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!
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.
3) Is there a market for level packs in indie games?
Oh yes! But of course, only successful indie games :P
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).
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).