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Where can I start publishing?

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I used to write games using C++ and openGL just as a hobby but they never get finished cause I loose motivation. I guess cause I know noone in the world is gonna see them. Where can I start publishing games? The goal is to get some feedback and at least a little money from ads. I was considering android but they say that you have to do something really-cool if you want more than 1-2 downloads(which is not too much feedback:)). AppStore is out of my league I cant buy a mac. I know CPP and openGL, a little bit of java, ....no experience with directX and XNA. I would prefer programming under windows. Where can I start then?(treat me like a total newbie) Thanks!

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I used to write games using C++ and openGL just as a hobby but they never get finished cause I loose motivation. I guess cause I know noone in the world is gonna see them. Where can I start publishing games? The goal is to get some feedback and at least a little money from ads. I was considering android but they say that you have to do something really-cool if you want more than 1-2 downloads(which is not too much feedback:)). AppStore is out of my league I cant buy a mac. I know CPP and openGL, a little bit of java, ....no experience with directX and XNA. I would prefer programming under windows. Where can I start then?(treat me like a total newbie) Thanks!


First of all, you don't have to do something "really cool" to get more than 1-2 downloads on Android, even bad games can get a few hundred quite easily and the competition really isn't that fierce. (I've seen 3 different clones of Nokias old snake clone all with a few thousand downloads each). (Ad revenue however requires players to play the game repeatedly for a long time to add up to any meaningful amounts, even 100k downloads become almost no revenue if everyone just plays the game for 2 minutes and then deletes it).

The trick as always isn't just to make a decent game, you have to market it aswell, Post videos on youtube, spread the word a bit, get people interested. (Heck, simply posting in your announcements here is likely to give you more than 1-2 downloads), Get your friends and even people you only know online to try it out, if they like it they'll probably tell others about it aswell.

The same goes for PC games, take advantage of social media to get the word out, if it is freeware you can just host it on your own website, use things like torrents if the game is large enough for bandwidth to become an issue.

If you want to sell games things get harder ofcourse, There are e-commerce solutions you can use to set up your own webshop to sell PC games, (for Android games you just have to register with google and upload them), Steam is reasonably indie friendly aswell but won't accept junk.

Advertising is more of a challenge on the PC as indie games are less likely to attract a large number of players (And thus the advertising solutions that exist are targeted at the big players often requiring permission to get into your game so for the PC if you want to go the ad route then Flash and web based games are your best friend.

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Given how you've described your situation, I would suggest one of the following two approaches:

  1. Give Android a try -- as SimonForsman says, you're unlikely to make much if any money unless you can produce a good game and market it well, but as long as your game is at least reasonable and you put in some minimal effort to spread the word you should easily get more plays than you're expecting, giving you the feedback you desire and allowing you to gain experience to hopefully make some money on future efforts.
  2. Learn Flash/ActionScript, and develop for the web -- a decent game should get plenty of plays, and although only the best games make a lot of money, it isn't all that difficult to pick up a small sponsorship and/or make a small amount from advertising. If you can't afford to pay for tools, look into FlashDevelop/Flex and/or HaXe as free options.

No matter what approach you take, you are going to have to deal with your motivation issues, and if you want a successful game release you'll have to put in the time and effort to do those parts of development that aren't as interesting -- adding menus, testing, etc.


Hope that's helpful! smile.png

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Thank you for your answers! In the last week ive been reading about this stuff a lot ....blogs, forums, everywhere. Now this clarified for me that I cant start with PC games, Im gonna try android and flash.

Do I need something for android apart from the registration and the 25$? Is it more difficult if I want to have ads in the games? Can I do it without an android phone?

(I dont know anything about flash and its market yet:))

Thanks!

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Thank you for your answers! In the last week ive been reading about this stuff a lot ....blogs, forums, everywhere. Now this clarified for me that I cant start with PC games, Im gonna try android and flash.

Do I need something for android apart from the registration and the 25$? Is it more difficult if I want to have ads in the games? Can I do it without an android phone?

(I dont know anything about flash and its market yet:))

Thanks!


You can start with the PC if you want, you just have to go through a bit more trouble to generate revenue (You should probably focus more on making a good game than on making money right now anyway) (If you make a reasonably decent PC game you could just put up a donation link on your website and get something in return (using for example paypal))

As for android all you need is a PC and the SDK (which is free btw), you only need to pay $25 if you want to distribute your apps on the Android market (Thus you can pay this after you have a finished game) (Android phones can install apps from other sources so you can distribute your app from your own website, filesharing networks, etc aswell. (Allthough having the app on the market is a good idea as many users use it as their only source of apps).

It is not necessary to have an Android phone but it makes testing the app alot easier (The emulator is fairly slow and doesn't provide you with sensors), releasing an untested app is probably not the best idea.

For Flash i'd recommend looking at kongregate.com , just register, add their API to your game (really simple to do, instructions are available on their site) and upload the game, if it is popular enough to generate ad revenue then you'll get payed.

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(If you make a reasonably decent PC game you could just put up a donation link on your website and get something in return (using for example paypal))



Well, Im sceptic about this one. I can hardly imagine that someone would download a game for free then go back to my page and donate me. I hope Im wrong.

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Similarly with Nokia (Symbian), I'm getting 50-100 downloads daily with a simple niche application, and ~13,000 downloads daily with another simple more useful application. Don't know about games yet (have one in the pipeline waiting to be approved though).

So yes, I agree that giving mobile platforms is worth a try; all of them (except Apple) can be developed for without buying a Mac smile.png But as someone says, it's probably useful to have a real device for testing, as emulators aren't always perfect, also there might be deployment or UI issues that aren't obvious when testing. (Nokia have a cool thing that I sometimes use, Remote Device Access where you can use any of their phones remotely - but even there, it's useful to have an actual smartphone to test on.) I'm considering picking up a cheap Android tablet just to port games to.

But it is interesting - on Windows, I'm happy to get something like 10 a day for my games, a vastly lower rate. I think a big part is that there's simply less competition on mobile platforms at the moment, as well as less in the way of established games (compared with Windows, where almost everything you can think of has been done for free, and there are also well known versions, so no one's going to even care about some new version). (Also probably that there will always be less competing distractions on a mobile - if you're out somewhere with your phone, playing games is one of a few ways to pass the time; but if you're at home, there are a million other things people can do to pass the time, be it web, watching videos/TV, or something else altogether.) Of course it could also be that my mobile apps really did stumble on something useful, where as my Windows games are just rubbish smile.png I'll know better soon, as my next mobile release is a port of one of my desktop games, so it will be interesting to compare...

Are you in this to make money, or just for fun/free? If you don't need to handle payments, you can put in on your own website if you like, and there are various download sites/stores. MS will soon have their own download site, but it's unclear how good that will be at driving traffic to new software.

It would be interesting to hear what other people's experiences are. The best I've found at generating interest to my software has been Freecode (previously Freshmeat) (sadly not for Windows-only software). I've also tried download.com, but despite it being one of the most popular Windows download sites, for me at least it doesn't do well at driving traffic to new software (of course there's software on there with millions of downloads, but these seem to be ones that people already know about).

I noticed a similar with with You Tube, for videos rather than software. It's one of the most popular sites on the web, and it's also in practice the one standard place to go to for videos - so it has the same "one place to download" effect that you get with the various mobile platforms. But is it the case that simply uploading a video guarantees 100s or 1000s of hits a day with little effort (as with my experience on Nokia's store, and presumably other mobile stores as well)? From what I can see, the answer is no - whilst some popular videos rise up to the millions, I've come across many that just have a few hundred views in total, never mind daily. And even more interesting when you consider that surely simply clicking on a video must be less effort for viewers than deciding you want to download/install a mobile application.

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Similarly with Nokia (Symbian), I'm getting 50-100 downloads daily with a simple niche application, and ~13,000 downloads daily with another simple more useful application. Don't know about games yet (have one in the pipeline waiting to be approved though).

So yes, I agree that giving mobile platforms is worth a try; all of them (except Apple) can be developed for without buying a Mac smile.png But as someone says, it's probably useful to have a real device for testing, as emulators aren't always perfect, also there might be deployment or UI issues that aren't obvious when testing. (Nokia have a cool thing that I sometimes use, Remote Device Access where you can use any of their phones remotely - but even there, it's useful to have an actual smartphone to test on.) I'm considering picking up a cheap Android tablet just to port games to.

But it is interesting - on Windows, I'm happy to get something like 10 a day for my games, a vastly lower rate. I think a big part is that there's simply less competition on mobile platforms at the moment, as well as less in the way of established games (compared with Windows, where almost everything you can think of has been done for free, and there are also well known versions, so no one's going to even care about some new version). (Also probably that there will always be less competing distractions on a mobile - if you're out somewhere with your phone, playing games is one of a few ways to pass the time; but if you're at home, there are a million other things people can do to pass the time, be it web, watching videos/TV, or something else altogether.) Of course it could also be that my mobile apps really did stumble on something useful, where as my Windows games are just rubbish smile.png I'll know better soon, as my next mobile release is a port of one of my desktop games, so it will be interesting to compare...

Are you in this to make money, or just for fun/free? If you don't need to handle payments, you can put in on your own website if you like, and there are various download sites/stores. MS will soon have their own download site, but it's unclear how good that will be at driving traffic to new software.

It would be interesting to hear what other people's experiences are. The best I've found at generating interest to my software has been Freecode (previously Freshmeat) (sadly not for Windows-only software). I've also tried download.com, but despite it being one of the most popular Windows download sites, for me at least it doesn't do well at driving traffic to new software (of course there's software on there with millions of downloads, but these seem to be ones that people already know about).

I noticed a similar with with You Tube, for videos rather than software. It's one of the most popular sites on the web, and it's also in practice the one standard place to go to for videos - so it has the same "one place to download" effect that you get with the various mobile platforms. But is it the case that simply uploading a video guarantees 100s or 1000s of hits a day with little effort (as with my experience on Nokia's store, and presumably other mobile stores as well)? From what I can see, the answer is no - whilst some popular videos rise up to the millions, I've come across many that just have a few hundred views in total, never mind daily. And even more interesting when you consider that surely simply clicking on a video must be less effort for viewers than deciding you want to download/install a mobile application.


Thanks! Sorry for this late reply. From what Ive read and heard so far selling games for PC is HARD compared to selling on mobile platforms. Ive set up Eclipse and all that but Ive problems with the emulator ....doesnt matter.

"[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]

Are you in this to make money, or just for fun/free?

[/font]"
All of my projects stop at about 20% cause I loose motivation. ...like "hey! Why the hell am I doing this? no one in the world is gonna see it."
Maybe I lived in a fairy tale ....you make games and somehow they just sell themselves:D ....i dont know.
So if I could make at lest a few $ that would definitely give my motivation back. Maybe if I just had my first few downloads(for free) and a little bit of feedback that would be enough too. Right now I want to learn Android and use adMob.

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