Our first game (and it's crappy CR)

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by brianmeidell, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. James C. Smith

    Moderator Original Member

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    Correction: Ricochet Xtreme holds the record for the most weeks in Real Arcade top 10 in RECORDED HISTORY. Bejeweled (a.k.a. Diamond Mine) and Collapse were both in the Real top 10 longer than Ricochet Xtreme (a.k.a. Rebound) but nobody has the records dating back that far and we don’t know an exact number of weeks for those games. The games-sales-chart.com data goes back to the day that Ricochet was launched in Real because that is when I personally became interested in the Real top 10.

    Your main point is still correct. But I feel obligated to clarify this issue because I feel guilty any time someone claims Ricochet holds this record and I know it to not be true. The data on Game-Sales-Charts.com is not complete and you therefore need to be careful about what conclusions you draw from it.
     
  2. cyrus_zuo

    cyrus_zuo New Member

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    Good point! But isn't history what is recorded? ;)
    History - the record of past events and times - Dictionary.com
    Just playing...but makes me wonder...

    On the theme side...certainly I agree that there are themes that have traditionally worked better than a space theme. "Kiss of Death" just seemed a bit of an overstatement, one that I've heard before and that I think has incorrectly become accepted as truth.
     
  3. HDL

    HDL New Member

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    Oops, just noticed this post has been here for a while after I went and did my little write up of it. Sorry, next time I'll check the dates. I just got around to downloading and playing Constellations and thought I'd write up my feedback anyway.

    I downloaded the game and gave it a go and I played for maybe a couple of minutes before I started screaming at it and closed it off in frustration and chances are. If I'd been downloading from a portal that's as long as I'd play it for. It's lost me in the first few minutes without me even managing to play out the trial and perhaps get addicted to it.

    My main problem was the dark starry background. It just doesn't work for me, the screen was too busy and cluttered. I'd have liked a nice, simple, plain background, or at least an option to switch to a less cluttered one. I was thrown in with too much to concentrate on at once and the tutorial didn't pop up to help me out until after I'd clicked on some things. There were too many balls on the screen to begin with too which made everything really cluttered. I'd have liked for it to start a bit cleaner with the tutorial explaining exactly what to do and only the bare minimum of things needed on the screen. Introduce the various elements one at a time and don't have the things on the screen relating to them until after they've been introduced.

    I don't think that a space theme is neccessarly a kiss of guess to a game. I'm pretty sure there were a few zodiac themed games out last year which didn't do too badly (of course they didn't do well enough for me to remember their names). It was just the total lack of user-friendliness when first starting that did it for me. The little of what I did experience of the gameplay just didn't grip me though. It didn't have that addictive edge and it also lacked a human element.

    If even the designer of the game is admitting the game's not the best then why do you expect people who have even less invested in it than you do to enjoy it?

    What I'd suggest to do in the future is get some of your target audience to beta-test the game thoroughly before you start releasing it to the portals. Don't get some friends who might be biased but have some people that will be brutally honest so you can work with the feedback and improve the game before it hits the portals.
     
  4. brianmeidell

    brianmeidell New Member

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    Well, to be honest I have trouble seeing what is fun about many of the top selling titles on the portals, so we relied on the feedback we got from people who were closer to the intended audience than ourselves.

    In the end, it was a matter of feeling like we could keep polishing it, but it would never shine. Better to push it out and see if it could make a few bucks than to shelve it.
    But I must admit I hadn't expected that it would tank quite so hard.
    It's clear to me why it did now, but that's the thing with hindsight.

    We had a good deal of people we didn't know at all testing it. We got mixed feedback, but mostly positive. Many of the people testing it were of the brutally honest sort.

    I think it goes to show that asking people what they think of the game is worthless, unless you have the option to actually test it out with the actual audience. We don't really have that option.
    Suggestions as to how to go about this would be appreciated. I am fairly sure that the portals would have let us known if we could borrow their customers for beta testing.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. They've led me to the conclusion "patient can't be saved", which was what I expected.

    I hope we do better on the next title :)
     
  5. JoKa

    Indie Author

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    That's fine, but how can you be sure that the testers belong to the audience you find on portals? Can it be that the people who like the game are not targetted by portals?
     
  6. Chroma

    Chroma New Member

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    Well, I think it lacks artistic personality. Like the background could have been made in texture maker and the aqua buttons made from a tutorial on the web. That's what hit me right off the bat. It's just a very basic, generic art style. It doesn't scream "play me" or "this is a fun game". I don't know how it plays since I haven't downloaded it yet. I will give it a try later this afternoon.
    The big thing is that you got a game completed and they can only get better as you go. The low conversion is almost impossible to pin down to one certain cuase. Could be the theme, a saturated market, who knows.
     
  7. brianmeidell

    brianmeidell New Member

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    We absolutely can't, and obviously it's not the case.
     
  8. brianmeidell

    brianmeidell New Member

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    Good point. I'd have to agree.

    Yup. I agree there :) And we can fortunately feel the effects of having completed the first game on the development of the second - we have a lot of code done that just works.
     
  9. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Perhaps you could highlight the horoscope aspect more; like use images from the Zodiac in the game more often, provide interesting details about the relation between astrology and astronomy, etc. etc.

    Cause right now it looks like it doesn't have a strong theme or purpose, it's too 'generic', there's nothing that would 'wow' anyone who has played casual games before. I think conversion rate is directly proportion to wow rate. You need to surprise the player with the quality of a game, preferably over and over during the demo, not just merely live up to (or worse, not meet) expectations.
     

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