DROID ASSAULT released!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by princec, May 3, 2008.

  1. dma

    dma New Member

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    Jack, you make some really good points. I think though, what with the world economy the way it is now, and with a lot of entertainment products out there, a lot of us are seeing falling sales, and are feeling a little insecure about it. But to tell the truth, you're right, if someone wants something, price doesn't matter. (To a point, of course.) When I sold my first shareware games in 1992 (prior to that, everything I sold was sold in stores), I had some amazing success, even though the number of people on the Internet was much, much lower than it is now. But the competition was lower then too.

    I think one problem now though is that the average Internet user is used to getting a lot of things for free. (Flash games, freeware, etc...) So you better have something incredibly great or unique if you want to put a price tag on it. We're just going through an odd time right now, and I believe things may turn around in the future. After all, television went through the same things, with free network stations subsidized by advertising. And yet, there are still a lot of people willing to pay for premium products, like HBO, Showtime, etc.

    I think the trick is not giving up. Of course, that's easier to say than to do. Sometimes, it might be wise to stop if things aren't working out, and there's no shame in that. Trying to do something difficult is more than the majority of people on this planet do.

    One thing about not giving up... it may lead to other things one might not expect. So while Cas, or Adrian, or whoever else who may not be having the success they hope for at the moment, the work they are doing now could lead to better unexpected things that they would otherwise not have ever see.

    As Adrian said, "Not an easy life this." Any artist or creative person knows exactly the same thing. Most movies lose money, and it's the 10% (if that) of the successful ones that keeps the studios alive.

    Anyway, like I said, good points. As I told a friend of mine who owns a completely different business, sometimes we get what we "think" we deserve. So the answer, perhaps, is to think we deserve a great deal. After all, creating games is not easy work.

    The most important thing though is that we're doing something we enjoy. Something that we feel we were meant to do. Of course, we have to make a living too. But not giving in to the "easy" path and becoming a banker or real estate agent, (although there's nothing wrong with those choices), says a lot about someone.

    Van Gogh died thinking he was a failure. And yet, look at what people think of his work now. Success can't only be measured in dolllars. But in just trying.
     
    #41 dma, May 6, 2008
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  2. princec

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    Well, I used to think like that but now I'm absolutely desperate for cash and suddenly it's not so romantic any more. I'm still not quite sure how to make a living out of this malarkey yet. Nothing I've tried yet has worked... but then that's probably because of the kinds of games I write.

    Cas :)
     
  3. Grey Alien

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    Regrettably this could be true because the target market is a small bunch of retro gamers and maybe hardcore gamers who have to choose between your game and a mainstream console/PC shooter and a pirate game (and beer). So only the very best games are going to succeed in that demographic - and then what is their maximum potential anyway? But building up a loyal client list like you are doing (and Cliffski) is one step to maximising that demographic. Another factor is how quickly you can bang out quality games of course, the quicker the better (it terms of man hours worked), but that is not easy at all (I know this).

    Anyway if you want to work on a more mainstream "casual" game and want some input from a local (I live in Dorset remember) then let me know!
     
  4. Jack Norton

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    Surely selling games now is harder than 5-6 years ago, but what I meant is that the real challenge is increasing the quality/value of the games, rather than reducing the price.
    Everyone is able to reduce prices, but few are able to really impress customers.

    Then in caspian's special case, I really think his userbase is too small, or maybe now concentrated mostly on the consoles market.

    I am willing to bet that your games would do very well on XBOX , Wii, etc... problem is getting there :eek:
     
  5. Grey Alien

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    I agree with this:

    and this:

    The question is how to get there cost effectively. I admit that I'm secretly interested in developing for XBLA because I *am* in Cas's target market (but at the moment diversifying would be foolish), and I'd be making games like his for PC if I could see a way to make it viable - but I can't, so I changed to a different type of game (which incidentally I have great fun developing anyway).

    So Cas, I've guess you've got several options available 1) stick with what you are doing well at the moment and keep working on marketing + increasing userbase etc 2) seriously look into XBLA before it becomes flooded (is it already?) 3) change to a more casual type of game and get on some portals - I'm pretty sure your skills and your artist's skills could make a unique feeling casual game. 4) change revenue model to some kind of ad-driven thing or micro transactions (all that stuff makes me go yuk for some reason) 5) get another job ;-) but who'd want to do that? I'll be watching with interest (like I have since first seeing Titan attacks), good luck!

    P.S. Sorry we've gone off topic but it's been interesting and hopefully useful for you.
     
    #45 Grey Alien, May 6, 2008
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  6. Bad Sector

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    How about getting on Steam?
     
  7. Adrian Cummings

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    How about iPhone? (no middle men just Apple!) sdk is free, signup £59... I just did myself!

    Java is coming too (possibly) but you have OpenGL now on it which is cool enough for most game dev needs.

    If you have a Mac (intel) your already half way there as the SDK (version 5 is out today!) comes with iPhone emulator of course.

    Just an idea, as thats where I'm 'looking' now away from the WiiWare and XBoxLive SDK setup cost wheezes *even then if they signed you up anyway* which they prolly would'nt (no offence intended) on the later.
     
    #47 Adrian Cummings, May 7, 2008
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  8. princec

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    Casual games - as it just so happens that's exactly what I've just started writing. It will, of course, be perfect ;) And with any luck ready in half the time of our other titles on account of just how little content actually needs to go into casual games.

    Steam - I keep trying but get no replies.

    iPhone - too many technical hurdles I suspect. I'm sticking to my guns and writing for the desktop.

    Cas :)
     
  9. Grey Alien

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    I assume you are joking, but if not, be careful because these days a casual game needs a ton of content to make it.
     
  10. princec

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    None of the ones I've played seem to have all that much... especially the really successful ones.

    Cas :)
     
  11. Adrian Cummings

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    Hmmm I'm not so sure... 'casual games' are just games after all and that's what we all produce here and all games now have to have a certian amount of 'everything' in them before people buy them.

    Casual is just a label for games that people play now an then on a casual basis and probably suitable for many age groups and both sexes perhaps... yes well that same 'label' could be applied to just about any game nowadays.

    I like Battlefield2 on the Xbox360 for my sins and I play that on a casual basis now and then, it suits both sexes in truth, and has a quite wide age range but it's not classed as casual even tho it is to me at least.

    Casual LOL is just another name for Game - games are games and good ones all take time to write and make money out of :)

    I think portals invented the word for themselves in truth.

    Some so called casual PC games go on for hours per play, so how is that casual then? :)

    The problem here being perhaps Casual does not always equate to simple gameplay anymore given some casual games are quite complex to get the hang of.

    A true casual game would be a mobile game I guess i.e. you play for minutes at a time and it's easy to get the hang of with 1 or 2 buttons.
     
    #51 Adrian Cummings, May 7, 2008
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  12. Grey Alien

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    Well they certainly didn't used to have much content, it was just a simple game mechanic with some nice graphics. But now you've got Story, map, Meta game(s), trophies, shops, powerups, mini-games, avatars, different game modes, tons of visual polish etc. If a game doesn't have those and is an oldstyle casual game with just a front screen and a game screen (like Bejwelled) it'll stand out a mile as not having enough content. People expect a LOT for their $6.95 these days imho ;-)
     
  13. princec

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    Do they really though?

    Oh, and I noticed that Popcap still sell Bejeweled 2 for £14.95 - that's nearly $30!! Despite the fact it's got a tenth the content of Droid Assault. As a £-to-work ratio it seems that that's the formula to follow.

    Cas :)
     
  14. Adrian Cummings

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    Well give it a go as you say then, I'm on your side at the end of the day :) but I do agree the content bar on casual or any game is higher now than it was before if you want to start charging $19.95 or higher anyway or get on portals and bigger publishers.

    My last 'casual' title Dweebs 3 (on PC) was a bit of a 'casual' flop all round it seems even tho it was quite good and 1 & 2 did very well before it, but I'm not bitter as not everything a dev puts out can expect to sell in decent numbers I guess.

    In my case it was partly to do with games title saturation anyway on PC over 8 years.

    Good luck anyway ok.
     
  15. papillon

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    Yes, but they only sell at that price to Brits. See several very long angry rants on my part when I've tried to buy casual games and found places cheerfully overcharging me because of where I live, leaving me forced to buy from portals.
     
  16. Grey Alien

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    I personally believe that people do expect a lot these days in most cases, but sure some games buck the trend. Bejewelled 2 is just an old game that is still selling. What about the content in say Build-a-lot 2 or Dream Chronicles 2, or Cradle of Persia, or even Fairway Solitaire? Of course I still wish you the best of luck, but I don't want you to delude yourself about how much content (and how long) a good casual game takes these days...
     
  17. dma

    dma New Member

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    ... and the fact, as I've mentioned before, that there are just too many entertainment choices out there right now. (And with every new game coming out on a daily basis, it's only getting worse.)

    In the early to mid-90s, you probably would have had a great deal more success. I have customers from back then that I know by name, basically because they are still repeat customers... 16 years later. Pretty amazing, actually. There was a different audience then, and there wasn't all the free stuff you find now on the web. Many people probably don't even consider buying games at all anymore, (except for perhaps the "latest greatest" next-gen console game), since they can go to any number of free Flash game sites or choose from a healthy number of free MMORPGs like Maple Story to play.

    This is a tough business, and the only way to have a chance of succeeding is to keep at it. But like any creative endeavor, even "keeping at it" can't guarantee success. Just think of all the authors, cartoonists, indie film makers, artists, garage bands, actors, photographers, etc, who keep trying but may never make it. They might have exceptional talent, but the odds are stacked against them, given the huge amount of competition each field has.

    So, encouraging stuff, huh. The best thing to do is diversify, and don't rely on any one source for your income. That way, if game sales are slow, at least you can bring in money from one (or more) other sources.

    Anyway, good luck to you on your new (and upcoming casual) games! :)
     
  18. JGOware

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    Today it's a battle of advertising more than ever. Alot of good games don't sell because no one knows about them.
     
  19. princec

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    Indeed. In fact we've had a risible number of downloads in the last 5 days - a mere 293 downloads. This is despite a press release, spamming a bunch of forums, and PromoSofting it to about 300 download sites - this is probably the worst ever release we've done. Having said that it's managed 29 sales, 10% CR. Not too bad there then. But it does seem as if exposuire is now absolutely the biggest problem we face.

    Cas :)
     
  20. electronicStar

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    Cas, I'm not an expert in the indiegame business,but IMHO in the game creation department you're doing fine. Your games are great, perfectly serving their niche, and the rate of new releases is good (and I think you should maybe make a bit of market research and investigate about game sales on portal before experimenting with casual games, especially when today's succesful portal casual games incorporate as much content as AAA games from 10 years ago and other simpler titles have a reputation of having low sales).
    I think maybe now what you should do is try to devellop your "shop front", ie create a recognizable brand and capitalize on it, try to attract new customers, expand your site to have an audience that will come not only to check if you have released a game (maybe include social activities), increase your catalogue with similar develloper titles,etc...
    It's difficult to tell you exactly what to do, you have to take initiatives here.
    Maybe this is standard business stuff and you could find ideas in business books.
     

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