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Question for shareware developers.

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I have been doing a lot of research into this buisness avenue as I am trying to join the fray. My question conserns technology...specificly graphics and sharware purchasers expectations. First some background...I''m primarily a artist, but have been codeing for some 16 years (going all the way back to the Apple IIe)...primarily I''m interested in two game genres...console style RPGs and "shumps" (arcade shooters like R-Type)...both predominetly are 2D graphics wise...which I think is a nitche unsupported buy mainstream publishers (old SNES style Final Fantasy / Dragon Warrior games and 2D shooters). So my question is how viable would a "limited" graphical game be in the shareware market? Programing wise, I have completed several dozen demos of RPG engines and shooters...everyone of them DOS basied...as I''m still comeing to terms with Windows...anyway By "limited" graphics...I meen games that are designed to be displayed in either 320 X 240 X 8-bit or 640 X 480 X 8-bit (preferably for the RPGs)...8-bit color allows the graphics to be smaller memory wise...meening smaller overall download size...plus the limited palette of 8-bit, as silly as it sounds, works great for improveing my personnel creativity (as does the 2D aspect). I''m not looking to get rich off of the games I''m trying to make (and indeed, from the numerious shareware turn-over sales figures often mentioned this would seem impossable)...at best I would hope to "earn a liveing", but that isn''t realistic as of yet... So I''m just wondering how important shareware buyers value game graphics as far as the technology used...is 8-bit still acceptable? thanks

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Seeing as online hardcore gamers that will actually be interested in shareware games are commonly older people who possibly have nostalgia for such styles or are more accepting than your common 12-13 year old "gamer" who abandons good games for the latest tech demo with no substance and says it''s "THE BEST GAME EVER" until something prettier comes out and refuses to play the original DOOM and says it sucks based off of graphics alone, yes, I believe that''s acceptable. The hardcore audience being small is likely the reason shareware market does so poorly commercially. This is of cource, my uninformed, biased opinion.

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The shareware market isn''t doing so poorly, you just have to make the games that will appeal to the very large causal gamer market. It''s actually the 12-13 yearolds who like pretty graphics who are the hardcore gamers and whose number is small. Plus since the casual gamers are generally older (say in their 30''s even) they actually have money and won''t be as likely to pirate your game. You just have to do some market research, go around download sites and see what''s getting a lot of downloads. There''s a good article on this right here.

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