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View Full Version : [feedback] Gloomy Nights and Living Dead



ZeHa
08-24-2007, 01:17 PM
Hello,

this is not a new game, but it was our first one (got finished in 2004) and to date the only one that really got finished and that we published online.

However, we released it as a freeware game, and we don't want to change that. But in the future we might do a sequel (with improvements of course), and recently I just thought it might be interesting to "announce" the original here and ask you a few questions about it.

It's about zombies, and it's very oldschool, since we're very much into the old stuff. It could be compared to "Wizard of Wor" when it comes to gameplay.

One question that always crossed my mind is: Do you think this game could have been sold? Some might say the gameplay is good but graphics and sounds should be more modern, but do you think there might be also people who'd buy it in its current form? As I said, it will always remain freeware, so those questions are only out of plain curiosity.

We got very much positive feedback actually, but of course - it's freeware. I wonder how the feedback would have been if it wouldn't have been available for free. So please give some feedback with the imagination of it being a $19,95 game or whatever ;)

Screenshots:
http://www.gloomy-nights.de/img/gloomy4.gif
http://www.gloomy-nights.de/img/gloomy2.gif
http://www.gloomy-nights.de/img/gloomy3.gif

Download:
http://www.gloomy-nights.de/download/gloomy.zip
http://www.gloomy-nights.de/download/GloomySetup.exe

I don't want to really advertise, but features include a nice background tune and regular intermission sequences (which explain the game in the beginning, lateron they contain more humour). There are passwords for every 5th level and there are also some secrets to find. One sad thing: we didn't do the movement completely timebased, so windowed mode might slow the game down a little bit. Then again, fullscreen mode is much more enjoyable. But it's 320x240 and some graphic cards don't accept this :( well back then I didn't know as much as I do now, but well, experiences have to be made I guess :D


BTW, the game's homepage is in German only. We will change that soon, since we're doing a complete update on all our websites (to be ready for the future when our shareware games will be released), but you may still enter the guestbook if you like :)

JGOware
08-24-2007, 01:31 PM
I love old school games, that's what I'm into as well. ;) Ok, right off the bat, anything can sell, if it's marketed correctly. I downloaded your game and ran it and played a couple of levels. No way could or should it sell for $19.95, it could be a value game for 9.95 perhaps. Any lower and people expect it to be bad, etc and it will be ignored. But it's 2007, bump up the graphics res to 640x480, improve the sprites, backgrounds, etc. Code wise it should be a piece of cake to scale it up to 640x480. Hire a graphics person to create some new artwork, put it out there for $9.95 and see what happens. Good luck!

ZeHa
08-24-2007, 01:36 PM
Yeah as I said, we already though about a nice sequel, with bigger levels (scrolling), online multiplayer, improved graphics (one big idol would be the Chaos Engine (of course with higher resolution then)), and so on. The original one will stay the same, we don't want to change it anymore. But if you think that an improved sequel might be able to sell, that's already a very nice thing to hear :)

EDIT: Perhaps I should also talk a little bit about the history of the game... for those who are interested ;)
Well I originally coded it for my girlfriend so she could do some levels for it (I was getting back into coding at that time, before I only did music), but then I showed it to her in some alpha stadium and we decided to develop it together. Then we also added our friends as the choosable characters, and it wasn't really planned to spread it widely over the internet. So we also didn't think about selling at that time, and we were actually quite surprised how many downloads we got from just upping it onto some shareware sites.

So that was the original history of the game, and that's also why we wouldn't want to change the original game further. We actually re-implemented it, as the original was written in Visual Basic and it was full of bugs (I'm not blaming Visual Basic for that - but I did back then ;) today I know it was my bad coding at that time). But now we want it to Rest in Peace, and that's the reason why I'm always talking about a sequel only and not about improving the original one.

ZeHa
08-27-2007, 09:02 AM
I don't want to be bumping really, but of course it's important for me to know why nearly no one is answering - is it because the game is 3 years old (and not a "real" announcement), or is it because the game's not good (which is what I'd like to know about, actually :D )?

lakibuk
08-27-2007, 10:08 AM
You are asking a very difficult question - could the game sell?
Who can know that?
Show me Diner Dash and ask: would you buy it? No, but obviously it was a hit.
You said you got some positive feedback for the game.
Maybe people telling you they love the game and would like to play more levels (strangers. not your girlfriend). This happened back in 2001 or 2002 when i released my freeware game. I made a shareware sequel to it which actually sold a bit.
What else could you do?
Market research! (big word for pretty unreliable sneaking around).
Maybe take a look at some of the games you are competing with.
Stuff like Crimsonland, which probably sold quite well (hm..not sure why i am thinking this).http://www.reflexive.com/index.php?PAGE=GameList&CAT=Search&START=1&END=10&CID=4381&FLEXEDIT=0&SEARCH=crimson
Take a look at the game sales charts and see if you can find similar games that have entered the portals charts.
http://www.game-sales-charts.com/cms/
Of course there's a world outside of the portals and there are games which sold thousands of copies without portal help.
Try to find them and learn what they did right.
Titan Attacks (action), Lux (strategy), Armadillo Run (physics game).

I wish you all the best,
your uncle Karl

lakibuk
08-27-2007, 10:12 AM
Forgot the most important thing:
What do you think about your game plans?
Will the game be something you just have to give to the world cause no-one else is doing something similar? Or what is the motivation to do it? Making money? There are better paid areas in the IT industry.

ZeHa
08-27-2007, 12:06 PM
Well okay, there are things that I agree with, but on the other hand - (nearly) every other game that gets announced here is meant to be sold, and then it's a pretty normal question to ask if the others think it might sell ;)
There are a lot of personal reasons why I want to develop games, but in the end, I don't think there's anything wrong with selling them or asking for others' opinions if they think that might work.

I know there are some folks who really dig the old stuff, and I also really got much feedback (not only by my friends of course), but anyway since it was freeware from the first day of its release, I often thought about what would have happened if it wouldn't have been - and it would be like this with every game, no matter how it looks like or how the gameplay works. So it's not supposed to be a thread about "do you think a 320x240 game that was initially developed for personal reasons might bring in some bucks in today's world" :)



You are asking a very difficult question - could the game sell?
Who can know that?

Everyone is asking that in their announcement threads, some wordwise and some maybe implicitely, but in the end, that's what announcement is all about. So, it's just a normal feedback thread - regard it as if the game would have some $9,95 or maybe even $19,95 tag on it. And I wouldn't have said anything about the personal history or that the game is three years old.

What would you then answer?

Pluvious
08-27-2007, 01:06 PM
Going just from the screenshots I would say the game wouldn't sell all that much. I think the people that look to play free games is different than the paid crowd and they are more willing to look past older graphics with less polish. In general.

lakibuk
08-27-2007, 01:07 PM
Everyone is asking that in their announcement threads, some wordwise and some maybe implicitely, but in the end, that's what announcement is all about. So, it's just a normal feedback thread - regard it as if the game would have some $9,95 or maybe even $19,95 tag on it. And I wouldn't have said anything about the personal history or that the game is three years old.
What would you then answer?
No-one is asking in the announcements if their game will sell. They will see it soon. Feedback requests are usually about the quality of the game.
If you ask me about the game's quality i can say that it looks pale compared to some other action games (Titan, Crimsonland). I would not even buy Titan or Crimsonland (for reasons i don't want to mention now) so i'd never buy yours. But what does this say? It's just my personal taste.

lakibuk
08-27-2007, 01:14 PM
Going just from the screenshots I would say the game wouldn't sell all that much. I think the people that look to play free games is different than the paid crowd and they are more willing to look past older graphics with less polish. In general.
Graphics sure are an issue but graphics are not everything.
Counter-examples: Democracy, Slay.

ZeHa
08-27-2007, 10:54 PM
If you ask me about the game's quality i can say that it looks pale compared to some other action games (Titan, Crimsonland). I would not even buy Titan or Crimsonland (for reasons i don't want to mention now) so i'd never buy yours. But what does this say? It's just my personal taste.

Yeah, but that's what I'm asking for :D
Or what else do you think a feedback discussion is for? ;)
So thanks for your opinion!

Pluvious
08-28-2007, 02:31 PM
Graphics sure are an issue but graphics are not everything.
Counter-examples: Democracy, Slay.

Democracy is not unpolished or old though. It just fits the style of the game and is simple. Its also a thinking game and not an action game. Its all about expectations.