View Full Version : Another princec sales==0 thread!
02-08-2005, 11:07 AM
A "curious" thing happened the other day. Pat launched 'Flux and 'Tron on his Phelios site, and I watched the logs rocket skywards after an unbroken sales record (for me, haha) of 1 a day.
Immediately sales plummet to 0, the logs keep rising nicely though. Pat reckons it's SWREG being crap and I'm inclined to agree after a run of duff orders - from my friends no less! At any rate he's pretty bemused as he's never had any game ever with a 0% conversion rate.
Anway, one thing that I was wondering about is that age old question: are we just being a bit premature here? It's only been 2 weeks or so.
Second thing I was wondering about is Puppytron never actually expires. You can play the demo forever, but after a while it won't let you go past level 3. Is this a good strategy for the game would you say, or should I cripple it completely like Flux? (Which isn't selling either)
02-08-2005, 11:49 AM
Crippling -> Yes, add a time limit. Random, chosen the first time it's run. 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Report back on sales, see what works best.
SWREG -> Plimus :)
02-08-2005, 01:26 PM
Yeah, Plimus looks to be the way to go. Already got the ball rolling.
Random timeout is already in, and it's in Flux and Dudester but neither of those are selling either.
What I'm worried about is that if I stop people playing completely they'll just forget about it and move on, whereas they've always got that chance for a quick go if I don't cripple it and one day they might get more annoyed by the level-3 crippling and buy it.
02-08-2005, 01:33 PM
Another recent thread discussed the merit of keeping a demo running to keep the game in the person's mind..
02-08-2005, 01:37 PM
How long has Pat had your game on his site?
Pat just put my game, Pow Pow's Puzzle Attack, on his site as well like a day or two ago. But my game has a 60 minute time limit, which can take several days to use up. If you're not very good at the game, each play session only lasts about 2-4 minutes. For my next version, I'm thinking about shortening the time limit to 30 minutes. I haven't decided yet though.
What's been cool though is that I've received several e-mails from players using the in-game feedback option saying they're planning to buy it. :)
What's usually the turn-around for you guys with timed demos?
02-08-2005, 05:54 PM
Any theorising about this will be irrelevant if it fails to take into account the Puppygames family curse. I believe the story goes that Cas's great-grandfather once cloned a game designed by an old gypsy woman.
Not a videogame, obviously. It used a deck of cards, two spinning tops and some pieces of string. Although it did play similarly to Robotron.
Anyway, when the gypsy woman found out, she cursed his decendents to create really cool, well made, original fun games that nobody would buy.
02-08-2005, 06:24 PM
I *almost* bought Puppytron - but it became too hard too quickly. I still can't understand how Svero gets those 500,000 scores.
I would probably buy Puppytron if there was a full screen version with gamepad support. Awkward bugger ain't I?
02-08-2005, 06:36 PM
@cas - one strategy I've seen and liked is crippling the demo, but after it's timeout has expired still allowing very short games (5 minutes) so people can still see the game to get a feel for what they're missing. I don't expect that to solve your sales problem, but its a good compromise on the demo/expiry thing.
@flack - LOL
@20th century boy - it's up to 833k now. 500k is a very average pretty poor game. It's all about setup. You can get 600k by level 5. It is very tricky though.
02-09-2005, 02:04 AM
Hm, well, that's basically what 'tron is doing already. I wonder if anyone has any data on the conversion lag using this technique? Like, does a never ending but annoyingly crippled demo tend to convert 2 months later? Looking at the logs there are *tons* of people playing it for *ages* - 30, 40, 50, even 60 games, and never being allowed to get past level 3!
Hm, here's an idea... perhaps if I only start the cripple timeout timer running after the player has already beaten level 3?
02-09-2005, 11:13 AM
Artifact (http://www.samugames.com/artifact/) has a neverending, featurelimited trial (we call it the Freeman level). I've noticed that a number of the players who pay have clocked at least 1-2 months prior to paying. We do get a smattering of players who play for an hour and buy it immediately, but they aren't the majority.
02-09-2005, 12:12 PM
Restrict each playing session to 3-5 minutes and see what happens. The thing with Puppytron is that you can get a very satisfying playing session out a short amount of time, which can be a curse, since you'll get a lot of people who settle for replaying the first three levels for all eternity, because it gives them the fix they're looking for. Cut them off mid-smoke (as it were), and they'll be more likely to cough up the money.
02-09-2005, 02:05 PM
Ok, so a cunning ruse might be, to work out their best game during the demo period, and then thereafter never allow them to progress beyond that score :) Sometimes I just feel so evil. Muahahaha.
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