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SUGGESTION: Make a play tester area on the forums

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Not_Sure, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Teila

    Teila

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    I agree..how did that happen? Threads were removed to keep on topic and it went off topic instead. lol
     
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  2. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I dunno we.was.just talking.

    I don't think its so far out of bounds. The stuff that got removed was anders complaining about his unfair treatments.
     
  3. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I respect this, but it needs to be balanced.

    There are many examples of highly popular products which are not the top of their field in terms of quality, design, etc. Do Macdonalds make the best hamburgers? Do Bethesda make the best RPGs? Do GoPro make the best cameras? No doubt all of those products are good, but they aren't "top dog" in their fields because their products alone are "top dog".

    Edit: Yeah, maybe time for a thread split? ;)
     
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  4. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Agreed. Its just mindset. Mindset to fire up the troops. Not same mindset when its time.to put on publisher hat.

    Well, it is strategy to a degree as well. But if I am saying I must be top dog and I believe I can be it.doesnt mean I am divorced from reality. It just frames how I operate.
     
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  5. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Yea... see part of the problem is that this a public forum with no real barriers. I still get regular request all the time for code, help and input from posts I made years ago. Including the occasional request to intern or interview for a company I no longer work for. Even just posting examples of work end up in tons of unwanted requests. It's just not worth it. While there are folks here that I do value their opinions or input, it is way more effective to just PM them and/or have group threads.

    --

    It's also important to recognize this site for what it is, is a forum/support site for anyone wanting to use the Unity engine. That is going to draw largely folks new to the engine and probably game development. It is sort of a first port of call. And that is great. It is very useful and a great resource. There are things that could improve sure, but it is important to recognize it for what it is. It is the welcome lobby in an MMO or equivalent. I don't mean that in a negative way, everyone needs to start somewhere and that place should helpful and useful. You aren't going to get much in the way of input from, for example, marketing specialists or BI folks contributing much (if at all) here. They have a place they talk. For the professional community, there are other "rooms". Places where you can have discussions with peers. (often they are are location or discipline based). Again, this isn't a negative thing, but recognition of the role this site plays. It is the "Unity Community Support Forums", that will define the general type and direction of content/conversation here. Certainly there will exceptions, but it isn't practical to assume those exceptions will be the rule or focus.
     
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  6. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Generally it is mostly on topic. The OP was about the structure of the forums/site most of the discussions are pretty close to that topic.
     
  7. Billy4184

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    If you're in the olympics, a difference of 0.01 can be a very big one.

    For most indies though, reaching the better part of a game's potential is directly a question of focusing on creating a good game, and communicating clearly in the marketing what it has to offer. That's the big question for most indies (and their potential players for that matter) - can I make a good game? Many or most cannot. For a studio like Bethesda, that question doesn't even need to be asked.
     
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  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Yeah and, just my opinion and narrow scope of observation, but the things holding a lot of beginners back is way more basic than high level strategies. It's stuff like managing work/life, working like a professional, going to sleep on time, dealing with insecurity and lack of motivation, low attention span, lack of personal responsibility and accountability, dunning keuegger syndrome, etc etc etc.

    All human issues, not technical or strategy. Kind of issues stemming from lack of experience, or too much bad experience, or just general non-learner syndrome.
     
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  9. GameDevCouple_I

    GameDevCouple_I

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    Not really willing to personal divulge details about a pitch publically here on a forum but I am happy to in private - have just pm'd you :)

    But no I agree about testing being important, thats not what I meant though, forgive me if I did not explain my point properly.

    All I was saying is that from personal experience, any serious publisher who is taking a reasonable stake (30%-40%) will want any and all publically available communication and info about the project to not be an afterthought but to be a well thought out part of the release plan. Posting info about your game on forums publically available can be a good thing as much as it can also be a bad thing, and once its out there its out there. If you intend to get a publisher who is also going to manage your release like the ones I am meeting with will do, then they will want to have at least a 'say' in what, where and when something is posted and therefore its best to hold off until you finalise said deal. Conversly, if you dont plan to get a publisher or intend to manage your own release, its probably less important than getting early testing. However if you are getting a publisher, its likely they will assemble groups for focus testing etc anyway.

    Sorry didnt want to sound like I was just crapping on FF if thats how it came across!

    EDIT: Sorry if this was pushing it back off topic, I will refrain from posting again on this subject but did not want to seem like I was ghosting @Teila
     
  10. MrArcher

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    How would people feel about moving threads from WIP to the Asset Store/Made With Unity subforums once they're released?

    I took a look at the first page of the WIP forum, and the results were as follows:

    14 WIP (assets, games and smaller tech demos)
    12 Assets released on the asset store
    3 Assets released on other sources (git etc)

    While many of the released assets are being actively worked on, I wouldn't call them a work in progress any more, it's more like post-release support and updates. Keeping the forum strictly for WIP games and assets (which are then moved to the Asset Store or Made With Unity once released) might help keep the forum more focused.

    Coming back to the original topic, this might be more encouraging for those who're interested in continuous feedback (including playtesting). At the moment it feels like (to me and completely subjectively) a new WIP post will get buried within a few days with all the asset store thread updates.
     
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  11. Martin_H

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    I just tried in incognito mode and for the name of your game the steam store etc. are first, but your wip thread is still on page one.

    I was just thinking about this before I read your post: I'm currently getting 1 or 2 free games per week from the Epic Games Store (that's ~80ish per year) and another 8 to 10 per month from humble monthly (another ~100 per year), and both only release stuff that has already proven itself on merit - I'm not sure "selling on merit" will be sustainable for indies much longer. I think the future might be in "They don't buy what you're making, they buy why you're doing it", were a "purchase" always is primarily a "statement", and it matters whom the customers feels like they're supporting or putting down with that statement.


    @frosted & @BIGTIMEMASTER Your game doesn't have any metacritic user reviews, and that site is on page 1 of the search results, maybe try and get people to review it there?
     
  12. Billy4184

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    I think the why is definitely important especially for indies - marketing your personality and character is a unique and powerful way to get people interested and build a community. There's no doubt it's very useful.

    However, I've spent a lot of time looking through steam lately for examples of a particular kind of game (as I've done a few times in the past), and I've come to the conclusion that games mostly get what they deserve based on quality. Some games (with better marketing content and presentation) sell substantially better, some games in more saturated styles (e.g. 2D) sell worse than you'd expect. At the lower and higher end of quality and content things get a bit more variable. But generally I haven't found a solid game where the sales stats (based on number of reviews) just don't make sense at all, based on the gameplay video and the content of the reviews. I'm sure they exist here and there and for one reason or another, but I haven't come across one yet.

    I believe Mike Rose said in a GDC talk that when you take all the obviously low quality games off steam, the average game makes ~$10k or something similar. I'm willing to bet that for a solid game that is well-presented with decent marketing, and that doesn't have glaring holes, weird or awkward design choices, the sales stats are going to be pretty consistent with the market demand for that kind of game, and not greatly affected by any small-scope marketing tactics.

    Large-scope, long-term strategies like community building, and especially involving players in development, are of course going to have a big impact.
     
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  13. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    For my game it won't matter much, for Your game it will. When I search for my game it does not sit on first page at all if I do not do it in incognito.

    Like I said earlier, we don't market at all right now, so unity WIP is the only place with new content that Google have access to (we market to our 500 discord users too). Google weights hits vs how new the content is, that's why it's now on first page.

    The other guy that talked about it being a metric does not know what he talks about
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  14. Martin_H

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    That's still terrible though. I can't make a good game for 10k$ worth of my time. Nowhere close (even if I was good at making games, which I'm not, but that's beside the point)...


    I agree with the notion that there are no "true hidden gems", but based on the average revenue numbers quoted above, I'd less charitably interpret that as every game that doesn't become "a hit", is a "catastrophic commercial failure". Something like Ori costs millions to make at that quality level, Subnautica cost 10 millions. And that likely still are numbers only possible with (self)exploitative working conditions.
    And it's probably systemically impossible to "force a hit" even under the assumption that people could figure out how to reliably do it, because then so many would do it that the plattforms are no longer able to sustain "hit-levels-of-interest" for that large of a number of titles. The steam store page isn't big enough for that and the attentionspan of people isn't long enough.
    Not sure where I'm going with this, so I'll stop ranting now.


    That can have big overlap with what I'm saying. Involving players heavily is a big statement about the identity of your company (if you actually follow through, otherwise it's "a lie" and another kind of statement is made).



    Good to know, thanks!
     
  15. Billy4184

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    I'm certainly not saying that the game market is really great. My main point is that at the level of most indies, the determining factor really is how good a game is, given decent marketing. It's not about finding some tweak or tactic in the system.

    That said, remember that average is after removing games that were, according to Rose, obvious garbage. If I remember correctly (been a while) there was a value of 30k or so mentioned afterward, perhaps for 'good' games.

    A lot of this is a bit fuzzy. I'd simply venture the opinion that if you are above average within the subset of 'non-garbage' games, and have good marketing, you have a decent chance of getting a perfectly acceptable return by first world standards.

    That's only the beginning though. A game is a huge connection of different vocations, technical skills, management skills and decisions, workflows, etc, all of which have impact on the project costs. Using some blender scripts and substance designer for example I've found ways to incredibly optimize modelling and texturing time. Using the asset store wisely will likely save a lot of money too - that's what the original Rebel Galaxy, a 2-man game that was perfectly successful by any standard, did. Over the course of hundreds of assets and many, many hours, the decisions you make at different points are going to dramatically affect the total cost. Even not making a wrong turn in the game design will save a lot of money.

    If a game looks shoddy on steam, imagine how shoddy the management of the project probably was, which was never intended for the public to see.

    So I really don't get it when people think game dev is luck or whims of the market or down to some tactic. There's so much in it that's so easy to do badly, there's no time to worry about luck when you've got so many things to straighten out.
     
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  16. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    BTW, Billy4184 just opened this weekend's Feedback Friday. While it recommends sharing a minimum viable product, that's really to help devs, especially new devs, narrow their focus so they don't get overwhelmed. If you want to put up something larger for playtesting I'm sure plenty of people will be happy to play it and provide feedback.
     
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  17. Billy4184

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    Good point, I think that's probably unnecessary and removing would encourage people to keep bringing their games back throughout development. Let's take it out?
     
  18. AndersMalmgren

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  19. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Pre-justification of failure. Indicates poor attitude and terrible place to begin from.

    I really value Martin's opinion and experience, but I think the method of grabbing at a few numbers and drawing a conclusion is not useful.and only indicates a personality of way of viewing the world.

    So take Martin's view that there is too much game and being good is not enough. Maybe his data is right. Maybe conclusion is too.

    Take the other guy saying when u remove the low effort junk, prospects are reasonable. May be he is right. Maybe not. May be he is a fool fooling himself.

    But one guy is making games, and the other, sadly is not.

    One counts numbers and is sad about it, the other counts numbers and does just enough work to make a positive spin. Neither of them habe done real science - that would take years of data gathering. What they have both done is managed their emotions, nothing more.

    To me, manage the emotions towards the goal you desire is 90 percent of success.

    I'll give one more example from my own experience.

    I did some "elite" training courses in army. First, army is small subset of population. Within army, something like one percent is infantry. Less for airborne. From that, tiniest amount even gets selected to go to this course. From those, 90 percent fail. If you show the numbers to 19 year old me and ask if I seriously believe I have a chance, what should my.answer be?

    But I didn't fail. Is it because I had some special upbringing or talent? Not even close. I'm neither clever nor athletic. I just always find a way to view the odds in my favor. It's not optimism versus pessimism. It's not being a realist versus being romantic. It is seeing clearly reality. Seeing clearly when the mind is creating something that drives towards the goal or not. If something helps, encourage. If hurts, ignore it.

    Sounds like a method of deluding oneself, but if you think there is anything else your mind is for then you are suffering from dunning krueger- believing you are capable of something nobody is.

    The only real choice that matters is maintaining a faith that you can reach your goal. Then it is a simple.matter of straightening every little thing you find to point towards goal and keep inching forward, as Billy put it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  20. AndersMalmgren

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    Quality sadly does not equal success. But luck doesn't do it either. It's a combo of a good product, in the right time with the right marketing, and a little luck.
     
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  21. Ryiah

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    Completely depends on who we're talking about. For a beginner who has been watching the Unity forum it's more that he's been told repetitively that it's very unlikely you will succeed with references to authoritative sites like Gamasutra and GDC.

    To be fair though luck and whims of the market are real things. We have games out there now that if they hadn't gone viral likely wouldn't have been anywhere near as successful as they are. Trying to understand why they went viral is difficult, and repeating that once you understand it is nearly impossible.
     
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  22. Billy4184

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    True, but I think it's worth separating general success from virality. I would never make a game depending on it to go viral. To me that's just like winning the lottery or something.
     
  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Everybody got their own definition of success. I don't care about going viral or even being popular. Goal is to be able to make one game which funds another and another and so on.
     
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  24. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    To be able to really live off game dev and have a rich standard of living (In a western industrial country) you actually need to go pretty much viral.For a one man team atleast a sale figure of 200k USD a year and thats after all expenses are excluded like Steam fees etc.

    200k+ USD might not sound much, but its just a tiny fraction of all indies that make that.
     
  25. Billy4184

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    If your sole intention was to make money and you were willing to make every decision in your game dev business based on profitability, I doubt that would be hard to achieve that within a year or two (no business is profitable from the start, and very few first products are successful, so it always takes a period of time). And this without any reliance on virality. The key is to simply go and find what people play the most of, and put in an excellent job of creating exactly that.

    The problem is that while almost every business out there in every domain works the same way, creating everything completely around the desires and needs of the customer and operating on whatever business model is the most profitable, game dev does sort of the opposite. It's a) usually not primarily designed for the customer, but for the creator and b) not primarily designed for or taking every opportunity to extract profit. Then it is really only by some unique combination of chance and sheer quality of craftsmanship that it will be as profitable as the average successful business of the same scale.
     
  26. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    200k is totally arbitrary standard to hold oneself too. Most my adult life I have lived "rich" on 25k or less per year. (This isnt including time when i was in army, that dont count)

    Depends were u live and how much of a prima Donna you are is all. Or if you make babies or not.
     
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