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 Post subject: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: France
Hi everyone!

As I've never really do my presentation, I'll start there :

My name is Raphael Mouflin, I am 32 years old and I live in the south of France. I started to get interested in Rubik 's cube in 2008, then I discovered the incredible amount of different puzzle it existed. I begin by providing me a megaminx, then a v-cube 7 and I continued to expand my collection to arrive today at sixty puzzles.

I 'm not a very active member of the community, but I check the forum every day for years to keep me abreast of the latest news on new mass produced puzzles and incredible mechanisms created by Oscar, Carl and all its peoples whose ingenuity let me dream and admiration.

The unpleasant part :

One year from now I feel severe pain in my two knees. I managed to continue my work last year through two knee pads, a ton of painkillers and a weight loss of more than 20kg in 4 months.

I was hoping that those wounds heal with time and rest, but I realize that nothing has changed and it's now impossible to me to continue my delivery man job. I find myself now in a difficult situation, I cannot do a job that requires carrying loads, walking or even standing for several hours a day.

With no qualifications or training, it remains for me to find an unskilled job where I would be sitting eight hours a day. I am a bit pessimistic and I think it will necessarily be very boring.

Light at the end of the tunnel :

In thinking about how to make a lucrative way with one of my passions, I paid particular attention to the handmade mods puzzles. From what I've seen, objects made with care can be sold at relatively high prices.

I've never tried to do this kind of objects, but I do think being able to get good results. I am careful, patient, inventive and above all a bit perfectionist. All these qualities give me confidence in this project.

Where I need you :

I come to you today because I really need answers enlightened in this environment that I finally know very little.

I would like to know more precisely the state of the market for these handmade mods. Looking on eBay I found that there are only a few interesting mods for sale at time T. It seems to me that sellers always end up selling their creations. I also feel that the people who make this kind of mods do it as a passion in their spare time and therefore produce only a very small number of parts.

The big question is whether investing myself totally in this project, it could be possible to do it as a real work? I know the beginning will be difficult because I have everything to learn, but I think I can improve myself quickly.

I have no clear idea of working time / sale price ratio, and I wonder if this ratio approaches a normal hourly wage.

I really need the advice of people who know this market to give me hope or otherwise show me the difficulties that might make me change my mind .

It is really a question of making a full-time job .

Thank you very much for reading my story so far, and I hope that the twisty-puzzlers family can help me make the right choices in this little dark period of my life.

Do that work and live by it would be a dream for me, but I 'm afraid it is not feasible.

I put my professional future in your hands, tell me your feelings about this story, I need your advice!

Sincerely,
Raphael Mouflin.


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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA
I am quite sorry to hear about your knees.

My perspective on building is that it is a great hobby and can be a supplemental source of income if you have skill and can build a reputation.

But I can't see it being a sustainable profession.

There are individual puzzles that sell for a decent sum, but these days the price tends to be less than it has been in the past. There is a lot more competition for collector dollars, and only so many collectors who have dollars to spend.

Most builders I know do so for the joy of creation or to have something they could not find anywhere else. A number build to support their hobby. But I don't know anyone who has it as their primary source of income, even those who most regularly build and have well known reputations.

All those I know making their living in puzzles do so by producing injection molded puzzles, not hand work. So far as I can tell to make an income sufficient for a living you need to hit a wider market which means a lower price point than can be sustained by hand mods.

I think it is a wish for many of us for this to be possible, but I have not yet found it to be so :(

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:38 pm
Location: Hungary, Budapest
I'm really sorry about your knees.

I share Dave's thoughts regarding puzzle building as a full time job.
Just I want to add one thing what Dave did not wrote down:
You can't make a hand made mod, and sell it without the inventor's permission. And if you would like to do it in larger scales, to get this kind of permission would be a hard part.
The only way is that you need to create your own mods / puzzles.
But to live from it... I really doubt it is possible.

Even for me, to making the stickers is just a part-time job (it is fun, and I have some money from it, but I could not live only from this). And I sell many of them, what you could not from custom puzzles.

Sorry if we make you disappointed about this.

Maybe if you could find another part-time job, than it worth to think about this as an extra income.

Olivér

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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: France
Many thanks for your very advised answers, you put my feet back on earth!

Sometimes I balance my pessimistic nature with some naivety bursts...

I couldn't hope best people to advise me, that's so great you took time to explain me these details that makes this project far harder that I thought.

So I won't consider modding as a priority for now. But maybe later I will made some pieces for me in a first time, and if the result is good enough, maybe I could reconsider to do that as a (small)part-time job.

Raphaël


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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:16 pm
Location: Somewhere Else
If you do decide you want to make some mods to sell, may I suggest various bandaged puzzles? Most of the ones available simply use stickers or tiles to enforce the bandaging, and don't physically attach the pieces together. The one handmade one that I have actually has bonded and sanded pieces and it's a much, much better puzzle for it. So perhaps some of the bandaging nuts around here would appreciate a good quality puzzle or two. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
Hi!

I'd advise to contact Tony Fisher, who's expert in handmade puzzle transformations.
He can tell you about considerable aspects of modding works and the risks and chances seen.

Best regards - Frank

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Anything else: puzzles@tiex.de.

My website: Frank's Puzzle Library


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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Marin, CA
I'd suggest making one with extremely high quality and see how you like it.

My prediction is that the work, patience, and material cost required for high quality will surprise you. If your quality is high, you should be able to sell, but the dollars per hour may not be high.

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Visit Jason Smith's PuzzleForge on Shapeways!
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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: France
Ok I heard your advises, and I keep them in mind.

The idea of making some simple bandaged puzzles is cool and could allow me to test the market easily with a minimal investment.
But I think I prefer test my skill with some little harder mod and try to do it as well as I can to see if I'm good enough to create some enthusiasm from any potential customers ;)

As I said I do not consider this as a priority now and I will invest in modding when I would put some order in my life (finding a new job to start...).

Thanks to everyone for your support!

Raphaël.


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 Post subject: Re: Modding as a job
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:56 am
Location: The Netherlands
Nice example.. my megaminx ball. Very nicely made mod, I am sure if I were to throw that on ebay right now I'd get loads of bids.

Suppose it would bring US$175 (which is steep, but it would equal roughly my last mod), if I were to want to make $10 an hour with the work I do on it, it would mean I would have to work 17.5 hours on the puzzle and not more.

Trust me, it has been way more.

The only way to make this doable is to invest in machines to do the work faster, but still it would not give you profit, which you DO need to make it an affordable true job.

Also.. the larger you go, the more work it would be. And, to add: making more than three builds of a mod gets boring, at least for me it does!

Those that do make a living out of this are far and few in existence, and they have very well established names.

I invite you to watch this series here of Tony Fisher, to show you how much time and work goes into these things:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2Obx2DfauQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkAeVcfyhCs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDSiAptEj0s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdzIxMn6i4I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_q9AlOGYXw

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