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Challenge the Establishment: Uncommon features to make a game marketable


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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

(I'm betting this will be interesting...)

 

There are a lot of notions on the proper approaches to game design & creation.  One that I adhere to is that as an Indie Designer, aside from the minimal requirements to be considered part of the genre, when coming up with a game idea, it should focus on a few concepts to set it apart from block buster hits.

 

 - It makes sense that you don't have the advertising budget, resources or experience that a game giant has, so why would you try to clone their game and think you can make it/sell it better?  Or even get noticed?  Or even complete it?

 

 - Given that, it makes sense that aside from the Genre's minimum needs, you focus on a few core concepts for your game that make you different from the game giant's games.  Things that they don't provide, that won't necessarily work with their existing features. (so in case the like the idea, they can't easily add it, but that's not always a concern)

 

 - By planning out a commercial as one of the first steps, you can understand if the ideas you want to spend so much time on will stand out in advertising and get people interested.  I.e. if people aren't interested, then you won't get a following, you won't make a profit, etc...

 

 

When designing a game, I'll typically ask players what they like/don't like, and ask them about ideas they haven't seen but would like to. I also review common features of popular games in the genre.  Then I figure out what core concepts or fixes could make my game stand out so that I can actually market it.

 

What is your take on all this?  I'm not arguing that there are plenty of other things to take care of, but I'm wondering if people have additional reasons to back this up, or tear this down.  What do you think?


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#2 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

or perhaps this really is a more universal statement.  I'm hoping for counter perspectives.  Places where it doesn't apply or work, or counter ideas that are potentially better, and what circumstances make the other ideas work.


Edited by hpdvs2, 07 February 2013 - 12:27 PM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5060

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

I've seen some very successful indie games that are a standard or cloned game which has been customized for a different niche or audience segment.  Me personally I like to hybridize existing game designs to get a new combination of fairly standard elements.


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#4 Rits   Members   -  Reputation: 259

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:43 PM

Have you watched indie game the movie? its inspiring, and in short it believes that "make a game true to yourself" even if its your own world that no one likely to share, make it, and people will like or hate it, but that's the only way you can make a game that reaches to the deeper soul of people.

 

Also personally I think that players know less than a brilliant game dev about what they want or like.

Players can list all the reasons, the reasons are true but doesn't mean it's all the truth.

Sides if you rely solely on feeding what players want, isn't that exactly what block busters are made of?

 

I'm a game dev, but I'm not the kind that would make Fez or Meat boy. I think more industrially and marketing, in other words i make a game not for myself but purely for customers. However, I differenciate myself from the block busters despite my mind full of money and numbers. What i'm saying is, between block buster and indie game dev there is a gradient of variants.



#5 DtCarrot   Members   -  Reputation: 327

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:02 AM

For me, I always look for games whose features are unique and fresh such as Guild Wars 2 who introduced quite a number of interesting features, underwater combat and World VS World PVP. 

 

Also, advertisement is definitely important since it helps to generate hype and let people be aware of your game and thus potentially increasing the player base. I've seen many awesome games which have low player base as they are practically hidden in the shadow and eventually falter away due to the lack of income to support the game.






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