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Orymus3

Member Since 10 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 11:13 AM

#5288069 How to deal with this unexpected counter-offer?

Posted by Orymus3 on 21 April 2016 - 07:48 PM

Hi,

 

A bit over a year ago I left a business I had been with for a while for a more senior position in a studio about 25-30% the size of that organization. I feel that this is a fairly mainstream 'move' to step up in terms of responsibilities without having to wait in line forever. I guess this is a shortcut to fastrack one's experience and value...

And it has...

 

Recently, my former employer reached out to me willing to discuss terms if I was to come back, and they've made an offer that clearly accounts for that 'step up'. Though the job would require a bit less strategy, it pays decently well (still somewhat lower than what I'm earning but $ isn't all) and sounds like something exciting (the projects, particularly).

 

I've decided to inform my current employer that I was considering said offer. In the next 3 days, directors from all departments, including the President himself, came to me directly, devastated, and quite surprised that I would consider leaving, insisting that I was a cornerstone of their newfound success and though that feels overblown, I agree there has been tangible proofs of my contribution over the last few months.

 

During my chat with the president, he made an offer that I never imagined would ever happen:

On the spot, he offered me to write down my own job description, promised no overtime, and well, pretty much anything I would ask.

 

Now the organizations' projects are less in line with my direct field of expertise and interests, and I have a few reserves with how that startup is currently growing. I argued that I was seeing where they were headed and that I couldn't just tell them to adjust their business culture to circumvent these major 'troubles' that come with expanding (they'll have to bleed for this, no one changes direction unless they get burned), but still, just how often does someone offer to pay you generously to do a job you're writing down for yourself?

 

I've considered the job offer from my previous employer, which is safe and fair, and this new opportunity which is pretty much the best counter-offer you could possibly get, and after breaking the pros and cons, I'm at a loss on what to do. Several smaller items come in line (former job has less commute, some reputation, current job has a more human-level culture, deals better with 'people', grants a lot more freedom, etc.), but ultimately one question seems to trump it all: 'can someone really ever pass up an opportunity like this?'

I'm having trouble weighing the value of 'making my own job description' and it makes it hard to go either way...

 

Has anyone experienced something similar? What was your decision? Did you ever regret it?

 

I imagine I may not get many replies on this, but this community has surprised me more than once, so I'll be hopeful that someone can at least contribute something.

 

Thanks!

 




#5285158 Races vs. techtree vs. doctrines - choosing from the start or not...

Posted by Orymus3 on 04 April 2016 - 07:34 PM

I think that a system similar to SC2 is likely the best there is: each unit has a few counters, and what keeps the game moving is the intent to always modify the current army composition to include more counters that are good against the bulk of the opponent's army.

This creates very interesting late-game army compositions that are truly diverse and nothing like unit spam.

 

If you take a close look at competitive SC2, you're likely to see that almost every unit comes into play in almost every match (assuming its not one that ends prematurely by a mistake).

Even more interesting is the fact there is more than one counter, granting the user a chance to determine which path they'll take to try and outplay their opponent's logistics.

For example, when faced with mass hydra, I could choose to counter with speed zealots with upgraded shields and weapons, or I could try the tech approach of going Dark Templar. If executed right, and if I manage to pull the hydras away from detection, I can get a lot of kills with much fewer units, though the cost in infrastructure and gas is a high risk. High Risk/High Reward is fun!

 

I don't believe that locking techs to even more narrow trees (with no ability to adjust at a moment's notice to compensate for your flaw) is all that fun. It would quickly show you you've made a strategic mistake you can't compensate for, and the actual tactical implications will just be a display of that execution issue.




#5283179 How do I deal with market glut?

Posted by Orymus3 on 24 March 2016 - 11:10 AM

 


There's a third, which I wouldn't advocate, but which happens to work more often than one might think:
- Clone a game (a lot of Asia-based developers make money off that)

 

The clone games don't really get your game noticed.  They just add to the general churn of rubbish games. Sure you can make a living as an individual just cloning games but it is still small potatoes compared to having a good quality title.  Since the original question was regarding the OP getting his own title noticed rather than "just making some money" then this wouldn't really help him.

 

 

 


There's even a fourth, loosely related to the third:
- Do something morally objectionable. This can go either way, as it will garner a lot of interest from the press, but could cost you your reputation. It 'does' break the wall of indifference, but I wouldn't advocate it as a business plan. Still, in the spirit of being exhaustive, I thought it needed to be mentioned.

 

Not really .  You still need to get your morally objectionable game seen by the press.  You are basically just doing viral marketing and cutting it pretty close to the bone so this is still going down the hard marketing route.  Also wouldn't really help the OP unless his game was already morally objectionable.  I mean he's not going to create an awesome game and then go and make all the characters have their cocks hanging out just to get noticed.

 

 

Actually incorrect. Recently, a number of well known games were cloned to great effect. The exposure worked for them and not only did they make money off of it, but it was noticed by several thousands of people very quickly (even before either of the stores managed to pull them out).




#5282772 How to Motivate a Team

Posted by Orymus3 on 22 March 2016 - 06:25 PM

Welcome to every hobby project ever.

The truth is that, though all of you probably like the idea of making a game, very few of you actually understand and truly love what goes into making one.

For some, it's just too damn complex, and the satisfaction they get from progress they make simply doesn't balance against other pursuits.

You're likely to be the only one truly affected by this, possibly because you are perhaps more interested in actually making games, and (I'll assume), the process of building something is something that's enticing to you, not just the finished product.

 

The sad part: most hobby projects will end up this way. When I was younger, I've had the chance to see at least 20-30 projects die miserably this way. Flash forward, of all of the team mates I've tried making games with in this era, none actually ever finished one, and most have turned to other aspirations shortly after. 

I think you could compare this to wanting to be a rockstar, but not actually liking to learn how to play difficult riffs on a guitar. Same exact thing. 

 

It might then come as a shock though that my recommendation won't be to quit. I mean, sure, all of them won't care much, and they probably won't do much, but there's valuable knowledge in failing, and if you apply yourself, you're likely to learn a lot from this experience regardless of how the other team members behave.

There's a small chance that you might even inspire them if your reflex is to do more. They might feel bad when close to release to notice that you've done 80% of the work, and may collectively come together to get the remaining 20% done, who knows. That's how you may be able to motivate the team.

 

That being said, I believe you may not be asking the right question. To help you insure you're asking the right question, I'll ask you one of my own: what are you expecting from this project's realization? 




#5282770 How do I deal with market glut?

Posted by Orymus3 on 22 March 2016 - 06:17 PM

There really is no easy way to get noticed on mobile anymore.   It was a gold mine a few years ago but now its "just another platform".

There are two ways of getting your quality game noticed.  These are:

Spend a lot of money on marketing.

or 
Do a lot of hard work building up a social presence, acquiring followers, posting youtube videos and building a community for your game  (basically doing the marketing yourself).

 

There's a third, which I wouldn't advocate, but which happens to work more often than one might think:

- Clone a game (a lot of Asia-based developers make money off that)

 

There's even a fourth, loosely related to the third:

- Do something morally objectionable. This can go either way, as it will garner a lot of interest from the press, but could cost you your reputation. It 'does' break the wall of indifference, but I wouldn't advocate it as a business plan. Still, in the spirit of being exhaustive, I thought it needed to be mentioned.




#5282491 How do I deal with market glut?

Posted by Orymus3 on 21 March 2016 - 07:40 PM

Breaking the wall of indifference is probably the biggest concern for modern products.

For the most part, it is no longer so much about making a great game, just focusing on making a good game and spending everything else on finding a creative way to advertise it.

This is particularly true on mobile, but even platforms such as Steam suffer from the large amount of games that are (and were) made.

 

If there was a trade secret that works every time, it would probably well guarded, but the truth is that every studio fends for itself in trying to get enough exposure, and when they have one recipe that do work, they tend not to share it, and it generally doesn't work on their next game.

 

Publishers used to be a big help, and some of them still are relevant if only by the sheer amount of ads they'll be able to throw at players without actually spending a dime (cross-referencing for example), but for a newcomer, this is a tough crowd.

 

One thing I've seen working particularly well for 3 local indies was being handpicked by a Youtube personality and rolling with it.

Another (very original) developer chose to stream his development for over a year. He has a great personality though, so it helped, and his studio is older than the indie bubble, so it really helped.

 

I can offer no straight solution, but rest assured it is many people's jobs than to figure these things out.

 

I wish you luck!




#5281507 Regarding assembling a small team just for practice.

Posted by Orymus3 on 16 March 2016 - 10:47 AM

If you're at all interested in using Unity, you might want to have a look at their series of tutorials on scripting.

They're extremely thorough, and some of them were live applied  sessions of doing relatively simple gameplay patterns step-by-step in the code and in the editor. 

Though I had a lot of previous experience, and I felt it was a bit too slow for my personal taste, there's undeniable value for someone just starting.

 

What I'll say however is you can't get enough theory. I'm a self-made programmer for the most part, and the parts I'm mostly struggling with are generally design patterns, that is, ways to do things that people have thought about and tested long before me. Oftentimes, I settle for a much too complex and unclean solution, or I devise my own which looks alien to other developers, and we could have a much simpler discussion if we agreed to just make a singleton or something. Theory on design patterns, read on it!

 

Then, I suggest you just join an actual project. You'll fail at a few things, and probably won't get proper feedback, but you'll at least understand the path not to take the next time, and it is better than no feedback at all. It does pays off, even if it is perhaps inferior to what you are suggesting.




#5281134 looking for an agent to sell my game idea to the right people

Posted by Orymus3 on 13 March 2016 - 05:14 PM


Crowdsourcing also requires a tribe and/or media connections to have any sort of success. This is especially important for this idea which is not cheap to make.

 

But as per the OP, they are effectively looking for an agent.

In this particular case, I would believe them to be looking for a business development manager or something similar (someone to make their case).




#5281034 looking for an agent to sell my game idea to the right people

Posted by Orymus3 on 13 March 2016 - 08:28 AM

 

looking for an agent to sell my game idea to the right people
People don't buy game ideas. Ideas guy is not a job in the games industry.

 

 

 

Though I fully agree with this, the above is a request to sell an idea to the right people.

If OP also happens to have a team in place to make said game happen, pitching the concept to potential clients is not an impossible task, but the odds of success are very low.

Would need to strike the right partnership, acquire limited means, and somehow pull it off.

 

As was suggested, crowd sourcing this might be a better approach, but for this you would need minimal funding to put together some kind of pitch deck, video and hopefully a prototype. Teams can easily be found, money, not so much.




#5278174 Right way to handle people complaining about price?

Posted by Orymus3 on 25 February 2016 - 03:44 PM


But the point is: who is saying that a game costing 20 bucks really is worth more than 4 beers? Maybe someone likes his beer more than his games. Who is to say that 20 hours of gameplay equal to two hours of blockbuster movie?

 

Which is also true from game to game, so even comparing games among themselves is pears to apples, hence the need for some kind of a baseline.

Two games that are similar in features, won't have the same value to the end-user.


I think this is true for most people out there, hence why the normal span for Indie games on steam being around 5-15$... 20$ might be on the high side, as this price bracket is occupied normally by AA games from bigger studios and re-releases. You could argue that this game might actually be worth more than some AA re-releases of 20 year old RPG classics on PC... but again, one has a made a name for itself and has most probably a well known studio behind it, the other does not.

 

That's where Triple "I" comes in I think. Indies with some kind of a background but still taking a lot of design risks.

 


IF you are sure you have great quality, and want to do marketing with it, best thing is to let others spread to word. If you can, reach out to youtubers and lets players that might enjoy it, and let them gauge the quality of your game.
Failing that, you can try to impress people with a video or pics of your "quality features" (like the dev for this title did with the "whole level pics" to prove the size of the levels).
You can of course set your price higher because of your games quality.

 

I'm going to disagree here. Word of mouth rarely gets the job done. It's not uncommon for a true gem to fail to garner attention. Marketing is something critical that you can't just leave to players and youtubers to handle.

 


Which is to apologize

 

To apologize would be to admit you've actually done something wrong, but most likely, by putting the game to market, selling it, and getting a low of positive feedback from other players, how could you justify apologizing to one (or a few) user for something and actually believe it? I think you can professionally agree to disagree with their perspective on your game, you can relate to their frustration but you can't possibly apologize.

 


If High End graphics cards with a GTX 980 ti level of performance cost around 700$ (at least here in overpriced-land), how could you call the AMD equivalent that is almost as fast overpriced at 650$? Its not as fast, so the 700$ for the nvidia offering is still valid. But its quite close, so the 650$ also are not totally off.

 

That example is flawed in that, though the specs are complex, they are objective. Games are far more subjective to analyze. It would be impossible to gauge and compare games in a similar way.

 


My big point was though: if you are in the range of comparable titles, the price discussion is moot. You can bitch about game prices in general. You can no longer single out your title. Your competitors price decisions are actually supporting your own now.

So your solution would be to price your game accordingly to however other games are priced? I'm not clear on this making sense. And to be fair, there's always the 'first company' that steps it up once in a while, and I don't think it hurts their sales all that much in the end, and though they get slandered for it, every other company soon follows because, quite frankly, the cost of production increases over time (and inflation keeps on ticking) so you can't sells games at 60 forever... they get to 70, then 80... etc

Not sure 'lining up' is necessarily the best attitude, especially as an indie.

 

Of course, if you're speaking of the mobile market, disregard this entire discussion and make sure your game is 0,99, end of story.




#5278082 Right way to handle people complaining about price?

Posted by Orymus3 on 25 February 2016 - 08:04 AM


What else costs 20 bucks or more

 

I think that's actually fair. Entertainment as a whole is a general business of how you choose to spend your time.

I actually choose to pay for games based off whether I believe I'll get good value out of it. I tend to think cinema tickets are overpriced, and games that I actually buy aren't.

To this day, I still try to follow the 1$ per 1h I intend on spending in a game, and quite honestly, it's working for me. It applies to nearly all forms of entertainment that I adhere to as a consumer. Please note that, in quantifying 1h of fun, I mean actual fun, not just playtime. If we're talking grinding, it shouldn't be part of the equation at all unless it's, well, fun.

 

I buy boardgames with this mindset, I purchase movie tickets with that in mind (knowing fully that I'm not getting the full mileage out of it and that I should definitely pick and choose which movies I go watch and catch up with good games I paid at lower prices and played the crap out of). I even do this when considering whether I should buy a DVD or not (how many times am I REALLY going to watch this? or will this just be a pretty dust carrier on my shelf?)

 

A lot of people in my area were devastated when they saw the price point for XCOM II a few weeks back, but I wasn't, because I knew that I would make my 1:1 on this, easily. I'm not even done and I'm over 50+ hours into this game (and I WILL make a Legendary playthrough afterwards).

 

When it comes to indie games, I expect the price point to be lower because my assessment of whether I'm going to meet that 1:1 is a bit more risky (as I have no preconceived notion of what the game will feel like), and having a lower price point helps with that, but it shouldn't lessen the game's value.

 

 

 


Of course only compare features... I wouldn't want to try to gauge quality.

 

But of course, in many cases, the real difference will be quality. How do you explain polish? The only tangible metric I can think of is how it translates into playing time for individuals. You might think you have a better game, but until you see players play more or less of it than another game, it will be hard to tell (and even then, you won't know for sure whether it's bad timing, poor marketing, bad design or just lack of polish and attention to detail).

 


Ask the commenter for more details: see exactly WHY he thinks your game is not worth it. If you have the balls, keep it public. But I personally don't think it would be too much to ask for a private conversation. See why the commenter thinks your game is not worth the asking price. Ask him if he actually bought and played it. If yes, he might have valuable input about your games quality and faults. If not, he might have valuable input about your games marketing and storefront.

Possibly. From my past experiences though, this has often led to a customer explaining how 'my game' was not the game they wanted, even though no effort on our part was made to advertise it as such. I would assume this stemmed from the customer's search for the holy grail and their inability to find it thus settling for something close enough which ultimately caused a number of frustrations (ultimately expressed in the form of overpriced, but not really the core issue).

 

 

I don't have much of a solution to address the issue per se. I think it falls down to how desperate you are to turn an unsatisfied customer whose likely to speak ill of you into a less unsatisfied customer whose less likely to speak ill of you, because I don't see it evolving much beyond that: they won't miraculously feel like the game was a bargain. At the core of this, they probably didn't like the game, and there are a number of reasons for this. Either, the game wasn't made for them, or, the game wasn't good enough (for them).

 

With the exception of developers that have extremely curious pricing strategies (I'll sell you this non-animated pixel art 4x4 square box game for 80$!!!) I believe most developers out there have a certain ethic when it comes to pricing and while we all want to make some money out of it, we're more concerned with paying the bills and covering the dev costs/team, etc. than making astronomical profits... and that's a key issue here that customers are likely not seeing. When they see the price, and the amount of units sold, they perceive this as profits, which is most definitely not the case. Few of this ever gets to anything beyond rent/food/life. (talking about indies here, mind you).

 

So, when the customer ultimately questions the pricing, he's also asking a very personal question too: Why does it cost you so much to live? Why should I pay for your food? and why did the game take so long to make?

While it is a valid statement to say the end-consumer shouldn't care about the dev's problems, it is equally valid that the dev shouldn't care about whether the pricing is equivalent to game x as this is all too subjective. The Dev's job is only to deliver quality that fits the parameters of the price he's asking for, and to insure that the price he is asking for will sell enough units and generate sufficient sales to cover for his expenses. This is an elastic pricing environment, but even that has its limits.

 

Put simply, you can't have it both ways: either you buy a game from the 'corporate world' which has standardized values and price points and are allowed to bitch and nag about the relative value, or you buy an indie product and have to live with the fact the pricing is determined by an unregulated, high-risk environment.

 

And that are my extremely long 2 cents on this.




#5277028 What engine to use for a RPG game

Posted by Orymus3 on 19 February 2016 - 03:43 PM

The upside to RPG Maker is that, once that grunt work is done, everything else can pretty much be handled by a neophyte.

Other engines (Game Maker, Unity, etc.) have gone a long way to streamline game development, but they're not there yet...




#5276930 What engine to use for a RPG game

Posted by Orymus3 on 19 February 2016 - 08:14 AM

 


Why would you not recommend it?

No free movement and the game mentioned in the OP has free movement?  Thats why I wouldn't recommend it.  The same company also has a product called IG maker http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/products/programs/ig-maker and GG maker.  Then of course theres gamemaker, godot, and Gdevelop.  The latter two being free.

 

 

 

Are you clear on there being no workaround for free movement?

Originally, my primary reason for leaving the rpg maker scene was precisely this, but this was, as originally state, during the rpg maker 2003 era, and there was no means to avoid it altogether.

I've been told by an acquaintance that it was now possible, though I haven't verified it firsthand.




#5276222 What engine to use for a RPG game

Posted by Orymus3 on 17 February 2016 - 04:55 PM

Last time I used RPG Maker was RPGMaker 2003 I believe, and even back then, it was fairly customizable. I've heard great things about Ace and onwards, though, arguably, at that point, a little more technical savvy can get you anywhere with any lower-level engine such as Unity.

Still, given the scope of what it feels like you're setting out to do, it would be worth to, at least, investigate a bit further for yourself.




#5276214 What engine to use for a RPG game

Posted by Orymus3 on 17 February 2016 - 04:31 PM

Most likely RPG Maker.

Though this could be replicated in pretty much anything, particularly in Game Maker, Torque 2D or most likely in Unity 3D's 2D platform for which you're likely to get a lot of support.






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