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Reputation

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I think the most important thing that us indie game makers should be concerned about with our first games is reputation, not money. Although I would prefer it be a good reputation, there's no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to getting your name out. Discuss amongst yourselves!

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There's bad publicity. Just look at someone like John Romero, think anyone's going to remember Quake first rather than Daikatana? Or Gator [now Cliara? the spyware people], they always have job postings up because no half honest sys admin will work for them.

But otherwise, it depends on your position. For some, getting a good reputation is more valuable than money as it allows them to become gainfully employed. For others, the little starting cash is what they need to build a better game to make more money.


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I think it's difficult to create a reputation in the absence of a product. I am so overwhelmed by the difficulties of creating a product, that I simply don't worry about any marketing issues right now. I'll change gears when I actually have something to market. I do think about marketing, and what's marketable, and how that fits in with my ideals of game design. But I haven't actually marketed anything because I still don't have anything to market.

In other words, first things first. A reputation needs to be based on something. If it isn't going to just collapse like a house of cards, like a dot.com bust.

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I think, uh...there's no such thing as bad publicity, but there's a thing as too much publicity. I mean, come on..."John Romero is about to make you his bitch"? Do I really want to see that scribbled all over every magazine and website with NO evidence of anything...you know, fun? I don't know about you, but I really, REALLY don't want to buy a game just to be John Romero's bitch.

EDIT: as per the usual, I forgot to make an actual point. Uh...I agree that indie developers should worry a lot more about the reputation of the game, but unless the entire internet is linking to your game, you really also have to worry about pay as well. Whether you distribute as shareware or rely on donations (don't get your hopes up with the retail sales for a first game...), you still need for a LOT of people to like your game to establish a solid reputation in the gaming world. Like those dot dot com people.

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Well something that would help get your game out, and so your name, is to definitely post your game as freeware. No one is going to pay 15 bucks to play a breakout clone or something else they can go somewhere else and play for free. However, if your game as some uniqueness to it, be it a clone or not, they will play your free game over the others.

Once people know you are capable of creating a decent, maybe they'll be willing to pay a little for the next one.

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Quote:
Original post by Boku San
I think, uh...there's no such thing as bad publicity, but there's a thing as too much publicity.


Well, the thing is, in PR (which contains your publicist/publicity efforts if you do it yourself) you have to do everything you can to prevent the good publicity you believe you are publishing or broadcasting from being interpreted negatively. So even the best publicity from your POV, somebody is going to interpret incorrectly or negatively, and that is something you can design against.

Even the most famous ad of all time, "Where's the beef" was whacked up side the head by Cardiologists screaming about how the implications could kill you. Some things are just hard to sell, and this is a business that has come under a lot of flak. Fortunately, films survive it all the time, and games do too.

my two cents

Adventuredesign

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Quote:

I think it's difficult to create a reputation in the absence of a product

It can be but it's not impossible....our little company has had lots of publicity in the papers and interviews from bbc and ch4 in the last few months, and we've been asked to now work on a licenced game, and we haven't got our first game out yet!..but we do have a lot of industry connections we made during all the networking we do, so that may have something to do with it!.

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I'd say maintain a healthy balance between the two, and keep in mind they're both dependent on each other.

Making money off your game for the sake of it isn't the point. The point is the tremendous motivation you get from being paid to keep at it, the possibility of re-investing anything you make back into your company/studio/bedroom, the self-confidence you get from knowing people are willing to part with their hard cash for your product... there's a lot to be said for it.

Reputation and publicity are important too though. Obviously if nobody knows about your game, they won't be able to buy it... and a company who people have heard, through whatever means, makes "good games" will do a lot better.

Reputation + publicity = increased sales

Marketing, advertising etc = increased publicity

Like someone said though, to build a good long-term reputation, you will need high quality products.

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