How to start selling your game ?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by electronicStar, May 18, 2005.

  1. electronicStar

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can program games, I am in the process of finishing my own framework and I'll start producing my first games within the next two months with the idea to sell them if they turn good enough.
    Being the anxious person that I am, I was wondering what was the step by step path to selling your game once it's finished. I've been reading these forums(as well as other places on the internet) for a long time, collecting great advice on the subject, but the road ahead of me still appear a bit vague.

    I was thinking of the following process:
    -setup website
    -produce game (have a finshed product)
    -start announcing in selected places
    -polish, playtest, fix bugs
    -eventually submit to portals (if its casual enough)
    -market (buy ad space)
    -....
    -get rich


    obviously I am missing some steps here, could some experienced people fill this list with the things they had to do before actually selling their games, and that I might have forgotten.
    ..............................................................

    I was also wondering if it is really a disadvantage not to have your own domain name. In the place where I live it could be a bit difficult/expensive to have one, but not impossible.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,982
    Likes Received:
    6
    I think your plan is essentially a good one, but it has zero details - the details here can be the difference between succeeding or not.

    About the domain, I think yes, you need one. You give a different image being www.electronicstar.com and being www.geocities.com/SomeRidiculousName/1234/~electronicstar. With identical websites, which one would make you more comfortable when giving your credit card number?
     
  3. Emmanuel

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    0
    From personal experience, I would suggest to wait a while until you submit to portals (I think Gabriel said something similar too). The reason is, to quote a movie, your game being released on a portal is like the tour the france, you wait for it for a long time, and it's gone very quickly (unless you break into the top 10).

    In other words, wait until you have tuned your game over several versions and maximized your conversion rate, before you submit it to portals, since you essentially get one shot. Especially if you've never released games before, the chances that there would be no room for improvement is almost nil.

    I almost made the mistake with Garden Golf, but fortunately BigFish took their sweet time and I was able to send them two updates before they put it up for sale yesterday. The CR of the original version was dramatically lower than the current one.

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     
  4. robleong

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be aware that that last step is the most difficult to achieve, if ever! Good luck.
     
  5. Yuriy O

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good luck with last step indeed
     
  6. stan

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think reading a few marketing books/articles could help. Don't wait to do that. (I'm just in the process of reading marketing stuff... 8 months after the release of my first shareware game. Needless to say, sales have been poor so far :).)

    Also it's probably a good idea to post Work In Progress info on your web site before the game is released, and send the info to a few web sites, in order to build interest for your game. (I haven't done that, either.)

    Once the game is ready (or before?), using the services of Terin (www.vgsmart.com) or another similar service to send a press release to many game publications is probably worth it... If your game is good enough.

    Just my 0.2 cents.
     
  7. Omega

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think Marketing is the first step :)
     
  8. illume

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are in this to make money, which I think you are..., step one should be:

    1. find a game idea with people who would want to buy it. Ie find a game that has a market.

    Where can you get 100,000 people to download this game? How much would it cost you to get this many downloads?


    Then you need to actually make the game.
     
  9. Emmanuel

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just my opinion, but probably the game should be the intersection of:

    1. a game that people want to buy
    2. a game where you can add significant value compared to the competition, without falling in the trap of making the game too complex/less attractive
    3. a game that you actually have the technical capability to make, and inspires you (i.e. probably a game much better than Halo 2 would sell, but can you make it?)

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     
  10. Mark Sheeky

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like the use of the word probably :) Are you feeling a bit jaded?

    Mark
     
  11. Emmanuel

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, nothing is ever guaranteed in the marketplace :) The market might have enough of that type of game for now, or a number of other reasons for the game not to be profitable.

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer