Sell source code ?

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Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:26 am

Unusual but a necessary question.
Now can source code be sold yes there seem to be tons of websites that take And/IOS code but looks like very few for Computer games.
Anyway now take an unusual imaginary case, assuming someone has a terminal illness or suddenly one day has a car accident and can no longer code or is diagnosed with cancer and ultimately decides he needs money and the only way that looks valid to him is the tons of games that he has prototyped but hasn't sold any or maybe has sold a few.
Me for example I am purely a hobbyist and game development is not my source of primary income, but I have tons of projects that I have prototypes of that I price anywhere between lowest of 1000$ to the highest of my current game which when polished can easily yield 25000$ taking 900-1000 as the minimum sales figure of Iron roses thanks to Eric for maintaining the steam sales list.
Now although I do not have any reason to sell my games or code but I can certainly give it to some one who might need a prototype to get started with, what exactly decides the price of a project ? It's market value if it's sell-able ?, code quality?, how badly someone needs my project ? or if someone makes me an offer I cannot refuse, no guns please :lol:

Any tips would be great for anyone who has this question itching at the back of their mind.
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by devxkh » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:26 pm

hmm.
I don't think someone will buy source code that isn't documented/supported.
Even the good ones having hard times making money out of it.
There's already enough shitcode out there, no one understands or want to understand. :)
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:48 pm

Well okay how about it being documented and supported and it being a 90% complete game, except I have no plans of walking the last 10% and it being well received on online forums with people hammering me with the question when are you going to release the game, that kind of a project, how do I decide the price of that if I were to hand it over to someone, I am talking about a premium eye candy project not some flash game with 100 lines of code. :D
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by frostbyte » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:35 am

just my 2 cents..
for tutorial purpose your code should be minimal, simple and well organized- don't think a full blown game is useful for this purpose
also the underlying tech with respect to the target audience is quite important( e.g unity is far more popular then ogre for game-dev )
it can be valuable if you have unique or hard to implement code/algo/patent that does something useful for someone( e.g character editor )
considering lots of code and games today are open-source, i don't really know who would want to buy code...
i was considering this option myself- but looking at some website dealing with this - i don't think there is a real-market here
Last edited by frostbyte on Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:45 am

frostbyte wrote:just my 2 cents..
for tutorial purpose your code should be minimal, simple and well organized- don't think a full blown game is useful for this purpose
also the underlying tech with respect to the target audiance is quite important( e.g unity is far more popular then ogre for game-dev )
Thanks for the reply frostbyte, it can be expanded into a massive project, I even have outlines for that if the customer is interested, it's a 90% complete game and can easily be made into a highly polished product with just 2-3 months of work.
And yes it is a Unity game.
The 90% is the feature list that I wanted the game to have, if someone wants to take it further it can easily be done.
Last edited by insider on Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:50 am

frostbyte wrote: it can be valuable if you have unique code/algo/patent that does something useful for someone
I also have that in one of my Ogre projects, no one has attempted that till date to my knowledge, a prototype of the concept I have is sold on Unity for 200$ per asset by someone but it has flaws, my approach is perfect except I don't have time for asseting on Unity but can certainly sell the Algo/technique to do the concept properly, but I have no idea how to patent/sell an algorithm or can it be done ?
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:56 am

frostbyte wrote: considering lots of code and games today are open-source, i don't really know who would want to buy code...
i was considering this option myself- but looking at some website dealing with this - i don't think there is a real-market here
No I am not selling just the code but the entire project, the game template as it would be called, it's plug and play
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by frostbyte » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:00 am

well, for starter its good that it's on unity, but i also forgot to mention that on the buttom line the basic-economy rule of demand-supply is still valid
and on unity while there is a lot of demand- there is also a lot of supply( for project templates )
I don't have time for asseting on Unity but can certainly sell the Algo/technique to do the concept properly, but I have no idea how to patent/sell an algorithm or can it be done ?
without further info on the "asset" i can't focus my answers...
maybe search for a partner on unity-forums?
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by insider » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:38 am

frostbyte wrote: maybe search for a partner on unity-forums?
Well what's left in the project is 2D artwork, music, and may need someone to market the game, lets see if I have time to get that done. :)
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Re: Sell source code ?

Post by EricB » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:02 am

I have some time to kill, and I'm on a mipsel machine, so I thought I'd chime in.
insider wrote:Unusual but a necessary question.
Now can source code be sold yes there seem to be tons of websites that take And/IOS code but looks like very few for Computer games.
Reason is that of saturation. Everyone and their mother is interested in making a cellphone app. The barrier to entry for these types of programs is low. Both in terms of skill, time, talent, knowledge, funding, and market entry.
On the flip side, while the computer gaming industry is becoming saturated, and for the same reason (Unity, UE4, etc lower the barrier of entry.) game creation still requires a massive amount of skill, time, talent, knowledge, and funding compared to cellphone apps. While someone can buy cellphone app code, change a couple variables and call it a day. in PC gaming, they'll still need a good year of C++ knowledge (or whatever language you used) to implement their ideas. Even just slapping in new artwork requires some C++ or scripting knowledge and someone who can use expensive (in terms of capital or time learning) 3d modeling tools. Even just using your stuff straight up requires compiling knowledge, which is beyond the grasp of well above half the world's population... Cellphone apps just work AFAIK. (Correct me if I'm wrong, I don't own a cellphone, but most cellphone apps are runtime compiled, so it's just a matter of running the code in the emulator and saving it as a finished project, yes?)

The exception to this of course are tools that make making games easier. Unity for instance is just selling source code and tools to manipulate it at the end of the day.
Anyway now take an unusual imaginary case, assuming someone has a terminal illness or suddenly one day has a car accident and can no longer code or is diagnosed with cancer and ultimately decides he needs money and the only way that looks valid to him is the tons of games that he has prototyped but hasn't sold any or maybe has sold a few.
You're better off buying insurance, and investing in good retirement plans. These sort of things exist primary for this reason.

Me for example I am purely a hobbyist and game development is not my source of primary income, but I have tons of projects that I have prototypes of that I price anywhere between lowest of 1000$ to the highest of my current game which when polished can easily yield 25000$ taking 900-1000 as the minimum sales figure of Iron roses thanks to Eric for maintaining the steam sales list.
Note, when you sell a game on Steam, you don't get the USD/EUR list price. You have royalties, as well currency exchange to deal with. The later cuts your price per copy in half from the USD price: http://www.steamdb.info/app/285110/
So Iron Rose hasn't made $25,000 on Steam. I would guess around $4k-$5k isn't out of the question though. ;)
Now although I do not have any reason to sell my games or code but I can certainly give it to some one who might need a prototype to get started with, what exactly decides the price of a project ? It's market value if it's sell-able ?, code quality?, how badly someone needs my project ? or if someone makes me an offer I cannot refuse, no guns please :lol:
The market will pay what it is worth. The problem you'll have is 1) Not a large customer base. Not very many people have the skills to make video games, those that do can probably do it better. Those that can't are not going to use your high barrier of entry code. 2) Better options for quick starts. Your code is tailored to you, and your projects. There are better generic solutions that are cheaper and more catered to everyone. Example? Unity or Unreal...

If your code is good enough, then you'll have no problem selling it. IDtech sells engines all the time, as do many other companies. But unless you're at the same quality they are, you'll likely get no buyers unless you're selling a full project.
Any tips would be great for anyone who has this question itching at the back of their mind.
Essentially what you would want to do is start a company, sell some products, and then sell your company to someone else. However, keep in mind, buying companies in software typically occurs for only 2 reasons. Buying talent (IE People) or Buying IP. As technologies (and thus code) is always constantly changing in this market.


Anyhoo, your best option would be just to finish the damn projects and release the games as commercial. Then after a few years release it under a FOSS license.


PS. GearCity Source code is for sale. Non-competitive clause (IE no tycoon games) ~$10,000. Non-Automotive Competitive Clause, $100,000. IP/Entire Code/Artwork is for sale for $500,000 if anyone is interested! :)


****EDIT:
Ah, just noticed that the project is a Unity project. My reasoning still stands. You're better off just putting the 2-3 months in, and making your $25,000. Hell, doing that will at least build name recognition which you can then use to sell the code if you choose to go that route. It'll stand a lot better chance of being bought with a commercial project behind it.
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