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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessGetting out of "catch-22" situation.
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Author Topic: Getting out of "catch-22" situation.  (Read 4337 times)
John Nesky
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2010, 09:17:41 pm »

Because of the market saturation, the only ones that still get money like that are the ones that are REALLY good.

Yep. Making games that are worth money is hard work. Every decent platform should eventually be saturated enough that games will have to be good to sell. So are you planning to catch a bubble before it bursts?

P.s. What's plan b?
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speeder
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2010, 10:08:30 pm »

Actually, my idea is grab "abandoned" markets. (the ones where everyone already left, or noone started).

Like Mac, GNU/Linux, Amiga (OS 4 ones... not the old ones), with games that are not much mainstream either (arcadey stuff, shmups, 2D platformer...)

And board games. :D (yep, I make board games too... I tought it would suck, but I had to make one in the first semester of game design university course, and I ended liking it...)

I had earlier the idea of making text based online RPGs, but the work is on par of the work of a MMORPG, except you don't need artists and musicians, only writers. But I am not a native english speaker, and those are not popular in my country, so I dumped the idea... The one that I saw working and thus I had as model, the owner is a professional journalist and RPG writer...


My plan B is finish university, don't pay the debt for a while, and try to find some random job that I don't dislike... (I cannot stand jobs I dislike, I end quitting or getting fired :/)

I have no idea of what happen if I don't pay it. (yep, I also did the stupidity to sign the thing without properly reading the terms. I only know how much I have to pay, but I don't know what happen if I don't).
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bvanevery
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2010, 10:16:48 pm »

but I don't know what happen if I don't).

Go to the library.  Check out books on debt and bankruptcy.  Helps a great deal to know what you're in for, before you get into it.

I think you should stop calling your game "breakout," and do something with the geometry so it doesn't exactly look like breakout.  Call it something else.
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speeder
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2010, 11:02:18 pm »

When writing to the public I tend to use one of those (I still need to choose the best one):

Wall tearing.
Brick busting.
Brick and Paddle.

Although other genre names would be good (like how match-3 is now match-3, and not bejeweled... or hidden object game, instead of escape the room-clone).

The art of the first levels are breakout-ish on purpose, one complaint from the genre fans, is that newer games tend to use too wacky bricks, and devalue the gameplay based on careful ball aiming (master breakout players like to make the ball get stuck in tight places... I even added rewards for doing that in the game). This is why I say that it is breakout (not arkanoid) here on the forums.

But I plan to have later levels with triangles and other shapes, the game engine actually uses a physics engine, I can make blocks in any shape I want, in any position I want, and even make them not tied to the playfield, so they bounce around... In fact there are no playfield, the white bricks are tiles too, I can make the playfield in any arbitrary shape, one level that already exists is a circle.

Like I said, my "mistake step 2" is that I made a trailer before I had levels using the physics engine proper. I guess that if I made the trailer with more interesting levels, it would attract more attention.
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Aik
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2010, 01:54:48 am »

Can I just say that I still have no idea what game it is that you're making? Is it released? Link it in your signature! Sheesh - at least link it in the thread that you're talking about it in. I'm even pretty open to Akanoid-likes at the moment - played Highly Responsive to Prayers recently and it was pretty damn cool and hardcore and not at all like the casual sort of game that I'd expect on hearing that something is like Arkanoid.
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bateleur
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« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2010, 02:45:00 am »

But I plan to have later levels with triangles and other shapes, the game engine actually uses a physics engine, I can make blocks in any shape I want, in any position I want, and even make them not tied to the playfield, so they bounce around... In fact there are no playfield, the white bricks are tiles too, I can make the playfield in any arbitrary shape, one level that already exists is a circle.

Have you played Shatter? It sounds like you're about to rewrite it! (If not, you should.)
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brog
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« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2010, 03:14:50 am »

Actually, my idea is grab "abandoned" markets. (the ones where everyone already left, or noone started).
...
And board games. :D
Note that board games are quite far from being an abandoned market.

Still, the idea of targetting abandoned markets is basically sound - Jeff Vogel makes a living on old-school RPGs that run on macs.  But bear in mind that it's a hell of a lot of work, and you'll probably make less than you would have working a regular job.  Indie game development is for if you're passionate about making games, not for if you want to get rich.

You also say you want to make a hit and get a disproportionate return for your labours - this can happen, but it's highly unlikely.  Most games aren't hits (even good ones!).  I think this idea is opposed to the idea of targetting old/abandoned markets - old markets can give reliable sales from hardcore fans, but they're bounded in size.
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bvanevery
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2010, 03:44:30 am »

When writing to the public I tend to use one of those (I still need to choose the best one):

Wall tearing.
Brick busting.
Brick and Paddle.

I would make up some complete marketing lie that sounds good, that has nothing to do with PONG metaphors whatsoever.  Honesty is a detriment here.  Just as in programming language-dom, Lisp could probably do pretty well nowadays, if someone would just call it something other than Lisp.

Quote
But I plan to have later levels with triangles and other shapes, the game engine actually uses a physics engine, I can make blocks in any shape I want, in any position I want, and even make them not tied to the playfield, so they bounce around... In fact there are no playfield, the white bricks are tiles too, I can make the playfield in any arbitrary shape, one level that already exists is a circle.

Try a metaphor based on atom smashing or something.  Not brick walls.
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Evan Balster
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« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2010, 06:05:25 am »

I don't think Minecraft's thousand first customers were TIGsourcers.  I think they were Bay 12-ers.  I've found that a lot of other small-time game developers, like me, don't play games very much.  On the other hand, there are huge numbers of game-heads lurking in communities like Wolfire, Bay 12 and Minecraft forums.  You can't make the well-regarded community members yak about your game--they have to like it.  If they do like it and yak about it, it'll get mobbed.

I remember someone asking me during prototype phase whether they could mention Infinite Blank over at Minecraft forums.  I very promptly responded that that probably wouldn't be a good idea on the off chance people liked it.  My poor server!

(I realize that part of the reason those communities work so well is frequent progress updates and frequent free releases.  Noted...)
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speeder
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« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2010, 08:49:54 am »

@Aik

Ooops, I just noticed I did not setup it here...

@bateleur

Great, now you made me realize that people will say that my game is shatter clone... Sad  (great part of it IS using some powers to grab brick shards, that power other stuff, including guns... :/)

@brog

I need this sort of reliability now, this is why I said earlier I am not relying on luck, I need to pay my debts and get sufficient money to move out of this country... After I am in somewhere where I don't have to worry about getting killed or something like that, then I can go for more risky stuff (also by then I will have more experience too).

@bvanevery

There are a level (the last one...) that is about that... I now wonder why I don't used it more, or other theme... (maybe because I like the gameplay of the rectangles, and could not find something to name the rectangles, other than "brick")

@Cellulose Man
Good to know :D I need to fix my site... (it is fugly and has a 150MB MP4 video... that video alone nearly took down the server, I see now why some people use Vimeo as video hosting service and this bothers them)

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moi
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2010, 11:41:05 am »

If you owe money to your university, can't you ask them to repay them with small works or gardening or sthg like that? Plus you could have access to the university computers more often.
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2010, 11:51:40 am »

The university is in other city, there is is hell expensive to live (I did lived near the university for a while, and had a job as iPhone programmer, the rent was higher than the job wage... And my salary was above average).

And to pay them gardening or with stuff like that it would take forever (is is really expensive)

And my debt is not with them... It is with a specialized company, that company pays 70% of the current fees, and I pay the other 30%, then one year after the last year (I was supposed to get graduated in last december), I have to pay those 70%. This is in itself stupid, I took it because the 30% was the only thing I could pay, so instead of paying 30% now I have to pay 70%, and the 70% rises with the university fees. I started university the fee was around 500 USD monthly... so I paid 30% of more or less 580 USD, now the fee is around 700 USD, and I have to pay back 70% of 700... so if the fees don't rise even more, something that I doubt since they had a 20% price increase in 4 years, I owe them more or less 20.000 USD.
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Vino
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2010, 02:44:12 am »

Maybe this has already been said, but:

* Notch is perhaps somewhat lucky (I don't think he anticipated to be this successful from his original idea) but for the most part he put in a lot of hard work and is a pretty good game designer. That can't be discounted.
* Don't rely on game sales to pay the bills. Games are a "long tail" industry, 90% of them make no money, 5% of them make some money, and 5% of them make  Hand Money Right  and you are not in those 5%'s. You almost certainly won't be with your first game either, hard truth.
* If you want your game to get noticed you'll need to do some marketing and PR work.
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