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wardekar

Picking a game concept

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This is sort of a broad question for any developers out there: how do you choose your project? My goal is to work on a shareware-published game, and I don''t know where to start on researching what a profitable game would be. Obviously it needs to be addictive and simple, but where do you turn to to find out what kind of games will sell? I''m not talking block-busters here, just $10-$20 range shareware titles.

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I would say pick a game that you your self would want to play. if you don''t like the game then not many others will.. also it would be alot easier to keep going on a game that you really would like to play yourself..

if you like it then probably other would enjoy it too.. I don''t think you can really say for sure what is going to sell and what isn''t

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Obviously it''s impossible to predict what will sell well and what won''t, but that doesn''t mean you can''t try, that''s what market research is for.

As for just making games I would enjoy, I really don''t care what I make at this point, I know I can make shareware-quality games, I''m not interested in making something for my own use, I just want to try and make a few bucks on the side and still rather enjoy myself doing it. I''m not looking for innovation or anything like that, purely from a standpoint of what does the average person enjoy playing and what would be addictive.

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Go to all the popular shareware download portals and take notes on what''s at the top of their game charts.

Generally (from a little bit of research) it seems to be:

- stuff that works on just about any PC (e.g. does it run ok on a P100?)

- very accessible, and often just a variation on a game that works in a non-computer situation (card games, Scrabble variants etc)

- bitesize: no epic RPGs, the more popular shareware/freeware games are very much pick up and play without any unnecessary preamble, and also easy to discard and put down. Again, think simple card games etc.

- download and play rather than play online. Although the richer countries have regular internet connections and even DSL/ADSL, there are a hell of a lot of people out there downloading from gaming cafes, downloading over expensive and unreliable phone lines etc

- non-intimidating. i.e. simple to pick up and don''t make the player feel dumb for failing. Target the 40 year old housewives (seriously!). IIRC the most popular game played on PCs today is Solitaire that comes with MS Windows!. Never underestimate how many bored secretaries are out there. I experienced this first hand when I was working in the commercial IT world - I tried to introduce a few of the "eww no, I don''t like ''games''" staff to gaming. All ''normal'' games failed...until I tried Tetris. Forget graphics, forget what you think is good - simplicity had all the admin staff hooked :o)

i.e. the "gamers" who you probably know the most about are likely the smallest percentage of your overall market. And are the most likely to favour full price commercial games and IMO be the least likely to actually pay for shareware.

--
Simon O''Connor
Insert Company Name Here

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