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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. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    The game graphics really stand out from many other pixel games. The characters sprites are very well done, color palette and variation is also very well choosen. The mix Pokemon and platformer is definitively a winning combination.
     
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  2. GarBenjamin

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    I've been checking out & playtesting people's games here every day for a while now. I used to always enjoy that.

    And this is just my view of course. And I am not a mobile gamer maybe most mobile gamers actually enjoy seeing the ads for some reason idk.

    But if I was making a mobile game I would do it along these lines...

    Make the game with all of the ad framework in there and tested but do not enable it.

    Put the game out completely for free. No ads. No iap. Nothing. Until the person has played the game a certain amount of time.

    Like I said I don't know the mindset of mobile gamers but the mindset of people period should apply. Lol

    I think devs are quite likely pushing people away with all of these ads. Even in my playtesting I was faced with ridiculously long video ads. Of course I didn't watch them. When they started I looked at the circle timer and saw how long it was and killed the app.

    It's fine to expect some money from your efforts but I follow a give first mindset. Meaning let the person have a chance to really get into the game. Let them enjoy the game. Then when they clearly enjoy it okay then ask for money (by ask for money I mean then show ads, offer a paid version, etc).

    I think maybe a lot of devs are so focused on the money you are spooking people away / annoying people away before they even get a chance to appreciate your game.

    Basically you could even do it like this... set a variable to 5 when player starts the game decrement the variable. If they restart the game 4 more times that value in variable is now 0 so show the ad and reset the variable to 4. Same process. Until eventually maybe the ads are shown every other time they press start.

    You want to build a connection with these people. You want (or should) these people to have an enjoyable experience. If they are happy they will play the game again. If you annoy the hell out of them they are going to close your game uninstall it and that is the last of them. Enjoy your 2 cents or whatever.

    Alright I just wanted to share that experience in hopes that maybe it will help someone.
     
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  3. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    All could work, providing game hooks player for more than few hours.
    What if game is designed to play once. And lets say after 5 hours, you finished it?
    So you put adds after 2md hour of play for example?

    What if game duration is 1 hour and only one of, where player is least likely to come back to it?
     
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  4. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Of course you need to tailor the strategy to the game. It was a shift in mindset I was getting at. I used the example of the simple restart counter just because every released game I playtested were very simple short playtime experiences. Basically the kind of thing where you move avoid obstacles.

    So the mindset is the key thing... how can I make this a better experience for the player while still earning money through ads/etc for my effort?

    Basically trying to get the idea across that by decreasing the amount of money that could be earned people would likely earn more money.

    Reason being people would probably spend more time playing the game which is probably an important metric. And the more time a person spends with a game the more comfortable it is to them and probably the more likely they are to return to it again and again.

    In contrast to they try a game start playing think that was fun I can do better this time attempt to replay and get hit with a 15 to 30 second video ad. Next. It's almost certainly too soon to do that. Let them play the game a bit to get into it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  5. Antypodish

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    I would perhaps collect some basics telemetry data.
    Like play time without ads / play time with ads per device.

    1. Record average income from ads.
    2. Then change time of ads show / display.
    3. Repeat data collection.
    1. Record average income.
    ...
    Repeat ...

    Compare results.
    Adjust best add timing.
     
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  6. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Testing is always the best. Absolutely agree.
     
  7. Billy4184

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    Sounds like a good plan, but in practice I think it would backfire. It would be hard to accept ads once a game has been experienced without them. Kind of like "I've been doing you favors for a while now, how about you do something for me?" - or, since I like to think about marketing in terms of dating "I've been really nice to you for a while now, how about we do XXXX" which comes off feeling like a little bit of a sprung trap or a betrayal.

    In my opinion, marketing (like most interactions between people) work best when things get progressively better. That's always difficult because you have to start from a relatively sub-optimal point, but it's also a realistic perspective. I would lean toward marketing a game like "here's a really good game, it's not some cheap crap and we take ourselves seriously so we have various methods of getting ROI, but since we respect your player experience you can pay to play it without ads or IAP or whatever".

    This works on the assumption that customers are at least mildly aware of what a good deal looks like even when it doesn't come gift-wrapped. Sort of like freelancing. You'll lose a good amount of customers but they probably wouldn't have been valuable anyway.

    All in all, I think that like in any industry with a saturated market, making a profit is simply a question of moving higher and higher in standards of quality and execution, or finding something original (which is hard but possible). Games are not going anywhere, and neither are indie games for that matter, so the customers are there and ready but they are more and more discriminating by the day.
     
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  8. GarBenjamin

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    It's possible it would backfire. I think it would be worth putting it to the test though. Granted I am not a heavy mobile gamer but from what I've seen it seems like mobile gamers must expect to see ads of one form or another so I would think they would be just as likely to appreciate they had more time to try out the game before being hit with an ad. And as they get into the game more and more the ad frequency increases but ideally by that time they would be more willing to tolerate the ads. But I also wouldn't have 30-second video ads to begin with. That just seems way too extreme. I mean who wants sit around and watch long ads (other than the Super Bowl when the ads are usually pretty cool)?

    I don't know... the words higher standards and quality are thrown around here a lot. I think there will always be people who appreciate tiny games and games without superb presentation and very simple games and so on. I'm not saying there aren't people who appreciate the things you want to see. Of course there are. I just think there is a market for all of these things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  9. Billy4184

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    I think this might work, but only if they knew it was coming.

    I agree (although it might work depending on what the norm is). I think generally speaking ads are not worth pursuing unless you have a hyper casual replayable game with millions of downloads. Otherwise I would do IAP (which I think can work well for everybody when done correctly) as well as charging a premium price (and marketing it as a premium game). The secret sauce though imo is making stuff way better than everyone else, which, if you're willing to put in the elbow grease, is not as hard as it seems.
     
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  10. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Well that's basically how the mobile market works. All of the big players do this.

    Showing the user an ad in their first few minutes on the app is a sure fire way to get uninstalled.
     
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  11. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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  12. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I know size, complexity, graphics style & quality, audio style & quality, gameplay style & quality etc vary dramatically across Indie games. That's one of the big things that makes Indie games interesting: they can differ so much in all of these areas not only from AAA games but other indie games as well.

    Definitely thanks for sharing this ResetEra forum thread. I've never come across this site in searches and haven't visited a thread on NeoGAF in quite a while so didn't know the backstory to hear about ResetEra that way either (seems like I last visited shortly before "the event").

    It'd be good sometime to compile a list of all of the sites people frequent that cover Indie games. I don't mean every site a person knows of just the top 1 or 2 they visit. I imagine we all use a different set of sources which better matches our own preferences as well as possibly to a lesser degree helps shape them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  13. GarBenjamin

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    After working on my game tonight I took some time to go through the first dozen pages or so of games over there.

    Some great stuff and I see what you are saying now that yes this one thread encompasses a huge variety of game scopes, visual styles and so forth. And a lot of great stuff listed there.

    Out of the 200+ (300+ maybe) I checked out (including researching at other sites in some cases) I thought these were the most interesting... and figured I would share why I find them interesting.


    As Kharon, your abilities are flying, going through physical objects, and making your enemies feel dizzy. To defeat your opponents and escape from the crypt, you'll need to steal the bodies of your enemies by possessing them. You'll be able to fly in a bat's body, fight from inside a skeleton, or even use a mimic's abilities to help yourself hide.


    I like how the game seems to offer a variety of different game genres all linked by a central hub. I once worked on a Christmas game along those lines... well I mean the concept. I've always liked the idea of hybrid games consisting of a variety of genres as well as having a sort of main hub area leading to other areas which are unique mini games. Makes it interesting. Variety.


    The abilities provided by the different power suits caught my attention here...


    Gameplay was inspired by challenging yet fair games that reward a players curiosity without holding their hand along the journey. European folklore and Tolkien's work were a big influence. Many armor sets and weapon types allow for various customizable builds and play styles. Numerous and diverse boss fights.


    And now sleep. Be nice to get up early and get something done on my game before I get out of the house. I am pushing hard to wrap up the demo release.

    I'll have to check out some more games in that thread sometime this weekend when I get a chance.
     
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  14. MD_Reptile

    MD_Reptile

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    This guy knows what up :D

    Seriously though thats the wise choice for anybody less than triple A because it lets your users enjoy the game, and get to know it, and unless you've built an impressive audience before launch, your not gonna make a ton of day 1 money anyway off ads alone.

    If you use IAP then I would strongly suggest that be in from day 1 though, as it can be jarring when a game I've been playing starts pushing a new IAP system that wasn't there to begin with... thats just like, my opinion though, as I haven't tried IAP as a real stream of revenue, and perhaps that advice wouldn't hold true in reality!

    The reason it helps is because you gain an audience, a userbase. These app stores push you higher in search results when you have more downloads. More downloads now = more eye balls on your ads later.

    Though, one potential backfire scenario, is when you get lots of reviews saying "oh wow no ads!" - then potential future users see that, download it, and do have ads showing... but the trade off is more valuable to get more users I think.
     
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  15. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    You made a good selection, it's only few interesting one, there is more good ones lol

    Here is some few mores i found interesting





     
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  16. GarBenjamin

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    I didn't research for details but based on the videos I didn't get anything out of DUSTWUN but maybe it is a walking simulator? I mean I don't see anything in the video except an environment and a person. Some animals are in one of the scenes. A vehicle is in one of the scenes. I never see anything actually happening?

    I'm not into twin stick shooters but I agree Smith and Winston seems interesting. I played around with voxels a month or so ago and want to create a 3D game out of voxel models so this is also interesting from a dev perspective. Anyway, I like the view of the playfield and seems like it is very solidly implemented. It also has clean visuals and interesting environments. I'd probably be willing to give a free demo a play simply because it seems to be a slower pace than most twin stick shooters and hopefully that means they might have made it a bit more strategic and / or added more adventure elements than the high speed TSS generally have. So there is another market.... I am sure I can't be the only person on this planet who would like to see a slower paced TSS made more interesting by focusing on some focus greater interaction, strategy and / or adventure elements.

    10 Minutes Away looks like a somewhat generic rpg style game to me based on the video BUT I like that it is at least unique because it doesn't look like just one more of the multitude of games with the Skyrim/W1/W2/W3/aka "serious" / strive to be realistic style of visuals environments etc and instead seems to not take itself seriously. It's not really my thing but I can definitely understand why people would like it. I might even try a free demo of it to check it out myself.

    This was good because right here we can see a perfect example of different target markets. I can appreciate some things in these games even if they are not really my thing. I can definitely understand why other people, the people in the target market, would like them even if they aren't something I would play. Although again I might try a free demo of these last two.
     
  17. GarBenjamin

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    Personally I think Rogue Party looks a lot more interesting than DUSTWUN (made by one of the XNA diehards still using XNA til this day and has sold over 500 copies on Steam in the past month... he sells his games way too cheap imo and I just told him that yesterday on Twitter but he has his fans and enjoys making these games and that is worth a lot in itself)... anyway....

    Rogue Party


    And here is a review on it
     
  18. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    It's a little more than that , but i agree there is some No Man's Sky walking sim touch in it lol



    I don't know if those games will be great games to play or not, but they have specific graphics and gameplay i like.
    There is many different styles like vector graphics
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1055264089398804480
    Simple colored shapes
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1056150757504888833
    vibrant 2D colors
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DqdNcRkWoAIa-wQ.jpg
    Cartoon
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1054317993780539396
    3D retro
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1054311380403273728
    Or good pixel games
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1054872674428743680
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1054800532597026817
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1055259825330745345
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1030628589715243008
     
  19. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I like it's retro look, but i don't like Rogue like games.

    Rogue games system are disguised grinding system.
    You repeat again and again generated level with the same theme, and bash same enemies again and again, to increase your stats or get better weapons, it's pure grinding.

    Like Dark Souls games, they are grinding games, most players will repeat hundred times same level to get XP and increase their stats. Too borring.
    The best i likedwas Lord of the Fallen , faster level up, good design, good graphics, less punitive difficulty.
     
  20. bmcmvox

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    I have heard this before and I disagree. The barrier to entry for having a GOOD indie band is a lot lower that creating a good game. People also don't really care who made that good game but the personalities and status of the bandmates are paramount in why they become popular. You can also produce a music "hit" in an afternoon. It is infinitely more subjective. It is like this canvas with splatters of paint is a Pollack and worth 200 mill, this one is a Dave and worth nothing. Games are not like that. The quality can be objectively measured by everybody, not just an art critic.
     
  21. Antypodish

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    No you can not.
    Is just like saying, you can get required skills in one afternoon.

    You need years of practice, gained skills, right tools and hard work, to actually be able produce anything.
    Is just because someone has an idea, don't mean you will make it work in one night.

    You can make music hit, if you know how to convert it into product, using your tools.
    Once you are proficient, then you can have product even once a week.

    As a single programmer you need to know how to program, design and market, same with musician / band.

    Play Watch Paint Dry ...
     
  22. Murgilod

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    I have never seen anything quite so ahistoric as this on the forums before.
     
  23. JohnnyA

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    I think what is being said (@bmcmvox correct me if I'm wrong) is that if you put a bunch of decent musicians in a room they can create listenable music very quickly. Take away the high-school bands and most bands are pretty decent in the sense that they are in time and in tune, their songs make harmonic sense (even if it is I-IV-V) and have a reasonable structure. I can go to any number of clubs and bar, even in my small city of 100k people, and listen to some pretty passable original music.

    These songs are not going to be hits, most of these bands will never do more than some local shows, but there's not that much difference between what they are doing and what popular bands are doing (in many cases the musicianship and even the songs may be better than very popular hit songs).

    This is not at all like games development, you cant put three game devs in a room and expect to get a passable game a few hours later, even after a few months its unlikely that the results bear much resemblance to AAA hit games.

    Movies take this even further, in most cases a movie made in a few months by some passionate indies will be unwatchable to most. Even 'B grade' projects with a million in budget are mostly terrible and watched as much for the lols as for the content of the film.

    Games sit somewhere in between.

    Note: this is not to disregard the fact that many people put in a huge amount of effort in to their music, but simply to identify that the analogy falls short in some pretty significant ways.
     
  24. bmcmvox

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    JohnnyA, thank you.

    Hit albums have been created in a weekend. Making music does not take long once you have a hook and a melody. It is remotely close to game development in time factor.

    That being said, success in the music (and movie industry to some extent) isn't always about creating something "good". There are many subjective variables. Popular artists have a fandom and have an image. People are often buying the person more than they are buying the product.

    I see a lot of indie devs with this pessimistic attitude shrugging their shoulders and telling everybody you can't make money but when I look at their catalogs all I see is rushed mobile apps and Flappy Bird clone #345. There is absolutely no mystery why a lot of devs are making zero dollars. It is a tough game. Having to rush out games to keep the lights on sucks but that is a big reason they are scraping by. It isn't because they haven't been "discovered" (to reuse the indie band analogy) it is because they aren't making games people want to buy. Obviously this isn't all indie devs, but the most negative ones also tend to create the crappiest games.

    Of course, this is my humble opinion and to the OP, I would suggest working and making a game on the side as a hobbyist. I have been doing it for a year. Some days I make progress, some days I watch Netflix. The point is, you have a career to fall back on that pays the bills. You will also have a disposable income to use in your game dev endeavors. So my suggestion to you, keep learning modelling/programming on the side, go to college or get a better job and by the time you finances are stable you can just create games part time while working a full blown career.
     
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  25. bmcmvox

    bmcmvox

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    Not talking about how long it takes to learn skills. I am talking about concept to completion. Plenty of albums have been produced in a week and even in one recording session.
     
  26. Billy4184

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    @bmcmvox I agree. I think the number of indies (or teams of) who have passable skills in all areas of game development, and who have tackled and COMPLETED a game that would take a competent developer 6 months - 1 year of spare time (let's say 4 hours/day) to make, are much, much fewer than many people think, and have a much better chance of success than it seems.
     
  27. GarBenjamin

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    I agree about making games that people want to buy although I see it more like a person needs to be able to reach the people who are interested in the kind of game you are making.

    One thing you mentioned that I found very interesting was that you could see why they were not selling many games solely from looking at their catalog of games.

    Here are 5 games released around the same time on Steam. 3 of these have sold hardly anything and are, if anything, seen as poor games by Steam users. 2 of these have sold very well in comparison (thousands for the one and tens of thousands for the other) and are seen as very high quality products by Steam users.

    The question is can you really tell which are which by simply checking out these videos alone and not going to their Steam pages?

    Despoiler


    KovaaK's FPS Aim Trainer


    Outbreak: The Nightmare Chronicles


    Minit


    Haunted Manor: Painted Beauties Collector's Edition
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  28. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I would say Outbreak (a good old resident evil), and Despoiler (despite it lacks vehicles variety and better level design) are the best sellers. Or Haunted Mansion because it is the kind of niche game that can make lot of money.
     
  29. neoshaman

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    Minit is the most likely, I have heard about it EVERYWHERE, it has a good hook, while I have never heard of any of the others.
     
  30. GarBenjamin

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    Minit is the top seller and highest rated & reviewed by far. The second best is highly targeted to a niche and is almost certain to have been dismissed by everyone outside that niche as "junk" yet for the people in that niche this is the best of the best (which is the reason I looked for such a case around that release period and this was an excellent example).
     
  31. Antypodish

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    Flappy Bird game is an example of game being developed with short of few days, by single dev, Not even band analogy. Has been and still probably is perceived as crappy game.Yet hooks many many players and made eventually top coin, to its developer, putting the title as best seller.

    One thing in contrast to the band analogy is, once you got song out, you hardly can change anything to it.
    While in case of games, you can modify update, make it better, or worse at any time, trying to reach wider audience.
     
  32. zenGarden

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    Music can't be compared, to games, because making music you stay focused on music only.
    While a game needs needs you to be good at music, sounds, gameplay, ai, HUD, graphics modeling, texturing, animations, level design.
     
  33. Antypodish

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    This is point of view grom game developer, at music, as single entity.
    Me being pedantic (again), everything can be compared. Even common saying apples and oranges.
    Music is not just music. Is instruments, notes, tones, key, chords rhythm, harmony and theory behind and much more. It is not single topic, it can be very broad topic.

    While music for a game, in most cases you select music, you just like. Don't care about notes and instruments behind the scene. Not always, but in general. You know what I mean.

    However, I need give to that, like everyone can grab instrument and makes some sounds in matter of seconds, not every one can grab game engine and make even cube moving.
     
  34. GarBenjamin

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    All good picks but these are the lowest. Minit was the best selling of this batch. The second best and regarded as a very high quality product by its target audience is KovaaK's FPS Aim Trainer. i didn't investigate to find out but suspect this Kovaak is a player popular in certain modern FPS gaming communities. When I did a quick search for the product I did find references to it at Reddit and some gaming forums with gamers saying things along the lines of "tried others they didn't help me much if at all but this one is so well done it really made a big difference in several key areas that I needed".

    The reason I decided to do that little experiment is because it seems like way too many devs are too quick to judge something as "no effort" "low quality" when they really have no clue how much effort went into it or how good it really is. If your target audience thinks you are making awesome quality games then you are making awesome quality games and it doesn't matter that a lot of other people are writing them off as "low effort low quality garbage" due to a lack of understanding. Right? Lol

    The most interesting thing... I think anyway... is looking at those 5 games and realizing all of them could have been very highly rated well reviewed and sold many times more units even if the games themselves were not changed in anyway and instead they had better established expectations and targeted the people who like the games the way they are.

    I don't know maybe others find this boring but I think it is very interesting. That zombie game for example that looks like it could certainly do well with the right pitch to the right audience which you identified.
     
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  35. Antypodish

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    Nah. This is good case study, which helps for better understanding of market, audience and demand.

    Do mind, that "Crappier" games, has higher chance on low end hardware. Mobiles for example.
    Which mean, targeting massive market.
    Then it wouldn't be surprised, if same game is also targeted on console / desktop, where it may received bad reviews, for what it is / looks like, in oppose to mobile market reviews.

    There is also that, once mobile games developed, with general good response and being tried ported to desktop, suddenly receive bunch of bad reviews, for being cheap porting. Etc.
     
  36. Lurking-Ninja

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    Well, I don't even know where to start. Apparently there are a couple of misconceptions here.
    Porting stuff between mobile(-like) devices and PC is generally a bad idea (without basically rewriting half of the software). And here is why:
    - vastly different controls
    - different life situation when and where the device used usually
    - obviously different power in the device (graphics, CPU, memory, etc)

    Which means what works on PC _usually_ does not really work on mobile and vice versa.
    On PC if you give 5 minutes bite-sized missions for the player in a serious (we are talking about hits, right, so we need good games) game, that's usually a failure. When players sit down to play on PC, they usually expect hour or longer experience. The too disruptive experience isn't good for anything, immersion, you can't develop long lasting feelings in five minutes.
    On a mobile, which usually used just occasionally, when the user commutes, sitting on the toilet or waiting in queue somewhere, the 5 minutes bit-sized experience is the perfect one.

    And obviously we can discuss further the giant gap between these two, because there are tablets, and many more differences, it's just I don't want to post a two pages long answer.

    Also, Flappy Bird is crap, because it only use and utilizes a simple hook. It's not the controls, not the graphics, it's the hook. And usually the game "goodness" and the popularity aren't in relation to each other.
    There are simple hook games, which are popular, I'm look at you CoD Advanced warfare... and there are complex and rewarding games, which are not that popular for other reasons.

    BTW, Flappy Bird's popularity comes from the barefaced stunt (to put together from stolen pieces and publish it for money) the creator pulled. It can count as marketing tactic.
     
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  37. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    What in Flappy Bird was stolen? Show your work.
     
  38. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Have you seen its graphics? Basically design elements from various Mario games. :D

    Although maybe the crappy bird itself were drawn for this game, I'm not sure.

    And disclaimer: maybe legally it's not stolen, I'm not sure, it's debatable, since there were no lawsuit and I'm not a lawyer, but morally it is. I consider it a major problem because the familiarity probably was in effect when people picked it up.
     
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  39. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Nobody bought Flappy Bird because it had green pipes.
     
  40. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    What makes you think that?

    I guessed Minit correctly (easy - because I've heard about it in different places) and incorrectly thought the hidden object game with the way too long video was second. Quite surprised about the FPS trainer, didn't even watch the whole video. After watching some more of the video I feel like I'm understanding it better, but still wouldn't have guessed. Copying recoil patterns from Counterstrike and doing projectile based mid-air shot training that only applys to a hand full of games tells me they have a good idea what their audience is and what would help them get better at the games they like. Kovaaks I thought is a character from "how to survive", but I might be wrong. To me this isn't a game, it's a tool designed to help you get better in already existing and popular games. I don't think that can easily be replicated and depends on too many outside factors.
     
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  41. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Actually, as per psychology, it's not true. The familiarity is a major factor in our decisions, so maybe it was not the sole decision point, but it probably was a factor.
    On the other hand, please, read my original argument again, I wasn't saying that. I said they bought because of the stunt.
     
  42. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    I agree with that. Reference to mario games, makes more appealing, than original bricks.
    Human psychology wins here (as one of factors).
     
  43. Murgilod

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    Except they didn't. The game was MASSIVELY influenced by the fact that it eschewed a lot of common mobile game trends in favour of requiring player precision to a fairly unforgiving degree, which got it covered in a lot of gaming press sites because it was an addictive novelty.
     
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  44. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Also the number of game that rip off visually identifyable element would make these game blockbuster they have never been, familiarity is important, but's not a decisive quality.
     
  45. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Well of course I could be wrong... I don't know for 100% sure BUT I believe they could have done much better with the games even as they are based on the people who enjoy the games as they are that listed why they like the games in their reviews. The ones that neg review the games and talk about getting a refund seem to be doing so mainly from the games not meeting their expectations. Actually at least one of the neg reviews said something along the lines of "perhaps the game is intended as EA in which case all of these things make sense" but still shows the expectation was to get something more... how can I put it really...

    Basically I think some of these people see these games that remind them of AAA games visually or whatever and I think they are looking through that kind of filter. So they are expecting the games to have the kind of stuff they are used to from AAA games. And I think if the devs simply spelled it out in their videos and game pages... something along the lines of... we are a small team / solo dev so obviously we are not delivering a AAA experience here and want to be sure up front you understand what you are getting. We have tried to build an enjoyable experience mainly in these areas. If you like this kind of thing give the game a try. But keep in mind Martin I am a big believer in setting expectations up front and not overselling because I think that just does more harm than good. I mean sure it might sell more units up front even in some cases but the backlash is likely to be huge. And it causes people who the game is not really suited for to end up getting the game and then bashing it. We can't stop this completely but I think by trying to we can at least improve the chances of the right people trying the game.

    A lot of this is all based on expectations. If the game is more / better than a player expected the odds of them leaving a favorable review and telling their friends about is very high compared to if the game is less / worse than a player expected.... no matter what level of expectation they had.

    Interesting I had no idea bout Kovaaks. I thought it was likely a username of some FPS player or FPS community member.

    Yeah it is definitely very focused and educational. A training tool for sure. But I still see it as a game. I think the idea is they play the game and are probably having a lot of fun shooting stuff just that it is implemented in a way that doing so also improves their skills. I guess we can definitely call it an educational / training game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  46. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    100% agree.


    He might be. But this is what I thought of:
     
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  47. Billy4184

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    I guessed Minit partly because of your perspective on things ;) and partly because from the video it looked very well done, and I know there's an audience for that sort of thing.

    Despoilers is a multiplayer game, with complaints of empty servers all over the steam page, so no surprises there. It doesn't seem like a failed concept at all though.

    Outbreak is imo a low quality game which you can easily see as soon as the video starts, so no surprises there for me.

    I guessed Painted Beauties would be the second best seller. Tbh I still can't really see why it failed so badly, though I see their store page is filled with tens or hundreds of similar games, all with pretty much no downloads. Maybe their customers had enough of it? Maybe they have a red flag among players for some reason? The game doesn't seem badly done, though perhaps a bit boring. It also seems a bit niche so I imagine those who play that sort of thing might have particular standards, which maybe they did not reach.

    Kovaak's fps trainer seemed possible to be the second best seller, because it's explicitly about practice and does not add prettiness to appeal to a wide audience, so it's easily discounted by those who are not its target audience - though I thought the visual presentation was bad enough that it would not appeal to enough people. It's not really aimed at being a game in the usual sense though - it's more like a game training simulation - so I'm not sure what lesson to take from it unless I am making something similar.

    Very fun comparison, thanks for sharing!
     
  48. Lurking-Ninja

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    I agree. But unfortunately, the reality is different. Overselling works. Big time.
    Just see what happened around No Man's Sky. They oversold that game a hundred fold and they're doing good. Actually, they're doing very great comparing to the number of straight lies they told upfront.

    Sadly I wouldn't have the stomach to do this, but apparently it's working like a charm.

    Edit: I forgot to add, probably for certain type of games. You can't oversell a match three game, probably, but you can certainly oversell a sandbox one (or when you can fix >>some<< lies after the transaction).
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  49. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    LOL! That's funny. When I was writing I must admit that even I had NMS pop into my head. I think that game will forever be associated with "overselling under-delivering".
     
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  50. Lurking-Ninja

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    Well-deserved. That publisher is a pathological liar. I can't comprehend. But apparently it works.