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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinesshow about a Steam-like application for indie games?
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Author Topic: how about a Steam-like application for indie games?  (Read 12533 times)
Eclipse
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« on: March 17, 2008, 01:58:53 AM »

like in title, how about a Steam-like application specificately for indie games?

I mean a stand-alone client + portal were to buy indie games, try demos, play indie freewares, have news from the indie scene and last but not least, meet developers Smiley

would be cool also to provide a 100% profit for developers via digital delivery sells, so the platform may maintain itself using ads and merchandise

« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:56:41 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 03:09:39 AM »

Pathetic attempt to up post-count #1, as mostly copy-pasted from irc:

I don't think there should be another one of those applications.
Steam works because it's the only one I use. If I had multiple games spread across multiple services, that would just be annoying, as well as defeating the purpose of having everything in one place. Not to mention the fact that people would rather have fewer applications running in the background. As was mentioned on irc, this would probably work better as a website, although the 100% profit might be hard to pull off, as you might have a hard time paying the costs of server-space etc... entirely out of advertising. And if you did, chances are people'd avoid the website for its intrusive advertising.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2008, 03:46:16 AM »

so without thinking at the 100% profit stuff, would be better to have something like a 1% per sale or something that developers require to pay before like a small subscription fee for uploaded game to have then 100% profits for the sales?

I think it could work also rely on p2p structures as a torrent client, were one seed for all the stuff is the main server, this could increase the bandwith a lot, but it need that the customers also share and upload while downloading.

I think that it doesn't need to run on background, you can launch it when you want, play, read news, download patches etc, and then close it. Would offer things that a site can't, like automatic patching of games etc.

Personally i use X-Fire, Steam and Gametap, this last one not as community or messanger, but only to download\patch\play games, it's also impossible to have in the tray so it's not intended to run in background

I also think that having only Steam is a bad thing, not good, more choice works better for the customer
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 03:48:12 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2008, 06:10:45 AM »

I like the idea of a indie platform, it needn't be a full PC client, it could be a thin browser shell to a portal, possibly using Mozilla's XUL interface..

Torrents are a fine idea, except its rarely human nature to sacrifice something for others (namely bandwidth,) so you'd end up with a real leeching issue.  I offer no solution for that.
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 07:56:29 AM »

Stardock already has a pretty reasonable platform for this; they already publish several indie games through it.

Maybe give them a ring.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2008, 01:23:06 PM »

Its not a tech problem, its a marketing problem. Everyone who brings this up has lots of tech solutions about how to implement it, but they don't have any practical ideas on how to actually market it to people. (how to get a large user base)

Steam works because if you bought Half Life 2, you had to install it. And tons of people bought Half Life 2.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2008, 01:55:33 PM »

Its not a tech problem, its a marketing problem. Everyone who brings this up has lots of tech solutions about how to implement it, but they don't have any practical ideas on how to actually market it to people. (how to get a large user base)

Steam works because if you bought Half Life 2, you had to install it. And tons of people bought Half Life 2.

yes, and it's also from Valve, and now have a lot of mainstream games on it...
i know totalgaming but i think was cool something ONLY indie, with an indie name or something that says "hey, this is the first real total indie distribution platform, made by indie developers for indie gamers."

But i think that to works it need also to educate the customer about the indie scene, very few people (also hardcore gamers)know about indie games, or maybe they have "just played a freeware thing called cave story", i think it's important to let the people know who's behind that strange little games around.
Gametap system is working good, they offers highscore charts, free games and a lot of multiplayer...

Anyway that can work only having a good base of also small but fun titles that are only on that platform :\ for example a Soldat-like shooter, or platformers like knytt
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2008, 01:59:56 PM »

I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool.

I'm saying nobody has yet come up with a plan that sounds plausible on how to get users. I don't think putting freeware games on would make a big difference.

The only thing I can think of is offering a bunch of commercial indie games with it at a reduced price. But even then, it seems like a lot of people wouldn't want to install it.
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2008, 02:02:13 PM »

It must not be very difficult to achieve actually, the problem is that you must have the cash $$ for a start.
Because you can't look amateur if you want people to use your service.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 02:04:33 PM by moi » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2008, 02:10:13 PM »

It must not be very difficult to achieve actually, the problem is that you must have the cash $$ for a start.
Because you can't look amateur if you want people to use your service.

you don't need a lot of cash do not look amateur, you need content!

but yeah, pretty hard to do
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2008, 11:15:19 PM »

Pathetic attempt to up post-count #1, as mostly copy-pasted from irc:

I don't think there should be another one of those applications.
Steam works because it's the only one I use. If I had multiple games spread across multiple services, that would just be annoying, as well as defeating the purpose of having everything in one place. Not to mention the fact that people would rather have fewer applications running in the background. As was mentioned on irc, this would probably work better as a website, although the 100% profit might be hard to pull off, as you might have a hard time paying the costs of server-space etc... entirely out of advertising. And if you did, chances are people'd avoid the website for its intrusive advertising.

Uh...

You work for steam, don't you?

The whole, "one company is less confusing to the US customer, who is ultimately too stupid to juggle more than one similar product at once" argument resonates of those crazy old fatcatical arguments made in favor of US Airlines and Microsoft monopolies.
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2008, 02:06:55 AM »

i agree..

i think a sort of indie games launcher would be cool, it doesn't need to run on background, you will just open it to download updates, maybe read news or download new games, and of course launch a game...
Also, i had a lot of problems buying indie games for example, someone like bit blot have an awesome system for bank transfers, but the others 90% have only paypal or some system that need you to do an international bank transfer, thing that for example i can't do.
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2008, 09:30:50 AM »

You may be able to use Steam's own SteamWorks to do that, so if people won't have Steam they'll have yours and if they have Steam yours will integrate with theirs.

Contact them and ask them if your idea of an Indie games dedicated digital distribution client can be done with their tech.
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2008, 09:51:10 AM »

Who would own it? Who would control it? Who would decide which games gets pushed over others? Who would own the (valuable) customer lists? How would hosting, bandwidth and support be financed?

I think the only way this can work, is if someone makes the whole thing on their own, and then market it to both players and developers. Lots of work and money to be spent, and no guarantee for success...
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2008, 12:36:37 PM »

Actually why not just use steam?
I'm sure they'd consider hosting you if your game is good enough quality (although I heard there were so many candidates it was difficult getting a response from them).
They have a great hardcore community and, from reading forum threads, this community seems to have responded favorably to games like peggles and other 2D games so far.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2008, 01:08:50 PM »

Actually why not just use steam?
I'm sure they'd consider hosting you if your game is good enough quality (although I heard there were so many candidates it was difficult getting a response from them).
They have a great hardcore community and, from reading forum threads, this community seems to have responded favorably to games like peggles and other 2D games so far.

you answered yourself, you can't have all the indie games on steam
and peggles is exactly what an indie game is NOT, it's a casual game, all the opposite of indie gaming, for us mainsteam games are casual too (yes, i think that pro evolution soccer is a casual game)

Bad Sector idea is more funded, anyway i was only daydreaming about it, i'm not a marketeer, so i don't know zero about that, i only know that as indie gamer and as indie developer i would love to have something like that, both to play and develop on
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2008, 01:02:25 PM »

Basically, you get your indie game onto Steam by getting drunk with the Valve guys. This is well-documented.
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« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2008, 01:47:21 PM »

*cue fanfare*
Introducing... Penny Arcade's digital distribution for indies: GreenHouse!
http://www.playgreenhouse.com/

Quote
The Greenhouse is a new distribution platform operated by Greenhouse Interactive, dedicated to supporting independent game development worldwide. We help indie developers get their games into the hands of gamers, and that gives gamers easy access to new and innovative games that they might otherwise have missed.

This looks like what we've been wishing for.  Check out the interview with "Gabe/Tycho": http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/04/exclusive-inter.html

Juicy tidbits:
Quote
Do you think that royalty structures out there, potential deals for indie developers, are in fact full of shit?

Gabe: I think that most publishing arrangements are full of shit, yes.

So what is it that you're going to do differently?

Tycho: Again, we don't have anybody signed yet, and that'll be something we discuss with developers. We can't talk about the split, yet. That's something that'll be covered in private conversations.

Also, Penny Arcade will have full editorial control over what games get published. 
So... a heavily promoted, indie-friendly digital distribution network run by actual gamers who think traditional publishing contracts are full of shit?  Somebody pinch me.  Kiss
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Ivan
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« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2008, 02:03:34 PM »

Wow...  Shocked

I think they might have nailed this one.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 04:19:27 PM »

this needs frontpaging when the site goes back up.
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