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M-Works

Getting your game published as an indie

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I am really having difficulty with trying to get games published as an indie game developer. I am having many obstacles. I would like to know when you should present your work to the publisher and what to tell them. I have a great game that is an FPS, but it would never compete with Unreal or any of the other big guys. What should I do about that?

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i beleive activision has an indie/budget game section, forgot the title of it, but look into that. also you may want to look at an indie game publisher like www.garagegames.com

also, sorry if this sounds harsh but:
Quote:
I have a great game that is an FPS, but it would never compete with Unreal or any of the other big guys.
if it can't compete with those, its unlikely you'll get a publishing deal with anyone but an indie publisher.

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That is true. I am thinking of trying to get some talented 3d modelers after I finish programming the game engine and releasing a demo or some new screenshots. I did not know that activision had anything for indies, so thank you for telling me about it. I really do not think that any indie can compete with Unreal or any of the big guys as it is right now, they have hundreds of people working with next-gen everything.

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You could always self publish. Retailers arn't going to say no to a money maker, thats all they're really concerned about. If it's not crap, or as contreversal as GTA then you should be able to get it to shelves. I plan on self publishing my game when it's done. Although you need working capital, you get all the profit, no middle men. Here are some links to some publishing equipment that you might be interested in.

www.veritysystems.com
www.cddimensions.com

Don't forget about having to ship it across the country to reail distribution centers though. You don't want thousands of copies just sitting around not making you money.

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Depending on what type of game you are making there are several options. Firstly, youll want to put together a nice demo of the game with screenshots and info about it and send it out to as many publishers as you can find. Theres a good template for this Here

If your game is a casual, puzzle type game i would suggest submitting it to portals like Realarcade. They will sell the game for you and already have a large amount of customers and advertising of which you dont need to do yourself. They will however take a cut of the sales.

If your game is directed to a more niche userbase the best bet is to probably publish it yourself. As long as you arent hoping to live off the sales this option isnt really that bad. Just set up a website for the game and use a company like ShareIt to deal with the credit card authentication. Shareit also submit your game to several download sites like Download.com for you.

A service like VGSmart might be useful if you are publishing it yourself also, check them out.

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Quote:
I would like to know when you should present your work to the publisher and what to tell them.

You present to a publisher when your game is finished and you tell them what makes your game better than similar games out there.

This may be the link that BorisTSR was talking about ActivisionValue

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Quote:
Original post by M-Works
I am really having difficulty with trying to get games published as an indie game developer. I am having many obstacles. I would like to know when you should present your work to the publisher and what to tell them. I have a great game that is an FPS, but it would never compete with Unreal or any of the other big guys. What should I do about that?
Is the game complete?

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The game I am currently producing is not completed. I am basicly done with the game engine, and the levels look real right now. The company that I am running is all online right now, so we are looking to get stationed somewhere, and we are looking for people to help with the graphics rendering and 3d modeling/animation. It looks as though I can get a working demo with one full mission (20 levels), multiplayer, advanced AI, sound intergrated, and cutscenes within a month, and after that it is just a matter of making new levels and improving upon multiplayer and the graphics engine.

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Sorry for the double post, but how would you sell your game to retailers without a publisher? I am just currious. Would you contact them via e-mail or by a paper written proposal? And how do you think would you be able to get a negotiation on marketing the game?

Also, how would I send a game to ESRB for it to be rated? Would I just send it to them with information about the game and expected audiences to buy, or would I have to contact them at a special e-mail address or something?

[Edited by - M-Works on September 26, 2005 3:02:00 PM]

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