How *not* to make it as an Indie...

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by wazoo, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Robert Cummings

    Original Member

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    You don't ask a question like "failed to sell because it's DX9"

    You ask a question like "Can my audiance even PLAY it?" The answer is on these forums if you search. It's a FACT for online sales, that DX9 is hurting sales. Retail is a completely different market, as retail CD roms have DX9 on them.
     
  2. wazoo

    Original Member

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    excellent responses..

    Guys excellent responses and sage advice for all.

    @Robert: Great points about DX9 and online sales. I'd have to reread the license agreement, but are online projects allowed to distribute DX along with it? (ie. just like in a retail CD)? Of course it adds size to the total download package...

    @James: Great summary on making the best choice for a DX version..(ie. sacrificing x to get y)

    @mDev: I can't name one, because I can't think of many indie projects (off hand) who've released one. AFAIK, there was the dude who did that 3D Pool game using DX9. IIRC he started with the DX9 Appwizard and went from there. He did make comments about regretting that version of DX, but at least he finished the game and was selling a few copies.

    Who knows? By now he might've regressed the codebase to DX8.1..

    Naturally there's always better choices/tools to use for your games...or I should say there's "more marketable" technologies than others but at the end of the day, it's still great just to have that game finished.

    While you're doing some marketing, etc. you can worry about any DX version regression, or optimizing this and that.
     
  3. Black Hydra

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    My theory for how things are going to go for myself:

    1) Begin making game.

    2) Work hard on game while absorbing as much information as possible about all aspects of the business.

    3) Release game sometime later.

    4) Realize you know far, far less than you once thought and start working to learn more again.

    The problem for unproven indies is that as much anecdotal evidence (and some statistical) evidence you can gather to help form your information base, secondhand experience is worth very little without a specific context attatched to it. Its like thinking you can drive a car well because you have heard a lot from good drivers and know how an internal combustion engine works.

    The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know!
     
  4. Uhfgood

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    Here's the thing. If it's not finished, you don't know whether or not it was the right choice for selling. You can't sell something that's not done. At least there's someone somewhere that probably made a sale with DX9 and whatever else you said not to do, and it's probably one more sale than you ever did or will do. (Note: i'm talking to a potential developer, chances are alot of you already finished and sold a number of games)...

    But think about this : 1 more than 0 is twice as much ;-)

    (No points for trying to prove this mathematically).
     
  5. wazoo

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    Couldn't agree more. That goes back to my first post that launched this thread.

    If you're already in the biz and have a few under your belt, then you know already what'll work and what won't.

    Like Nike says, just do it. You can sort out a marketing plan later and/or learn from the project for your next one..

    Plus if you start with DX9 now, then maybe by the time you finish your project it'll be the new "casual standard"...*grin*
     
  6. Chris Evans

    Moderator Original Member

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    This is good advice.

    I had a great time making my initial Pow Pow game, but I probably spent too much in hindsight considering it was our first game. I hired top-notch voice talent to do the voice acting, I contracted a fairly expensive artist to do the 3D boss models, and had over 8-10 custom music tracks plus all the other regular setup costs with starting a business.

    So in some ways I wish I waited until after my 2nd or 3rd game to do a big budget (relatively speaking) game. However in other ways, I'm glad I did a somewhat ambitious game as my first title. Since I now have a lot more experience than I would have gotten if I just did 2-3 small puzzle games. I now know I have the stamina and perseverance to do 12+ month projects.

    Though for other starting Indies unless you already have a lot of experience I also recommend holding on to your big budget game until after your 2nd or 3rd release. Get used to the process of doing a game from start to finish before you dump huge amounts of money on it. No matter how many anecdotal stories or case studios you hear/read, it's always an eye opening experience once you go through it yourself.
     
  7. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Arch Wing

    Well, thats probably not the only reason, its certainly not a brilliant game. Sometimes I give this game away for free as a newsletter sign up incentive and everytime I do I get large numbers of customers (50% maybe) who can't get it to run.
     
  8. Black Hydra

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    I think another point that is good is to be flexible with your projects. This is something that is hard for many indies to do, but it is one of the few advantages you do hold.

    I remember reading from Daniel Cook that one of his first big projects he wrote a several hundred page design document and their team followed it religiously. Another team was working on a game aswell but took an approach that was very flexible. The other team made Unreal Tournament and Dan made a game that was a big flop.

    So you have to be able to scrap things that aren't working and make changes.

    A week or so ago, my game was a full 3D space game (similar controls to Void War) after much thought (and some feedback :D ) I made the decision that the game would be far more playable if I made it a 360 degree top-down shooter instead. So this is a pretty big set-back in terms of development (although 3D to 2Dish isn't nearly as hard as the other way around) but you have to recognize that something isn't working and change it regardless of how much work it was to do in the first place.
     
  9. wazoo

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    This is excellent advice and I go with that 100%!!!

    Although I've got some really awesome titles, I know enough that I want to work out the "kinks" in the system first by making two or three much smaller games. By doing this, I get the first experience of running around making hosting decisions, contract negotiations with the portals and what-have-you.

    Then by the time I do get my bigger budgeted stuff out there, I can maximize it's impact.

    At least that's how I look at it..
     

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