How to Sell Your Game - Boot Camp

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by amaranth, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. amaranth

    amaranth
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    Hi everyone, I made this tutorial for the RPG maker crowd, but I thought this could be helpful for anyone who has made a game and does not know what to do next.

    How-To-Sell-Your-Game.pdf

    This is a very targeted tutorial. There are lots of options I've not listed in it, but hopefully it will be helpful anyways.

    June 17, 2013:
    Updated to Version 3

    Notes:
    -Replaced Plimus with BMT Micro
    -Replaced Astrum Install Wizard with CreateInstall
    -Section for people using Demo/Full-Version and section for people using DRM
     
    #1 amaranth, Aug 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  2. JGOware

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    Should be a sticky. Very nice of you to do this. I'm sure alot of noobs to the indie scene will be all over this.
     
  3. Emmanuel

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    I made it sticky :)

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     
  4. ionside

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    I found the "Get an order Processor" chapter very handy. I haven't gotten to this point in my project yet and was a bit anxious about it all.
     
  5. amaranth

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    I hope it helps. I need to edit it a bit this weekend, but my eyes are tired. If I've left out anything important, let me know.
     
  6. HDL

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    It looks really good. There's a few spelling mistakes in the current version (must be your poor tired eyes) the biggest one being you've incorrectly spelled your link right at the bottom. Otherwise though it looks really useful and very information.
     
  7. DavidR91

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    Sorry but that made me laugh :)

    Other than that line (and possibly the DRM bit) it's a good guide, nice work
     
  8. Indinera

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    A technical point that I'm unsure of:
    In the DRM bit, point 20, shouldn't it be ShortV3 instead of V3?

    @David:
    There are still many RM users who do skip or reduce the beta-testing phase.
     
  9. Arex

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    Very good, thanks!
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    Nice guide. Clearly aimed a total newbies, but very well done and with some info also for veterans.

    I have only a few comments:
    - DRM: with the fast connections nowadays I think is much better to opt for the demo/fullversion download. Advantages: no risk of google blacklisting your site because you have a outdated version of armadillo (happened to my friend patrice, to berserker, and others). The demo can be much shorter than the amount needed (bionic heart demo is "only" 45mb while fullversion is almost 200mb). Is much harder to crack/copy (they need to upload the actual file vs a simple license text). Easier for users to download a file rather than copy/paste codes.

    -hosting: I recommend hostgator/liquidweb (never tried godaddy, can be good as well)

    -order processor: I think BMT is the best available today (no silly giant font size=128 "ASK FOR REFUND" in customer receipt), or even fastspring is nice even if they STILL LACK a decent affiliate system :rolleyes:
     
  11. jcottier

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    Thanks for putting the effort on this Amanda.

    It would have been cool if I had this document at end when I started...

    JC
     
  12. DavidR91

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    Nah, the reason I found it amusing is due to the missing 'T' on attempt (So it was a sentence about always testing with a bug in it!) :)
     
  13. LLJamie

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    Interesting guide. There's a couple things I'd like to add to the conversation:

    1. Hosting

    I use GoDaddy for web hosting. I used to use them for email and just cannot say enough bad things about their email hosting. 90% of the people I know with gmail or yahoo accounts that tried emailing me got messages rejected. Even plain text without attachments. The problem is that the GoDaddy servers are on the SORBS blacklist. GoDaddy kept telling me I had to work it out with SORBS; SORBS refused to talk to me because I wasn't from GoDaddy. I finally just gave up and switched companies. Their site hosting is good - good download speeds and super easy application installation - but their email hosting is about as bad as their customer support.


    2. Beta Testing

    I've been programming for quite a few years, and probably the most important thing that experience has taught me is that if you programmed it, you are the worst person to test it. You'll subconsciously ignore things that other people will notice immediately. Alpha and Beta testing are extremely important. As soon as you have a (mostly) stable build of any program, you should have at least one other person start looking at it.

    That being said, I'd like to see you address that point more. You mention getting 10 - 20 people to test your game. But how? How do you get that many motivated people to help test when you are just starting out? I have a small group of friends who help out with testing, but I'm talking about 3 - 5 people depending on who happens to have the time that week / month. It just seems like a catch-22 -- have to be popular to get a following, have to have the following to get popular.
     
  14. ChrisP

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    Really? I've never heard any such thing before. What's your source?

    I do separate full and demo versions, and if it's causing any problems then I don't know about them (which is possible, of course). I know a lot of other people around here do so as well. If there's an easy way we can all increase our sales by >100%, I'm sure we'd like to hear about it!
     
  15. Indinera

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    Beta-testing MUST be done, but I have always had the same (and only) beta-tester since the beginning.
    My experience is that one experienced (and trustworthy) beta-tester values 10.
     
  16. Trestkon

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    An excellent beginners guide :)

    Some of your points would require a bit of scaling depending on the nature of the game, I think. Specifically, it's difficult to quantify beta testing in terms of just time. It would depend on how complex your game was, and the dedication of the testers.

    As far as an installer goes, I'd suggest the free (and excellent) Nullsoft Scriptable Installation System (NSIS) as an alternative for those who are a little more tech savvy and want to have more detailed control over their installer.
     
  17. amaranth

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    My website. I've helped a lot of indies, and one thing is certain, devs who switch to the 1 hour model make loads more sales on my site. Obviously, my test poll is small, but when I watch a dev go from selling 6 games per month on my site to 400, it's difficult not to notice.
     
  18. Reives Freebird

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    I've always wondered about that 1-hour trial system: Would it be viable to, instead of putting it as a strict 1 hour limit, manually place a cut-off point for the demo? Intuition says that it would benefit RPGs and games with stories, that way you can end it at a cliff hanger; but the fact that it's not being used by RPGs seem to imply that in reality that doesn't help much. Or is it just to conform to the general trial system of BFG and the like?
     
  19. Jack Norton

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    lol quite a change!!!
    But I suppose you refer only to RPG maker or generic casual games? I had good results with spirited heart in your site and in practice the trial is unlimited, you can play for how long you want but never reach the advanced jobs or marry anyone.
     
  20. Andrej Vojtas

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    First of all, thanks Amanda for the effort and your openness.

    What I find most interesting is the sale boost coming from the DRM locked demo compared to two separate downloads (demo and full).

    I would really appreciate if you could specify: what was the change that caused this sales boost in the cases you observed on your site? Let's say the example from 6 sales / month to 400. Did the customer's game experience with the demo change too? Or was is just the fact he didn't get a link after purchase but an activation code instead?

    Once again, thank you for your time.
     

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