How Much Will A Reskin Cost?


Hello again,

Two posts in two days – what can I say other than…


Todays topic is a question that is very important but that does not necessarily have an easy answer.

How much will a reskin cost?

Think of this along the lines of, “how long is a piece of string”. The answer is, it depends…

You see, there are a lot of factors that will influence how much you will pay for a reskin.

a) Amount of graphic files in the game.

Some reskins are a lot larger than other ones. Larger, in the sense that they may have more levels, or support more devices (iPad,iPhone, retina, etc) – This often results in more graphic images.

Games with a lot of animation for example usually have a lot more graphics, because to achieve the animation each frame needs to be independently drawn.

Flip book animation

An example of animation using a flip book

Do you remember flip animation books? The idea is that you would draw an frame of animation on each page, and then “flip through” the book and “play” the animation.

Computer games are usually very similar with animation – each frame has to be individually drawn by the artist.

Or in this case, the artist needs to reskin each frame.

Likewise, to support both iPhone and iPad usually requires a separate set of files for each. And then if you want to support high definition (retina) you have another set of files for iPhone and iPad, and so on.

In this way each file may need to be drawn four times in various sizes to support all formats. Yes, the files are the same, and only need resizing, so its easier to do that drawing the images from scratch, but there is still more work involved.

And in the case of a game with many levels,it stands to reason that often (particularly if the levels are different themes, new characters, new backgrounds, etc) that more graphics will be required.

Hopefully you can see then, that a game with a lot of levels, lots of animation and/or lots of levels is going to take a lot more work than a game that doesn’t have many of these.

b) Sounds and Music

This can have a bearing on the reskin – The more sounds/music there are to replace, the higher the cost because the actual sounds/music need to be purchased and then integrated into the game.

c) Monetization and general setup

In general a game that has (say) 4-5 ad networks to setup, a large number of in app purchases, other complimentary frameworks to add/configure (like nextpeer for multiplayer support, for example) is going to take long to setup than a game that has fewer of these.

d) How much (if any) of this process you want to do yourself

This will also affect the price – how much of this (if any) do you wish to do yourself.

Sometimes your choice will be restricted by physical items – For example, if you do not have a relatively modern Mac computer you can’t do a lot of this yourself.

But other choices will be based on your time availability, your knowledge/skills in that area, and even if you actually want to do this yourself.

If you don’t have much time, and/or are only just starting out, then you might want to consider getting your first reskin done completely for you.

On the other hand, if you do have time to spare, and enjoy “getting your hands dirty” learning and doing new things then maybe a DIY reskin (or at least parts of it) will be good for you to consider.

No matter what you decide, the best starting point is to find out from the seller of the source code you are looking to purchase, how many graphic files and sounds are involved – This can at least give you a ball park figure for comparison.

For example if you compare two source codes and one has 1000 images that need reskinning, and the other 500 – then all else being equal its going to cost you double to reskin the 1000 image source code.

In reality it does not work strictly like that, but its a ballpark figure and probably all you need at this stage when choosing your game to reskin.

My advice to you would be to do a simple reskin the first time if you are going for a DIY reskin approach – Go for a relatively simple game (as few graphics as possible) and get your confidence up by completing a reskin.

Of course, if you are getting someone to reskin for you, thats a different story.

Bottom line here is to get as much information as you can about the game you are intending to reskin first, and from there you can start to get reasonably accurate quotes from your outsourcers.

Got questions? Hit me up here, I am happy to answer them.



About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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