Xbox Live Community Games

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by simonh, May 26, 2008.

  1. simonh

    Indie Author

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    You are right, no money is being made here - it doesn't launch until the end of the year.

    This is the AppStore which launched precisely two weeks ago?

    Yes, I most certainly can spot a pattern - you are making spurious predictions based on no hard evidence.

    How much money is your pool game currently making on Live Arcade? When do you expect it to start making money?

    My edited out comment about you porting your pool game to Community Games was only half made in jest. Because I'm sure if you don't release a 3D pool game for it, someone else will - maybe this is the true source of your concerns?
     
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    This way you're saying that all open platform = crap sales and all closed platform = great sales? I think depends only on the game. I know lots of devs that make huge money on Pc/Mac... without having to pay 20k or go through all those certification steps.
     
  3. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I think that when Applewood talks about "making money", he's talking about larger amounts than what you'd make mowing your neighbours lawn :rolleyes:

    Sometimes though, experience is an even better base than "hard evidence"...

    Certainly. And I believe most of them either distribute through closed distribution channels (portals) or have full control of their chosen distribution channel (self publishing from own website). The xbox community game thing is neither closed (and thereby give the benefit of exclusivity) or controlled by the developer (the benefit of full flexibility). And that's what makes it worse than PC/MAC, IMO.
     
    #63 Mattias Gustavsson, Jul 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  4. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    One man's quality control is another man's blatant genre selection though. I worked for 2 years on an xbox launch title that was funded by Microsoft. Once they had the 'vertical slice', they canned it for being "not similar enough to our preferred game style, which is Halo."

    I don't mind games being rejected from a console because they are buggy or badly made, but it doesn't end there. Idiots in suits who come straight from a career selling fridges think they know what is a good game and what isn't.
    Concerns about product quality are often linked to limited shelf-space. The web, and its implementation through consoles allows infinite shelf-space. Recommendation systems, peer review, voting and modern search means there is no reason the Xbox can't have 5,000 games for sale on it. Or 50,000.
     
  5. simonh

    Indie Author

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    I think Applewood can speak for himself. I'm sure Sega are wishing they hadn't released Monkey Ball on the iPhone right now - they could have mowed their neighbours lawn instead.

    Yes, quite. A shame then, that Applewood has zero experience of releasing games on the Community Games service or the iPhone.
     
  6. arrogancy

    arrogancy New Member

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    I know you have vested interest, and depending on if I go the XBLA route or the XNA route, I might have that same interest myself :) As an XBLA developer; I'd HATE Community Games.

    No matter what, I'm planning on having two casual games ready for Community Games launch to kind of test the waters.
     
  7. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Bugger all, it's not out on Live Arcade and never will be.

    Yeah. I have staff wages to pay and a big mortgage. Won't be touching any of that amateur shite. Somehow I've been a top earner in this trade for 20 years without touching any of this crud. Just FYI, when I talk about making money, I'm talking tens of thousands a month league. That is what small commercial games bring in and if you want to claim independence, then that's your target. Good luck with the XNA thing...
     
    #67 Applewood, Jul 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  8. cliffski

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    lets all calm down.
    And lets remember that everyone has different goals, and different methods.

    I'm very independent, purely from the PC, and thankfully no longer have a mortgage. bwahahaha. I know I'm unusual in terms of direct sales success though.

    I'm sure you can make a lot of money on Xbox, on XBLA, and on the PC. The community thing is new, so we need to wait and see.
    You also make bugger all on all these platforms, if you do it wrong. There is no right answer. If there was, the other markets would dry up immediately. Thats a free market :D
     
  9. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    This thread is slightly frightening to be honest. As pointed out it's something new, who knows how much money there is to be made.

    I'm treating it like a brand new portal has opened up. It has 12 million users straight off, they all have access to the same hardware and a pad. The audience is accustomed to shooters and more traditional hardcore games than the casual portal crowd.

    I don't see how that's bad.
     
  10. electronicStar

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    No it's very amusing.
    It's like watching an episode of "Pinky and the brain Vs the world".
     
  11. Dingo Games

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    This is my biggest issue with it. I need to be able to use unmanaged C++ before I could even consider using it (to use all my existing code and games). I imagine a lot of other developers are in the same boat.

    From what I have read online it sounds like it is C# only, and possibly C++/CLI.

    Does anyone know if this is the case, or is unmanaged C++ possible?
     
  12. Fervent

    Fervent New Member

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    only c# for xna
     
  13. Mattias Gustavsson

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    That's what I had in mind when I mentioned return on investment earlier. Not being able to use the same codebase for the Windows version, Mac version and xbox version, means that the investment for the xbox version is rather large. I'm thinking that with what's been released about the community games thing, it seems unlikely that it will be worth making a separate C# version of the game just for the xbox live community games. I guess you could make the game windows/xbox only, with no mac version, but I'd guess the mac version would be of more value...

    But maybe I'm wrong though, and the community games thing really kicks off. I hope it does. But I don't think it will, and I wouldn't bet (money or time) on it.
     
  14. impossible

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    It's possible to use other managed languages. C++/CLI, IronPython, Boo, F# and Lua (a special version of Lua.NET called XNUA) have all been demonstrated. C# is the only officially supported language, however.

    PC is kind of a bitch because of the .NET framework and XNA runtime requirements. XNA also requires some basic pixel shader functionality to work. I'm not sure how big of a problem this is anymore, but because a large portion of people on indiegamer are targeting the casual market, they still need to run on 5-10+ year old machines. Mac is still possible if you use Mono. Don't know about running on PS3, although you might be able to run Mono there also.

    It should be possible to treat XNA as just another API, not as a framework or a platform, just like you would with any other cross platform development. Build your game using SDL.NET for all other platforms besides 360.

    If you have a truly massive hit on community arcade and want to get on other platforms, you can outsource or develop a C++ version... This is common practice for a lot of Flash games (N, Flow, Alien Hominid, etc.)

    Personally I think Community Arcade could be a great place for viral games that work better on a console than on a PC and have a little bit more meat to them than your average flash or game maker game. The PC downloadable space will continue to be a better place for your average indie casual game.

    It makes me a little sad that you can't submit freeware games. There will be a lot of games that are fun, but aren't worth even $2.50 to your average person. Even if there were restrictions, like freeware is for Gold members only and freeware games have to be less than 10 MB.
     
  15. arrogancy

    arrogancy New Member

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    It's best to develop for the 360 and Windows simultaneously from the ground up if that's what you're aiming for. The guys working on XNA have said version 3.0 will have a set 'universal' installer as opposed to the ones people have encoded for Windows as-is. The downside is that you're basically ignoring Macs and people without cards with a DX9 shader. However, if Steam (where a large precentage of users DO have a card with DX9) or something is your aim, the probably wouldn't matter much.

    I think that the launch games will make the cash with it gradually falling off as it gets filled with more and more crap (just as my personal prediction). That's why I'm working at making a couple of launch titles personally. One casual, one semi-hardcore. This userbase and the initial "push" that Microsoft will be giving it is something that I can't ignore.
     
  16. KNau

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    Most of the game development "colleges" are teaching XNA so your prediction about the market being quickly flooded with crap is probably accurate.
     
  17. ZeLurker

    ZeLurker New Member

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    Soooo QFT, I've been lurking in here for a while but I had to reply to this :D.

    People making top tier or licensed games don't have much to worry about, those game can stand on their own, if they're good and clearly stand above average or bad games (on XBLA or Community games) they will sell. Licensed games like UNO, Geometry Wars or really fun games will still make a killing no matter how many shooters or card games you throw at them.

    No... the people who have the most to lose are the one who are the most protected by the portfolio managment that XBLA enforce. If you're the guy doing *the* checkers game of XBLA you're sure to make a reasonable amount of money with no real competition from any other checkers game or even board game in the few months around your launch window, no matter how good or bad the game is. To some extent (I know this is a little caricatural but indulge me for a second) one can screw up their game, deliver an untested mediocre game that fails cert a bazillion times and still be "it". Since one signs way before completing coding, they're safe even if some other indie guy comes 2 month after and had a better game that was sadly too similar. Too bad for him!

    In the end, what do I know? Opinions are like ****** everybody got one, but to me, the potential result is that XBLA will most likely move up in price point and investment needed to get a slot. Big investments means indies won't compete with those games head to head because now it's big established studios that will really own more and more of those 104 or so slots a year. Community games will have to stand on their own but with the possibility to get out there with a much smaller investment, and a good revenue split. Don't underestimate the power of viral marketting those title can generate on their own as well... I think this gives a fair chance to everyone, and is a good thing for the consumer. Now let's see who can take the heat and succeed in a more competitive, open marketplace :) It's my personal opinion there is a huge potential for a lot more people now. That's a GoodThing(TM).
     
    #77 ZeLurker, Jul 29, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  18. Fervent

    Fervent New Member

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    I'd have to agree. I really like the open marketplace idea. There are several tiers of developer and I am probably on the bottom. The huge companies aren't worried about the indie devs with a publisher, the indie devs with a publisher arent worried about the well funded indie devs and the well funded indie devs aren't worried about the low budget or hobbyist. I'm on the low budget end and I am really excited about the ability to develop for the xbox and pc with little to no code difference between the two. Will I make money? I don't know probably not but I'm not doing it for the money. I want to make fun games that people enjoy and if I make a profit doing it I couldn't ask for anything more. Xbox community will probably be the single easiest route for people to get their games out in front of a wider audience aside from flash based web games or something along those lines. You don't have to worry about installers or system requirements or anything of the sort, if it plays on your xbox it will play on theirs.
     
  19. defanual

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    Community Games will have their fair share of crap and more info...

    Thought this is highly relevant, Boyd Multerer, General Manager for XNA, fully expects that the Community Games will have their fair share of crap. It also includes some other xna community information which is interesting.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/85332-Community-Games-The-Wild-West-of-Xbox-Live
     
  20. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    To me:

    XLCG = Homebrew
    XBLA = Independent developers (think Wideload)

    XLCG has it's place and I'd love for PS3/X360 to have an open homebrew system for C++ developers where you could only charge $5-$10 and max file size (150MB)..

    Professionally XBLA != XLCG - I see XBLA games increasing in production quality and you start seeing it with some of the titles released on the past year compared to the ones released earlier in XBLA's life.
     

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