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Wavinator

Straight to shareware...

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This will be an incredible *duh* to some folks here, but... How many people here design with an eye on getting picked up by a publisher, versus a shareware effort? When you think, "I want to see XYZ in a game," are you at all thinking about the production side? Since this effects how you are likely to judge an idea, I''m curious. Ideas that would be great in shareware would be appalling in a published game. Are people here evaulating ideas for their applicability to small-scale or big-time game creation? It occurs to me that alot of the ideas I see grace the forum are most definitely publisher quality material, and I was just wondering if that was even on the radar. (btw, I know, I''m one to talk... ) -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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I think that you grossly underestimate what it takes to get publishers attention. Talk is cheap, a pulishing deal takes time and money.

If you ever want to get a publishing deal, I do believe the first step is to self publish small games. Work your way up the ladder, don't expect to be able to beat starcraft on your first semi-commercial attempt, as you will just be dissapointed. When you are pushing your small games there are things that will help you be more attractive to a deal. reuse of your engine is a good start base 2-3 games at a time off the same base code. Build a brand, id made good money off the commander keen series before launching into wolfenstein and doom.

Unfortunatly as each day goes by it get more and more difficult to "break in" to the industry. Just as today the chances of an independant film being picked up and backed by a hollywood studio is marginal at best ( yes is does happen on occasion ).

I've always wondered why indy game developers don't set up a clearing house for selling and promoting games where people pay a fee per month to play as a specific number of games ( say 10 ). Every game would have a try before you commit. For $15/month or $30/quarter with the profits being split by the games being selected. Like and arcade for larger games. As long as the site picked up some big name programs it might work.

Edited by - snowmoon on July 24, 2001 11:50:14 AM

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quote:
Original post by snowmoon
I think that you grossly underestimate what it takes to get publishers attention. Talk is cheap, a pulishing deal takes time and money.


*dark, cynical laughter*

No, no, being a former game coder, I''d never underestimate that!

quote:

If you ever want to get a publishing deal, I do believe the first step is to self publish small games. Work your way up the ladder, don''t expect to be able to beat starcraft on your first semi-commercial attempt, as you will just be dissapointed. When you are pushing your small games there are things that will help you be more attractive to a deal. reuse of your engine is a good start base 2-3 games at a time off the same base code. Build a brand, id made good money off the commander keen series before launching into wolfenstein and doom.


Yeah, these are good ideas.

quote:

I''ve always wondered why indy game developers don''t set up a clearing house for selling and promoting games where people pay a fee per month to play as a specific number of games ( say 10 ). Every game would have a try before you commit. For $15/month or $30/quarter with the profits being split by the games being selected. Like and arcade for larger games. As long as the site picked up some big name programs it might work.


www.drengin.net Though that you didn''t know this means they have a lot of work to do on their advertising!


My main point was in trying to get an idea of people''s focus. If you''re never going to publish, then you''ll come up with (likely more hardcore, more low budget) criteria for game ideas more acceptable to shareware.

So the question still is, how many people are designing to be published...?

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I guess my point was you are designing to be published... once you have a publishing deal. You can not really design a game to be published before signing the deal ( or at least having an understanding ). Nor do I think that desining for shareware hurts your ability to shoot for a publishing deal later.

I''m going to check out drengin... thanks.

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Myself, I''m not even designing for shareware just yet. I''m designing to design. With each design, my ideas get a little better, a little more well formulated, and a little more robust. What''s not to like?

I''m also a student right now, and implementing some of the simpler designs gives me, and some friends, something to do when we get really bored.

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I am sort of aiming towards producing a proof of concept game, which could be released as shareware or taken to a publisher. I tend to look at my designs from lots of different angles - appeal to the hardcore, but avoid alienating the casual as well, and vice versa.

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I''m with ThoughtBubble on this one. I design for the sake of designing, but my ideas are original and exciting enough that, should I ever find the urge to seek a publisher, it''s always a possibility. But fun comes first.

That is, if my computer hadn''t magically stopped working a few weeks ago.

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We (ZakjeZoftware) are designing from a different perspective. We are creating our games for ourselfs. We create the games we would like to play, but cannot find in the stores.

When someone encounters our project, and wants a copy, fine. Order it directly from a member, and you''ll get your own copy. When a publisher wants to publish the game: fine, he may do so. We might actually make a buck that way.

Is noone interested in our game? Also fine. We like the game. That was our main goal...

Pretty selfish, err?

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As I haven't even reached the first step of the ladder of programming, let alone game design(I'm still trying to jump up to reach it... but once I grab hold, I'm never gonna let go, you can count on that) I haven't even really ever thought about releasing a commercial (published) game. Haven't even ever thought about shareware.

For now... I'm DREAMING along Ronin_54's idea: I just want to make a game that will let me play a game the way I want to play.

After I finally am able to create a game like that, I'd probably think of shareware first, but keep throwing out a line to publishers in the hope that perhaps that 0.0001% chance of getting their attention finally happens.

EDIT
PS "It occurs to me that alot of the ideas I see grace the forum are most definitely publisher quality material..." Has anyone ever seen a game being developed that seemed to get its ideas from a messageboard such as this one? Or would it just be a case of great people thinking alike?

Edited by - Silvermyst on July 26, 2001 3:13:12 PM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''m programming a game, sort of beyond gauntlet level. Kind of like the snes Zelda but without the same level of plot and much less persistant data. I hope to finish in a year but if I finish it in 2 that would be ok too. I''m going to use it to get a job. If I finish it on time I''m going to program a Magic: the Gathering game for LAN play. It has extremely complex rules and will require a good interface so I think it would be very impressive if I can get it implemented. I should be able to get credit for two classes if I do it as a school project.

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