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hpdvs2

David and Goliath, how do you compete with a game giant.

42 posts in this topic

buy goliath's game-engine, it 'll be a lot cheaper then creating it yourself.

 

 

a faster way to get an engine, but not cheaper. and if too many mods are required, it won't be faster either!

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rather than focus on a niche feature, you should probably focus on a niche audience.

 

actually, the thing to do is focus on a niche MARKET (kinds the same idea as a niche audience). IE build the cool stuff that doesn't have sufficient mass appeal or enough of a proven track record for the big studios to take a chance on.

 

Or better yet, multiple niche markets. 

 

If the big studios only make FPS's, RPG's, MMO's, and RTS's with the usual themes and settings, that leaves LOTS of other types to be exploited.

 

These are some of the niche markets i've competed in in the past, compete in in the present, or plan to enter in the near future:

 

starship flight simulators

realtime wargames

space fighter flight simulators

fantasy RPG's

castle construction simulators

turn based wargames

caveman FPS/RPG/simulators

airship flight simulators

pirate FPS/RPG/simulators

citybuilder games

and probably a few others i can't recall offhand.

 

the method of selection is pitifully simple:

what do you want to play that's not out there already?

if you want to play it, odds are others will to (hence demand).

if its not out there already, no competition!  or no established title to go up against.

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I think Indies should rely on forgotten parts of gaming. As competition is getting harsher and getting a return from 'investment' is being harder, Goliaths favor proven methods as stated above.

 

This is a good concept.  It makes sense that there are a lot of classic games out there that had great appeal in many aspects and I'm sure some of those aspects have been lost over time.  resurrecting the feel of some of the game play they had sounds great.

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Three fairly recent Indy games that basically demonstrated one fact. Goliaths are irrelevant to making a profit, just produce the quality of goods that can sell.

Huh? I'd say those three are all excellent examples of how one should assiduously avoid the Goliaths, and find a niche audience to play to.

 

I don't care how great your production values are, an indie team isn't going to be able to go head-to-head with the next Halo...

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Huh? I'd say those three are all excellent examples of how one should assiduously avoid the Goliaths, and find a niche audience to play to.

 

hmm should have emphasised my point with more clarity. Essentially I agree with idea that finding a niche market is the best way to approach commercial success from an indy's point of view. My choice of games and their relative niches combined with the reality that Goliath's are irrelevant due to their absence from them, was where I was going with this. My comment with regard quality was an emphasis on the ideal that the game produced itself shouldn't be shite (as so many indy productions have ended up being), not as a comparison directly to a triple A production.  

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Huh? I'd say those three are all excellent examples of how one should assiduously avoid the Goliaths, and find a niche audience to play to.

 

Well if you look at games like Binding of Isaac, you'll notice that while a 'niche audience' was in their crosshairs, and they've estimated a rough 5000 copies to sell, it turned out quite differently.

What you set out to do is make a great games, and that's pretty much it. Start with what you'd want, and go with it, and if people like it too, all the better (case in point: Braids and Super MeatBoy).

 

As far as going toe-to-toe with the next Halo, you'd be surprised. We look at the big numbers of these franchises, but we forget the big production costs. The actual profits are not that dissimilar, especially in the case of games such as Minecraft.

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As far as going toe-to-toe with the next Halo, you'd be surprised. We look at the big numbers of these franchises, but we forget the big production costs. The actual profits are not that dissimilar, especially in the case of games such as Minecraft.

That's not what I mean by "going head-to-head" - Minecraft doesn't really resemble even other commercial world-building games (i.e. SimCity, or Spore).

 

Building a story-centric first-person shooter, a competitive multiplayer RTS, or a fantasy MMO, puts you squarely in competition with the big guys, right where their massive production budget gives them an edge.

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Building a story-centric first-person shooter, a competitive multiplayer RTS, or a fantasy MMO, puts you squarely in competition with the big guys, right where their massive production budget gives them an edge.

 

Even in those, you can still change the game.  First Person Shooter was taken on by Portal, who made great use of an uncommon feature.  even with these seemingly vague genre's you can still add entirely new concepts that can change the way the game is played.  

 

for a first person shooter, you could go through a level, blasting your way through. Then, you replay the level as one of the enemies, and your old character will use an AI to try to follow the same path and deviate when needed.  and you go back and forth as different characters in the same repeating world, constantly trying to best yourself.  And the AI can also learn your repetitive habits, and apply them when it tries to mimic you.

 

Its a game play mechanic that is very different from most FPS's out there, that don't make sense to apply to the current main stream games without significantly messing up their stories.

 

Also, Clone Wars has the repeating first person shooter, which also works well, but is significantly different.  

 

But I think your original point was that you shouldn't compete directly, and even those genre's allow indirect competition quite well.

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One of the lessons we can learn from this specific example is that a David can effectively compete with a Goliath by offering a more convenient and easily accessible product.  If your competitor's product is harder to get and/or more expensive than yours you can establish an advantage.

 

That's a really good point +1.  I.e. Starcraft isn't available on Android phone, or others.  So simply producing a clone with new IP, modified to support/play well on a new system is a great idea.  I've always been looking at this from a game feature perspective, that I haven't once stopped to think about availability. 

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But lets pick a current/popular game like Star Craft,

I would start by listing why StarCraft sux. Then I would make something that is MUCH better (just "competing" makes no sense, beating to the ground is the *only* way to go). If I conclude that StarCraft does not sux (enough) then I would simply not make an RTS.
 

For instance, Dragon based RTS.  How would I market that?  Well, Perhaps the dragons are Steam Punk Dragons

Well, I think that's "weirdness" rather than going for a niche. Niche is not the same as "no normal person would play it". In general, I would not touch the theme, because theme is neutral, I would rather go for unique (I hate the word "unique", maybe a better one would be "fitting" or "interesting") mechanics.

Take a look at Minecraft or DwarfFortress, theme is pretty traditional there it's the mechanics that made these popular.

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One of my favourite inspirations is FTL: Faster Than Light.

2 guys made that game.

It's fun and great entertainment, which is what it's all about in the end.

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If you cant bring it technically i woud say that the unique thing woud be to make a very unusual story or concept or theme that rarely is seen in games.

I once got this idea i called "Dialogue Challenge" for a role-playing game. It worked just like the normal pick-your reply feature, but depending on the reply you choose AFTER

the previous pick, will change the outcome.

 

Like that i mean, bring something unique like that......well i woud call it unusual at least if not unique

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One of my favourite inspirations is FTL: Faster Than Light.

2 guys made that game.

It's fun and great entertainment, which is what it's all about in the end.

 

I might add "Don't Starve" as well. No state of the art 3D graphics needing high end graphic cards, no dialogue beside some instrument sounds.

 

Instead game advertises its simplistic style as fashion and its classy in fact. And it is quite fun and poses challenge as well for people asking it.

 

They are currently reluctant for going beyond PC but when they did, I expect a Rovio from Klei.

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