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1065423 Posts in 43462 Topics- by 35488 Members - Latest Member: chaosemerald

November 21, 2014, 04:09:26 PM
TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesHumble indie bundle - pay whatever you want
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Author Topic: Humble indie bundle - pay whatever you want  (Read 56972 times)
increpare
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« Reply #400 on: December 17, 2010, 06:29:57 AM »

I had a friend in the Gaza strip once, every time I talked to him and asked him how he was, he would say something like "terrible, someone I knew got shot today".  I tried to help him out with visa stuff, but in the end I found I didn't have the energy or imagination to continue staying in touch with him Sad

I don't think I can help you with your life, but I can give feedback on your game (I don't think you've posted it anywhere yet?), and there are people here who can give you info as to how to go about making money.  

[I assume, given the context, that derailing this thread a little bit is ok - if mods want to split it that's fine by me]
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« Reply #401 on: December 17, 2010, 07:01:28 AM »

Thanks :D

Any help is welcome... And the game has a post in the feedback forum, 2 on the devlog forum (one for the game, that noone bothered to read or comment and thus I don't bothered to update after a while, and one about the arcade cabinet I am building), it got featured on IndieDB Indie of the Month in August (or July... don't remember exactly), it was shown on the IndieDB IOTY trailer, I posted it on several other forums (even gamedev.net), I made a IndieGoGo thing (like Kickstarter for non-US people), posted in several sites, even shareware sites have old versions of the game...

That is what made me upset with CC in the Bundle, I spend 60% of my time trying to talk about the game and spread it, but somehow it is not working at all...

And sorry for derailing the thread, it was not my intention >.<
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« Reply #402 on: December 17, 2010, 07:10:40 AM »

Oh, right, paddle wars Smiley
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« Reply #403 on: December 17, 2010, 07:20:42 AM »

Speeder, thank you for your honesty. If it makes you feel better at all, I am in a comparable amount of debt right now. By the looks of the bundle sales stats, it won't be for much longer, but I was also in the same situation when I first started selling Cortex Command exactly three years ago. That sales event fixed my financial situation back then too. However, if your game projects are really not generating much interest right now, I would suggest you consider a temporary strategy to right your finances before coming back and giving living off of gamedev another go.. If you have the technical chops to put a computer game together, there's lots of boring but lucrative contracting/freelancing opportunities you can get into.

Matthew: Arbitrary because the point where you go from finding the release interval to be 'acceptable' to 'unacceptable' is arbitrarily and subjectively set by you. As a game developer yourself, you happen to be exceptionally well-informed about what it takes to make a game, but I still feel it is unfair and unwarranted for you to project your own development time estimates and expectations onto me and how quickly I choose to make progress on my project. Your Blurst games were made in ~8 weeks each, but Cactus churns out a complete game in a weekend.. Does that make you Blurst guys unacceptably lazy bastards? The average game consumer has an even less of an idea - let alone justification - to project their progress expectations onto me or any developer.

I understand people's wishful thinking, and I'd also be delighted if I could make my games in one tenth of the time!! Alas, it won't happen, based on an endless list of variables, such as: how I design the scope of my projects, the tools I use, my work habits, how I choose to balance gamedev in my overall life, etc, etc.. and no amount of sarcastic comments, snide remarks, or outright fan forum rage is going to really change any of those variables.. but instead cause irritation and probably less motivation in me to work.

As for the "implicit contracts" of communities and all that jazz, I only have to say this: I am voluntarily making the game for MY fun and profit. The customers are voluntarily playing, modding, and evangelizing it for THEIR fun and "profit" (if not monetary, then psychic and social profit). They are not doing those things for my sake, c'mon! I don't owe them anything for doing that, just as they don't owe me anything for building the damn thing and enabling their community to exist in the first place.

I spent a lot of extra effort to design my game to be as moddable as I possibly could make it, and am super happy and excited that what I've made is being used and enjoyed by so many people. It gives me joy to see it bring joy to others. That doesn't mean they owe me. Their enjoyment and enthusiasm doesn't mean I owe them. It's a wonderful thing when people can come together and voluntarily partake in the fun of making, playing, modifying, and sharing experiences about a game. This is the sole reason and justification for the existence of the fan community. Vague, creepy concepts like "emotional investments" and "implicit contracts" have no rightful place in this picture at all.

As far as I'm concerned, such phrases are just shitty rhetorical tools to try to guilt me into working harder, communicating more, and otherwise do things I prefer not to do, just so the wishes (faster progress, more info) of the fans can be served. As I've already said, I am sympathetic to the fans' desire for more transparency into the dev process, and am willing to compromise and come up with better solutions that work for both me and them. All I ask in return is that there is a modicum of respect for how I choose to live my life, spend my time/money, and run my project.

Thanks!
- D
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 07:53:06 AM by Data » Logged
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« Reply #404 on: December 17, 2010, 07:34:32 AM »

I like cortex command, and I like you.  Hand Thumbs Up Left
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« Reply #405 on: December 17, 2010, 07:53:12 AM »

Yeah. I got nothing against data. I was joking around when I replied, waaay back there, pages ago. I feel like I might have set everyone off, though. Game is promising and it'll no doubt sell well when it's finished.

bleh.
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« Reply #406 on: December 17, 2010, 08:04:12 AM »

speeder, in contrast to the others here i say continue doing what you're doing (it's somewhat similar to what i'm doing, anyway). if you're that driven to make games, the games are going to be worthwhile for at least someone to play. it's possible you just don't know anything about marketing yet, or don't have much experience in making games, or don't have good enough art to cause people to care about the game (the appeal to play a game, even indie games, is 90% artwork / screenshots, and 10% other factors). so my advice to you wouldn't be to get a day job and work on your game in your spare time, my advice would be to get a team, especially good artists, to help you, and to don't expect your first big game to attract much of an audience, or even to be very good, because it just doesn't work that way. but if you keep at it, in 10-20 years you'll probably have a significant niche audience who are fans of your games.

another thing to realize is that basically phenomena like cc or minecraft and so on are strikes of lightning. data and notch might get zero attention for their next games (except what they get because of the popularity of their previous games, i mean). to be able to *consistently* make good games is a lot rarer skill than being able to make a very popular game once, and it's the former we should be going for really. so don't be jealous of games like cc, because a lot of the time it comes down to luck and a game fulfilling the right need at the right time. even notch recognizes that a lot of minecraft's success is luck, and that he's probably unlikely to duplicate its wild success with any future game of his. you can't rely on luck or strikes of lightning to happen to you ever, because they don't happen to 99.9% of indies at all, even ones who manage to make a living through indie games. take spiderweb software for instance, he makes a living through indie games even though his games are very niche, and have a limited audience, by simply working hard on his games every day and making a whole lot of them for his fans over a long period of time (averaging a new game every year or so over 15+ years). he's had no runaway hits, almost nobody outside of his forums covers or reviews or pays much attention to his games at all (even in indie game blogs), but still manages to support his wife and himself just from sales of his ultima-like rpgs.

i also completely agree with data's last reply to mattheww, different people place different importance on making their game. on one extreme you have people like speeder who are totally driven to work on their game every day for as long as possible, at the middle you have people like data who don't make it as big a part of their lives and have ten other priorities they place higher than finishing their game quickly. one type of indie isn't better than the other type, both of them are making the games they want to make in the way they want to make them, and we should respect both type of people.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 08:19:44 AM by Paul Eres » Logged

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« Reply #407 on: December 17, 2010, 08:06:49 AM »

I, for one, am fully content with having heard from you, Data, and how the development of Cortex Command is going. What I as a player mainly find uncomfortable in a situation like this is uncertainty. Even if you had come here to announce that you've stopped developing Cortex Command and moved on to something else, I would have still found knowing that more comfortable.
Alas, it's great to hear that you're still working on it, at whatever pace that is, so I'm looking forward to any upcoming versions Smiley
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« Reply #408 on: December 17, 2010, 08:19:37 AM »

Matthew: Arbitrary because the point where you go from finding the release interval to be 'acceptable' to 'unacceptable' is arbitrarily and subjectively set by you. As a game developer yourself, you happen to be exceptionally well-informed about what it takes to make a game, but I still feel it is unfair and unwarranted for you to project your own development time estimates and expectations onto me and how quickly I choose to make progress on my project. Your Blurst games were made in ~8 weeks each, but Cactus churns out a complete game in a weekend.. Does that make you Blurst guys unacceptably lazy bastards? The average game consumer has an even less of an idea - let alone justification - to project their progress expectations onto me or any developer.

You're actually defending the 580 day gap?  Shocked

I get comparing Blurst to Cactus, or Overgrowth's weekly alphas to CC's former every-few-months builds, but I don't see how you can view a 19-month drought as anything except an understandable point of contention for your customers.  It is a very long time by anybody's standards.
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« Reply #409 on: December 17, 2010, 08:21:20 AM »

Thanks everyone :D

And yes Paul Eres, I noticed that... Also the reason why I am making the game I am making now is my failure in finding artists, plainly noone wanted to help, so I decided to make a game that I can make the art myself...

Also, to convince some guy to play Cortex Command with me (back in version 22), I could only convince him after showing the funny GIFs of stuff exploding on the site (btw Data: what happened to the gif of the rocket crashing?)

And when I was playing Dwarf Fortress in university (before it was even famous... 5 years ago) everyone thought I was nuts to play a ugly game, without even asking the rules or anything...
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« Reply #410 on: December 17, 2010, 08:29:19 AM »

My first time playing cc was pretty awesome. I was playing one man army. Here's how it all went down:

tried to use my jetpack. Didn't work, I guess I weighed too much.
A giant green metal box fell from the sky, creating a big crater. I turned around, was curious about it. Maybe it had a power up inside?
As I got close, people popped out of it. Because they were all so tightly packed in the crater, they all exploded immediately. I turned around and continued walking.
A spaceship appeared overhead. Some people started jumping out of it, trying to land on me, and dying on impact. There was a great chasm in front of me. I realized, if I was going to survive, I'd have to run.
I jumped for the other side of the chasm.
unfortunately, my jetpack was not strong enough for my weight. I slowly fell to the bottom of the pit.
Waited about a minute. Some pieces of a spaceship unexpectedly fell down the chasm. followed by two people. It must have crashed into a cliff or something. The two people landed on each other and they rolled around like fighting cartoon characters.
I shot them both.

After standing there for a while, I discovered the mousewheel switches weapons. I was switching my weapons around, when all of a sudden, I randomly exploded. When I stood back up, I was missing a leg.

Hopped around for a while.
As luck would have it, losing a leg was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was now light enough for my jetpack to work. I flew upwards, to freedom, escaping the vast hole in the ground.

Wandered around for a while.
My god, the carnage. Body parts everywhere. Filling craters in the earth. What had happened here? I would never know.

I had emerged as the sole survivor of some great battle. I was a hero. I was the last one left to tell the story.

The timer ran out. "WINNER!" flashed across the screen.



I'd like to see dwarf fortress produce a story with that level of plot development and emotional depth.
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« Reply #411 on: December 17, 2010, 08:34:05 AM »

To be clear, I again have nothing against Cortex Command being unfinished. I'm not going to say that I feel entitled to the full game because I pre-ordered it. I understood when I bought it that the dev might get hit by a meteor or need to take on some other work to meet the bills. We are doing that with our own Solaro game. Spending most of our time working on contract work so that we earn enough money to keep doing what we do. I make half as much as I used to at my boring web-dev job, but I won't be going into debt any time soon.

The part that is dishonest is that you are continuing to sell it as a work in progress when there has been no indication of progress for over a year and a half other than a half dozen screenshots and a vague description of a "meta-game". I would think it's completely okay to say, "Hey guys, I love developing Cortex Command, but it doesn't pay like a normal job and I need to take a break from it for a while (maybe for good) to pay off my debts." Anybody that doesn't understand that is too immature to be worth your time anyway. You never set an expectation of when (or if) it would be finished, but you did set an expectation that it is still being worked on by continually saying that it's in active development. Your main page and buy page have absolutely no mention that it even a work in progress, and the buy page goes right out and says that you are buying the "full version".

Now, I honestly take back what I said before about being okay with buying Cortex Command as an unfinished game. I felt that I got my money's worth out of screwing around and blowing things up. The game has a lot of cool potential, and I didn't mind thinking that it helped a fellow indie developer work towards his dream. That said, I didn't realize that I was giving my money to somebody that was so disrespectful to his customers. It's not even that "the customer is always right", but when your customers are wondering what is going on you basically say "Screw you, I'm workin' on it. Leave me alone." Have you ever heard the expression attitude is everything?
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« Reply #412 on: December 17, 2010, 08:37:29 AM »

@speeder

well, just because not everyone likes the graphics of cortex command or DF doesn't mean that nobody does... it's a matter of age range. people in college are young and aren't used to 2D games, they were born after the playstation 1 or snes was released! how can you expect people like that to give 2D games a chance? i imagine most of cortex command's audience is older than that, and that the art appeals to those people highly. similarly, people who play DF aren't people who grew up on 3D games, they're people who grew up playing roguelikes.

but what i meant was not that art is responsible for the lighting-type success of cc or DF, what i meant was that art is responsible for attracting an initial audience and getting people to even try a game, for most indie games out there anyway. art and polish are probably the major difference between aquaria and the hundred other metroidvanias/exploration games indies make which are roughly equally as good in terms of gameplay (like 'the power' and 'glum buster' and so on). it's not impossible to get people interested in playing a game without good art, but i find that in most cases where people ignore a game, it's because the screenshots just don't look very fun to play (and yes, something literally can't "look" fun to play because you can't see fun, just as audio speakers can't "look" too loud because sound isn't visual, but people work like this anyway.)

i'd recommend never giving up in a search for an artist, just keep trying. there are literally thousands of artists (especially on places liked deviantart) who would love to see their artwork in a game. the main trouble is finding one dedicated enough to finish their work without giving up half-way after realizing exactly how hard it is to do often 100+ pieces of art and to animate them, not in finding someone interested in doing art for games.

another thing to realize is that the *first* 100 fans of your game are the hardest to get. after you get 100 fans, getting from there to 10,000+ fans is relatively easy, since it proceeds through word of mouth and because of the snowball and community effects.
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« Reply #413 on: December 17, 2010, 08:46:47 AM »

Your main page and buy page have absolutely no mention that it even a work in progress, and the buy page goes right out and says that you are buying the "full version".

Was the text on the buy page recently changed?

Quote from: Buy page
This is the normal deal which will get you all updates of Cortex Command up to and including the full campaign if and when it is completed. This option is discounted from the full final price because the whole campaign and content are currently NOT in the game yet.

But, yeah, seems like a bunch of the guys at the Data Realms forums are also a bit upset. It probably didn't help that Dan promised them two days ago that he'd have a new dev log up that same day with details of what was new in B24... and no new dev log has been posted.

This kinda seems like a perfect storm of shattered expectations and mismanagement. Takes two to tango, I guess.
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« Reply #414 on: December 17, 2010, 08:47:28 AM »

Glad to know I need 100 to get the snowball... (I tought it was 1000). I have 4 XD Although of those 4, 1 is the game musician, so I dunno if he is a fan...

I understood exactly what you said, CC is pretty, DF is hell ugly. People that get to play DF is because someone else insisted, not because they found it randomly on the internet (like, I saw that screenshot in a gallery and I visited the game to see if it was really good).
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« Reply #415 on: December 17, 2010, 08:48:05 AM »

well, just because not everyone likes the graphics of cortex command or DF doesn't mean that nobody does...
I'm pretty sure DF is mostly popular because of its gameplay though, and what got a lot of people to initially try it was the "Boatmurdered" succession game on the Something Awful forums. There are very few people who find ASCII graphics aesthetically pleasing, because they're not meant to be. Even Tarn Adams himself says they're purely utilitarian and a temporary solution.
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« Reply #416 on: December 17, 2010, 09:03:22 AM »

more specifically, then: a game's screenshots usually have to "look" fun to play to build up an initial audience. an ascii art screenshot can look fun to play if it's well-composed, even if it's just made of colored letters. but perhaps DF is an exception to that rule, i didn't mean that it's universal: games can occasionally reach great success despite not looking very good in screenshots. it just doesn't happen that often and shouldn't be relied on.

(to me though, DF does look fun to play from screenshots; it gives the impression of a complex, weird game with a lot of tiny detailed stuff going on on the screen at once, which appeals to a niche but large audience.)

the fidelity of the graphics (hi-res, polygon count, whatever) isn't what i meant, i meant that it has to look fun to play. compare these screenshots for instance, compare these two game maker games:





both have roughly equal graphics quality, but i'd say the latter "looks" more fun to play: it's clearer what's going on and what the basic actions of the game are. the graphics quality is roughly equal (both are obviously not done by professional artists) but one screen is much more cluttered and confusing, and the other is recognizable as something you would want to try out for fun. the latter also has more consistency with its elements, the former screenshot looks like each of its elements has a totally different style and could have been made by a different person, and has no integration, and no focal point for the eyes.

little difference in things like that are what builds up your first 100 fans, really.
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« Reply #417 on: December 17, 2010, 09:05:30 AM »

slembcke: I agree that attitude is important. Unfortunately, my attitude has been eroded by years of nagging, pleading, sarcasm, and negative attitude directed towards me and our chosen pace of development. It's really hard to maintain a cheerful attitude in the middle of a weeklong shitstorm full of unwarranted personal attacks on my character, triggered by combo of veteran fan disappointment in the latest build (understandable due to my lack of communication), general immaturity, and what I suspect is widespread jealousy about the very successful bundle sale.
The wording on our sales page hasn't been changed in three years.. If it is unclear and you or anyone else feel they've bought the game under false pretenses, you are welcome to ask for a refund through the payment processor, and it will be promptly granted in full, no questions asked.

Matthew: I am defending my right to take 580 years to write one line of code, if I so choose.

Smithy: I hope you had at least half as much fun playing that session as I had just reading about it!! Cheesy The type of almost slapstick crazyness that constantly happens in the game is what I enjoy most about it, myself. The 'one-man-army' mode goes a bit against the design philosophy of Cortex Command, however, as your guys are actually supposed to be completely expendable and throw-away puppets, not one to keep alive and nurture.. it's a fun way to mix things up though.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 09:35:39 AM by Data » Logged
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« Reply #418 on: December 17, 2010, 09:35:12 AM »

You certainly have the right to take 580 years to write a single line of code, and of doing so without letting anyone know of anything that's happening with you or your project.

But in my opinion that's honestly very disrespectful. It's not a matter of trying to guilt-trip you into working, or of putting you in a ball and chain. Keeping the people that obviously love your game enough to be outraged by this long hiatus (if they didn't like it they wouldn't even have noticed or cared about it) at least informed about it through short updates is just courteous to them. If you have a life to tend to, let them know that at least, and those with half a functioning brain are going to understand. The rest you can just ignore for the whiners they are.

I just want to make it clear that I'm not criticizing your work ethic or your development speed on CC. I'm focusing my criticism on the lack of communication with the people that have directly helped improve your life in the past by buying your game and participating in its community, not because you have an obligation, but because it would simply be polite to them.

If you say you're willing to find a solution to that, though, I'll give you my encouragement. Personally though I think that forcing yourself to make a couple of short news posts each month would go a long way.
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« Reply #419 on: December 17, 2010, 09:39:44 AM »

Melly, that was in response to Matthew's focus (obsession?) purely on the time interval between releases, not my failure in communication, which I have repeatedly admitted, regretted, and apologized for, in this thread and others..

Speaking of my failure to communicate - I REALLY need to finish this devlog post!$@$%  Huh?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 09:50:35 AM by Data » Logged
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