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alex mcandrew

Independent Game Developers - What do you think?

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Hi everyone, For the past weeks I have been playing with an idea which was given to me in this forum; a site like Mp3.com for independent game developers. The idea of the site would be to give all developers without a publishing contract a few pages on our site, with which they can provide information about their development team, current projects, news, and more. Developers can also provide demos of games. And just like on Mp3.com, developers can sell their games online. I would take care of the e-commerce side, and maybe even partner with a company to produce the game CDs. Best of all, should the developer decide to have us produce the CD, we will also market and distribute it, all just for a small percentage of the sales price. Gamers would be able to download the demos, contact developers, vote for favourite games and developers, and much more. Thereby charts would be devloped. Publishers tthen have a resource for world wide developers which they can buy at an auction on the site. And all of this would be free for developers and gamers. What I want to know is whether you guys would be interested in such a site. I''d also like to develop a sample page of a developer to show other people. I''m looking for a development team of more than 1 person. If anyone''s interested in being put on the sample page please give me your e-mail address. Thanks a lot.

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You say "a site like Mp3.com"... I don''t think that site is the best role model for what you should do. There are people who like indie bands because they''re new or uncommercial or whatever, but I don''t think the same holds for indie game developers. Gamers want cutting-edge, professional games, not the product of a coupla'' guys working out of their garage. Ideally, a visitor should come to your site, browse the games, and not ever get the impression that the games are anything less than what he/she would find on the shelves at EB or where-ever. Don''t stress the developers'' "indie" status -- don''t even mention it at all.

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Well, when I go to mp3.com, it''s because I know I can get stuff for free. Not because I expect music of the same quality as ''professional CDs''. The same would hold for games I am sure. Why else would people still download small shareware games to check out? Simply because they can sample them for free.

Mp3.com makes its profit by selling ads, the authors on it make their money by selling their CDs for interested people. Since so many people visit mp3.com there will always be someone interested in a particular musical style. Why wouldn''t the same apply to games?

I think many developers will benefit from having a central place where people can go to. And if the site is divided into categories, everybody''s game will be featured somewhere so everyone will get at least some attention.


Kind regards,
Maarten Egmond.

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If you wish to do a site this big, where will you get the capital to do such a thing?
What funding do you have? Or do you have a pubilshing and distribution team living in your basement ready to do all the work?
It may well be a good idea, but unless you forgot to say how you have corporate backing to fund it all, I dont think its feasible.
Even trying to build up small may take rather a long time, to get anywhere and probably wont get enough coverage to make the place popular enough to take off.

Of course, people may want to look out for a site that indie developers will be able to put their demo and have their games reviewed and previewed in the near future

--
David Athay
I-Tech Software (UK) Ltd.
Publishers of Game Dev related books and magazines

the GDA, free hosting for Game Developers with no ads or banners
http://gda.i-techuk.net

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If you do make the site, e-mail me... I would be glad to give a constructive critic about it

Wouldn't living in your own video game be cool?

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I would be interested in this, but for new developpers who want to make a commercial game, it may not be that interesting, because you don''t really distribute the game. If you also had normal publishing, that would help, but I think that developpers are looking for a publisher that can advertise and distribute their game well.

>>>You say "a site like Mp3.com"... I don''t think that site is the best role model for what you should do. There are people who like indie bands because they''re new or uncommercial or whatever, but I don''t think the same holds for indie game developers. Gamers want cutting-edge, professional games, not the product of a coupla'' guys working out of their garage. Ideally, a visitor should come to your site, browse the games, and not ever get the impression that the games are anything less than what he/she would find on the shelves at EB or where-ever. Don''t stress the developers'' "indie" status -- don''t even mention it at all<<<
The end of this is right, but i''m not sure gamers don''t want "garage games". Sure, they want good games, but look at counter-strike: a few people using an existing engine made this in about 1 year. If you made it easy for developpers to license engines - without selling everything - they could make good games, because they don''t have to worry about programming the engine.

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