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jimiwa

making a living off of shareware?

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I am very passionate about game programming and I can spend many hours a day working on game programming. I just figured out how to animate in DirectX and am on my way to making my first shareware game. What I''m wondering is if there''s a chance for me to make a living off of it. Basically, I don''t need to make a lot of money - just making what a minimum wage worker makes would be good enough for me. What is important to me is that I''m doing what I want and game programming is really what I want to do. Does anyone have suggestions for what sites I can send my games to or how I could go about marketing them?

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Yes, it is possible. I recommend getting and reading the book "the indie game development survival guide" which deals with this issue.

Note that, in a few years, you will probably want to marry some woman, and have a few kids. That''s how humans are biologically wired. At that time, making minimum wage might not seem so hot anymore.

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You can probably make a living, but you''d more likely be better off working for some game company.

Zorx (a Puzzle Bobble clone)
Discontinuity (an animation system for POV-Ray)

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Shareware *sort* of worked for Id. Got them noticed, and they made *some* money...but basiclly sysops just bought a copy of the game for everyone on their boards. Piracy is pretty rampant for shareware to make you a living. But you might make some money on it, and get your name out there.

Good luck.

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IIRC, Wolf3d sold 250,000 in shareware and Doom sold 1.5 million
To contrast, Doom2 sold over 2 million copies. However, I haven''t heard of any HUGE shareware successes since the early nineties, after id and Apogee abandoned that busibess model. Can someone correct me on that?

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Sadly, Al Gorithm, I can''t. It seems to be largely abandoned these days, except by indie shareware developers who just don''t have the clout or a strong enough product to get snapped up by a publishing company.

I think there''s more money made from shareware in utilities, though if you want to be pedantic, most "shareware" is actually crippleware these days.

The legacy of Shareware lives on, though, with the release of game demos and such.

---
- 2D/Pixel Artist - 3D Artist - Game Programmer - Ulfr Fenris
[[ Gaping Wolf Software ]] [[ GameGenesis Forums ]]

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GameDev.net isn''t the most "indie-ful" community, as you can see by some of the responses above.

There are quite a few successful independent game developers, including Goodsol (Pretty Good Solitaire), Dexterity, Silver Creek, Spiderweb Software, Brave Tree, Garage Games, and others. You don''t hear about them here at GameDev because it''s rather a different community.

Doom-like success is rare in any industry, and even in the overall game industry there are few stories that compare.

Yes, you can make a living off of a game you design, develop, and sell on your own. It''s not the easiest living, but it can be a lot of fun, and very fulfilling.

-David

DavidRM
Samu Games

The Indie Game Development Survival Guide

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quote:
Original post by Al Gorithm
However, I haven''t heard of any HUGE shareware successes since the early nineties, after id and Apogee abandoned that busibess model. Can someone correct me on that?


Dink Smallwood by Robinson Technologies.. it was successful enough for them to hire employees and exist today.

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quote:
Dink Smallwood by Robinson Technologies.. it was successful enough for them to hire employees and exist today.


Dink Smallwood was released for free wasn''t it? RT was successful for year before that with the L.O.R.D series of BBS Doors.

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