Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Last Day?

Today I intend to make the last day I work on this game before launching it. Whether that comes to pass, I don't know. Other business crowds my schedule and I'm finding it difficult to squeeze in enough quiet hours to stare at code, trace logic, and track down the last remaining bugs. I've finally decided that I'll publish two versions, having discovered that advertising inside apps/game tends to earn so very little that I might as well maximise my chances by offering an ad-free version of the game. Not that any of this game is meant to make me a fortune but even a few quid from all my efforts would be rewarding.

Income for work. It's a strangely old fashioned notion in this world where everybody works for nothing or works for very little. Somebody once told me (I think through a comment on this blog) that I should charge £60 an hour for building websites. I laughed. That's so far from my reality that it's depressing. The smaller the world becomes, the smaller wages become. There's always some genius in China or India willing to do the same work for a twentieth of the price. I was thinking the other day how the best jobs might be those that demand a local presence, like window cleaning or sweeping the streets. There's no chance of that work moving to Bangalor, which is a good thing since I reckon it's probably the job I'll end up doing.

We live in a single dollar economy with countless websites offering a place where workers can offer their skills for the price of a book of stamps. Amazon, one of the richest companies on the planet, encourage authors to publish their books for pennies or for nothing, as part of their loan scheme, where they promise you a share in a million dollar pot. They also run Amazon Turk, which is a depressing example of modern labour economics. App and game development is the same. The market is overcrowded, with small independent publishers struggling to overcome the advertising might of companies like EA, Zinga and Supercell. Hard work is being rewarded with poverty and only the love of the business (or, perhaps more realistically, the dream of making a fortune) keep people making the apps.

It was always thus, you might say and quality will always rise to the top. I'm not so sure, though my app, I hasten to add, won't fall into either bracket of poor or bad. I'm too small, tired, and busy to make it anything more than my 'best effort'. I hope to publish in the next couple of days and then I'll talk more about it. For now, I have bugs to hunt and pennies to earn.

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