Nordic Weasel Games

The blog home of Nordic Weasel Games

Writing and income streams

How do you make money as a game writer? We've talked a bit about this in the past but today I wanted to talk about the three ways I get paid. Sorry, this isn't going to be that specific in terms of amounts. I make around the average wage in the state I live in (depending on what site you use to find that). 

First there is direct sales of PDFs. This is still all through Wargame Vault / Drivethru RPG and pays royalty per sale. You get a slight increase and a few other benefits if you are exclusive through them, as opposed to selling elsewhere.

I have not seen the benefit to scattering my efforts across additional platforms at this time, though I may in the future. 

This amount obviously fluctuates depending on releases, running a sale etc. Over time this does drop off if nothing is coming out, but most of the "long tail" is here as even a game that "isn't selling" any more will still get the occasional buy.

(If you want to make money writing, you need to establish a back catalogue by the way). 

We do fairly well on there, but for course sales figures can vary tremendously. Some items Ive done never cracked a couple hundred sales and some have accumulated in the low thousands. 

Second there is Patreon. I create stuff for Patreon and people get to take a look at it. This can be done in a number of ways and it is hard to estimate what is typical for game creators. This can be a bit of a hassle because it has its own obligations and you have to pay attention to it. On the other hand, it also allows doing some oddball things that you can't do elsewhere. Patreon I think works well for a bit of an exclusive club vibe, where people can get a look at things ahead of time. 

Patreon income is fairly static for me.

Lastly there is the overlords. I write things for them and they pay me in money. Really a rather convenient arrangement if you think about it. 

Not much to say here I suppose. This amount can vary but our contract sets out conditions for things. 

Are there other potential income streams I could pursue? There are. We are looking into doing some merch stuff, there's the long awaited POD options, there's branching out to more publishers particularly on the historical side and probably a bunch of stuff I can't even think of.

Some creators try to branch out into other media such as podcasts or Youtube. That probably is not in the cards for me but never say never. 

I hope this ramble helps clarify a bit of how you can earn a full time job creating games. Feel free to ask questions.