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EngineProgrammer

I have a game. What now?

12 posts in this topic

[size=5][sub]Hi everyone![/sub][/size]

Assume I've written a game(platforms: PS3, PC, XBOX)...
The big question then is: "How do I sell my game?"

How do I put my game on the market? I don't know anything about making a game commercial so please help me out here.
I'm aiming for a public 15-40 years old. So more a game with decent action in it.

- Is it necessary to have a cinematic?
- Is it important to put the trailer on television?
- Do I need to give a convention about my game.
- How much does it cost to put a trailer on television that takes around 30 seconds?
- How do I create a trailer on the gameplay? Do I need to introduce myself the first seconds in the video or first start with the game itself and then introduce myself and explain how the game works?
- Do I have more chance to make it sell with a free demo version?
- How do I prevent the possibility of pirating my game?
- How do I reach the market? Like how do I get my game in a store? Where do I burn all those cd's with my game?
- How can I make it clear in the first game that there is a possibility of a second game based on the first one? Or an expansion.

It would be really helpful is all these questions be answered. Thanks!
Sorry in case a question is unclear.


Kind regards,
Bollaert Jonathan Edited by EngineProgrammer
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[quote name='EngineProgrammer' timestamp='1348853158' post='4984782']
Assume I've written a game(platforms: PS3, PC, XBOX)...
The big question then is: "How do I sell my game?"
[/quote]

Moving this to the Business forum. Does not belong in Breaking In (game jobs) forum.

Bollaert, you need to read these:
[url="http://sloperama.com/advice/article60.htm"]http://sloperama.com...e/article60.htm[/url]
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson21.htm Edited by Tom Sloper
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I'm sorry, thanks for moving this topic.
And thanks for the links! Going to read them. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

~EngineProgrammer
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Ok read it all, but still have some questions. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

So assume I have written a 3D RPG game( just assume). And I find a publisher that is well known...
(I'll try to contact him trough my mobile. Because an e-mail is a bit too impersonal). I'm not known in the game industry so he don't know anything about me. So how can I make the publisher trust me? I have the game written, I need to send it to the publisher so he can check my game.. But what if he thinks I'm sending a virus or something?

And do I need to find a publisher I can meet in real life? Because I need a lawyer first so he won't run with my game and gets all the profits. But on the 2 links it's not explained how that part works. I have a lawyer, found a publisher but then.. Do I and my lawyer need to travel to the publisher? Because he needs to sign my paper?

And a few questions from the first topic weren't really answered.
- Do I need to keep a convention about my game? Maybe a convention where publishers can join and where I need to "sell" my game to them. So they will publish my game?
- Publishers only put my game on the market? So how about the trailer on television. How much does it average costs to promote your game on the television? (30seconds preview)
- How can I prevent pirating of my game? Serials, IP checking, etc? Are there even games that can't be pirated?


Thanks! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
Kind regards,
Bollaert Jonathan
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[quote name='EngineProgrammer' timestamp='1348879639' post='4984915']
1. Ok read it all, but still have some questions.
2. (I'll try to contact him trough my mobile. Because an e-mail is a bit too impersonal).
3. So how can I make the publisher trust me?
4. I have the game written, I need to send it to the publisher so he can check my game.. But what if he thinks I'm sending a virus or something?
5. And do I need to find a publisher I can meet in real life? Because I need a lawyer first so he won't run with my game and gets all the profits. But on the 2 links it's not explained how that part works. I have a lawyer, found a publisher but then.. Do I and my lawyer need to travel to the publisher? Because he needs to sign my paper?
6. And a few questions from the first topic weren't really answered.
- Do I need to keep a convention about my game? Maybe a convention where publishers can join and where I need to "sell" my game to them. So they will publish my game?
6. - Publishers only put my game on the market?
7. So how about the trailer on television. How much does it average costs to promote your game on the television? (30seconds preview)
8. - How can I prevent pirating of my game?
[/quote]

Hi Bollaert (or Jonathan, whichever is your first name).
1. That was expected.
2. Yes, good. FAQ 21 does say you should do that.
3. You can't make him trust you. When you phone him, you speak in a businesslike manner. If he's willing to accept a submission from you, then he trusts you enough.
4. I don't think many game submissions managers get many viruses sent to them disguised as game submissions -- it's an awful lot of work for a hacker to go through, to fill out the submission forms and everything.
5. I don't think you read FAQ 21 very thoroughly. To quote the FAQ (edited for brevity):
[quote]Determine the submission policy of your target game publishers.
You need to use a "telephone" for your initial contact with the submissions manager... telephone the submissions manager and inquire about the submission policy.
If their policy is, "we don't accept submissions from industry outsiders," well, sorry - you'll have to forget about that company.
[Otherwise,] Get the needed forms, addresses, etc.
Prepare your submission package.
Sign the publisher's Submission Agreement... and give it to the submissions manager together with your game submission. I highly recommend submitting the game in person if you can.[/quote]
6. No. A publisher does a lot more than that. There are some good books you might want to get so you can learn more about how the game industry works. In particular, "Secrets of the Game Business" and "Introduction to Game Development." [url="http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson8.htm"]http://sloperama.com...ice/lesson8.htm[/url]
7. I have no idea. Why do you need to know?
8. You can't. What is it you're worried about, exactly? Edited by Tom Sloper
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First name is Jonathan. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Thank you for the answers!
About #5: I don't understand 70% of that quote. I've translated it but didn't help allot.

The question about putting a trailer on television:
Is there a standard charge for it. Is there a standard rate to show a trailer on television? ( ..$ / second )

The question about pirating:
I'm not really worried. But when I've written a decent/good game it means I've put allot of effort in it. And I don't like people can just pirate a game like that.
There will always be people that will buy my game legal. And it's my task to:
- Make my game very entertaining.
- Add something where you can play with multiple players on a quest or something. Or Co-Op modes.
- This will motivate the player to promote the game to his friends. Who will buy my game also then.

But if the game can be pirated all his friends of the legal buyer will try to pirate it. ( most of those friends will ). So how can I avoid my game to be pirated?
I'm aiming on all kind of games, with or without an account, RPG or Arena games, etc. How can I check if someone is pirating a game?
I'm thinking on a hard-coded link to my server which will check his IP, activation code, etc. Could this work?


Kind regards,
Bollaert Jonathan
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[quote name='EngineProgrammer' timestamp='1348883873' post='4984929']
First name is Jonathan. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
1. About #5: I don't understand 70% of that quote. I've translated it but didn't help allot.
2. The question about putting a trailer on television:
Is there a standard charge for it. Is there a standard rate to show a trailer on television? ( ..$ / second )
3. The question about pirating:
[/quote]

Hi, Jonathan.
1. [s]Which parts do you not understand? Please number the questions for easiest reply.[/s] See my next post (below).
2. No. I don't know why you are asking this -- it does not pertain to your question about getting a publisher deal. TV networks and channels charge varying amounts depending on the size of the audience and the time of the advertisement (what programs it's shown in).
3. Your technical question belongs in one of the technical forums, not the Business forum. Edited by Tom Sloper
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Regarding my #5 and the incomprehensible parts of it:

"Determine the submission policy of your target game publishers."
That means, "find out if the publisher is willing to accept submissions from industry outsiders/newcomers."
Maybe the publisher is not willing to even look at your game.
So first thing you have to find out is this.

"If their policy is, "we don't accept submissions from industry outsiders," well, sorry - you'll have to forget about that company."
What this means is:
If they are not willing to look at your game, do not bother arguing. Do not try to convince them to look at it. Just try another company.

"[Otherwise,] Get the needed forms, addresses, etc."
This means: "If they are willing to look at your game, they'll give you a form to fill out, and they'll give you information about how to submit your game."

"Prepare your submission package."
This means: "Read my FAQ where it talks about what to put in the package you are going to send them, including your game."

"Sign the publisher's Submission Agreement... and give it to the submissions manager together with your game submission. I highly recommend submitting the game in person if you can."
This means: "You do not have to go in person. But if you can, then that is a good thing."

I hope that's clearer?
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[quote name='EngineProgrammer' timestamp='1348883873' post='4984929']
So how can I avoid my game to be pirated?
[/quote]
Quick answer: don't try to avoid it, because you can't. Put the effort in polishing your game, which will have a much better impact on selling your game than putting efforts in anti-piracy measures (exception: you have a online game).

Long answer:
1. There will be always one guy on the world clever enough to crack your game and this guy will supply the internet (=> whole world) with your game.
2. The honest buyer suffers more from copy protection than the pirate.
3. Copy protection is often a desire of the publisher, not of the developer.
4. Copy protection, even knowing that someone will crack it, has a legal impact. Without copy protection it is harder to sue one for pirating (depends on country).
5. DRM (i.e. you need a internet connection while playing) is only accepted if it is a multiplayer/online game, doing this for a singleplayer like game is disdained. Diablo III can afford this, but what about a small indie game ?
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Tom Sloper, thank you for clearing it all out! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Ashamer, thank you!
Ok I have a great idea now [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.png[/img]
- If I make a one-payment-only game. As soon someone pirates it I don't get any profits of the pirates.
- Meaning I should go for payment in-game also. So I put some limitations on the game. And if the pirates like my game.. They can put some real money into it.
- So it all depends on the entertaining of my game how many people I'll attract. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
And it's a Win-Win (sort of) to get the legal buyers and pirated people to pay some for the in-game stuff. If they want to. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]

Or if I have a PC game I can make a it free game, with buy-able content in-game. I'm not known in the industry remember, so to get a chance people try my game I need to give a free demo or this idea I have now. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]



~EngineProgrammer Edited by EngineProgrammer
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[quote name='EngineProgrammer' timestamp='1348914490' post='4984997']
Ashamer, thank you!
Ok I have a great idea now [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.png[/img]
- If I make a one-payment-only game. As soon someone pirates it I don't get any profits of the pirates.
- Meaning I should go for payment in-game also. So I put some limitations on the game. And if the pirates like my game.. They can put some real money into it.
- So it all depends on the entertaining of my game how many people I'll attract. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
And it's a Win-Win (sort of) to get the legal buyers and pirated people to pay some for the in-game stuff. If they want to. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]

Or if I have a PC game I can make a it free game, with buy-able content in-game. I'm not known in the industry remember, so to get a chance people try my game I need to give a free demo or this idea I have now. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
[/quote]

Is this still a business question? Or has the question now moved on to another topic that belongs in another forum?
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No it's not a question, I was just open-minding my idea. I love to write what I think. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
I don't have questions anymore. Thanks [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png[/img]

~EngineProgrammer
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- Is it necessary to have a cinematic?
No. This is not even common pratice unless your a large company.

- Is it important to put the trailer on television?
No. How many indie games do you see on tv, likely none.

- Do I need to give a convention about my game.
Ahh .. no, I'm sure all the Star Wars fans wont be upset.

- How much does it cost to put a trailer on television that takes around 30 seconds?
Depends on the time of day. Prime time is very expensive but later hours can be very affordable.

- How do I create a trailer on the gameplay? Do I need to introduce myself the first seconds in the video or first start with the game itself and then introduce myself and explain how the game works?
No real answer, I suggest game play with voice over.

- Do I have more chance to make it sell with a free demo version?
Yes, always offer a demo.

- How do I prevent the possibility of pirating my game?
Nothing you can do really, it will happen no matter what at some point if your product is successful.

- How do I reach the market? Like how do I get my game in a store? Where do I burn all those cd's with my game?
Ahh don't go down this route. To be honest this is a money pit unless your a big company and willing to spend millions and can aford to make 2 cents per copy sold.

- How can I make it clear in the first game that there is a possibility of a second game based on the first one? Or an expansion.
Website, Facebook and other social media forums are good ways to clue your fan base into a expansion.

Just a tip. Making the game is step one. Many think once they finish a game, they are done. Not true, after development is perhapps the hardest part of software development. For my self its a breeze but I also have a degree in business and in various other fields. Marketing/learning how to market your product will truely tell you if your going to be successful or not. Networking as well proves to be hard for some. The best thing you can do is hire a Pr person or profit share witht hem if you can not afford to pay hourly. I hope this helps.
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