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Is a platformer really possible on Mobile

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Magnumstar, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Magnumstar

    Magnumstar

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    I am fairly new to unity, however I find it welcomingly simple to use. I want to start making some real games but one thing is holding me back. Do I create a game for mobile or pc? With mobile there will be so much more exposure and chance of success but my game is limited to mobile screen size (which makes playing a platformer game nearly impossible?) and processing power, but with pc games there is more creative and performance freedom as well as real estate. I'm torn because I want to make some extra money while making a game too, but I don't want to waste several months or years wasting my time. I've already made some 2d board style games but never released them or finished them because they're too boring! I really want to start on a platform game but don't know if I should focus on mobile or pc design. Are there any good documents which show pc vs mobile indie success rates or game types based on platform that do the best? Any advice to get me rolling would be appreciated.
     
  2. mgear

    mgear

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    I'm not so sure that's the case anymore.. and i think its more common that the successful (mobile) publishers had tens or more "less successful" games published before hitting something good. (which could mean years of work).

    Fastest way to income would be selling asset in assets store..or going to work in some company to do games etc.

    just my initial thoughts.. but of course its possible to hit success, or use kickstarter too to get started :)
     
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  3. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    I guess it's how you to design the game. A game supermeatboy a highly precise platformer is not going to work but if you tried something like temple run using swipes then it would least work for mobile.

    Now the next part is pr is your game going to get any, remember of mobile there's more then 500 released each day. Now steam has a lot less games released each day so you got a better shot. Id guess as more and more games are greenlight you are going to see that low end start to normalize sadly. Anyway id still go with pc because people are still willing to pay 5-15 for a indie game so even if you only sold 1k units at $5 a pop it's still more then the mobile low end who aren't even willing to pay $1
    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/...S_last_year_and_other_digital_sales_facts.php



     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  4. Magnumstar

    Magnumstar

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I know the release rate on mobile devices is much higher than any other platform which scares me. Games like limbo breath hope into my ambitions but the uniqueness and quality of the art and game play isn't easily achieved in my eyes.

    Super meat boy is actually my motivation for building a game and is my inspiration. If two guys can do that then the sky is literally the limit.

    As for platform specific design goes I really dislike the imagined constraints of mobile development but in the same regard mobile design is a great way to get some credibility in the field (resume with an Android app or iOS app with an abundance of downloads proves something). I am a mid level programmer which is my driving force because I'm not too artsy.

    I'm still brand new in the game development field so I'm naive which could work to my benefit.
     
  5. LMan

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    I'm afraid you're under a few false impressions about how getting into game development is going to go.

    Anything is possible, on practically any platform. Everything takes a lot of work, and a lot of time. Most businesses take 3 years to turn profitable, and Game dev is no different- please don't believe that you will hit it big on your first release, or even turn a profit. Your first projects are investments of time and money with the intent to grow in the future.

    Indies of all industries have tread this path, and the zen-like truth of the matter is that you don't have to convince everybody to like your product, just enough to keep you in business.

    The path that seems to lead to sustainable business seems to involve the following:

    Pick a niche market that you identify with to target with your products. For instance, Retro Platformers. If those don't sell on mobile, don't put them on mobile.

    Research your target thoroughly- make a list of online communities where they can be found. Make a list of youtubers and games press that cater to those people- and start to build relationships in that circle however you can.

    Meanwhile, make games. Good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones. Always show them off, even if they aren't finished. If anybody likes them, make sure to loop them in to your newsletter or social media site.

    Don't stop, keep going till your audience grows to your desired level of sustainability.
     
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  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Your first game is going to suck. This is a fact. Make it quickly, get it into the market. Move on.

    Your next game will still suck, but less then your first one. Make it quickly, get it into the market. Move on.

    Repeat this about a dozen times. Then you will start producing games worth playing. You will also know the answer to what things work on each platform.
     
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  7. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Your first game doesnt have to suck you can keep iterating on it. As long as you choose a game you love to work on
     
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  8. GarBenjamin

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    I agree completely about the improvement process. Be great if they waited until the 3rd or 5th game so they aren't throwing stuff out on the marketplaces that suck. lol
     
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  9. Kiwasi

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    Bringing something to market is a skill that needs practicing just as much as coding or art or game design. A great product can fail because the launch is screwed up.

    Plus the act of putting a product in the market gives a great sense of closure. It's too easy to keep working on a game that is dead, long after you should be moving on. I made this mistake with Pond Wars, I should have stopped with it six months before I did.

    Finally the feedback from actual players is invaluable. Getting an average rating of 2.2 was a great wake up call that I'm not as good as I think I am. Not by a long shot. And a total of 200 plays indicates that no one really cares.

    There are markets around that are designed to be flooded. Places like Kongregate or Facebook make great places to release first games.
     
  10. GarBenjamin

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    Okay yeah that makes perfect sense and I am all for people flooding FB and the web game portals with their learning games.

    Not so much the actual real marketplaces such as Steam and mobile. Well actually it is probably too late for mobile so yeah I guess at this point might as well throw everything out there as well.
     
  11. LMan

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    I was just thinking about that! Mobile might be a little different just because of the ubiquity of phones. So the kind of traffic in those marketplaces might be a little more resilient, Plus, it's in the interest of those running the marketplaces to curate so that the cream rises to the top, so to speak. Sure there's plenty of saturation with low quality, but they tend to fall to the bottom as soon as they drop.
     
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  12. Magnumstar

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    Great advice gentlemen. I've already finished a game and it doesn't so much suck as it is just misguided. I have no experience with unity ui design which is a bummer for the game. It looks like a experiment at this point but is very functional as a word finding, pieces fall to replace, type game. I won't release this, I'm new not ignorant. I want to make games first and for most, money and fame can come second to that.
     
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  13. Ryiah

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    Why not throw it up on a web portal like itch.io? That seems to be the place of choice for first games.
     
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  14. LMan

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    Release it!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by putting out your first offering. It takes a lot of guts, but I assure you, it will be worth it.
     
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  15. Aiursrage2k

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    What i would do with pond wars is make a sequel hire an artist and see if it does any better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  16. Kiwasi

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    You are welcome to make a clone and try it. An artist certainly could add some extra impact to the game. There are also a dozens of extra ways you could add to the game, with bonuses or single player or fish, or networked multi player or... You get the idea.

    And yet the core experience would remain the same. The core challenges around input and pacing and timing and engagement and the audience would still be there.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of the game. It's not a bad design. But I know I can do better. And I can learn more about game design by approaching a completely new design then I can from polishing an old one.
     
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  17. Magnumstar

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    I hear that boredmormon, I almost abandoned this game because I know so much more now then I did when I started this game a month ago. I also played your game on Kong. Fun and addictive.

    So I want to release my first game, word blocks or something decruptive like that. I just need to figure out where to release it. If it's going to be mobile I will need to figure out how screen sizing works for mobile but that's it. If I can't figure that out tonight or tomorrow I will just release to kongregate... Thanks @LMan and @Ryiah
     
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  18. Kiwasi

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    Kongregate is a good litmus test. If its moderately successful there, it will probably work on other platforms.
     
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  19. Aiursrage2k

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  20. Kiwasi

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    So it doesn't work for everyone. Making people pay for something that used to be free is always a risky move. But there are success stories too. For example Creeper World has a free version on kongregate and a paid version on their website. Bloons TD has the same thing, there are separate versions on Kong and on the various mobile devices. There are probably tons more examples of distribution on multiple platforms working.
     
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  21. Ryiah

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    How long was it originally on Kongregate? Was it expanded upon commercial release? Thomas Was Alone started as a Flash-based game in 2010 but was converted and expanded to a commercial title two years later. It achieved ~170,000 gameplays on Kongregate but now has ~800,000 sales on Steam.

    http://steamspy.com/app/220780
    http://www.kongregate.com/games/mikebithell/thomas-was-alone
     
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  22. Magnumstar

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  23. tedthebug

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    You can put it on gamejolt as well. You get a share of ad revenue so if people love it you may earn some pocket money & if people don't like it you are no worse off. People can rate it & leave comments. Just case it to learn when the busy release periods are so you can put it up I. A quiet time & get more plays.
     
  24. Magnumstar

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    Wow, the games displayed on the splash look incredible. I have a lot more to improve and need to expand my creative vision. I can't wait to get into 3D or isometric 2D games because then I get to play with Nvidia's Physx and that will make things more interesting. Bonsai word is custom physics (if you can call it that) when the pieces fall into place. I tried to design that functionality with Unity's physics and gravity but the result was more difficult than if I just made my own.
     
  25. tedthebug

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    Gamejolt is a mix tho, there are some that have so little working they aren't even games. I've put prototypes up to get player feedback, one of them has been played 90+ times so I know to focus on that one first. Even if they don't leave comments it helps get some idea of what people look at
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
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  26. Gigiwoo

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    You could post it in Feedback Friday. Feedback for learning with no risk.
    Gigi
     
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  27. Magnumstar

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    This I will do. Can I post the completed project or just unfinished? It should be done this weekend.
     
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  28. tedthebug

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    Most playable version. As long as the core game mechanics are there (& win/loss) so people can make an assessment & provide feedback then that's normally plenty. I've put prototype stuff on gamejolt then linked them in the feedback & got good info back. Mine used placeholder art in the style I wanted, placeholder sounds (if at all) & basic UI to provide score, info for the player etc. but the core gameplay was there for people to test.


    Ps. Are you an Aussie by any chance?
     
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  29. Magnumstar

    Magnumstar

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    No mate (lol) I am American, but sometimes wish I was an Aussie. At least then I would see kangaroos instead of jack asses like Donald trump all the time. I want to do game jolt, kongregate and play store this weekend but need to make art icons which I'm hopeless at.
     
  30. Kiwasi

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    Back to the OP question, a true platformer on mobile will be difficult. At best you can count on two controls for mobile. Any more then this and you overwhelm the input scheme. A platformer normally requires 3 controls, left, right and jump. This makes execution on a mobile difficult.
     
  31. Magnumstar

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    I see what you are saying bordedmormon, you need accuracy in these games as movement accuracy is a weapon in a sense. Maybe I could use the phones accelerometer or gyroscope to act as the movements, breaking out of traditional platformer design and leaving jump and another action open for touch on the screen. I just think to limbo when I wonder about this game genre on mobile device.
     
  32. Kiwasi

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    What you see on mobiles is infinite runners. The moving forward/up is done automatically by the system. Players get to control one dimension (ie left/right).

    The biggest constraint on mobiles is not graphics or processing power or memory. Its input. Its why games like flappy bird and crossy road can be successful. They have matched the game play to deal with mobiles biggest constraint.
     
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  33. tedthebug

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    The controls on world of tanks blitz work well for most players, you just end up picking the tank class you are best at controlling. They have a joystick for the tank, a joystick for the turret/elevation, a button to shoot, a button to zoom, up to 3 buttons to use items.
     
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  34. tedthebug

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    It isn't a big market but there are Bluetooth controllers/gamepads for mobile devices. I used to use one before the battery stopped holding a charge.
     
  35. Magnumstar

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  36. Magnumstar

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  37. BonyYousuf

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  38. Gigiwoo

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    @BonyYousuf - Nice necro. And also, grats on the game.

    Gigi