Gamedev and Salary, How Much Do I Need?

Lately, my timeline full with a topic about salary discussion for game development in Indonesia. The trigger came from TechInAsia’s video. Check this out.

It wasn’t a really big survey actually. As long as I know, some folks from TechInAsia gathered and asking around people around the net using Google Docs, but it’s quite awesome.

The thing is, some people (from my Facebook timeline) quite surprised how the salary for game developer in Indonesia being too small. Is that so? Well.. yes and no. Uh.. it’s relative for each person, but they are quite at the rate of UMR (Upah Minimum Regional, or regional-minimum-salary). In Bandung it’s around Rp 2.6 million, so.. it’s quite OK for Junior programmer.

Frame freeze on Programmer.

Let’s convert them to dollar. The exchange rate for dollar as the time when this post written is about Rp 13.000 for a dollar.

Position Salary in $
Junior (< 1 year experience) $184.61 – $346.15
Mid (2 – 5 years experience) $346.5 – $446.15
Senior ( > 5 years experience) $461.53 – $846.15

Wow, it’s quite a lot of money… I guess? But, uh, yeah, I think I can’t compare the salary with another country, can I?

But then I am beginning to ask myself, how much do I need for a month to be a game developer? In Indonesia. Let’s scribble it out

  • I need food. I can have some decent food around here for Rp 13.000, well, depending what you eat.
  • Some place to stay, or “kost”. It cost around Rp 600.000 a month.
  • Then I need to buy some gas, which cost around Rp 30.000 for a week.
  • I need internet connection, and because I don’t have broadband, I used mobile internet for a month, which cost around Rp 150.000. You can buy 4GB of data with 20GB 4G bonus!
  • Let’s say I need to subscribe Unity Plus for a month, which cost around Rp 455.000.
  • I can’t concentrate well without music, so I need Spotify subscription, which cost Rp 50.000 a month
  • I hope I don’t get sick, but sometimes I go to the doctor and it cost around Rp 150.000
  • I need to have a maintenance for my vehicle, and it cost around Rp 200.000
  • Some snack will do. They turn tasty and yummy into code. Usually I budget them Rp 200.000 a month

Well, let’s sum it up

Something Cost
Food, Rp 13.000 x 3 x 30 days Rp 1.170.000
A room Rp 600.000
Gas, Rp 30.000 x 4 weeks Rp 120.000
Internet Rp 150.000
Unity Subscription Rp 455.000
Spotify Subscription Rp 50.000
Doctor Rp 150.000
Vehicle maintenance Rp 200.000
Some yummy yummy Rp 200.000
Total Rp 3.095.000

… which around $238, and you can survive here as a game developer for a month. Eh, that’s quite a lot. I didn’t expect that.

This topic still boggling me. How much does the product earn money in Indonesia? There’s got to be something correlated with it, right?

Well, I’ll save those dangling questions later. Now get back to work.