Bash Cas 2009

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by princec, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. princec

    Indie Author

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    Not a game as such...

    what are we doing wrong? Why are we still earning fuck all in direct sales? Answers in a long meandering thread. Bickering about Flash will be noted ;)

    Cas :)
     
  2. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    A few random thoughts.

    1. The media endlessly going on about identity theft and the evil internet means people are increasingly reluctant to purchase online - especially when its someone like BMT/Plimus that they've never really heard of.

    2. Most people go to trusted sources (i.e. Reflexive, BFG) as they get all the newest games first.

    3. That bloke who faceplanted off a BMX on Rude Tube last night and knocked his teeth out while using his face as a brake. :)

    4. We don't have the marketing contacts/visibility that portals have.

    5. The Banana Splits theme tune. *sings*
     
  3. simonh

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    You're doing OK aren't you? The sales stats you posted recently (average 300 a year per game?) looked reasonable.

    Convert to iPhone? Make more games?
     
  4. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    Maybe you're games are not 'hardcore' enough for people that are able to find a developers homepage but doesn't care about portals? I'm under the impression that a large part of the audience that are interested in retro-hardcore games are a little vary of using portals and would rather pay the developer directly. But how to get these people's attention?
     
  5. Adrian Cummings

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    I have no answers I'm afraid as I've tried almost everything pretty much over the years with various luck and also not of course.

    The best thing I did more recently was go to iPhone (and hopefully soon Android also) I made more money in the last 4 months of 2008 than I did all of 2007 - crazy times!

    I'm not loaded but am sorted now thru 2009 (hopefully the credit crunch will get a bit better in 2010?).

    My main mission is just get thru 2009 intact, but I do feel really sorry for all those that won't make it in all walks of life not just Indie Games.

    I think your thing about having more games out rather than not is correct tho... each one is a self advert as I see it, and I plan to use this to great effect on iPhone soon for my own stuff in Feb 2009 becasue I don't have to pay anybody to advertise my own games in my own games and it truely is a global mass market device now tho not quite Nokia in size yet mind :)
     
    #5 Adrian Cummings, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  6. electronicStar

    Original Member

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    I see nothing wrong with your games. Maybe sometimes you pick the wrong game to remake (IMO robotron will never be a very popular game) but Titan attacks is the most addictive Space invader remake I ever played and the robot game is nice too.
    And Chaz gives that very particular artistic touch, that many devs dream they could have.
    People buy all sort of inferior crap on portals/Steam/XBLA.
    IMO (I already said it) you don't have enough exposure, I don't see your name/games mentioned outside of indiegamer.com, Javagaming.org and TIGsource.com.

    What about setting up a portal for applet games with advertisement, such as that titan attacks prototype you had on your website?
     
  7. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    hey it's not yet 1st april! :rolleyes:
     
  8. Nexic

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like your art style could be problem. I have a feeling the old 'retro' thing has come and gone and the only way people really seem to do well with that art style is if they do some crazy super innovative bullet fest. Essentially I'm suggesting you completely change the style of your games, which kind of sucks since you've built a nice brand identity. I feel like some of your games with 3d renders at a higher resolution could sell a lot better.

    The other option is to keep the identity and make some kind of multiplayer arcade. Something where you earn points for beating other players and with the points can buy improved ships for other games etc. At least that would maximize the earning potential of the fanbase you have. Make a few flash versions of your games aswell to help get the word out.
     
    #8 Nexic, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  9. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    I think it's simple really. Your games sells, just not enough. You need to make more people aware of the Puppy Games brand.

    The "flash scene" is full of people who love retro type of games.... but they hate demo games ...

    So I'm sure you have a long list of games that you'd like to make, take the simpler ones and make smaller versions of them in Flash. You should not spend more than a month on these, I would say not even more than a few weeks. Inexperienced programmers, some not even out of highschool can manage this, so a professional like yourself should be able to as well.

    Then take the concepts you really love and turn them into downloadable games using your lifelong love Java.

    The flash games will (get the Puppy Games name out there, and also hopefully make you some cash), and also get more people to your site

    I would actually tell you do switch to doing online Flash games completely, but I know how much you "love" Java, and there is no reason you can't do both. If you do continue to do your online games in Java they simply won't be as effective. So you just need to decide whether you want to make Java tech demos or games, the tecnhology you use should not constrain and as far as online games go, Java will.... at least in the present time.
     
  10. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think your art lets you down tbh. I know you do it on purpose as your own "house style" but I think you're doing yourself a disservice.

    Most of your games look exactly like the sort of thing you can find on mame, and given that seems to be your objective then I guess you should get a thumbs up.

    Trouble is, mame is free.

    People tend to look at a screenshot and make a decision to move on almost instantly. I reckon if you can get over that, you'll be in a good place.

    Keep the retro style gameplay, just update the visuals for todays gamer.

    Or I could be talking bollocks.
     
  11. tolik

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    Your games have the same scope/size as HUNDREDS of totally FREEWARE SHMUP games (do you read tigsource) that get more exposure on kotaku/joystiq than you do. Games are very minimalist and get easily lost around modern wave of Flash SHMUPs, especially the ones with more wow factor and features than you have - from visuals to user generated content. Just joining the Flash crowd or looking for alternative platforms (where besides XNA controls might will be an issue) is not enough, it requires looking outside the box - looking at multiplayer platforms to get exposure to hundreds thousands of players through their multiplayer APIs, etc.
     
  12. princec

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    $10k a year profit says something's wrong somewhere. We've been at it since 2003 now. 6 years mostly part-time later and we're still nowhere.

    A portal would be great but almost nobody makes Java applets. And mostly of those that do... make very shit games.

    Cas :)
     
  13. tolik

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    It's as free as PirateBay. But torrent penetration is thousands times higher than emulation.
     
  14. Nexic

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    Btw, none of my downloadable shooters ever made much money, so you're not alone. Shooters can sell, but either need to be insanely good (Jet's N Guns, Alien Shooter etc) or not in a downloadable format.
     
  15. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Please don't start that boring shit up again. You won't sell to pirates anyway. My point is you won't sell mame games even to honest people - they're free everywhere else.
     
  16. Mark_Tempe

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    I always thought the art style was what made your game unique. I would hate to see you give it up.
     
    #16 Mark_Tempe, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  17. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Agree with Applewood and Tolik, they said it all...

    JC
     
  18. Maupin

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    I gotta say I think this is the best answer so far. The kinds of games you make compete with a ton of freeware stuff. That means you have to market harder.

    You could do an experiment and release a retro-styled game that doesn't feature robots. :p
     
  19. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Some quick thoughts:

    1) When I go to your web site and click on Titan Attacks (for example), and I get to the product page, there is no Buy link. Your product page should definitely have a Buy link. I had to look around before I saw the Shop link, and then when I clicked on Shop, the name of the game at the top of the page was not Titan Attacks but Droid Assault. That confused me at first. I really think the product pages should have everything on it - the Buy link needs to be easier to find.

    2) When I downloaded the Mac version and launched it, the window came up, the progress bar loaded, but then the screen was black. I waited for at least 30 seconds, and nothing happened. I clicked on the title bar, moved the window around: still nothing happened. Only when I clicked in the window itself did the registration screen appear. I'm not sure why the screen was black, but the game should come up right away. I'm wondering how many potential customers just gave up and closed the window when they saw the black screen, because they assumed the game wasn't working. I did notice, however, when I closed the game and restarted it that it then worked properly - but the fact that it didn't work that way the first time could be a big problem.

    3) When I closed the game, it automatically launched my web browser and took me to your web site. Some users might find that intrusive and alarming. I did.

    4) When I first started playing, I tried to use the Space bar to shoot. When that didn't work, I had to think about what alternative keys to try (while the bad guys were shooting). I would recommend you update your Help screen to include the control scheme. Players that play a lot of shmups may intuitively know what keys to use, but not everyone will. Could be another barrier for some casual customer that happens to try your game.
     
  20. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    What i don't like about your games:
    You start all over after Game Over. That's too 80-ies retro. I'd like some saveable progess, unlockable levels or what do i know.
    Besides this Titan Attacks and Droid Assault are pretty fun to play.
     

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