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Shareware Question


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#1 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 March 2000 - 08:40 PM

I have been working on an RPG for some time now. I am working on it alone, so it's not the most professional-looking game in the world. I think there's some unique concepts in it though. I was planning on trying the shareware route by allowing a demo to be downloaded and then the full version to be bought for like $10 or something. I was just curious if anyone has seen this as a reasonally effective way to make a little spending money. I was thinking if just 2 people from each state were to buy it that's like $1000 (2 * 50 states* $10). It's not a fortune, but that would not be too bad considering I haven't put any money into the creation of the game. Heck, even $500 would be nice. Just curious...thanks... Edited by - Nazrix on 3/13/00 2:43:00 AM

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#2 Spiff   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 March 2000 - 08:47 PM

I personally don''t think shareware is the way to go, either the programs are limited and really boring because of that, or they''re just "You *must* register after 30 days" and it still works after 130 (read PSP5). I also think shareware software must be of high quality to sell and you have to have a reliable way of selling it, not like "send your credit card number to this email adress", and don''t forget easy, it can''t take several months to recieve it.

But with the expense of going to a publisher/distributer in mind, I think it''s worth a shot.

============================
Daniel Netz, Sentinel Design
"I'm not stupid, I'm from Sweden" - Unknown

#3 DavidRM   Members   -  Reputation: 270

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Posted 13 March 2000 - 11:55 AM

We''ve done reasonably well with a shareware approach, for both games and utility software.

If you''re looking for a third party credit card processor, I can recommend either of these:
DigiBuy ( http://www.digibuy.com )
Kagi ( http://www.kagi.com )

Trust me: If you want to make money on the Internet, you have to make it as easy as possible for them to pay you.

Once you start getting any money at all, certain things become easier (like allocating more time and effort to polishing the product). Plus, you suddenly have funds to re-invest in the product (for things like third party libraries and components).


DavidRM
Samu Games


#4 SPAR   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 March 2000 - 07:22 PM

I am also planning on releasing some shareware to make money (i also did the ol'' 50 states calculation) and I was interested to hear what people said about it being effective. What I want to know also is what some alternatives to shareware are for solo acts like ourselves and if anyone has actually released shareware themselves that they can give us figures on.
thanks!

SPAR1

#5 cliffski   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 March 2000 - 10:57 PM

Our first game (Star miner - http://www.positech.co.uk) was originally shareware, until it got published by a retail publisher. we used regsoft.com to handle the registration and they are absolutely excellent.
Over a period of maybe 6 - 8 months we sold about 85 copies of the game, with a registration price of $15. The registration method we used was a simple numeric key that when entered, unlocked all the levels in the game, and enabled save/load games. It also altered a binary file in the games directory so it knew it was registered.
I think shareware can do very well. You can always do what we did and find a publisher after you have started selling as shareware.
Good luck

http://www.positech.co.uk

#6 DavidRM   Members   -  Reputation: 270

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 05:49 AM

Our game, Paintball NET ( http://www.paintball-net.com ) first went online in February, 1996. It became a shareware game in August, 1996.

There are now 14 "levels" that can be paid for on the game, each level providing greater access to the game (and additional "carry weight").

We have seen the following statistics:

Out of 100 players who check out the game, 20 will stick around and actually play it for at least a little while. Of those 20, 2 will actually become paying players (so a 2% overall buy rate, which isn''t horrible for shareware).

On top of that, a player who pays for 1 level is 50% likely to pay for an upgrade. And that 50% applies to players who pay for upgrades, as well...they are 50% likely to pay for *another* upgrade.

When Paintball NET first became a shareware game, we decided we would be happy if we hit $300 in total sales. That would pay us back our "development costs" in third party components (no accounting for developer time, of course). We hit that number in a few months, and have seen very good growth for all of the 4 years we''ve been online (especially last year). Gross income from the game for last year (1999) was over $22K US (which is just under half of what we''ve made across all 4 years).

Shareware isn''t a "get rich quick" scheme by any means, and it can be a lot of work to maintain, but it''s a good way to turn a hobby into an income stream.


DavidRM
Samu Games


#7 Sordith   Members   -  Reputation: 181

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 07:35 AM

Congradulations on your sucess.... even I have heard of your game

I have a question... I can write a decent game... that''s not really the hard part.... how do you get people to your page to even look at the game without spamming everyone/everything in sight? The best luck i''ve ever had is sending a message to a news group... that gets, maybe, 100 hits on the page, and then 3 might be interested in what were selling (we sell cgi scripts, not games....yet).

Is there some trick? I know keywords aren''t going to work... even if i do a web search for my company name i''m at least 100 pages down.

Thanks for the help
Sordith

Please direct any typo''s/spelling errors to /dev/null

#8 DavidRM   Members   -  Reputation: 270

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 09:03 AM

Some tips on being "found" on the web:

1. Get listed on the big search engines (Yahoo!, Alta Vista). Keywords really matter on Yahoo!, so make sure your listing includes what you want people to find you by.
2. Get your software listed on the big shareware pages (ZDNet, CNET, SoftSeek, et al).
3. If your software is Internet-related, get TUCOWS to review and list your software.
4. Get listed on pages that aren''t necessarily *huge* (like ZDNet or CNET) but that *do* have a very targetted audience that contains people you think would be interested.



DavidRM
Samu Games


#9 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 14 March 2000 - 02:27 PM

Thanks to everyone for the info. After hearing these success stories, I have a bit more reason to keep working on the project








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