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New Business - Mobile or Steam (PC) ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flashonline_unity, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. flashonline_unity

    flashonline_unity

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    Hello community !
    For a new Business in Game Development, which platform is better to start with and why ? Mobile (Appstore, Google Play) or PC (Steam) ?

    Also:
    Which strategy will have more chances to assure a ”sustainable” income and a company growth ?

    1. A medium quality FPS game (good, almost realistic graphics, decent story but definitely not a AAA game), with no marketing budget, published on steam. (Development time: 12 months. Team: 5 developers and 5 salary.)
    2. 5-6 Hyper Casual games with good quality graphics and mechanics (at least 2-3 of them with new and original mechanics), with a good marketing strategy ? (Development time: 12 months. Team: 2 developers and 2 salary.)

    Tough choice, I know :D
    Thank you in advance for all your feedback ;)
     
  2. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Both markets, mobile and Steam, are flooded with new games. If you make an amazing game and market it extremely well, you can make money with either market. But it is not easy. Make what ever you are passionate about. Release new games as often as you can. Most new games will be ignored, so releasing more frequently can give you a better chance to get noticed.

    Of the two options you listed, #2 will probably be more likely to work simply because you would have "a good marketing strategy" instead of "no marketing budget".
     
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  3. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    Abandon Steam, it's like least favourable right now, and probably be even less in about a year or so. And as mentioned - it's overflooded with low-quality low-budget indie games.

    Epic Games Store if you're going to target PC. Like literally best place you can be right now. (Just make sure your game fits their quality needs);

    Hyper Casual for mobile is probably that never-ending thing on the mobile market.
    Just make sure you can pay for installs / adverstisement, otherwise you won't be able to slip into that overcrowded market.
     
  4. Zuntatos

    Zuntatos

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    1) Ignore the mobile market. Entirely. It's only casual games and there's a gazillion for every possible genre with massive marketing budgets. Variety of games is heavily limited due to playtime constraints and input methods.
    2) Don't bother making a standard platformer/FPS game. Find a genre that is both sort of common yet underdeveloped. Mix genres to make something unique.
    3) Put in a lot of effort.
    4) Ensure your effort actually results in a *good* game. People must be willing to buy it.
    5) I really can't stress 3) and 4) enough.
    6) Put it on steam - if steam's algorithm finds out people buy your game if they end up on your store page, steam will send more people to your store page. It is exponentially reinforcing - a "70%" quality game may end up making 5k, while a "80%" quality game may end up making 50k, and a "90%" quality game 500k. So again, 3) and 4) are crucial.

    Don't listen to all the hate on steam being flooded. Watch this video:
     
  5. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    That video is fantastic. Just keep in mind that video is from last summer. A lot more games have been pumped onto Steam since then, and the rate of new games per day has increased as well.
     
  6. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    A medium quality FPS is going to get you nowhere. FPS is sasturated with AAA quality titles, how on earth do you expect a low budget medium quality title to stand out? And no, having a 'unique mechanic' that the other games don't have is not going to make a difference.

    You're better off with the 5-6 hyper casual games. Lower development footprint and you can learn/fail faster. But once again with Voodoo and Ketchapps success, hyper casual is over-saturated now and Voodoo/Ketchapp are acquiring all the users with their huge marketing budgets, so your low budget games will just sink into oblivion.

    My advice? Don't do either.
     
  7. drcrck

    drcrck

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  8. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Why?
     
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Budget spent on development team.
     
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  10. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Well unless this is some kind of 'my time is not part of my budget' idea, it sounds like a pretty bad approach. It's like opening a restaurant without tables and chairs in the middle of the 10th floor of an office block, because budget was spent on good food.
     
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  11. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    At this point, Epic Games Store is great for the very few games that are allowed on it. So far, the Epic Game Store does not let unknown indie games onto the store. That will probably change at some point. Nobody should even consider abandoning Steam, especially not indies. Steam is very indie friendly, and Epic's new game is not at all indie friendly so far.

    If the only advantage for Epic's store is the lack of small indie titles, then what possible benefit is that for small indie developers? How many games have you released on Steam? How many games have you released on Epic's Game Store?
     
  12. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    There's only like 60 games on Epic. This is not a store you should bank on getting accepted to, especially for a first time PC release.
     
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  13. devotid

    devotid

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    Does anyone know if the Epic games store backend is decent to use?

    I was thinking of trying to get my new game on there. Its in EA right now and doing really well but I have been thinking about looking at other venues to sell at. I have been on steam for 5 years now. I think it's time to start looking around. lol
     
  14. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    If by "decent" you mean "dramatically less complicated" then sure, it's decent, but I'm not sure that's for any reason than the fact that there's just not a lot going on in the backend right now because the store is so incomplete
     
  15. devotid

    devotid

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    "dramatically less complicated" than what? Steam? IMO Steam is not complicated at all.
     
  16. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Steam, for all its goodness, has a lot of weird UX issues when it comes to actually managing games, I find, especially if you want to use a lot of the backend services they provide. In the case of Epic, a lot of those services don't really exist, which makes things less complicated.

    But compared to stuff like GoG, Windows Store, etc., Steam is absolutely far more complicated.
     
  17. devotid

    devotid

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    IMO the Steam class is the coolest feature of the whole thing. The ability to see your users friends, Date of purchase, Steam persona Names, Avatars, Leaderboards, etc etc etc. So many things you can do.... That Ive never seen on any other sites.

    I use Steamworks.net and its very powerful. Im even working on some special assets for customers of mine that have purchased older games of mine. I can look up if they own an App id in the steamworks.net class and then grant them something cool for being a repeat buyer/supporter. But Im rambling now.

    I think you meant to say "Far more powerful" ;)
     
  18. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    No. I mean both. It's more powerful but also a UX nightmare.
     
  19. devotid

    devotid

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    Sorry forgot to answer the original question...

    I would def do 3-4 smaller quick games as it will give you more experience. They are quicker to return a budget for the next game. Also test early and often. Make sure you are sticking your teams time into a good idea/game. Dont build a game for a year and then find out its not what you thought it was.

    Dont be afraid to use plugins and dont reinvent the wheel in the first few games. ie: dont write a complete game save feature when you can purchase a solid good one and save a ton of time. You can show everybody later in your career that you have the greatest code ever but for now you are just trying to get some games out and test the waters. Focus most of your time on what you think makes your game most unique and polish that. Use trusted plugins/systems for the vanilla stuff. (Input, Game Saving, etc). Ive rambled on enough.... haha

    Steam is flooded but fair. Im on my 3rd game on there and I am finally getting traction and getting noticed. But I wish I would have just made a few more smaller games so it didnt take me 6 years to learn. lol.

    Good Luck. :)
     
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  20. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Wait until apple comes with AR glasses next year I feel like that is going to be a gamechanger for the mobile market.
     
  21. Zuntatos

    Zuntatos

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    Okay so you have these platforms: (summary ish below)
    1) PC -> keyboard + mouse, static sitting with screens
    Lots of buttons on keyboard, mouse is very good for pointing, basically everyone in a gaming audience has one of some sort. Variety of hardware, need to support lowest common denominator.

    2) xbone/ps4/switch -> controller, static sitting with screens (ignoring the very few motion uses the switch joycon has imo)
    You lose a lot of buttons, and pointing is limited. This removes some genres from existing - management heavy genres like civilization aren't usable. Benefit is known level of hardware, additional market to PC gamers.

    3) VR 'sort of' -> PC/console but you can look left and right
    Basically PC/console but limited to those with the required VR gear (= small % of the market?) or future dedicated VR gear ( = even smaller, long time before it's big)

    4) "True" VR -> controller, moving around physically
    - high end PC required, VR gear required
    - buttons are limited to ~half a console controller
    - but you get the hand movement, player position input.
    Extra work to dev - need to make the UI work with physical hand movement. Market is still tiny. Got to work around motion sickness issues. Critically, you most of the time end up with an ingame player that is hard to move around (except for ~1 meter radius at a time). This really limits design choices. A lot of games are "stand still and hack & slash" or "stand still and shoot at xyz" or "stand still and interact with xyz". There is some variety and novelty possible of course, in ways that are not available to tradditional platforms.

    5) "S***" VR -> phone on head
    - probably good for 360 video and similar uses, but I haven't noticed any serious games being made for this.

    6) Phone games
    - limited to touch screen as input method; preferably limiting game play time to < 5 minutes at a time. variety of hardware (generally low end compared to pc/console). Screen size is relatively tiny as well. Generally people don't want to pay a decent sum up front to install a game here, so you end up having to make a micro transaction / ad based game. All together it really limits general game design choice. Mostly this means casual cartoony games based on slowing grinds to funnel you into micro transactions. They're all very similar. (Some exceptions exist though; there are some decent games!)

    7) AR glasses would mostly be like 4) here, but with the option of showing the real world behind your content while at the same time having (for now?) smaller field of view.


    It really seems to me like VR/AR are awesome for what they can do, but what they can't do is the huge variety of tradditional games. They're a niche sort of.
    Speaking of niches: If you can convince 0.1% of steam gamers to buy your game, you have 100k+ sales and your game sells reasonably well (depending on team size/cost of course). For consoles I guess similar numbers apply.
    Less then 1% of steam users have a VR headset according to the steam hardware survey. So to get the same revenue, you now have to convince 10%+ of your potential steam customers to buy your game.

    I'm quite sure it's easier to make something that appeals to 0.1% of steam gamers, then 10% of VR steam gamers.
    I'm also quite sure it's easier to find a genre that is underdeveloped on PC then on mobile.

    Hence I made a game for steam on PC in a genre that was underdeveloped in my experience.

    DISCLAIMER: This all applies to gameplay driven games. If you're making a very story focused game, it's all a bit different. Your unique selling point of your story. Still shouldn't limit it by platform constraints though.

    This got really long =/
     
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  22. flashonline_unity

    flashonline_unity

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    Thank you very much #Zuntatos
    It was a relay good breakdown on this topic.
     
  23. devotid

    devotid

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    Dont make a VR game as your first game. Just NO. Some of the best VR games out there dont even have a 100 reviews.... No ONE is buying them yet. Its still not time. I own one and still ALWAYS go back to my favorite mouse and keyboard games.
     
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  24. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    This. In my opinion you need an audience to be successful with games made for VR as the only people who regularly look for VR games are relatively few in number compared to the number of people who have actual VR headsets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  25. Murgilod

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    Not only that, but you'd better be able to make an actual game because VR suffers from a lot of notable mediocrity. If you're making a VR game and you go to market with Yet Another Shooting Gallery, nobody's going to buy it.