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#117805 - 03/28/05 11:23 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Azariah Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 01/05/04
Posts: 13
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Thanks for all the great responses! You've given me a lot to think about. From a financial perspective my resources are pretty limited; Final Destination was made without a budget at all and I hesitate to spend the money needed to print a lot of copies. It's expensive, and there are lots of others bills to be paid. smile

I've thought about using something like Cafepress, but I'm hesitant to do that: it seems odd to redirect your customers to Cafepress, plus you don't have a lot of copies on hand to sell to friends and so forth. I like having stacks of CDs lying around to sell at fairs and that sort of thing.

Getting published is good too, but I've been published before and each time it has been a nightmare. I'm currently in the process of suing one publisher for royalties: even though I have a signed contract and they're selling my product they don't feel the need to send me the royalty checks they agreed to. Suing someone is an expensive pain; if I had known it would come to this I wouldn't have even looked for a publisher in the first place.

I am glad that others have solved this particular dilemma. That's great! Now I just need to digest all this and decide where to go from here.

--Jon Cooper

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#117806 - 03/28/05 11:25 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
mszv Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 1565
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA (left my bel...
Interesting discussion. And - hi Jon (Azariah), I remember you!
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mszv, amarez in Myst Online (KI 89257)and my online worlds.

blog - http://www.amarez.com, Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amareze

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#117807 - 03/28/05 11:27 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
I once ordered a stack of pre-printed CD's for a project - came out to about £1.00 per CD.

They were simply blank CD's but were already printed on in glorious commercial quality full-colour. All I had to do was copy the files to a CD when I needed to.

If you then get a stack of covers printed and a good stock of DVD/Jewel cases, that should take a lot of work out of it all, and will probably be a lot cheaper in the end than running off individual covers and disk labels on your printer, especially after you've shopped around for the best deal.

I know you need to outlay all this at the start, so I understand that would be a problem for some, but that is definitely the way I'd do it - just find the initial monies from somewhere - VISA anyone? Mum and dad? Girlfriend? Sell a load of old stuff on eBay? Walk the neighbour's dog? Plenty of options.
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Derman

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#117808 - 03/28/05 11:36 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
CBSection31 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 499
Well, I wasn't gonna post this, but I can't resist. Here's the link to the publishing venture I'm thinking of getting into. Please note that this is just me writing stuff out right now, and NOTHING is official yet. I'm not even sure if I'm going to go through with it, but I think it illustrates what Azariah was talking about in his initial post.

www.upforums.com/temp/publish.htm
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#117809 - 03/28/05 12:12 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Nameless Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 32
If you prefer not using CafePress, etc. then the next option probably would be doing pre-print duplication, which can get a little pricey. I do agree with you that redirecting to CafePress does seem a little odd and unprofessional though.

I am sure there are tons of CD duplication services out there, but here is one I ran across. They seem to have reasonable rates, and can also offer short-run duplication services.

http://www.discmakers.com/

They have a ton of options, but things do get a little expensive if you want something like 1000 CDs/Boxes. It might be useful to glance over for those considering this sort of thing, however.

As for publishers... yeah... it can be hit or miss (quite often miss) when dealing with small/budget publishers. So long as you don't mind mentioning them, it might be useful to others here if you list the name/website of the publisher who is cheating you -- just so folks considering publishers know who to especially avoid.


Michael

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#117810 - 03/28/05 12:32 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Quote:
As for publishers... yeah... it can be hit or miss (quite often miss) when dealing with small/budget publishers. So long as you don't mind mentioning them, it might be useful to others here if you list the name/website of the publisher who is cheating you -- just so folks considering publishers know who to especially avoid.
Hey Michael -- I'm not sure that this particular information is appropriate on a public forum. It would be better if you approached Azariah privately for information like this.

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#117811 - 03/28/05 01:04 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Nameless Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 32
No problem -- I know that certain things shouldn't really be discussed in detail on a public forum. Sometimes it is common practice upon game developer sites that I have frequented to list really bad publishers (those who commonly cheat developers), just so others don't run into the same problems. The same goes with good publishers too... letting folks know who treats developers fairly and pays royalties in a prompt manner.

But such can also be considered a private matter, so I understand why it might not be considered appropriate here.

Michael

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#117812 - 03/28/05 01:10 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Thanks Nameless! This entire thread has been fascinating. I've enjoyed the glimpse into the world of those who are trying to bring new games to us -- we are always interested in new games, and don't often realize the difficulties inherent in creating and marketing them.

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#117813 - 03/28/05 02:01 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Salar of Myst Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 4216
Loc: Virginia's wetland dimension
Yes, this discussion is very helpful! I didnt even know you *could* sell your game through Cafepress... for one thing. Still reading the Ron Gilbert discussion & checking/bookmarking the links.

Azariah, its great to see you back on GB! happydance

Nameless, I'd love to know how many game development sites for Indies are out there. I only know of one, after the forum admin revamped it and announced its return here on GB.

Susan wave

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#117814 - 03/28/05 02:35 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Nameless Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 32
Susan --

A couple of game developer sites I know of are:

www.GameDev.net, www.gamasutra.com and www.indiegamer.com

Dexterity Software also has a section for developers too (mostly articles)-

None of the above sites specialize in adventure games, however... several focus more on casual, downloadable games, and the business side of things. But they do have lots of useful info that could be of interest to all sorts of developers.

Michael


Edited by looney4labs (06/15/07 03:48 PM)
Edit Reason: remove broken link

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#117815 - 03/29/05 03:57 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 623
Loc: Saxton
Peter, at a 100megs, I feel you'd be fine with a download distribution. As far as file sizes go, it really isn't too large. I would happily tackle that on dial-up!

Mike, I'm not sure I retained my sanity, or whether I had any in the first place! Thankfully I didn't have to print artwork onto CD's, and the box art was profesionally printed at a low cost (at a 1000 run each time). So, my printer got a break. My daily, and sometimes twice daily, trips to the Post Office were always fun. The nice old ladies who ran the shop were always interested to see which corner of the globe I was posting to that day. I could be in there for hours some days.

As for other costs, the DVD style boxes were also very affordable, once found online. I use SVP in the UK, who are dependable. So, some UK indies may find them helpful:

SVP

Lastly, a couple of adventure forums that may be of interest:

Adventure Developers .

Jonathan

P.s. Adventure Developers are also looking for reviewers, at present. I'm sure some Boomer's are qualified for the position.


Edited by looney4labs (06/15/07 03:49 PM)
Edit Reason: remove broken link
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The ghosts are waiting, in the dark places, the forgotten places. Waiting for you: Darkling Room Games

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#117816 - 03/29/05 05:44 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Azariah Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 01/05/04
Posts: 13
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I'm not going to get into details, but the publisher I'm having to take legal action against publishes audio books, not games. The chances are good that, if you just stick with game development, you won't run into them.

As a developer I see two big challenges: manufacturing copies and distributing them. It is possible to go the download route, although at 450 megs that seems to be pushing it (even though these days lots of people have broadband). It's even possible (albeit pricey) to print 1000 copies or so; I've looked into that. Once you have the copies, though, you have to sell them, and that presents a whole other slew of difficulties.

Indie developers have a lot of challenges: not only do they have to be writers and programmers, they also have to be publishers and marketers. The few who have managed it all and produced a successful game have most definitely earned what they got: success definitely doesn't happen by accident.

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#117817 - 03/29/05 08:59 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I've been reading the link that Jonathan provided to Adventure Developers. The Review Manifesto there by John Campbell is very interesting. Yes, I think some Boomers are qualified for the position!

The idea of critiquing games with game developers (rather than game players) in mind has made me wonder though: isn't that aiming at a very small audience?

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#117818 - 03/30/05 06:04 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 623
Loc: Saxton
Hi Becky,

Hmm, I see what you mean.

I must admit that I didn't read the manifesto. I saw the ad for writers and thought I'd mention it. It does look like a fun opportunity, but the idea of developer reviews for developers does seem a little self satisfying. I wonder if such a specific venture would be worthwhile.

Also, surely the gamers (or possible gamers) should be the target readership for a review? I can't imagine the sum total of independent game developers would purchase/download THAT many games. I would hope that a developers work was designed to be played, rather than studied by their peers.

Also, it constantly amazes me how many independent mini-games are available. More often than not, they slip under the radar due to a lack of advertising and features. This is not the fault of the forums, rather a lack of ambition on the part of the developers. Perhaps some only wish to produce games to show to fellow developers, but that seems rather circular to me.

Jonathan
_________________________
The ghosts are waiting, in the dark places, the forgotten places. Waiting for you: Darkling Room Games

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#117819 - 03/30/05 08:43 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Kickaha Offline
GB Special Events Reporter
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 2431
Loc: Cambridge, England
I'm a little way off dealing with a 100 meg download. There's a little matter of implementation first (will need in due course to find one or two more people to test that the technology works.)

One possibility might be for CD or DVD compendiums of some of the mini-games done to bring them up into radar coverage. I'm a little chary of people who make money by repackaging freeware though.

There are some interesting efforts produced with a small target audience in mind - for instance see Nat's World .
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