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#117820 - 03/30/05 10:23 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
That is an interesting glimpse into a new audience for a new way of using a computer game. I wish Nat's father all the best!

Perhaps I am underestimating the number of people who are creating free or independent games. Do you think they number in the hundreds? Thousands? Do you think they want their games to be more widely publicized and distributed? Or are many of them creating games mostly for self-satisfaction and the entertainment of other knowledgeable game developers/creators?

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#117821 - 03/30/05 11:02 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Nameless Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 32
I'm not sure if it is always a lack of ambition in developers in regard to getting more publicity/distribution, but simply that they don't know exactly how to go about it.

That said, I do think some developers do create games mainly for other developers too... or at least it seems that way. It appears more prevalent in the IF community though, where you get games with developer in-jokes, coding tricks, and experimental sorts of games. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this (the games are free), just that they aren't always much fun to play.

As for a wider distribution, I think a CD-Rom compilation project would help. But you then need to find a way to get that project distributed on a decent scale. I contacted a couple of budget publishers quite a while ago about something like this: a compilation of freeware adventures, with perhaps enhanced versions for CD-Rom. Of course I didn't suggest I had the rights to such a project, but simply suggested it as something for them to look into, and if interested, they could contact authors.

Got one nibble, but nothing came of it. Most publishers never replied back.

Michael

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#117822 - 03/30/05 01:04 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 623
Loc: Saxton
I've been thinking about the 'ambition' aspect all afternoon, and I suddenly realised/remembered something. When I was producing the first Dark Fall game I didn't have an audience in mind.

It was created to be played by friends and family, following the completion of my first game experiment "The Displacement". I was quite convinced, at the time, that the point and click genre was as dead as a door nail. It was only joining forums, and importing games from the US that convinced me otherwise.

So, shameful though it is to admit, it is only very recently that I've set my sights beyond just producing for a closed group of people. Encouragement, and fellow developer feedback, is essential. So, perhaps that explains why developers reviewing developers is a positive course of action. A brush with the wider games community could be disheartening.

I wonder how well a disk of official adventure demos would perform, and what red tape would have to be snipped to get it published. It would certainly give newbies a good mix of what the genre has to offer.
_________________________
The ghosts are waiting, in the dark places, the forgotten places. Waiting for you: Darkling Room Games

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#117823 - 03/30/05 05:59 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
ces Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 914
Loc: West Seattle, WA
PC Gamers Magazine gives a cd of game demos with every issue (provided you buy the mag+cd issue, and not just the mag only issue), so it can be done. And if they are doing it, the audience must be there.
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Christine

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#117824 - 03/31/05 01:51 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
FeathersMcGraw Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 219
Loc: Germany
A small business which handles the orders for independent developers could have a number of advantages if done properly. One is that the developer no longer has to concentrate on certain boring business aspects. Another one the possibility for cross-promotion and bundles. This requires a web portal with a serious amount of traffic.
Without classic marketing, retail presence or a site like RealArcade I don

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#117825 - 03/31/05 04:13 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Diamond Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 538
Loc: Yorkshire
Quote:
Originally posted by Dark Fall Game:
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.
You've got to wonder if they are really after reviews or critiques. Also, if they are aimed at developers, wouldn't you need the insights that only a developer could bring?
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Steve

Steve Ince, Writer-Designer
Steve on Twitter

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#117826 - 03/31/05 08:06 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 623
Loc: Saxton
Quote:
Originally posted by ces:
PC Gamers Magazine gives a cd of game demos with every issue
Yes, that and many other publications, but I have yet to find much in the way of adventure demos month to month. They are, though, great for patches and mods, and the occasional oddment. I have noticed 101Games (a quarterly) features a few adventures, which add to a diverse dvd.

Quote:
Originally posted by Diamond:
You've got to wonder if they are really after reviews or critiques. Also, if they are aimed at developers, wouldn't you need the insights that only a developer could bring?
Yes, the possibility of the demos/games being a purely technical exercise, seeking a critique, was mentioned above. But with game titles like "Eye of the Kraken", "Devil's Triangle" and "Day of the Aliens" (!!) an adventurer can't help but be intrigued. Also, can't a review be developer-centric without being full of techno-babble? The average Doom3 review talked more about trilinear filtering and shader tree structures, than the story or acting (for obvious reasons!). When does a critique become a review? And visaversa. I know many of the mainstream DF reviews focused on technicalities, and were written by wannabee developers, with their own objectives and specific criticisms.

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

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#117827 - 03/31/05 09:58 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Jonas Kyratzes Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 67
Loc: behind you
Jonathan, a question: when you were selling Dark Fall on your own, how did you process orders? Did you build your own online store, or did you use PayPal or something similar?
_________________________
Jonas Kyratzes

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#117828 - 03/31/05 10:53 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/14/13
Posts: 623
Loc: Saxton
Hullo Jonas,

At first I used a UK based creditcard handler known as "Place2Pay". I wrongly presumed they would be better to deal with online orders for my UK based start-up. I was wary of using PayPal as it seemed to generate alot of bad press (but doesn't anything, if you go looking?!).
Place2Pay was a disaster, and I lost quite a bit of money (the first 100 orders in fact), so quickly bit the bullet and signed up with PayPal.

I have no regrets, I only wish I'd taken the plunge first off. Transactions and communications were simplified, and the interest rates/bonuses are very agreeable.

All sales were generated from one button on the "sales page" of the official site. A rather simple approach, but it worked out rather well.

Jonathan

P.s. The Great Machine sounds intriguing, I'm looking forward to a good IF session later tonight.
_________________________
The ghosts are waiting, in the dark places, the forgotten places. Waiting for you: Darkling Room Games

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#117829 - 03/31/05 11:24 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Jonas Kyratzes Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 67
Loc: behind you
Thanks for the info. I've been thinking for a while now about taking on a bigger project which would require CD distribution (and hey, some money would be good, too) and was wondering about how I would process orders - PayPal, RegNow, ShareIt, etc...
If I go the do-everything-yourself route, I'll probably use PayPal.

I hope you enjoy The Great Machine, or at least don't hate it; it's certainly a weird and rather dark game. It's also pretty easy and very non-standard IF, so... we'll see.
_________________________
Jonas Kyratzes

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#117830 - 04/01/05 09:15 AM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I like the idea of compilations, both of adventure game demos and freeware adventure games. This would be especially helpful for gamers who find it difficult to download demos or freeware games because they are using dialup modems.

Am I right in thinking that this would require organization, some degree of centralization and financial risk?

Is there a trend in the Indie or freeware development community TOWARD centralization/cooperation that could produce compilations of demos and/or games? Or would the centralization required to create something like a compilation actually be in opposition to the Independent spirit?

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#117831 - 04/02/05 03:03 PM Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers
Salar of Myst Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/06/02
Posts: 4216
Loc: Virginia's wetland dimension
I would think many of the freeware folks, especially, would appreciate being distributed to new audiences. Demos & trailers are meant to be shared, so its hard to imagine there being a problem with that, as long as initial terms were met.

I'd love to see them included with the discs in MY magazines. Sure would make a nice change of pace! I only have one like that, though they do add utility freeware programs now and then.

Maybe those of us who have subscriptions to some of the publications that add in freebie disks should put a bug in their ear about including adventure demos, trailers & better freeware games? There are some really fun ones out there!

Thank you for all the sites! I'm checking them out now.

Susan wave

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