Indie portal

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Graeme, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Graeme

    Original Member

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    Lately I've been toying with the idea of making a site with a database of independently developed games similar to a portal, but different ;).

    There would be a top ten list or whatever, as well as maybe a "10 newest" or random game list on the home page, like a portal, but rather than allowing you to download the game straight off the site and taking a good chunk of the profits, it would just link to the game's web site, allowing for purchase directly from the developer.

    So here's where I'd like some input:

    1) Has this already been done a billion times? I seem to remember seeing a post by someone on these boards saying it would be interesting to do something like this.

    and

    2) If I did go ahead with it, I was thinking I could boost the site's content rather quickly if I just manually went around and added people's games, rather than asking permission, or having them choose to add the game. Since all I'm really doing in the end is linking to their site, and potentially helping them make money, there's no reason I should have to ask permission, right? I mean, it's no different from google linking to someone's site without asking.

    I'm currently pausing the development of my game waiting for an update to the engine I'm using and I need something to do, so now seems like a good time to go ahead with it unless you all can convince me that it's pointless. :)

    Edit: Typo. I hate typos.
     
  2. James C. Smith

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    It has only been suggested billion times. I don't think anyone ever actually did anything.
     
  3. arcadetown

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    Yup, everyone loves to talk about how great an idea it is but nobody wants to step up to the plate. Major sticking point seems to be many are just too busy and what $$ incentive does anyone have to do it.

    I've been thinking about doing it on the HeavyGames model where don't mind giving out traffic as long as the partners also give back. Sticking point seems most don't think it should be an affiliated site as then it feels like just those other 10,000 affiliate marketing sites plus many (crazy?) devs think anything over 10 - 20% affiliate cut for it is too much. But w/o some real $$ incentive for someone to do it, this will probably remain just another great idea that never flys.
     
  4. baegsi

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    1) It's important to take the customer's/player's point of view here: what would make your site attractive enough that I should visit it at all? There're already a billion games affiliate/wiki's/review sites available. In what ways you link to the game is completly uninteresting for me. So in the end you have to spent quite a lot of time to market your site and if you're not ready for that I'd rather spent my time learning something else.

    2) Sure you can do this. You can link to whatever you want to (except that linking to an illegal site can make you responsible too)
     
  5. Chris Evans

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    I thnk there should be a rule that you can't propose an Indie Portal unless you have a working prototype....

    ...yes, as James said it's been suggested a billion times on this forum. In fact someone already proposed one just 8 hours before you ( http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=6483 ).

    Pretty sure almost everyone here (including me) has flirted with the idea of creating an Indie portal/network. The problem is for it to be worthwhile and successful, someone has to put a lot of time, energy, and money into it with the hope of some financial incentive. It can't really just be a hobby or side project, especially if it's going to be any different from all the other thousand of download sites out there.

    Don't under-estimate the work that Real, BigFish, and the other portals do. Developer royalty percentages are low but it's partly because these portals are spending big bucks to drive traffic to their sites. As I mentioned in another thread, the portals pay up to .50 cents per click on keyword searches and advertise on networks that have $5,000 minimums, month after month. If you want your Indie Portal to have a visibilty that's anything close to the major portals, then you have to be willing to invest similar amounts in advertising and promotion on a consistent basis. But if you're giving devs 80-90% royalty rates on this Indie Utopian portal, then you're not going to be able to afford to promote the site on that same level.

    Yes, royalty rates are going down and it's getting more competitive to get on the portals, but in my opinion the answer isn't creating (or fantasizing about) an Indie Portal. If you're worried just don't make portals the focal point of your business and instead use them (or any other distribution channels) when it makes sense.
     
  6. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    LOL :) ...

    ...
     
  7. Christian

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    I also have been thinking on this, and what are the money insentives? more traffic for everyone!, but i dont think that the portal type of site is convenient, because this makes only a few games selectable. Portals label only 10 games as beign good, and the others that arent in the top 10 arent good, thats why that methos is not usefull for us.
    The method i think its better for us is some kind of search engine or questionaire, make the customer some questions of what is she/he looking for and then show games that matches that.
    Questions would be like:
    - Do you want a fast paced game?
    - Do you want a game that has a story?
    - Do you want a game that requires much skill in the use of the mouse and/or keyboard?

    And so on, that way the customer will want something specific that matches his/her tastes, here the customer is the ultimate judge and not the portal.

    Im definetelly going to do this in the future if no one does it before me... maybe in a couple of years ill do my first try, but anyone can take on my idea if he wills.
     
  8. Mr.Blaub

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    That sounds like an interesting way of doing things. You could throw in a "10 random games" list which picks 10 games from the database, perhaps once a day/week/hour, and displays them on the main page.
     
  9. Sirrus

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    Didn't Savant's portal do this?
     
  10. GBGames

    Indie Author

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    Hey, I know! What if someone actually creates an indie portal? That way, people will presumably stop posting about making one since it already exists? </sarcasm>

    B-)
     
  11. Savant

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    It was along those lines, yeah. No developers were interested in helping or promoting or doing, well, anything with me on the site so it wasn't worth it in the end. I don't think anyone really WANTS an indie portal, they just like the way it sounds when they post about it.
     
  12. princec

    Indie Author

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    I've got a great indie portal which I've already made, it's called Puppygames, and it features cool games available on multiple platforms (mostly ;))... etc etc etc

    Cas :)
     
  13. Artinum

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    A friend of mine once pointed me to a website that sells indie music (http://magnatune.com) and queried whether we could run a viable business in the same manner, but for computer games.

    Sadly "Magnagame" (as the working title was called) never really took off, but if anyone here DOES get an indie portal going, this might be a viable business model for it.
     
  14. arcadetown

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    I'll bite. How does this sound? Our HG engine can basically handle this.

    - Site along the lines of our sister HeavyGames
    - Mentality is spread the wealth. Users get quick access to a lot of categorized games. No top 10 only bs.
    - Members can submit new games.
    - Members must link to the site from their home page.
    - Members must provide affiliate enabled builds with atleast 35% payout.
    - Exposure will be based on a loose combination of user popularity and those members that send more referrals.
    - No drowning out the new games area with new versions or patch releases.
    - No spyware, adware, etc.
    - Site will have advertising to help pay for it.
    - Members must believe in Karma, what they give, they will get back 3 fold. If you're afraid to help promote the site from your site, it's not for you.
     
  15. soniCron

    Indie Author

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    I'd contribute...
     
  16. Ricardo C

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    Sounds good to me...
     
  17. GameStudioD

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    arcadetown's idea sounds like every other affiliate based site... But, how would it be different from every other affiliate site? Couldn't we call http://www.terragame.com an indie portal?

    I am not trying to be negative here, but the whole "Indie Portal" thing might be a bunch of hot air. A game site takes a lot of work, so you must have an affiliate system. Then, you only want good converting games... and, well, you are just like all the other game sites.
     
  18. arcadetown

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    Somewhat different. It would actually land users on your game's description page on your site. For instance retro64 waterbugs test example. Whereas Terragame doesn't really send traffic to other sites.

    From there it's your visitor. You can collect email addresses in a friendly non-pushy manner (i.e. cannot force email address input before can download). Your builds can have "more games" buttons in them back to your site. etc. The trick is to get these visitors, you've got to be willing to promote this site with a good link on your home page or site wide nav bar.
     
  19. Christian

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    I dont think that a directory of games is a good idea, i dont think users want to spend time searching for what game is for them, compare yahoo with google, thats the difference, google its better because it does the job of searching for its customer, unlike yahoo that shows a very complex directory making the customer work hard to find what they need.
    The good thing about portals top 10 is that customers dont have to search huge list to find something good they may like, the top 10 say "this games are the best, you dont have to serach for more, pick one or all of this and is all what you need", its good for the customer but bad for the developer.
    We must find something that is both good/confortable/fast for the customer and developer alike. Imagine you do a portal with all that work and doest its job, except that its not popular between customers because it doesnt offer the ease of use and commodity that normal customers are allways looking for (think in google again).
     
  20. FlySim

    Indie Author

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    I think an indie portal patterned after NetFlix might work well. Ask the user to rank games they have played, then give suggestions for new games. But, it would take a TON of work to set up....
     

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