered what a video game budget for an indie game looks like? Ron Gilbert, the creator of the classic adventure game Day of the Tentacle and the upcoming retro-themed adventure Thimbleweed Park, has released a detailed budget for the upcoming game, which was funded on Kickstarter.

It's a good look at where all the money that gets pledged through Kickstarter goes once it enters a developer's bank account. It's nowhere close to what it costs to produce a massive AAA title like The Witcher 3, which cost $81 million to produce, but thanks to Gilbert, we now have a glimpse into the development of a smaller game. 

"Seeing $500,000 in your bank account can make you cocky," writes Gilbert on his blog post detailing the budget. 

"It can seem like an endless supply of cash and more money than most people (including me) have ever seen in their bank account. But you have to treat that $500,000 like it's $5,000 or even $500. Every dollar matters."

Gilbert calls the budget a "living document" that can change depending on whether the studio decides to spend more on art and less on programming, for example. 

He says that given the monthly burn rate for a relatively barebone production like Thimbleweed Park, he's skeptical of Kickstarters that ask for very little money and feature a huge team of developers. Food for thought. 

The game will be out in June 2016.