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Could I make a living being an Indie Game Dev?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MrSanfrinsisco, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    also it's a hobby thing, you don't have to have a schedule if you don't aspire to have a breakneck successful business, I'm just sayin that's what the thread you make here are so ... lol

    I do plan to make that though, even though I have 0 personal game (team game only) and I still has to learn some bit (relative to programming system), but it's less from an authoritative experience place, than documenting my own journey. Since I'm tackling some difficult stuff I think I have a differentiating factor, I had planned to do it as soon as I figure out the current problem I'm trying to solve (ray helix intersection in wrapping space). This will mark my "coming out" of dev, except I will have more tangible stuff recognizable than hi level abstract problem to solve.

    Here is my set up to verify that the math add up i'm currently working on

    upload_2018-12-4_0-1-20.png
     
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  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I haven't seen a udemy ad in forever because I aggressively block every advertisement I can.
     
  3. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Yeah I do pretty much the same. I only saw it because I was watching a game jam live stream a bit and people were talking about that Udemy guy ad. They were talking about it so much with such intensity I looked it up.
     
  4. GarBenjamin

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    No idea what it is really but looking good! I see code. I see the Blitz editor. All is well. :)
     
  5. GarBenjamin

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    While doing marketing research I stumbled upon a very interesting case.

    This game seems to be quite popular. It does look very interesting. Those sounds are crazy though. Big part of the weirdness appeal. lol

    Just thought I'd share it because this is just one more example of how if you make an interesting game and you find the people who appreciate what you focused on (such as the comments below) that's basically it. You're all set. The people are out there. The trick is finding enough of them. And tomorrow I will get back to doing that.


    Played this game at a friends house and bored everyone to death because I literally couldn't stop looking for secrets. This is everything I like in a game and the way you set up an atmosphere using limited graphics was amazing.

    This game is absolutely fantastic! From start to finish this is a creepy and unsettling joy! Great job man!


    I played thousands of horror games in my life, but only few of them really affect me like this one. Amazing retro aesthetics, deep atmosphere and great sfx and music. Good job!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  6. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    You can dream a bit, what about the game getting unexpected success like Minecraft :D

    The game is low rez pixels, but its has lot of work behind about the environments and story, side quests. With some more colors the game could look even lot better.
    Pixel arcade is lot more easy as you use 2D tiles or stay with simple story, gameplay is what matters.
    While adventure needs you to be good at making sort of 2D cinematics, makegreat environments , characters and story. It's more research, less gameplay.
    Is this that kind of game you want to make ?


    Many new players play pixel games, it's not about nostalgia only, Minecraft is a good example , it has pixel graphics but any casual players like it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    As a hard core gamer I only want to make hard core games, which means a small hard core market :D
     
  8. GarBenjamin

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    I agree pixel art games have little to do with nostalgia. I mean there are so many gamers that enjoy them who aren't even old enough to have played games back when the commercial boxed releases were all in 2D.

    It's just an art style. That's it. And it has been around for decades. It doesn't become invalid just because AAA companies stopped using it no more than will normal HD 3D be invalid if the day comes when all AAA games are 3D VR.

    Minecraft... I don't why you'd view that as casual gamers. Most of those people are hardcore into the game for hours building and even modding the game. Beyond that there is also a Hardcore play mode where you have one life period and the difficulty is locked at hard.

    To me a casual gamer is someone who does not define themselves as "a gamer" and gaming is often not even a hobby for them. They play a game occasionally to fill bits of time here and there. Gaming is not a priority for them; their real world life and other hobbies and interests are. At least that is my understanding and most minecraft players are deeply involved. They have a true passion for the game and spend their time not only in that game world but outside it building mods for it and websites about it, real world events for it, etc. Plus the game itself has a lot to do in it and is fairly complex compared to many other games as far as things to learn. It just looks simple on the surface.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  9. AndersMalmgren

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    Pixels are a thing in VR too, not my own first choice, but it exists

     
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  10. zenGarden

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    There is different type of casual gamers, they also play Minecraft.

    Any style is a style, it has nothing to do with studio is indie or triple A.
    Triple A studios was making big content games pushing graphics to it's limits when games was 2D or the old polygon simple 3D. This is same with modern hardware, most triple A studios push graphics to their limits, it's what defines triple A studios.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  11. GarBenjamin

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    Exactly! Yet some game devs write it off as "outdated" "nostalgia" etc that is what I mean for those people they seem to be defining art based on whatever the AAA with their mega budgets are doing at the time.

    It's like there was a game dev who wrote quite a detailed post about how he is renouncing pixel art. It is far too time consuming and gamers don't know the difference between art that is good and art that is bad and gave some examples.

    While I don't disagree with some of what he is saying in that yes most non-artists non-graphics-loving gamers are not going to stare at the art and scrutinize it to the degree to be able to appreciate (or criticize) the (lack of) artistic skill as much as an artist does.... his core idea is obviously wrong.

    How is it that Stardew Valley was able to use pixel art and sell millions of copies on Steam alone? Or an even better example is how is it that Undertale was able to use noticeably perhaps outright amateurish pixel art and sell millions of copies? This is a game that often reviewers will mention the game doesn't look great while going on to praise all that is great about it. Articles like that help to create these false beliefs about pixel art and art in games in general when in reality it is just a matter of a game doesn't sell well so the person tries to find some reason any reason to explain that other than making a terrible game or doing a bad job on marketing.

    If what these people say is true then games like Stardew Valley and certainly games like Undertale would never sell more than a few thousand copies no matter how great the game itself actually is and no matter how awesome the marketing is. Yet we aren't seeing that reflected in reality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  12. zenGarden

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    Both games are not ultra low rez pixel art, they are higher rez 2D games.
    Stardew Valley is the most appealing with gorgeous graphics, i think this is the most popular and that got more players of the two.

    I don't think it's marketing alone, but players reviews and youtube players.
    Because those two games are exceptional, Stardew Valley as the best 2D farming game for PC first and Undertale as the best story, characters and original combat system.
    Both was made with lot of work behind, you know the iceberg ;)
     
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  13. GarBenjamin

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    Right I am not saying it is marketing alone but rather the games had a lot to them a lot of work put in them beyond the surface of how they looked. But still that doesn't change the fact if the majority of people buying Indie games hate pixel art games period as is often implied by people like that game dev who wrote the renouncing pixel art post then games using pixel art would never be able to sell millions of copies period.

    And it doesn't change the importance of marketing. Done over years via dev logs but more importantly the games themselves were so interesting they both had the best marketing a person can ever hope to get... word of mouth. People recommending the games to their friends. Only certain kinds of games will do that. Mainly those are games that are multiplayer ("you should get this game so we can play together") or games that make you care about your actions have an impact on you personally. Games that have you thinking about the game even when you are not playing it. That only happens if a game is very meaningful to a person in some way.

    On Steam Stardew Valley has about 95,000 positive ratings and Undertale has about 84,000 positive ratings.

    Most of us won't make games like these two even if we think we will. I only mentioned them because they (along with minecraft and others) are very obvious evidence that great games don't need to strive for modern AAA or even AA visual styles. I would agree though the worse a person's game actually is the more important it is to make it look mind blowingly good. Take the pig and dress it up as fancy as you can. It will still be a pig but at least it will be a "pretty pig". Of course, it would be better to spend that time making the game itself better.

    Anyway... from what I have read it seems like Steam still has at least 10 times the number of gamers as either GameJolt or itch.io. I don't know about Kartridge but I'd guess it is still smaller than either GJ or itch despite having a huge number of gamers at Kongregate to pull over. Maybe not. Too early to see any stats.

    Thinking Kartridge might be a good starting point for launching and testing out marketing and landing page content. Then roll out to GameJolt and then roll out to itch and then finally roll out to Steam. Something like that.

    I am not sure how Indie game devs approach this stuff. I have looked into many cases and for the most part people seem to have built up a huge following before launch or they have taken a massive shotgun approach and have no idea what they really did that had the most impact. Of course there are others right place right time, drew the lottery of being featured and marketed entirely by the distribution platform, etc but those are irrelevant for this kind of thing. It is just odd because in marketing you basically start out tiny do some tests and tweak things and when you have it finetuned then you scale it out. But I don't see people doing that or at least not talking about it if they are. And with all of these game distribution platforms readily available it is kind of surprising. But maybe everything outside of Steam is so tiny for results people just don't want to mess with them. All I know is to do what I have experience doing. Of course the ultimate goal is always to build up a fanbase over time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  14. AndersMalmgren

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    It will be interesting to see how the new Epic market place will change things
     
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  15. AndersMalmgren

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    Only 12 procent that's a very nice deal if they keep that promise to the Finnish line. Need to start looking at removing our dependency to Steam networking
     
  16. neoshaman

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    On graphics: the discussion is bias because people don't understand the true quality, relatedness, not polish, finition and production value, those are the cheery on top.

    It's not just pixel art, but think back about goat simulator, it's a game which the entire core experience is about being buggy. It had the best part of where people laugh at buggy game without the hindrance of actual bug. Ie it evoke core direct emotion.

    Also I didn't meant to say that it was nostalgia on my former post, just qualifying the aesthetics in calling back to visual trick of that era. I'm well aware that pixel art isn't about just about nostalgia, that there is newcomer who didn't live through these old time, and that there is multiple aesthtics in pixel art too.
     
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  17. GarBenjamin

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    More options is always better. And you're right definitely is a much better share for someone trying to build a business. That's an extra 25% earned on every sale. Course it all depends on how many gamers they can bring in.

    I never cared much for Steam in recent years and only got a Steam account again because every Indie seemed to be releasing their games there. I had an account long ago before it ever got so popular due to the Indie craze. Bought Tabula Rasa and Titan Quest on it. Axed it around 2012 or 2013 (don't remember exactly) when I noticed it was starting to attract a lot of toxic morons.

    More good solid Steam alternatives would be great. Hopefully all of the undesirables stay on Steam. lol I saw a mention here (and found news on it myself when searching for other distribution platforms today) that discord is now doing it as well. They might do very well. Large communities and the native discord chat features tie in very well for building and interacting with the audience. Conceptually at least. I have stayed away from discord. I waste enough time chatting on here.
     
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  18. AndersMalmgren

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    Yeah I will keep close look at discord. If you target PC today, Steam is your only option
     
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  19. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Most triple A games publishers would prefer Epic store lower charge, on a triple A game 1% makes a huge difference, but Steam as a bigger player base. Perhaps making Fornite exclusive to Epic store would quickly boost the players base but it's not as much as Steam.
    It's too early, but at least this is more platforms choice for indies to sell their games.
     
  20. AndersMalmgren

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    Monopoly is never a good thing so yeah, i welcome it. We need to work away our dependency to Steam anyway so we can release on PSVR
     
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  21. GarBenjamin

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    I got too wrapped up earlier thinking so much that I wasn't thinking. ... I mean thinking about some things so much wasn't thinking of others.

    I know why people are always speaking in such general terms about their Indie game marketing. It's because most really are just using a shotgun approach and the ones that have tested and found processes that work know if they share what they are doing they will suddenly have thousands of others copying them and then all of their hard work to create a system that works will be so diluted with others doing the same thing it won't work very well for anyone.

    I always like to share things help people out but need to keep that in mind. "Everybody" wants money money money especially if they can get straight on the path to success without having to go through all of the work of testing, failing, testing again, etc for themselves.

    Ah well... recipe is test and find your way! Test. Keep what works. Axe what doesn't. Repeat. And tell everyone you tried some stuff didn't work and you are making a few cents. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  22. GarBenjamin

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    Sometimes I wish I'd win a lottery jackpot so I could do an experiment of making a very straightforward tiny space invaders clone (except for different theme like attack of the mutant hamburgers or whatever) then spend $1 million on marketing to make 10,000+ sales of it.

    It wouldn't matter that it was a loss. The joy would be from two places. People seeing my tiny space invaders game showing thousands of very positive ratings and seeing how many other space invader style clones are thrown on Steam.

    Most of the enjoyment would come from reading all of the experts discussions around the web of how this tiny game thrown together in a few days made so many sales and became so popular. I imagine some talking about nostalgia, others talking about how the game was done to perfection, others saying well look at those graphics they are a very unique pixelly sort of delight, etc.

    Alright that is it. Carry on. :)
     
  23. zenGarden

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    Is this enjoyment or some recognition you seek ?

    Anyway a cool 72 hours game jam game
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1069808584698064896
     
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  24. GarBenjamin

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    Not that I think it is a bad thing for people to want recognition but no that's not it. This is just one of those momentary thoughts I get from time to time.

    I honestly think it would be interesting to read articles by folks at the large game review sites and in dev forums. The focus isn't on me but on how did such a game succeed. Basically just wondering if anyone would even consider the possibility "must have marketed the hell out of the game". But again this is a momentary thought. I doubt I would really do it because I can think of a lot of better things to do with a million $.

    Anyway that game looks very nice and seems tightly focused around the LD43 theme. I will have to check it out tonight. I had to visit the itch page to understand what it is actually about since the twitter post didn't have any details on it. The dev has made several other interesting looking games too. Nice style. Very tiny games. If the games play well definitely is another candidate to add to my list of people for possible future collaborations.

    Speaking of games... are you making progress?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  25. GarBenjamin

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    On the subject of development efficiency this is the game that one fella I mentioned earlier created over the weekend. He actually got some help from his fanbase for graphics, music and playtesting & feedback. He personally spent about 40 or so hours Friday night through Monday designing & developing.

    The work the others did I think would easily be valued at 30 to 40 hours. I know for my games playtesting balancing is the largest amount of time I spend.

    Still even if it is 80 hours... it's an awesome game for such a short period of time considering the choice of game with the strategy and resource management.


    Overall I think it's quite impressive the quality of games some people are now building in these weekend game jams. Truly I think some folks are making games in 40 to 80 hours total time that would take many people 200 or more hours. A lot of it is the dev tools they use + experience using those tools + experience from making a lot of different games. Any one of these makes a noticeable difference in efficiency and together they make a huge difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  26. zenGarden

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    Yeah, he likes making tiny games, he makes good low rez 2D graphics, that's great tiny games :)

    I'm making low poly characters modeling , some level tiles already, and drawing some very rough shapes for creatures and levels themes.
    Instead of Zelda Nes, the game will be more similar to Zelda on NDS, but there will be many gameplay twists and variations and some crafting features.


    The small 3D engine is very basic and limited in lighting and rendering, so the graphic style from Zelda NDS fits very well , or i could use flat low poly colored polygons.

    I also put some little work here and here, just for fun with no expectations, on a flat low poly open world free roam vehicles game with side quests, it's not combat centric and diversified vehicles abilities and gameplay.
    No design phase, easy to code because it's very arcade, it's almost like making a game jam with fun expect i don' t have release date to follow.

    It depends on what you qualify quality and what level of quality you expect lol
    Just looking at the video a bit without sound i did not understood what the game is about or the gameplay mechanisms. Perhaps it lacks better speaking visuals or effects.

    Sure, if you can use your own code base and game frameworks or plugins , you can be very productive and focus on specific gameplay and game content.
    Lot of games jams has been made using Construct, they don't need to code the game 2D basics, they jump right into the gameplay and game content.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  27. GarBenjamin

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    Sounds like you've made a lot of progress in a short period of time. Great work! Are those your mockups at the top?

    That's the main area where these games suffer. People just run out of time to finish off these kind of things. But for a weekend this is extremely good. Another 40 hours put on making How to Play, story text and fixing bugs and it would be complete.
     
  28. zenGarden

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    Those are from Zelda game, i have only some character models without textures and some tiles, i'm far from this level of completion lol

    Another simple but effective and readable graphics design.
    https://rosalievile.itch.io/bunnyblaster
    One color, or Nes games likes limited colors palette also reduces a lot the amount of work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  29. GarBenjamin

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    I like the aesthetic very much and the lively animation really adds a lot. But gameplay wise I didn't care for it. The controls seem a little wonky or something. Almost like the player gets stuck on things they are right next to and cannot jump over.

    I would much prefer to play a game with simple rectangles or cubes (appreciate it if they were bouncy and otherwise lively) that played very well than to play a game that looks absolutely fantastic but doesn't play well doesn't "feel" good. I appreciate nice visuals but in the end I just don't get games to look at them. I can look at game art any time I want by searching around the web, browsing game art assets, game screenshots or whatever. Don't even need to get the game to do that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  30. zenGarden

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    I played and i have absolutely no issues on gameplay lol
    The game is very responsive, the character jumps as soon as key pressed, and no issue jumping on cubes and moving around, no stuck effect.
    What i find is a big issue is no joystick support for such platformer game that is always lot better with joystick.
    I'm not fan of games that use mouse to orient weapons, i prefer classic Snes games six directions shooting.

    Anyway, the game link was to show sprites good shapes and animations with few colors works very well and are appealing, reducing the amount of work.
     
  31. GarBenjamin

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    Well see that is just a perfect example of people like different games. For me control was poor and often got stuck next to a block and was pushed off screen as a result.

    It's good to have that in this discussion so people can really get that nobody will make a game loved by everyone. No matter how much time is spent on it how much money there will always be people the game just isn't good for. So like for this person they should focus on people like you... find people like you who enjoy the game and see what you would like to make it better.

    If they instead listened to critics of the game such as people like me they would probably end up making the game so you & others no longer liked it. Then they might try to please you again and end up with people like me not liking it again. Or worst (and probably most common) outcome is the game becomes such a diluted hodgepodge between the two extremes neither side end up liking it. Just becomes "meh... there are some things I like about and others I don't. It's nothing special" to both the people who originally liked it and the people who originally hated it.

    Just wanted to mention that because I see many developers seem to be caring way too much about what every person thinks of their game trying to please everyone and of course they never will. Just pick a group to focus on your target audience and ignore all of the critics who don't like the game. There will always be critics but you're not making the game for them. Now a person could document all of the things the critics said and the next game make that new game the other way for those other people who hated the previous game. That is sensible. But try to please everyone with one game is not.
     
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  32. GarBenjamin

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    That ^^^ topic is very interesting I think. It's like Witcher 3 for example. That game sold a massive number of copies. Yet I never bought it. I know of not one gamer in my family & friends who bought it. I have not seen any of my Twitter followers or those I follow post about playing the game. Same for Facebook I see people occasionally posting about playing this and that game on PS4 or Xbox one or some other system but never W3. And I am sure there are many people here on these forums who have bought and played other even tiny Indie games and have never bought and played W3. Even when a game sells massively it is still only a portion of the total number of gamers and there will be many more people who buy & play other games that even if they had some interest in a game like W3 they didn't have enough interest to actually buy it.
     
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  33. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    There is 8 billion people on the planet.

    If 99.9% of people think you are disgusting and should be killed with fire, there is still 8 million people left to mate with you.

    Point is,personal anecdotal evidence is worth nothing.
     
  34. GarBenjamin

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    The first part links well and is exactly the point. The other 7.992 billion are irrelevant in the mating example. I understand people don't like personal observations much but ultimately they still hold value. I think it is illustrative of the point. I mean sure I could ask every single person I know to ask every person they know if they have the game and for those people to ask every single person they know if they have the game and so forth and ultimately get back some stats from a much larger sample that would tell me the thing I can already see and already know.... the number of gamers that did not buy the game is greater than the number of gamers that bought the game.

    And that's the whole point of the previous posts... just make a game for the people who like such a game. Focus on making it better for the people who can appreciate it even when it is rough instead of trying to win the attention of all of the ones who do not have any interest.

    Actually your anology is good because it illustrates a fundamental flaw humans have in general in all areas. Focusing on what we don't have putting more effort & time on getting attention from the people who have little to no interest than on thinking of what we can do for all of the people who already like us OR simply trying to find more people who instantly "just like us". And here "us" can also be applied to the game we are making.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  35. zenGarden

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    The gameplay is very special and i also don't find it's a great concept, while i would like simple classic platformer with the same graphics instead.


    Triple A doesn't mean all players will like the game.
    Wicther 3 is beautiful, it has a great main story and some good side quests, but i didn't liked the combat i prefer combat in games like Dark Souls that is more hard core.
    I completed DarkSiders 3 and i can say i prefer it a lot above W3, because i prefer it's art direction and imaginary world and characters while the game combat it lot more fun.
    I agree each game has it's own players, and each niche game has it's niche players :D
     
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  36. GarBenjamin

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    Yeah the graphics look very good. Nice aesthetic and they seem very "alive". Just for the record not that anyone really gives a dang but anyway... lol... I have no problem with a game having great graphics and I like art and cool graphics too. My Twitter Likes are filled with thousands of likes many of which are for gifs simply showing interesting art. I do pretty much reserve Twitter likes only for ultra low poly and pixel art but even so I still occasionally like gifs from HD and 3D games just because I either think the games & visuals both are interesting or because I just want to show some support to a fellow dev who did some amazing work. I think @dogzerx2 makes some incredible 3D art for example and just liked another one of their tweets earlier.

    At the same time I guess I just like many kinds of graphics. I generally appreciate all kinds of art to some degree.

    Here are some of the things I have liked on Twitter in the past week. For me personally all of these are cool for games.


    So I do like a variety of art (yeah I know not massive variety above in that it is mainly 2d pixel art of one style or another but that is based on what I have seen the past week on my Twitter) and for each of these examples there is an audience out there that thinks these graphics are awesome. I'm not personally a big fan of the 3D realistic style but a lot of that is because I just have seen that style of art so much for well over a decade now. Sure it gets higher resolution etc but is basically the same thing more or less to me. It's like the goal is to get as close as possible to looking like a photograph or movie. Just not into it much for games anymore. At one time years back I thought it was cool but have seen it so much just want something different. Maybe 5 years or so from now I will like it again.

    And also when I am talking about this stuff from building a business it is a different frame of mind. It's about getting stuff done and in an effective efficient manner. And especially for myself personally as a solo very part-time dev I'm not going to be looking at huge games or games with super high fidelity or even games with low fidelity very high artistic quality art.

    I am very happy with the way my defense game looks and I did the best I could do with it short of obsessing over all of the graphics and making the visuals the highest priority. I just am not wired that way. To me the entire game every part of it is just as important as the others. Even if I wanted to strive for very high quality (aka very time consuming) art way out of proportion with the rest of the game development scope all that would mean is I would never complete a game. I already know that and that is why I don't even think about it outside of these discussions. However, as I said, my next 2D game I will use 160x120 resolution and it should look a little better and that game will likewise have a little more to it as well. Balance.

    Oh yeah I get that. That's what I mean every game no matter how awesome it is will only have just so many people that like it enough to buy it. They did a hell of a great job for sure. I just see like so did the dev who made Undertale and the fella making Downwell, etc. Each game was interesting to different people. As you said there are many different audiences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  37. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I think that is something worth mentioning as well. Like with my defense game it's not like I am thinking Oh man soon as I release this I will be raking in the money. I will be retired in 3 months. LOL!

    I see it as a person has to start. And it is a process. Make a tiny game. Release it. Market it. Learn from it all. Make a tiny bit better tiny bit bigger game. Release it. Market it. Learn from all of that. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat..........

    Or in money terms it might look something like this.

    Spend 120 hours on a first Indie game. Release It. Market it. Make enough to cover 10 hours worth of work.
    Spend 140 hours on a second Indie game. Release it. Market it. Make enough to cover 14 hours worth of work.
    160 hours on a third Indie game. Cover 20 hours worth of work.
    180 hours on a fourth Indie game. Cover 30 hours worth of work.
    200 hours on a fifth Indie game. Cover 50 hours worth of work.
    220 hours on a sixth Indie game. Cover 110 hours worth of work.
    240 hours on a seventh Indie game. Cover 240 hours worth of work.

    And finally at this point the business should be solid enough to at least cover the time spent on making a game.

    It might take 5 games. It might take 50 games. But eventually it will happen. If a person had enough savings to cover all of the time on building the business up to that point they could possibly feel comfortable quitting their job and focusing on it full-time.

    Starting out tiny is just a much more reasonable approach to me than starting with making a 600 hour game, releasing it and making enough to cover 50 hours worth of the work. It's a process. Learning & improving over time by doing. Building a business little by little from completely nothing to something that can cover the time spent on game dev. I don't think in terms of make a game make millions. Just building a business and having game dev pay a decent hourly rate for the time spent on it. The fact that in game dev there is always a tiny chance that a game can take off and be covered all over and do exceptionally well is just an added bonus but nothing to be relied on imo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  38. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I think this is an extremely well done game for a weekend game jam. It's much better already than many games I've seen on Steam and mobile. It has solid interesting gameplay and looks very nice too.

    https://benjames171.itch.io/ice-runner
     
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  39. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Most look good.
    The one i don't like is the ultra low rez bottom left, it's like looking at some ultra blurry game lol
    Trying to represented details with too ultra low rez, while graphics should represent things in some inconic way to work better with such ultra low rez

    That representation fits better with ultra low rez.

    Yeah, that's a really good approach.


    Farming games is a genre lot of players enjoy, those games sell very well.
     
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  40. GarBenjamin

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    You're right Pitfall looks very good. I like the aesthetic of several Atari 2600/VCS games along those lines. I often think people focused on striving for realism and detail so early on it actually made things look worse in many cases. I remember some C64, Amiga and DOS games in particular that had so much detail crammed in everything from the ground to the characters done in a trying to be realistic way the entire screen kind of looked like a jumbled pixel mess.

    Farming Simulation sounds interesting. I like games with some depth to them. Not a ton of complexity that takes a lot of time to master but some depth. I also like simple arcade action games a lot. So I think my path might be to connect these two things. I don't know really there are a multitude of options.

    I used to greatly enjoy Metroidvanias but over time they basically all seem the same now. Walk, jump, double jump, slide, wall jump, maybe a grappling hook.

    It's like a couple of videos I've seen where at one spot the person said there are just so many people making games the real fans of a genre who frequent sites that track Metroidvanias, RPGs etc from completely free to paid have played so many games now they all start to seem the same.

    And there is a lot of truth to that I think. Because many times a person can play a simple completely free game released only at GameJolt or even from something like LudumDare and it will be far more innovative than the games being made and sold. It won't be as good overall but still people are exposed to new stuff that stands out and then when they see it a year or so later in a paid game even if it is the first paid game to feature it players might like it but they may also have already played a few games with that "awesome new feature" so it is not seen nearly as innovative as the dev sees it.

    Anyway when I played that Platformer I linked above last night I found that kind of refreshing. Very solid and enjoyable experience. Then I thought now if it had some weapons! And enemies! And maybe a few cool techniques to learn.... and then I rhought... yeah it would become like so many other games it would be nowhere near as original as it is in its current state.

    So maybe we need to stop pushing for more more more add this add that because everyone seems to do it and is probably why so many games kind of ultimately all end seeming so similar. It's a great thing while the audience is still super hungry and wants more and more games but sooner or later they will have their fill for a time.

    I don't know... I think maybe a return to simplicity might be good. It'd be fresh at least. Something like that simple platformer game or maybe even Pitfall. I am sure on Steam a bunch of game devs would be moaning & groaning cutting it down as being so simple and so forth but a lot of people might just enjoy it a lot.

    Sometimes I think that in part explains the success of things like Flappy Bird and many other games most devs would see as simplistic. Maybe that is in fact a big part of what the gamers wanted yet devs tend to look down upon such things because too many view game making as a way to show off their skills prove themselves or whatever. They want to do complex programming, "impressive" games. And sometimes people just want to play something super simple.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  41. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    There is innovation in triple A games without players getting bored, for example God of War on PS4 is very innovative playable cinematics, good story and characters, with new enjoying gameplay style.
    It's a beat them up copy perhaps, but with it's own background , story , gameplay and graphics, it's not a simple copy of another game.

    A metroidvania fan, will play the most popular metroidvania game, than he will play other things that are not metroidvania and perhaps later come back to metroidvania. I don't think players play only few game genre they prefer , but also play other games genre.
    About metroidvania, there is not enough metroidvania, for example the last one that was amazing was Ori, the next most awaited ones will be Ori 2 and Metroid 4.
    While there is only very few indie 2D metroidvania in the makings that can be great little games, but not reaching Ori 2 game quality.

    Perhaps i don't fill bored because i don't browse all thousand of very small indie games copies.

    Nintendo is always surprising players, Zelda BOT and Mario Odissey are amazing games with Nintendo quality gameplay. You could say it's just another Zelda or Mario, but playing those games you discover so much new things, it's like you would be playing new games.

    Anyway, just avoid small indie games that are just copy or too quickly made like game jams, select only those with quality work behind and you should not feel bored.
     
  42. GarBenjamin

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    I do check out a huge number of games large variety. I enjoy that a lot. What I was talking about is people who are real fans of a genre are going to be in the communities and visiting the main websites for those genres.

    For example... if a person is a true rpg fan chances are they frequent one or more of these websites and as a result are exposed to a huge number of rpg games even if they don't actually play every single one they will read about it, maybe watch a video, etc. But you can be sure the true fans will play a lot of them.

    RPG Site
    RPG Fan
    MMO RPG
    Metroidvanias


    And general gaming of course JayIsGames website has been covering games for a long time. Stopped for a while then started back up again.

    Or if more modern newer gatherings will be the Metroidvania Community on Reddit and even beyond this the big gaming websites continually cover the top 15 metroidvanias of 2017, the x best metroidvanias of all time etc, or lists like slant, etc many places where people list and vote and you should find dozens of metroidvanias submitted. And these are just the big fancier games not even the lesser known games released only on itch.io for $10, etc that mainly only the real fans know about.

    Anyway I'm talking about it from a gamer perspective. True fan of a genre. Someone who is a fan of certain kinds of games and is always checking out games released in that genre. That's just part of being a fan. They're excited to check out a new game (doesn't matter where it is) hoping it just might be something different. People don't limit to just Steam. Steam by far has the most players but probably a lot of that is simply because that is where a lot of people buy their AAA games.

    Some of the sites I listed up there have been around over a decade 20 years in some cases. They are hugely popular sites. Sometimes I wonder are the game devs here really into gaming? LOL :p That's a joke but I don't understand why you would think it is like limited to me. Anyway, I am talking about people who are fans of certain kinds of games. That's not limited to only games that have the best of the best graphics or widely known games released on Steam.

    Anyway, here is an example of the rpg games released for desktop covered at just one of these websites: I'm including rpg games here because originally I mentioned rpg & metroidvanias and usually the rpg sites include metroidvanias in their coverage since these games usually have rpg elements in them.

    Alright enough rambling... I just wanted to clarify that I was sharing comments from OTHER gamers. Although yes I have that same feeling many times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  43. neoshaman

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    god of war ps4 original? no no no no
    Good don't mean original in the slightest, there is no originality in this game at all.
    - no new mechanics (basic beat m stuff), even the recall is lift straight from thor
    - no new story, I mean last of us + basic mythology is a great blend but ...
    - no new visual, this is kind of fantasy + realism has been done
    - these combination don't do anything new specifically
    Is it nicely put together sure, but that's all, if that's teh bar for originality, well ...
    Even the nintendo game cited I wouldn't call them original, neither, just top class in there respective genre
    Only zelda allow for original "combination" with clever use of physics, but original would be "splatoon" and in a lesser measure "arms". Heck even ubisoft by the number gameplay game starlink is original in many sense (the progression is quite interesting with the tiers of targets and strategy light). Shadow of mordor copy batman's original combat but add the original nemesis system, assassin's creed when it appears had a original navigation system and perhaps combat, and stealth mechanics with social blending (they kinda lost all the original element though, overtime).
     
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  44. zenGarden

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    We don't like the same games that's all :D

    - new weapon throwing mechanism , used to solve puzzles also.
    - better made radar indicators for incoming non visible threats
    - original story and new characters, it's not God Of War classics but mythology
    - high level triple A visuals no other games has
    - new creatures and enemies design
    - new cinematic system, you play during cinematics
    - characters talk during walk or boat travel to tell more about the background story you discover
    - incredible level design, most areas are just fantastic

    I didn't played a lot God Of War 3, i didn't liked it as much as the previous ones on PS2, while the PS4 one seems to have the same magic as the first episodes on PS2.
    Zelda, it's always the same story and same main characters, but lof of secondary characters are new, the world is new, the gameplay is new and more innovative than any other open worlds with climbing and systemic gameplay.

    We could also talk about all Battlefront, COD, FIFA , GTA games that are those making the biggest sales along years, do they innovate more than God Of War or Nintendo ? I don't think lol

    Anyway, all games are copy of other games, you control the game using some device, this triggers some action on screen, this is a video game all other video game copy.


    Anyway, when you feel bored or don't find enough originality,not enough entertainment among all high quality game productions, i think you should stop playing or looking at video games and take a real break from gaming.
     
  45. GarBenjamin

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    This is why for me as a gamer I often find the views here somewhat odd. Lol Most gamers outside of those who ONLY play AAA / AA games look for innovation in the underground which is Indie games not in AAA games.

    And of those people the most popular Indie metroidvania games start to all seem the same. It's no different than the reason Indie games seemed very fresh and interesting compared to AAA games at one time. They played very different. They looked very different. AAA games all felt kind of the same largely because they all sort of followed a formulaic Hollywood big budget movie type of design and production process. Indie games didn't and were extremely unique in comparison.

    But now if people take an honest look at the "big" Indie games again let's say metroidvania. First most of them aren't so much awesome fresh new games but they all look very nice. In fact they all look kind of similar visually. And gameplay wise they basically play very similar.

    So just like with AAA to Indie if you want to play unique games... games that have some truly innovative ideas whether that is in gameplay, presentation or both... these gamers know you don't find that in the mainstream Indie games. They need to look outside of the games the network of big game websites and big YT channels all cover.

    Outside the mainstream is "the underground" and despite possibly seeming like some shady thing it simply means there are a lot of games more innovative and and perhaps just plain "better" that are not covered by the mainstream. Sometimes that means the visuals might look like they were sketched by a 6 year old. But in this context that is a great thing because it goes along with the other innovation in gameplay to make a game that is "fresh".

    TLDR: if you want innovation look outside the mainstream games with basically the same play style basically the same presentation style and basically seem like they could all have been created by the exact same person or team.
     
  46. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    @zenGarden It's not about liking game at all, everything you cite has been done and was used in that combination in previous game, there is hardly anything innovative in god of war, I did tell it was very well put. They use existing formula, literally. And being the best don't mean being innovative. Dadification of game was a term before god of war ps4 existed, so much the formula was overused over the year (grumph man has ai companion which character arcs evolve), this game is just the latest incarnation of that. Norse mythology change the flavor of the series, but it stills about killing god in spectacle fighting games, and its not like norse mythology isn't permeating game world in general. If the setting was in the peak Mali or Benin empire and was about the dahomey, now that would be original because nobody ever touch on these myth in video game ever.

    I'm a nintendo kid, but even nintendo don't get a pass, I mean really climbing is innovative? We have been climbing in game since forever! new world is not the same as original or innovative, especially when you regurgitate any anime or fantasy tropes that exist. Original don't mean new permutation.The new zelda even stole the ubi soft tower, the physics is similar to just cause game with a heroic fantasy bent, just a bit tone down, the structure is akin to skyrim, the emergent gameplay is like farcry and they followed the trend of survival game where you need to track temperature and cook food. Everything else is rip from somewhere else, magnesis is basically the gravity gun of halflife 2 and that game didn't invent the mechanics. It's just F***ing well done, not original, just well put together.
     
  47. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I didn't find any underground games doing better than those popular indie games that are Hyper Light Drifter, Iconoclast, Shantae, Axiom Verge, Hollow Knight, Inside, Ori, Stardew Valley, Dwarf Fortress, Celeste, Transistor, Banner Saga, Cave Story , CupHead , Golf Story.
    Just to name a few ones, those games got popular because they deserve their success, it's not games made in some weeks or just made for fun without love, it's real game gems.

    Among undergound games, there is too much crappy games, non become popular because they are not enough good or does not have enough content. Only few underground games get popular when they are un expected game gems.

    Each time i browse alternative site games like Itch io and some others, there is too much crappy games.
    Or perhaps you are someone that is very permissive and does not filter a lot about game quality that worth you spend time playing it ?
    It's like movies or anything you watch or read, you must be selective and keep the quality level you expect, get on game sites that already done the filtering for you and talking only about the most interesting uderground games that are no quick made or crappy.

    Perhaps tiny games i would not find interesting and not attractive, or i would find crappy, is something some other players will find very attractive ?

    Anyway , it's all relative, underground games are not lot better than the best triple A , while we already know the games that takes more risk and innovation is indies because triple A games must stay high production that will appeal to the biggest player audience, triple A games can't take too much risk to not sell well enough.
    There is appearing lot of AA studios, a good balance between high quality that goes beyond indie productions, but not triple A costs so they can take risks and innovation as they don't try to make a best triple A that would sell like triple A games.
     
  48. zenGarden

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    What was appealing was the main characters, i didn't took too much attention to the mythology side, while i liked a lot the environment and gameplay, I think some players think too much when they play a game.

    It's like playing Mario on Nes, it's an not a game you have to think about but play instead.
    Mario on Nes was incredible games, Mario 2 and 3 was copies with new ideas, they are still incredible games.
    You are right they are copies in some sort, but if you don't find them new enough , you are bored, stop playing Mario or games for some time lol

    There is nothing new, all games copies and takle inspiration from other games, SINCE GAMES EXISTED lol

    Sorry but Zelda BOT is :
    - open world with full climbing , no other game has ever done.
    - it's own cooking system
    - character expression when it is cold or hot weather and you don't have the right clothes,
    some games done it in cinematics, Zelda BOT does it in real time.
    - systemic real time gameplay no other games had
    - Physics gadgets and gameplay totally new, not in other games
    - Lot more ways to win combat without weapons than most other games
    - lot of other details other games don't have
    I don't think you played the game to say it's a simple copy of other games :rolleyes:

    Just a glimpse
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  49. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Well I put 500h in botw I can give you the receipt :p I'm sorry but it's own cooking mechanics don't mean much when in the end you go to a given spot to mix definite combination of items, just like most game in the genre, and then those game allow you to craft that spot to begin with, also cooking crafting is indistinct from similar mechanics like forging weapon, brewing potion, creating spells, already present in skyrim. Having a thematic or visual skin does not count as originality, I mean if I make gears of war but add mustache to the character that doesn't make it more original (cough the order 1884 cough).

    But here is the thing, I'm not just a player, I'm a dev, so I track down evolution of mechanics, and no some game do innovate completely without copying other game:

    - Paper please is entirely new gameplay and way to tell a story in a systemic design, using stakes instead of adhoc choice that grew organically from the main action.
    - There is also argument Hero from increpare, which propose a new way to approach influence through speech by linking concept together in a way that influence a public.
    - Or versu has a very interesting internal story solver that is mediated by a traditional UI but whose option are procedurally generated by the state of the system to reflect the social context the player is in.
    - The act propose a totally new way to interact socially with behavioral gameplay
    - sweaty palm propose you to interact by acting in the dramatic sense rather than the materialistic sense

    It's not about liking or how well put, but how different it is. You only play the same game, except more or less well done, that doesn't count as innovation. It's only variation.
     
  50. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    When you tell it has no originality, it's hard to believe you played it 500h LOL

    Another one for fun


    I also found many other games taking inspiration from real situations and introducing twists.
    Sorry, but this is also nothing new, this is something over used in indie games concept, to transpose any real activity or situation in some sort of game.
    This does not mean this will be a good game :rolleyes:

    I find most of those games you put very boring, too repetitive or too limited; while i will enjoy lot more playing DarkSiders 3 or some arcade games, or some Snes retro games than those specific indie games.
    A player can find some classic retro indie pixel platformer games very good and enjoyable while he will find many other indie perhaps more original but not fun and boring.

    As i said each player has it's own definition of what is a good game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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