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Indie Games Development

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kevglass

Indie Games Development
« on: July 06, 2004, 08:47:45 »
This is a mail I was going to send to Cas but he's suggested I post it instead:

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Well, I've just started work a smallish game that I'm hoping will turn out well. I've put a limit on my development and sourced some what I consider temporary sprites.

I've a few question if thats ok?

1) Do you do anything to prevent anyone else just copying your idea and releasing it for free?
2) How do you protect your demo vs full version?
3) Is there a market for level packs in indie games?
4) Is there an indie market for anything other than quick fix games?
5) If its not contravening any Puppy Games info I'm kinda worried about financials:
   - How many copies of AF have actually been sold?
   - Are you up or down overall? (excluding time of development for which I consider free for now)
   - I consider AF a polished and fun game, it'd be interesting to know quite where the bottleneck in sales is if there is one.

Thanks for any answers and the initial support for that matter. Hopefully I'll have something to play in a week or so.

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I'd be interested in feedback from anyone,

Kev

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Offline princec

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Indie Games Development
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2004, 09:05:46 »
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1) Do you do anything to prevent anyone else just copying your idea and releasing it for free?

No, and there's no real need to. Not to mention that it's perfectly acceptable behaviour to copy a game idea!

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2) How do you protect your demo vs full version?

There's several ways:
  • Separate full version, available only after purchase
  • Strong crypto unlocking mechanism using server-based key verification
  • Simple client-side key verification

All have advantages and disadvantages but Alien Flux uses server-based key verification and it's working just fine.

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3) Is there a market for level packs in indie games?

Oh yes! But of course, only successful indie games :P

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4) Is there an indie market for anything other than quick fix games?

The market's as big as you want it to be. The more niche you get the less sales you'll make but the more money you should charge for your game. You could sell a turn-based strategy game based on a particular battle in WW2 for a lot more than a match-the-three-colours game because it's got a very specific audience. (The potential for add-ons is also much greater).
 
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5) If its not contravening any Puppy Games info I'm kinda worried about financials:

We're always completely open about our financials as a warning to other aspiring developers ;)
 
- How many copies of AF have actually been sold?
120
 
- Are you up or down overall? (excluding time of development for which I consider free for now)
Down

- I consider AF a polished and fun game, it'd be interesting to know quite where the bottleneck in sales is if there is one.
Exposure and lack of Mac support (it's there but it's just not as good because Webstart doesn't work for LWJGL yet).

Cas :)

Indie Games Development
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2004, 22:15:34 »
If you go to Dexterity Software, http://www.dexterity.com/articles/, there a a lot of well written and informative articles on the Indie/Shareware side of things.  All are written from Steve Pavlina's personal and successful experience.

Here is a good quote from one of his articles:
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http://www.dexterity.com/articles/going-full-time.htm

Be flexible. As soon as you realize your original plans aren't working, change your approach. You'll shift directions a lot in the beginning until you find what works for you. I can't recall any developers whose first release was a hit. I didn't see decent sales until my fifth release, and that seems about average among the successful shareware developers I know. Your first product will probably fail. And when it does, dump it and get started immediately on the next one.
The problems of this world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities.  We need men and women who can dream of things that never were. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy(35th US President)
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