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View Full Version : Last minute feedback request: Core Fighter and Website



OremLK
02-24-2008, 06:27 PM
Core Fighter is a 2D, top-down shooter game using pre-rendered graphics and coded in Microsoft XNA.

http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/thumb_ss3.jpg (http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/ss3.jpg)

http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/thumb_ss1.jpg (http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/ss1.jpg)

Demo (http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/setup_cfdemo.exe)
Website (http://www.anchorcast.net/corefighter/)

First, thanks for the explosion generator, cliffski--it proved very helpful. I'll send you a full copy of the game after release.

System Requirements
-DirectX 9.0c/shader model 1.1 or better graphics card
-Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista
-.NET framework 2.0 is recommended for XP, but will automatically download and install if you don't have it
*Yes, I know all of this is hellish. I wish I could do something about it; XNA. Got to love it.

Known Issues
-The AI has no true pathfinding, just simple steering behavior. This occasionally results in strange enemy behavior.

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I'd appreciate mainly feedback on whether it works on your system, plus minor suggestions or bug reports.

Also, for the complete package (website and demo), I was hoping to get some honest opinions on whether it's worth spending money on advertising, or if I should just stick with free marketing tactics. I know this is a pretty iffy thing to ask, so I guess it's mainly a "what would you do if this was your game?" kind of question.

Anyway, thanks in advance for your time and feedback.

Davaris
02-29-2008, 02:07 PM
I haven't played it, but I can see from the screen shots why you aren't getting any sales. You have to do much better in the art department.

Check this guy's games out for an example of art that sells the game:
http://www.jaggedbladesoft.com/

Another game you should check out is Weird Worlds Return To Infinite Space. It is easy to play, has interesting game play and top art.

The other problem I should mention is you are targeting the hard core gamers market and they don't buy anything unless it has a 10 million dollar budget. Its a case of "What they say they want, isn't what they support". So my advice (I've been there done that) is don't make games for these guys, because you will get no where.

If I were you I'd try to make your games as simple as possible and use abstract rules, rather than trying to simulate reality like many AAA games do. For an example of what I mean, check out the way they did the combat in Weird Worlds Return To Infinite Space.

Desktop Gaming
02-29-2008, 03:30 PM
I didn't try the demo and I'll tell you why.

Bottom line - the screenshots don't look all that appealing - certainly not for the system requirements you listed. I expect something infinitely more attractive for those kind of specifications.

You can get games that look better than that and only require a lowly version of DirectX. I think this is going to put a lot of people off, is all.

Your screenshots are effectively your shop window. If they don't draw customers in for a closer look, then they'll never part with any cash (at least, not in your direction).

OremLK
02-29-2008, 09:02 PM
I agree completely with all of your points; I made the game art myself, which is something I won't be doing again (at least, without the help of things like purchased art from DAZ, Poser, Turbosquid, etc). I don't think Core Fighter's art is horrible, but it's too plain and not all that great. I created a game marketing to a really bad segment of the market; No more shooters for me, especially space shooters. And yes, the system requirements are way too high, because I made the poor decision to use Microsoft XNA. I'll be changing over to BlitzMax for my next project.

But I learned a lot, and it's only my first game.

Thanks for the feedback and honest criticism.

OremLK
02-29-2008, 09:11 PM
By the way, any thoughts on the website?

Davaris
02-29-2008, 09:58 PM
It is kind of plain for a site selling a space game but other than that its simple and neat and all it needs is a spash of colour and some work on the logo. A good artist would know what to do.

The name Anchorcast Entertainment is kind of dull, mainly because of the 'Entertainment' part. You see so much of that among budding game makers, so it doesn't shout remember me.

Also its a nautical sounding name and logo and you are selling a space game, so it looks odd. If you were selling a cute or humorous pirate game it would work (without the Entertainment part of course).

It would be an excellent idea for you to read some marketing books, because marketing starts before you design the game and I don't care how good a salesman says he is, he cannot sell a lemon. I wish I had understood that when I first started out.

>I made the game art myself, which is something I won't be doing again (at least, without the help of things like purchased art from DAZ, Poser, Turbosquid, etc).

I am doing things the same way and spend a lot of time and money at Daz. :)

However don't forget that good art is more than using cool 3D models and animations. Colour, lighting and other special effects make the difference between forgettable and first rate. So you will need the help of an artist at some point if you want your game and site to look professional and trust me presentation is everything. If you don't have it, don't bother, because the players certainly won't. Hardcore or casual they are all shallow Hals.

As for it being your first game, thats okay. You have done a great job of finishing it as most people can't even do that. Just expect to make a few games that don't sell before you learn the hard way. :)

OremLK
02-29-2008, 11:18 PM
Interesting that you don't like the logo; I've had a bit of good feedback on it. But yeah, I do feel like at very least the text part could use some improvement, so you may be right there.

As for the name, well, I think you're actually right about the "Entertainment" part. I'll probably drop it and just leave Anchorcast. The nautical theme doesn't bother me, because frankly, I'm not going to stick to any one theme for my games, so I just wanted something that I personally enjoy. I know it's odd with just this one game, though.

Thanks!

Davaris
03-01-2008, 12:38 AM
One thing I've been noticing over the last couple of years is the importance theme plays in a product's success. In that you've got to find a theme your target audience likes and then do everything you can to push it: the art, the story, the game play and the name. I'm not explaining it very well because it's a gut feeling. Perhaps you'll understand what I mean if you start looking for the theme in successful products and how their creators have pushed it.

The other thing I forgot to mention is what my marketing books had to say about competition in the market place. This may surprise you but it doesn't matter how many companies are competing for the same dollar, because only the top two will ever make any money while the rest fight over the scraps. So if you can't be number one or two in a field you should either give up or create your own field that has no competitors. An easy way to do that is to create something that is completely original.

OremLK
03-01-2008, 12:59 AM
That's the tough part, though, isn't it? It's not good enough merely to create something original, it has to be high quality, accessible, and achieve sufficient exposure, too. It's a risk, you know?

I think I do have that kind of theme and product; it's been stuck in my head for awhile now, and it was going to be my next project--but despite our very low cost of living, my wife and I do need to eat, so I may have to fight for the scraps on the portals before I take a chance on pursuing it.

In any case, I'll make sure to do some reading on marketing. Something I should have done from the outset, probably, but there's a lot to learn when you're just getting started.

Davaris
03-01-2008, 01:19 AM
When I say fight for scraps I mean what you get won't even cover the costs of making and hosting your games.

>Something I should have done from the outset, probably, but there's a lot to learn when you're just getting started.

Yes I think you should ask here for some good authors. One guy I have heard mentioned a lot is Seth Godin though I haven't read him yet.

The books I own are by Marty Neumeier and they really opened my eyes.

The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance
Zag: The Strategy of High Performance Brands