Being an indie developer means you don't need any money and can still somehow survive and make great games, right? Right? *tumbleweed* Despite the preconception that indie development teams can make magic out of nothing, this is actually far from the case. Click through to see the full break-down.
Over at Joystiq, indie studio Cipher Prime (Auditorium, Pulse, Fractal) has created a visual breakdown of what $15,000 means for their studio. While $15,000 seems like a lot of money (and is actually larger than most government grants), it quickly becomes evident that $15,000 does not go very far in game development, especially if you intend on paying your team.
Obviously every game development studio operates differently and some teams will require more or less money depending on the size of their team and the tools they use. In Cipher Prime's case, they've calculated the cost of wages, rent, utilities, web servers, food, professional fees and services but have left out the cost of getting a Pro License of Unit (which costs $6000) and health insurance (which costs at least several hundreds of dollars per person in the US).
Those government grants sure are looking tiny.