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Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117815
03/29/05 04:57 AM
03/29/05 04:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
Saxton
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer
JonathanBoakes  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
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.

Last edited by looney4labs; 06/15/07 03:49 PM. Reason: remove broken link

The ghosts are waiting, in the dark places, the forgotten places. Waiting for you: Darkling Room Games
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117816
03/29/05 06:44 AM
03/29/05 06:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 13
Knoxville, TN
A
Azariah Offline OP
Shy Boomer
Azariah  Offline OP
Shy Boomer
A

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 13
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.

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117817
03/29/05 09:59 AM
03/29/05 09:59 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Becky  Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
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?

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117818
03/30/05 07:04 AM
03/30/05 07:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
Saxton
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer
JonathanBoakes  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
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
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117819
03/30/05 09:43 AM
03/30/05 09:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,451
Cambridge, England
Kickaha Offline
GB Special Events Reporter
Kickaha  Offline
GB Special Events Reporter
Addicted Boomer

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,451
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 .


Used to answer to "Peter Smith", now answers to "Peter Rootham-Smith"
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117820
03/30/05 11:23 AM
03/30/05 11:23 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Becky  Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
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?

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117821
03/30/05 12:02 PM
03/30/05 12:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 32
N
Nameless Offline
Shy Boomer
Nameless  Offline
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N

Joined: Feb 2004
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

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117822
03/30/05 02:04 PM
03/30/05 02:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
Saxton
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer
JonathanBoakes  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
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
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117823
03/30/05 06:59 PM
03/30/05 06:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 920
West Seattle, WA
ces Offline
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ces  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 920
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.


Christine
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117824
03/31/05 02:51 AM
03/31/05 02:51 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 219
Germany
F
FeathersMcGraw Offline
Settled Boomer
FeathersMcGraw  Offline
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F

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 219
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

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117825
03/31/05 05:13 AM
03/31/05 05:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 541
Yorkshire
Diamond Offline
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Diamond  Offline
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Posts: 541
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?

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117826
03/31/05 09:06 AM
03/31/05 09:06 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
Saxton
JonathanBoakes Offline
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JonathanBoakes  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
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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
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117827
03/31/05 10:58 AM
03/31/05 10:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 67
behind you
J
Jonas Kyratzes Offline
Shy Boomer
Jonas Kyratzes  Offline
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J

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 67
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?

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117828
03/31/05 11:53 AM
03/31/05 11:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 623
Saxton
JonathanBoakes Offline
Settled Boomer
JonathanBoakes  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
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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
Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117829
03/31/05 12:24 PM
03/31/05 12:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 67
behind you
J
Jonas Kyratzes Offline
Shy Boomer
Jonas Kyratzes  Offline
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J

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 67
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.

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117830
04/01/05 10:15 AM
04/01/05 10:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
Stony Brook, New York, USA
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Becky  Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 26,917
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?

Re: Publishing independent adventure game developers #117831
04/02/05 04:03 PM
04/02/05 04:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,216
Virginia's wetland dimension
Salar of Myst Offline
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Salar of Myst  Offline
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Posts: 4,216
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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