Developer Payment

Hi I’m pretty new to working with other developers so I need a bit of help deciding how the pay should be split. Here is how we split our work:

Developer 1: Scripting everything, Animations, Particles, Funding
Developer 2: Everything building related except the map, GUIs (not scripting), game logo and thumbnail

What do you recommend?


If you are one of those two developers, 50/50.
if you are not, give Dev 1 50% and Dev2 45%.

I’ve not seen you state what you do in the project so I’d do 5% as a middleman.


I would say:

Developer1: 65-70% - funding is a big thing and can help the success of the game and scripting shapes the game more than anything

Developer2: 30-35% - GFX, UIs and builds would barely ever need updating unless you’re going on a rampage unlike scripters who would most likely have multiple bugs to fix after release and additional content


so Developer 2 is just doing the UI + a bit of building?

I don’t know what type of game you’re doing but the map is usually most of the building

If it’s just two developers and you’re one of them then I’d give Dev1 70-80% (Depending on how much building Dev2 is gonna do) and the rest to Dev 2

It really just depends on the game


One way to help determine the ‘cost to develop’ could be sprint planning.

At my workplace, we assess the tickets (issues/feature requests, etc) with a group of people, each with a number card representing how many ‘days to complete’ a ticket would take,and from their, determine if it is a small, medium or large task.

For example, building a map typically is a large or even epic task, but building a little cafe may only take a day.

One you’ve determined how big each task is, you can determine how much it is going to cost, and so has done what work.

Of course, you still have things to consider like, but fixes for programming, new features, etc, but this should give you a general idea of what is worth what.


Well, for starters, the workload between developers is very strangely split (both are expected to be Jacks of Several Trades) and you’re expecting one of them to invest as well.

Developer 1 should be given >60% of earnings and an optional completion bonus considering they’ll be programming everything and by that token, also maintaining your code. You are also expecting that they add to in-game aesthetics which is worth a whole developer itself, therefore increasing their value. Finally, they should be getting back what they invested with interest, which further raises their value.

Developer 2 does not need a percentage of payment, use a pay-by-completion system with them. They are more of a sidelines contributor than an active developer. Miscellaneous architecture roles and artistry staff should be paid as in when they submit work and the pay should be according to the quality of work and time of completion, among other factors. They realistically do not need percentages and since they’re going to be on your team, royalties aren’t applicable.

If you are serving on the team, split 50-50 regardless unless your collaborator is doing less work. If you aren’t, respect your staff and take a small portion at <5%. A project manager who does not work should not be taking majority, that’s a scumbag move (which is unfortunately commonly practiced).


Just to clarify I am developer 1 and the guy I’m working with is 2, I just thought it would be easier giving those names


In that case, make it a 60/40 split (your favor) if dev 2 does really, really good. If the work is average or less, do something roughly around 75/25 to 85/15 (your favor).

Dev 2 should get some credit if he/she does good tho, because the human brain does favor a good image as first impression. This helps hook players into the game. Dev 1 in this scenario does all the things that keep players in the game and builds potential play time.

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From my understanding here, it seems that Developer 1 covers most of the technical aspects of your project, doing all of the scripting, creating animations and other stuff. Developer 2 is doing a small amount of building, and creating UI’s and GFX.

I would offer Developer 1 around 45% if your game isn’t heavily reliant on animations, as you can commission those, and up to around 55% if animations will need to be constantly added. Particles can be commissioned and maybe you could give Developer 1 a temporary additional percentage for funding until he breaks even on the amount he’s contributed to the project.

Developer 2 shouldn’t be earning anything as everything can be commissioned that he is doing, if he is a long-term asset creator, then anywhere from around 15-25%+ depending on the amount of assets he will be making. UI and GFX shouldn’t be given percentages where applicable.

Also similar to what Elliott stated, you should probably keep 5% of profits lying around in the group so that the game can be financially stable and you can release ads and sponsorships if needed without digging into your own pockets.