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Hi, I've been mulling over this idea for a while, now I want to see whether anyone would be interested in using this service if I was to build it. Basically, the idea is a game portal website with an integrated system for developers to implement a chat system, "matchmaking" servers, statistics, online forums, etc, into their games, without having to manage servers themselves. The system would be flexible enough to allow a wide variety of games to be built using it. A reference API would be available (written in cross-platform C), as well as publishing the server interface to be implemented in any programming language. This does seem a little vague, but I do have ideas on how to implement it. A web-based administration interface would be available for developers to upload new games, patches for games, view statistics, etc. I have a few ideas for ways to fund this - 1) Advertising, both on the website and in-game. 2) Developers pay us a monthly fee to use our services. 3) We take a percentage of the profit for every game sold on our site. 4) A combination of the above. There will be no requirement for games uploaded to the portal to cost money. Anyway...what features would you use from such a service? Is there anything that you'd expect from us that I haven't covered? Cheers, Kladiin

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games for windows live and gamespy provide similar things so if you priced competitively with similar features you could do pretty well.

Also, modern consoles generally provide this same functionality to their developers via libraries.

So, it is a good idea, and there are already libraries out there that do it but that doesnt mean there isn't room for you to make something too and be successful (:

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I asked the same question a few weeks ago, and got lukewarm results at best.

I think the sad truth is that "indie game developers" is a market that is so small, you can't reliably build a business around it. Also, I think that a lot of indie game developers actually enjoy rolling their own, even though it might be economically better to buy as muck as you can ready-made.

Don't let that stop you if you really feel that it's worth doing, of course. Usually, the value you get in learning is even more important than whatever business value you get.

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
I think the sad truth is that "indie game developers" is a market that is so small, you can't reliably build a business around it. Also, I think that a lot of indie game developers actually enjoy rolling their own, even though it might be economically better to buy as muck as you can ready-made.
I think the real issue is a rough corollary of that: the market is saturated already with such platforms, so unless you can deliver a critical mass of customers, you can't compete with Steam/Impulse/Games for Windows Live.

If I am an indie with enough resources to get on one of those services, the APIs/services they provide are trivial compared to the sheer number of eyeballs they can get on my game. Not to mention, I likely need to work with several of these services, and each represents an additional integration cost.

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Back end. Front end. The scale.

Quote:
1) Advertising, both on the website and in-game.
See the above talk on how this model is obsolete as far as actually making a living or even covering costs goes.
Quote:
2) Developers pay us a monthly fee to use our services.
EC2 + Chef!, 30 minutes effort, starts at under 100 a month.
Quote:
3) We take a percentage of the profit for every game sold on our site.
Which would imply you have a sales and leads network in place that would absorb all the failed products that would eat away the bottom line.

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