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Game design and business analysis

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by StealThePixels, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. StealThePixels

    StealThePixels

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    When you have a game idea, you also have to take into account your budget, suitable platforms where that game can run on and whether you have the budget to develop on a given platform, potential audience for that category of game on a given platform, competition, etc.

    So, game design is correlated to business in some way, and i want to improve in this type of analysis as well because not all game ideas can be profitable and i want to minimize the risk of losing lots of money.

    Is there any article/guide on game business analysis ?


    ----------------------------

    Example analysis:

    I remember Powerstone 1 & 2, renowed and original fighting games from 15 years ago. A similar game has never been made after then. So i was thinking about making one inspired by it with little changes to the gameplay and technical/graphical updates of course.

    I think in that way i have defined a gameplay which is both fun (since it is almost copied from a good game that "worked") and perceived as original as well (most gamers can't remember Powerstone since they're too young and there is no similar game ).

    So i will definitely make that game, it should work.

    Target platform: it is suitable to most consoles but not for PC since it is a fighting game which is not a popular category on PC.

    But if i release it for PC as well, it may easily be one of the best PC fighting games because i have little competition there.

    As someone told me here in this thread, if the execution is good you may have economical success even if there is not much audience matching that category on that platform ( Jak&Dexter is a good example ).

    So i will port it to PC as well ( maybe i'll warn the users to get a gamepad because a mouse+keyboard is not comfortable for fighting games).



    Was my analysis correct in your opinion?

    I've no experience on this, i appreciate if you point me to some resource or book

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
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  2. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    There were a number of years when fighting games were the dominant genre on PC. So if you are going to use "what was popular 15 years ago will sell now" as your business analysis tool, then fighting games are a good way to go.

    The biggest indicators for success are past performance. Have you made other successful games in the past? If not then your nest game is also likely to fail. Regardless of genre and platform.
     
  3. StealThePixels

    StealThePixels

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    Thank you for the reply.

    I think that the best you can do for maximum sales is to invent something really new AND which the public likes.
    But only pros can do that.
    I'm just a beginner in both game design and business analysis, so the best analysis i can do for now is based on past games performance, not inventing so much.

    Maybe the best for now is recycling what had success and add very little changes just to train my creativity, and then observe the results.
    If there is no book on this subject that's the only way to improve
     
  4. LMan

    LMan

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    It sounds like you know who you want to sell to- but when thinking of game dev as a business, especially as an indie, your goal is to carve out an audience- so you want happy eyeballs now, not sales. Just as BoredMormon says, you have to have a track record. Find a niche, crank out products in that niche, use those products to build a following you can sell to. If you can float your business long enough, you might even begin to break even.
     
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  5. frosted

    frosted

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    I think it's worth noting that one of the most difficult things to do with a game is to introduce new concepts to players cleanly. Anything that a player immediately understands, and requires minimum explanation is worth gold, especially as games get more ambitious. Most successful games do not really offer something new, most of them just offer a novel twist on something old - or well executed streamlining (very hard to do well).

    Doing something new is really hard. Like order magnitude harder than relying on established standards. Often times, experimenting with new stuff will teach you rather quickly why the "established standard" is an established standard in the first place.
     
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  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    I like Matt Hall's approach, which he described in this interview. It's hands-on and practical, and he has a track record of success.
     
  7. frosted

    frosted

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    Also worth noting that it seems like most of his top successes were straight up reboots of 80s classics. As far as his "make your game for one person" advice, his imaginary one person for his pac man reboot was the original pac man creator. As much as this makes for great quotes in an interview, I think it might not really be as key to his process as the interview makes it sound.
     
  8. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    That was my initial feeling, too. I'm coming around, though, just as I did with Jesse Schell's "Lens #1: essential experience," which is really just another side of the same coin. So many projects lose their way trying to be everything for everyone.
     
  9. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    The "Make your game for one person" idea as noted in the article - if one real person can't love your game, no one will - seems particularly powerful, and intriguing.

    It gives a clear goal.

    It gives a way to simulate excellent feedback, even if you don't have that real person handy.

    Best of all, it removes distractions - who cares what young males ages 12-25 want? Does Zack, the power-gamer who thinks that mice that can shoot lasers from their eyes is awesome, enjoy this? This game needs more mice that shoot lasers from their eyes!!1!!one!!

    I berate myself for not seeing this one idea sooner. It seems so obvious...in hindsight.
     
  10. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Well look at steam beat em ups. Can an indie beat em up do well sure castle crashers, and a smaller indie, fist of awesome - 50k units. There only 11 pages of beaten ups which is not that many, so it seems like a good pick. Just make it good enough and will probably sell But you could look at the other games on the list using steamspy and see how they did I guess you'd have to do it manually i which is a pain in the ass but whatever
    http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/Brawler/#p=10&tab=TopSellers
    http://steamspy.com/app/305070
     
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  11. StealThePixels

    StealThePixels

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    I'm giving it a look, thanks to your precious responses!
    About http://steamspy.com/app/305070 ... 44k sales is VERY good for an indie 2D game which costs 4$.. no?

    And .. looks like most of those beat'em'ups support mouse+keyboard but are almost unplayable without a gamepad , anyway it looks like most PC gamers have one so a PC game designer can safely have the gamepad in mind, right?
     
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  12. ironbellystudios

    ironbellystudios

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    4 dollars is not the average sale price. That 44k figure includes free copies, bundles, sales, etc.

    However, Powerstone is not a "beat em up" (and I am a huge fan of that game, still have a Dreamcast with a working copy) - its an arena fighter.

    The problem with an arena fighter means you're looking at networking on console, and networking on console can be a huge headache. Much easier on PC (still a big hurdle).

    Anyway, the business analysis you provided is a bit slim. You ID a game style that I agree could use a nice reboot, but your analysis lacks the #1 most important thing: How do you reach fans of Powerstone and similar arena combat games?

    That said, though the mechanics are different, a game like Brawlhallah is more similar: http://steamspy.com/app/291550

    1 million installs (Free to play) is certainly a good figure for a very high quality Smash Bros clone.
     
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  13. StealThePixels

    StealThePixels

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    Arena fighter does not imply online, Powerstone had offline story/tournament and local multiplayer.
    Nevertheless you better add an online mode which is way more exciting than against AI, and local multiplayer is often useless if you have not friends who play games.

    1 million installs for that Brawlhallah are good expecially because it is 2D, i thought we reached saturation with all these 2D indie games but instead it still works if gameplay is solid.
     
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  14. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    How did I miss this article? Thanks so much for sharing. Fantastic!

    TL;DR - 1) Make your game for one person. 2) Watch People play. 3) Be Prepared to Change. 4) Love Your Failures. 5) Be World Class

    Gigi
     
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  15. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    You might have a Season 2 GDZ podcast right there bro. :)
     
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  16. ironbellystudios

    ironbellystudios

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    @StealThePixels - Well Powerstone was offline because it was made in a time where online play would have been near impossible. I cant imagine an arena fighter working on the Dreamcast's 56k modem...

    So like you say, while it isn't required by design to have online mode, the business of creating one basically does require it: and that is what I meant by required :) (Afterall - this is a thread about the business of that game type).

    And now i want to go dust off my old Dreamcast :( Sadly I have nobody to play against because nobody else I know even remembers that game lets alone is any good at it!
     
  17. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    If it's that old remake it so we can all play it.
     
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