Originally Posted by Brother None
Spiderweb Software has 3 full-time employees, and there was a full year between Avernum 4 and Geneforge 4. Treating that as development time for Geneforge 4, he'd have a total cost of about 42000 USD on employees at US minimum wage. Assuming he doesn't pay minimum wage (a fair assumption), that easily vaults up. According to a Game Developer Magazine survey, the median wage of game developers is 73k, so paying 3 professional devs for a publisher costs 210k yearly. If Spiderweb is somewhere in the middle, I can easily see it hitting 120k in yearly cost, especially if you also factor in insurance, external costs, etc. etc.
People often forget to factor in employee costs when thinking of how much it takes to make an indie game. But even if it's just you, the fact that you're not working is still a cost.