I need a new laptop, but I need money.

Short Version:

My laptop bust and I need a new one or I can’t make games. Can’t afford a new one so please give me money in exchange for artwork that I’ll make when I get the new laptop. here’s what I have to offer:

  • £100 high res, detailed line art of anything you please.
  • £200 high res, coloured art of anything you please.
  • £300 low poly 3D character or object, your choice again.
  • £1,179 (insta-solve my problem) I make a small game especially for you, of your design. obviously this has limits, something that’s the around level of my prototypes or completed LD games.
if you want to commission me, my email is on this page.

Long Version:

So my present laptop has served me well over the years, but it’s been on it’s last legs for some time now, and yesterday it finally decided it had done enough. I can now use it to write this, and browse the net, but nothing more. It’s time to let his thing sleep, I need a new laptop.

but, I can’t afford a new laptop.

That’s a serious problem, I can’t afford to pay rent or bills either, and I can only afford to eat for so long, but I was hoping this laptop would last long enough for me to make something that would sell well enough to cover all that. (and it *almost* did, my current project Swift*Stitch is so near beta I can taste it, but alas it still needs a few weeks before it’s ready for release). without a working laptop, I can’t work. I can’t work on any of my projects or stand any chance of landing contract/freelance work, it pretty much leaves me dead in the water.

So I’m writing this. by my calculations, I need £1,779 for a new laptop and windows (for those curious, I am hoping for a macbook pro with a hi-res screen and windows 7 home). And after putting thought to how I could get that money together, here’s what I’ve got:

  • Ad Revenue: As some of you know, I’ve not collected the ad revenue I’ve earned on kongregate. I’m not comfortable profiting directly from adverts, and I said I wouldn’t collect the money unless I needed it. well now I need money, so that’s £600 total to add to my pot. (yep, that means you’ll never hear me say “I managed to get by without accepting ad revenue, therefore you may gloat now :P)
  • My savings: I have none, I’ve £98 in the bank right now, I’d rather not touch this so I can afford to eat for the next few months. I’ve not got anything I can sell to raise money besides my PS3. I don’t expect I’ll get a significant amount for it but if I can’t reach my target through the options listed below, I’ll happily trade it in. playing games is only going to taunt me if I can’t make them.
  • Buy it and pay with instalments: Already applied for this, got rejected. 🙁
  • Asking people for money: This is out of the question to me right now, I got in this mess myself after all, and I’ve relied on the charity and kindness of others just to survive this long without anything really selling anyway. frankly it feels like crap and I’m not going to ask for money unless it’s in exchange for something.
So that takes us to £1,179 needed, and I see 2 ways of getting it:
  • Crowdfunding (kickstarter-type stuff): this is tricky, because I don’t really have anything to offer 100s of people, it’s been suggested I put Lottie’s Dungeon or swift*stitch as a reward for people who fund the game, but I’d rather not. partly because once I’ve got my laptop, I want to be able to sell those to cover all the rent and bills I owe. and also because whilst I am the one making those games, I’m not the only person invested in them, I have musicians who have put a lot of time into making music for those games (and done a great job). They deserve to get paid for their work, and I’m not about to trade the (brilliant) work that they have done for a laptop that they aren’t ever going to use. so if crowdfunding, I’d need something else to offer. (if you can think of something, feel free to make a suggestion, otherwise that leaves:)
  • Commissioned work: Somebody gives me money, and in exchange I make something especially for them. this is my preferred choice, I don’t need to offer stuff to 100s of people, just a handful. it means that handful individually will be handing over more money per person, but I give them something worth much more in return.
here’s how I see the comissioned stuff working in my head:
  • £100 high res, detailed line art of anything you please.
  • £200 high res, coloured art of anything you please.
  • £300 low poly 3D character or object, your choice again.
  • £1,179 (insta-solve my problem) I make a small game especially for you, of your design. obviously this has limits, something that’s the around level of my prototypes or completed LD games.
obviously, since my current laptop is no-use, I’ll need all the money *before* I do any work, this is of course NOT good practice if you are unsure about commissioning stuff online, all I can say is if you are helping me get a laptop, you’re going to get what I owe you. if you are unsure you’ll get what you pay for, I won’t hold it against you for not wanting to hand over some coin 🙂
That’s pretty much all I can say, if you would like to commission something from me, my email is on this page, if you have comments or suggestions how else I might be able to get out of this bind, please do write them below. thanks for reading. 🙂
edit: yep, this laptops wireless is bust now too, so it may take me a while to get round to approving comments and reading emails, the only router cable in this house is absurdly short and I have to stand in the hall to be online :/

19 Comments on “I need a new laptop, but I need money.”

  1. allen says:

    why a macbook pro? giving your current situation that seems like a poor decision considering you are going to run windows on it anyways?

    the smarter choice would be to get something that could serve your purposes now (and you could for easily get a comp for a third of the price of a macbook pro and still do every thing you need to do) and when you are comfortable enough buy the fancy overpriced bullshit laptop.

  2. Sophie says:


    for a bunch of reasons I will need a mac before too long anyway, the biggest being I want to port Swift*Stitch to iOS if it does well, and I want a mac to test builds of games and *especially* pixexix.

    it’s true I could get a PC (with better specs even) for a lower price, but I need more than just a PC, and I don’t want to buy a cheap PC now knowing I’ll still have to buy another computer before too long.

  3. brian says:

    I’d suggest posting to reddit, either in the r/gamedevs or r/askreddit. There’s a huge community of people that love art and games. There are some amazing tales of generosity (if you’re genuinely in need of help and not just looking for a plug) especially for artists willing to work for it.

    Here are some other subreddits:

    Hope you get a new laptop,

    p.s. I’m a composer interested in games, email me if you’d like to hear some of my work!

  4. allen says:

    yeah I can understand that, but buying a computer on the chance that *if* your game sells well is a bit silly. and having a mac to test builds would help you immensely, but there are tons of people out there that could help you in that department.

    sorry if I’m intruding a bit, but having only £98 in your account and having a £1.2k laptop on your mind is just awfully foolish. you are not at a place to make such a purchase, as much as it would help you a £400-£500 computer would be a much wiser decision. with such a low income, you have to make sacrifices. a cheaper computer can still earn you income, and give you much more room in regards to bills and food and such.

    this is just an opinion from someone who was in a similar situation once. I made the choice to buy something way out of my budget when I could have settled for less and am now paying the price for it.

    whatever you decide, I hope it all works out in the end. becuase you make great stuff and I want to see more of it.

  5. Lex says:

    I think you really should do preorders for your games because you have a lot of visual content to make a successful project. If you have a microphone and web cam, make a short video of what you need and post it. I would happily donate $20 to your project, but I don’t need any art work right now.


    I prefer Indie Gogo because you get to keep whatever funds you make unlike kickstarter. If you need any tips, feel free to check out my blog posts or message me:


  6. Rami says:

    Allen, I sincerely disagree. In her position, I’d actually go for a Mac as well, as it will serve all purposes will, it can run Windows and Mac OSX (with sights on a Mac/iOS port) and Apple’s computers have an odd tendency not to completely break within the first 3-4 years.

    I wish I could send some money your way, but sadly, I’m in the same boat (only my laptop still works, although the battery doesn’t).

    Good luck, Sophie!

  7. bluescrn says:

    I’m afraid I’ve got to agree with Allen here. If you’re worried about paying the bills, spending the best part of 2k on a laptop seems a bit crazy, even though they are lovely machines!

    Now if you’re willing to work with a Windows desktop, I expect you could get a half-decent machine for practically nothing. There’s lots of gamers/devs that upgrade fairly frequently, and have a collection of spare components just lying around. I’ve got a reasonable, although not-high-end-any-more Core 2 Duo system that’s been sat doing nothing for over a year (I’m assuming it still works OK…), which I’d happily donate or long-term-loan to an indie in need. It’s an ugly black tower though, and you’d need to find a monitor/OS/keyboard/mouse for it!

    As for the Mac requirements, you’ve got a few options. Friendly mac-owning indie housemates? A ‘hackintosh’ approach? OS X on VMWare? Not ideal, not shiny, but could get the job done.

    The other option, however undesirable, is simple. Put the indie dream on hold for a while, and look for a bit of paid work? I’d hope that with your skills you wouldn’t have too much trouble getting a games industry job? It might be somewhat soul-destroying, but it’d pay the bills, buy the shiny laptop, and give you time to plan the next phase of your indie future?

  8. gezim says:

    I can’t build gemes :(, my loptop is from 1980′ :A :A

  9. Sophie says:

    yes, I’m well aware of how expensive my choice of laptop is, and I’m well aware my rent and bills are more important, but I expect to sell enough of my games to cover those things. but I can’t sell anything till I have a new laptop.

    it might seem silly that I want a macbook but I’ve worked it out and it’s what makes sense for me, I don’t want to get a temporary computer and then buy another within a few months, that seems like a waste of money to me. and Hackintosh is just not an option for me, if I’m developing software for a system I’m not going to make it in a hacky/emulated environment, sooner or later (probably sooner I imagine) I’ll come across something that works just fine on my hacky machine, but not fine on regular machines.

    I do have mac-owning housemates, but in our house it’s very rare for anybody to be away for their computer for a long enough to do some serious development on it, and besides that, having to borrow stuff you need doesn’t feel good. it’s depressing and frankly, I’ve had enough of that.

    as for the option of putting the indie dream on hold? yeah, I’m fighting that possibility as much as I can but I can’t deny it might be my only solution. it’s not yet reached the point where it’s time for me to back out though, like I say I’m not the only person invested, I have musicians that deserve money for their work, and deserve their work to be heard too.

    regarding reddit, that’s totally a possibility I’m considering, I’ll give it a little more thought, I am getting a few offers through my email anyway, not enough to cover what I need yet, but a promising start 🙂

    anyway, thanks for the support, and input (even when it’s calling me foolish or crazy :P), I appreciate it.

  10. Vera says:

    @Allen and supporters, I don’t want to put words in your mouth Sophie but I’m sure that if it comes down to it you’ll look at what you have and what compromises need to be made to be able to keep doing what you love. What you’ve set here is your goal and ideal outcome, if you really can’t get enough cash together for what would be best then you can start thinking about alternatives.

    I’m in the same boat as Lex in that I would happily contribute but 100 pound minimum is cutting out some potential supporters. If you’re uncomfortable accepting charity then I understand but if you can work something out (such as Swift*Stitch preorders) then I’m sure there’s a number of people willing to pitch in 🙂

  11. Sophie says:

    of course, if it starts to look like I won’t get enough for what I want, I’ll scale accordingly.

    As for Swift*Stitch pre-orders, I’ve not yet decided what I want it to cost in the end, and can’t put a demo together right now, I’d not really be happy selling a game without a demo available.

    and £100 is a lot, but I’m more than happy to haggle, so if you want to help out but have less than that email me and I can totally do something for you 🙂

    I’ll add that to the main post in fact.

  12. Phillip Webster says:

    Have you considered second hand perhaps? Picking up an older macbook on ebay is a possibility.

    I’m guessing you’re set on a laptop, but just in case you aren’t, there is the mac mini which is still heavily overpriced for what you get, but a lot cheaper than the laptops.

    I also tweeted this link at you after you first announced you were looking for a macbook: http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/search/label/CustoMac
    I know you’ve said you’re not interested in a Hackintosh, but these machines seem to be made to the same hardware as official Macs and are much cheaper. The CustoMac Mini is an interesting proposition since it gives you the base Mini specs with the option to do some upgrading later as well. Again these are only if you’re interested in desktops as well.

    Wish you luck with this. You could put the word out about Pixieix again as well in an attempt at more sales.

  13. Good luck with this. @Everyone else if you can afford it by her art!

  14. @Allen does what type of computer she’s getting really matter if she is doing work in exchange for the money she’s asking for here?

  15. joekinley says:

    Hey Sophie, why don’t you put up a paypal donation button on your blog. This just takes you around 10 minutes, and I bet some of us are willing to donate just some bucks over.
    I’m willing. It’s not much, but it could add up.

  16. Ciro Continisio says:

    I agree with Joe Kinley. Although I can’t donate much I was willing to do the same thing.
    But give us the power to do it! 😀

  17. Daniel Biehl says:

    Sophie, I agree with joekinley. Get a paypal account and put a “buy me a coffee” or “buy me a beer” button. It seems that you get a lot of traffic to this blog and I’m sure you could get £5 or more from a lot of your visitors.

    And before you poopoo the idea, I’ve heard of a lot of bloggers who make a nice living from that kind of thing. Just saying… 😉

  18. Willem says:

    Yes, why don’t you accept donations? I’m sure a few hundred of us can spare a fiver. I know i can.

  19. Danaroth says:

    Why don’t you try with this website? I’ve heard many good stories about it and you’ll be able to showcase your intentions and your future projects. http://www.kickstarter.com

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