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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinesscheap ways to do a game for consoles?
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Eclipse
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« on: June 21, 2008, 05:56:55 AM »

OOOOK.
Are today next gen and handheld consoles open to indieness? how? why?
I was wondering about the possibilty to develop for "PSN" and "Xbox Live!" mainly but if someone have useful infos about stuff like iphone, handheld consoles and such is welcome.
For the "next-gen" hardware the cheaper way seems to be xna & a creator's club account for the xbox 360 and buy a ps3 debug (around 1200$) for the sony's PSN, but in this case, you need also to have a proper legally founded software house and do a request to became a sce developer in the "traditional" way, so there's no an indie-friendly solution, right?

How's the situation for the Wii? wiiware is still closed to nintendo's first hand partners?

who knows something about the QA tests and the restriction for these platforms?
It's thinking at the x360's Live still worth even after the infamous past share ratio adjustment?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 06:04:41 AM by Eclipse » Logged

<Powergloved_Andy> I once fapped to Dora the Explorer
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 08:31:33 PM »

Trying to get your stuff on a console in a legitimate way is a difficult battle right out of the gate, most companies need publisher support even before they get a chance to publish on the big 5.
Also don't mix up XNA creator's club with Xbox Live.
The Latter is becoming a more closer nit development platform and the latter is impossible to monetize currently, I know, I asked a dude from Microsoft. He told me that they are looking into it, but its primarily for hobbyists and fresh indy companies looking to get their name out.
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Dirty Rectangles

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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 11:15:47 PM »

You can always write a flash game and run it on the wii browser Smiley

Otherwise yeah, options are limited. Either you apply for a kit (difficult but not impossible), get hand picked as an indie superstar by a platform owner, or use something like homebrew/XNA to build a proof of concept and find someone to take you under their wing. I've never heard of anyone succeeding with that final option though.

Oh, and wasn't the iPhone SDK released a while ago? Also j2me is freely available if you want to do java phone dev. Not sure about Symbian.
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 11:34:54 PM »

Write something for haxxed Wiis. I didn't break my warranty for nothing! Tongue

Yeesh I'm tired. It took me five tries to get the right combination of symbols for that emoticon.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 12:54:37 PM »

Trying to get your stuff on a console in a legitimate way is a difficult battle right out of the gate, most companies need publisher support even before they get a chance to publish on the big 5.
Also don't mix up XNA creator's club with Xbox Live.
The Latter is becoming a more closer nit development platform and the latter is impossible to monetize currently, I know, I asked a dude from Microsoft. He told me that they are looking into it, but its primarily for hobbyists and fresh indy companies looking to get their name out.


uhm... wait.
Creator's club is just to share games within the other subscribers, Live is a publishing platform, they doesn't also publish xna games here?
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 08:27:37 PM »

Creator's club is just to share games within the other subscribers, Live is a publishing platform, they doesn't also publish xna games here?
I think there has been less then a handful.
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 09:34:20 PM »

A question: Why do you want to make console games?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 01:56:02 AM »

A question: Why do you want to make console games?

a lot of indie games are for consoles too, N+ is on live arcade, Everyday Shooter is on PSN so why not?
Are these the "indie superstar" case Farbs is saying or what?

I think i missed something, it's developing a title for xbla so difficult\not so good in earnings or you all simply don't know much about it like me and likes answering with other questions? :D
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 02:48:05 AM »

I was honestly just curious...

Making games for consoles are not technically any more difficult than making games for Windows... In some ways, it's easier, as you have full control and access to fixed hardware.

But there's a lot of other things making them more difficult. You need to be approved for the console (will cost time and money). You'll need devkit (usually quite expensive). You need to meet certification requirements (will take time, and can cost you a lot of money if you fail and need to resubmit several times). Your game needs to be approved for the console (which often means changing your game and its content). You usually need to have the game rated. And then you'll need to pay the console manufacturer money for each copy you sell (and it's usually a fixed cost per copy, not a percentage of sale price), and if you don't publish the game yourself, the publisher will of course deduct that cost before they calculate your royalties...

But that's how it goes if you're developing for a closed platform. If you make games for Windows or OsX (open platforms) on the other hand, you can do whatever you want, there's no hoops anyone can make you jump through. You can simply make the game and start selling it yourself, and it's all up to you how you do it.

Of course, you can make a lot of money on a console game, and I can totally understand why many indies wants to get in on XBLA, as there's a lot less games on there than on Windows, so you are much more likely to sell lots on there (due to less competition if nothing else, but also becuse it is so easy to buy, and their customers can trust the games to be of a certain quality).

I think it is important to ask yourself WHY you want to make console games.

If it's just for fun, then the XNA creators club or Wii homebrew sounds like good ideas. You won't make any money from it, but you'll get the fun.

If it is for financial reasons, it is likely that it will cost you a lot of time and money to attempt to break into the console market, with little chance to succeed. Hardly worth taking the risk, I think.

Seems to me that the best way of getting into the console market is to make a successful Windows game, and then use that as leverage to get a deal for a console...
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Eclipse
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2008, 05:43:29 AM »

Seems to me that the best way of getting into the console market is to make a successful Windows game, and then use that as leverage to get a deal for a console...

Yes, sorry I opened the thread mainly to discuss together about it, so seems that the "real" indie scene is cutted out the console market if not for some lucky games.

Of course I'm making Circle (my indie game) for PC mainly, but I was tempted to find more informations about digital delivery services on consoles and maybe after the PC version I could tempt a port somewere.

I'm also evaluating xna for that purpose, but i think that having an osX\linux version would be easier than a published xbla one so maybe i'll simply port the game after the pc versions if all goes well.
Maybe I'll try to develop a prototype for the xbox 360 too and bet something on it, after all doesn't cost me almost anything and at least it runs on windows too.

Anyway the console option will be always the "secondary" selling platform, i'm mainly attracted by it because the new userbase and the personal advertisement a game published on such services take, not really for big bucks.
Seems like that games on PSN or Live have a chanche to be also littles "indie rockstars" today and would be very cool
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2008, 10:13:17 AM »

iPhone development has a low barrier to entry.  It's $99 to become an approved developer, you set the purchase price, and 70% revenue share.  They're taking application submissions for the store launch right now.  My guess is they might be picky now for launch, but after that it's basically an open pathway without much Apple vetting (although I'm sure the real game is still getting exposure/highlights/top10--unlimited digital shelf space is an illusion).

The consoles are definitely more of a fight.  They typically want a "secured business facility", ie an office, and an established company with a history.  I have heard of individuals and very small teams getting kits; it's going to depend on how savvy and tenacious you are.  You're definitely going to want something you can point to, like a highly-trafficked Flash version of your game, an IGF nod, or sales figures from a PC version.

Don't underestimate the cost of consoles (time/money), for things like:  ESRB rating, translation, QA for cert/lotcheck, etc...
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2008, 07:29:19 PM »

Don't try for XBLA directly right now. It won't happen unless you're already a big name with a proven seller.

Nintendo is only letting people they already work with or who they pre-choose make games for Wiiware.

PSN seems to be close to XBLA at the moment.

Your best bet is honestly to make something in XNA and win Dream Build Play for pure console development. If you win, Microsoft will basically fund you/help you out to port it over to XBLA.
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2008, 08:27:39 AM »

(Long time lurker - finally registered up!)

I'm actually writing about selecting between xbla, psn, wiiware et al. over at newretro.org over the next few days. Hopefully it'll be useful for some people here.

Generally speaking, posters here are correct. XBLA is hard to get on, PSN not so hard but Sony are strict about the manner of submissions, and WiiWare means Nintendo opening the door to you which is harder than it should be.

iPhone is a new option but a niche and somewhat unknown market. Could work well for indies but you'll need to market your product hard and you could be up against a lot of opposition in the near future - investors are liking the iPhone on portfolios right now. That means companies have investor cash to spend on original and branded iPhone games to compete with your little indie title.
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2008, 08:29:12 AM »

Ahoy tuna!
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 10:40:23 AM »

if you just looking for hardware experience

look into the homebrew scene on Gamecube , PS2 , PSP and DS . its easy to get into and easy to show to a publisher ..

My advice is to keep the game logic as far away from the hardware code as possible Smiley

if you want to do current consoles , look at the ps3 scene , its easier to get code running on that that xbox 360 ( ignoring XNA ) look for 'otheros' demo's

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Eclipse
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 06:32:43 PM »

(Long time lurker - finally registered up!)

I'm actually writing about selecting between xbla, psn, wiiware et al. over at newretro.org over the next few days. Hopefully it'll be useful for some people here.


very interesting stuff, thanks a lot. To be nitpicking, XNA isn't a sort of cheap XBLA as you said, XNA is a development framework not a digital delivery service, maybe you were talking about creator's club, but that's not a cheap XBLA too, because i don't think you can actually sell anything inside it and also, the other members are mostly developers or hobbyst, so that one too is quite different from what a digital delivery platform such live arcade is
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2008, 03:59:14 PM »

I took the poor man's way - i used Flash with WiiCade's Wii Remote API.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 01:42:27 PM »

UPDATE:

seems that Microsoft is finally moving on a good direction: http://creators.xna.com/en-us/XboxLIVECommunityGames
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2008, 08:30:50 PM »

That is something I am kinda excited about, I worry about the file size limits though.
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Dirty Rectangles

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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 02:13:38 AM »

You could always program for the Atari 2600.
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