Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
scippie

Game is ready, beta test has been successful, now what???

This topic is 4486 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi, Several months ago, we finished our first pc adventure game "Tears of Betrayal". Beta testing was successful and we even had some small amount of sales that gave us the opportunity to fix some problems with an upgrade patch. We even have a lot of positive reviews already (latest one was http://www.adventurelantern.com/reviews/tearsofbetrayal/tearsofbetrayal.htm ) and it seems that most people find this game to be quite entertaining! But still, sales are very low, why is that? 1. Because we don't have a publisher that takes up all the profit. We tried several publishers, they would all squeeze us to death with their very low royalties. 2. Because when we try to contact a game-shop, we only get to hear that they get their stock from a distributor which is mostly the publisher itself and that they don't deal with companies directly. So if I understand this clearly, we don't get a chance because we're not connected to the big companies, but if we want to be connected to the big companies, we lose everything because we can't live of the low royalty-rates. We had a publisher who wanted to sell 2500 items of our game in one country. When we calculated what our cost (they wanted us to do some extra implementations) & revenue would be, we found out that we would earn the same if we would sell 20 games through our website. This is ridiculous!!! So, is there really no place in this world for great game developers (yes I'm pretty sure we are) who want to make a game independantly? I'm pretty sure we didn't reach the target consumer (mostly people around 30), but how can we do this when we don't seem to get a chance?? I'm very interested in your opinions and I hope to find some sollutions for our problems here, because we will soon have to stop the development of our next game (which looks 10x better than our first game) if we don't get more revenues from our first game (which is really great once you get into it). If you're interested in our first game: http://www.tears-of-betrayal.com Dirk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Well, have you tried sending the game for review sites, cross linking with other dev teams games, etc ?
We are going to start cross-linking our site with other teams, so, the more downloads the bigger possibility of making a sale.., if you are interested in cross-linking, PM me..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are a couple of things that you could do:

Revise the game - go back and improve upon the graphics. I look at the screenshots and then see the price and I run away. I realize that you might not be willing to lower the price, so why not make the game better and give the player something better for their money?

Revise the website's front page - Why am I looking at all this text that is randomly place? What does it all mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The game isn't selling for several reasons....
Firstly its not very good. Sorry but its quality doesn't compare with games like "The Longest Journey" so you can't expect big sales.
Secondly people can't buy it if they don't know it exists. When a new developer appears on the scene it takes time for people to find their web site. Unless you have a big marketing budget your sales will only grow very slowly. You need to work out ways to spread the word.

Quote:
Original post by scippie
if we don't get more revenues from our first game (which is really great once you get into it).
If you want it to sell it needs to be really great from the start. People will decide within the first few minutes and if they aren't impressed they won't buy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would definitely recommend upgrading the website, it looks fairly amateur for people that are actually trying to sell a game. I'd go as far to say my final project website is more professional, and that was only done for a school project. www.wreckinshop.net if you're interested in comparing.

The website is your representation to the world, if it looks shoddy or poorly done, people will make the same assumption about the game. The game itself doesn't look too fantastic either based on the screenshots I've seen. I would definitely take Dan's advice and work on improving the quality of the game first, then worry about selling it. Take notes from games like alien hominid, gish, etc. these are all low budget indie games that have done very well. They have done well because they are amazingly crafted and polished games.

If you make an amazing game, it will sell itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to say Dan is right.

Look, I run the big PR company for indie games.

You made a lot of classic mistakes, but like I say in my book (The Indie Developer's Guide to Selling Games, www.indiegameguide.com) - your first game is almost certain to fail. Get over it :)

Here is my post that I HOPE influences a lot of you readers!

Some important things you should be learning:
It is ok to believe in your product- but be realistic. Did you think retail outlets would want to pick up this game directly from a development house!? You are either overestimating your own abilities and assets or severely lack knowledge about the way the world operates :) It's ok! The worst thing anyone can do is say 'no' ... but you shouldn't have made it part of your plan for success.

Your website is your persona and you can tell a lot about a person from the way they look, how they dress, ect. Yeah, I suppose I am a horrible person who would attempt to judge books by their cover... but I DO judge books by their cover and so does everyone else. Good covers on books = higher sales. That's a fact.

Your game is HUGE. That is going to negatively impact sales. Portals won't go near a game with a 250mb demo. My research shows you will experience a .2% increase in failed downloads per 1 mb up to 50 and then a SHARP decline after 50. This means you could be looking at a 50%+ start and never finish download rate. Demos need to be small, find a way to make it happen or don't have a game that uses a demo.

Your genre makes your life harder than it could have been otherwise. Yes, you should make the games you want to make :) Adventure games are tough. I should know, I have done the PR work for TWO retail adventure games this year (80 Days and Secrets of Da Vinci). When you select your game you need a plan on how to get the word out about it. You've got an adventure game so your first stop should be adventure sites.

Here's where you need to go if you seriously want to start building traffic... but you may want to get a better demo, fix your website, ect. ect. before you even begin to try to get customers.

Contact:
Just Adventure
Adventure Gamers
GameBoomers
and QuandaryLand

Those four sites comprise pretty much what is left of the 'hardcore adventure game fans.' They all range between 50 and 60,000 alexa rank, which makes them large enough to impact sales but not large enough to make you rich.

So here's my FINAL comment to all the developers out there who consistently ask the same question on this forum.

Yes it is possible to make money developing games. No it is not easy. If it were easy everyone would make games. It's 40% making good games, 50% understanding how to create a game that can sell, 10% luck, and 5% ability to see through BS %s. The fact is it is a combination of knowing your market before you start making games, marketing your game after you make it, and occassionally getting lucky as a result of your HARD WORK :)

Oh and when you are ready, you may want to do a press release through a cool service like VGSmart ;-) But I wouldn't reccomend it until you fix some of your problems.

-Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you all very much for your information.
I know we've made some major mistakes with Tears of Betrayal and we hope we will do better with our next game!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Firstly, congradulations on finishing your game and getting some pretty good reviews.

Secondly, have you looked into online stores like PC Gamer's Game Downloads? That website has alot of people reading PC Gamer using it and has quite alot of indie and smaller games on it. Try contacting this and similiar websites. And if it's 250mb, get a nice server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That section is run by TryGames; it really doesnt have anything to do with PC Gamer (just an affiliate program).

TryGames will likely reject the game due to the demo size... and they aren't particularly indie friendly. They tend to take old "A and B" titles and top selling casual games. Also even when you do get accepted there isn't much chance they will feature your game... expect few sales at best.

Anyway, that doesn't mean you shouldn't submit it to these places, but you should always know who you are dealing with. Always find out who is truly in charge of a download area, be it PC Gamer, Trymedia (AKA: Macrovision), or someone else.

I also work with ArcadeTown, a leading online portal just like Trymedia :) I'll tell you right now if you can find a way to cut that demo down to 40 megs I would at least try it out on our network, but not if you can't.

-Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!