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shadowstep00

Google Play or Steam Greenlight?

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Hello, 

 

We are an indie team of 5 people (we don't have much experience yet, but we are very determined on delivering a good final product).

Our plan is to develop a puzzle game for PC or Android.

On the design prospect we already have a big database of creative puzzles. Now we are at the stage of defining which platform we are going to use. The first choice is PC which we are aiming on getting our game Greenlit on Steam. On the other hand we are thinking about developing the game on Android Devices for free with ADs of course (Google Play).

 

In order to continue with the design we have to first choose a platform in order to shape the game accordingly. 

Our goal is to deliver a product which will generate us some profit in the end. 

 

My questions are:

What do you think is the best option for us? 

Could you point out some advantages and disadvantages based on your experience? 

Why would you choose Greenlight over Google Play or vice versa? 

Are there any things which we should have in mind before choosing a platform?

 

 

Thank you :)

 

 

 

 

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i think its not a good idea to just focus on one platform but if you think there is potential just for developing on one platform just make for one of them and after it started giving you benefits, start working for other platforms.

 

for puzzle 2d indie games, i believe its more popular on mobile platforms like android and ios. so if you are very comfortable working for mobile platforms, its better to start you game for them but working for pc is much simpler. you can test and debug you game so fast. all controlls can be simply defined but mobile is a little harder because you have to debug it on a real device to be sure controlls work very well. so if you are not exprienced enough just start working for pc, when you built you game its just about changing controlls to move it to other platforms(for engine like unity its a simple process, if you write a good modular code it will be simple too but if you make you code unmanaged and write spagetti code it will be hard)

 

as i know googleplay has no policy so every program and game you put on there will be accepted, but greenlight has some filters that makes it a little hard. i think both them take 30percent of every sale.

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From a sales standpoint, both. You can't afford not to do both.

From a beginner's standpoint, Google Play is probably the easiest to get into. Might get low sales though, but at least you get on the shop fairly easily.

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Developing the game for both Android and PC seems like a "wrong" move to me. I think that PC games should have a compeletely different approach from mobile games and vice versa. I believe that most PC games fail to make any success cause developers aim to develop their game for both mobile and PC making the game more "simple" by giving it a "flash game" feel. On the other hand too complicated or time consuming games, I think are not suited for mobile.

 

So the choice for me is either make a more deep - complicated - consuming puzzle game with story elements on PC. Making it have as much quality as possible in order to pass Greenlight and win the appreciation of  PC gamers.

Or develop the game for android Free To Play(Google Play) making it less time consuming, easier puzzles, no story ect. Aiming on making the game viral which is something which I cant really define how could be done.

Edited by shadowstep00

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I think you hit on one point.

 

It is a concern that many companies --- including giant products like Microsoft's Windows 8 --- have done badly.

 

PC games should have a different feel and approach than a mobile game. Both of these should have a different feel than a console game.

 

 

 

 

However, it is also a mistake to ignore commonalities. You can develop software where 80%, 90%, 95%, maybe even more, is shared in common between platforms.  Of course there are some differences, changes between UI is one difference. But there is also much that says the same.

 

When the additional cost to target over a billion additional devices is so tiny, it is often foolish not to take advantage of it.

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I am writing a puzzle game and although I know puzzle games are more popular in 2d on the mobile platforms I have decided to go 3d with mine and target windows only.

 

My rationale for this is that I could make a reasonable deep and interesting pc puzzler with a plot, while I know nothing about mobile platforms so any mobile game I write would come across as newbie-ish. In short, only release on platforms you feel competent in.

 

People do play puzzle games on pc, it's all about marketing to the right casual environment. Make your game usable without needing administrative privileges to install, don't go all out on system requirements,  e.g. Make it playable by people on their lunch breaks at work. You can still do incredible things with DirectX without needing the user to have the latest and greatest graphics card and lots of ram.

 

If you want to trade experiences,  drop me a pm :)

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we are at the stage of defining which platform we are going to use.


That's a business matter, not a project management matter. Moving this to Business.

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However, it is also a mistake to ignore commonalities. You can develop software where 80%, 90%, 95%, maybe even more, is shared in common between platforms.  Of course there are some differences, changes between UI is one difference. But there is also much that says the same.

 

Thats something I have thought of about the game. I could do both versions, but it will have significant changes on UI,Design ect. So the game will propably be around 60% the same. Also there are no problems-changes regarding the programming aspect cause I develop on Game Maker Studio which supports multiplatform.

 

The thing is that I have to first decide which platform to use first. And IF the game has success THEN I will develop an "identical" game for the other platform.
Also I am sure that the game will be free if release for Android and paid if released for PC.

 

 

 

 

People do play puzzle games on pc, it's all about marketing to the right casual environment. Make your game usable without needing administrative privileges to install, don't go all out on system requirements,  e.g. Make it playable by people on their lunch breaks at work. You can still do incredible things with DirectX without needing the user to have the latest and greatest graphics card and lots of ram.

 

I agree with you even though I plan to make the game more "hardcore" than "casual" if its going to get released on PC. The game is going to be 2D so no need for high end PCs tongue.png.

 

 

Where I need the most advice is on which one to choose from the two and what are the pros and cons of each. Going for PC-Greenlight (no free of course) or Android-GooglePlay (free to play with ads). Cause what I lack the most right now is experience and thats something you cant really learn from books ect. :)

Edited by shadowstep00

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What answers do you expect?

 

Your describtion of your game is still quite vague (Better than what you sometimes get on this forums though), we don't know what you want to get out of the game (maximum amount of money? Maximum amount of coverage to promote your Indie team?), you propose wildly differing revenue models (Ads vs. Paid Premium game) while still having decided on one, and you seem to expect some answer most probably no-one on this forums can give you just like that.

 

Now, what YOU can do:

 

1) Market research:

- look into revenue numbers for similar games on both platforms, both for paid and ingame ad models. See what you could expect for your game on each platform. These numbers are hard to come by, but sometimes they get published. Maybe somebody around these forums has a link, maybe you need to consult google.

- look into the process and cost of getting unto each platform. Make sure you do the FULL rundown. Its not only getting enough fans to get greenlit (and be careful about straight off buying them, it seems Valve wised up to the bribery some greenlit games where using to get greenlit), or paying some fees to be able to upload your game to the store.

There are unique costs for each platform that you need to be aware of. Testing on Android can drive you nuts from what I hear from Android devs, you either shell out a lot of money for different android devices and the time to test your game on all of  them, or you risk getting a bad rep because the game fails on multiple devices. Theoretically also a problem with Windows, but I hear less complaints about that, so I guess compatibility is better by now.

- Try to get a rundown on how big your potential market is on each platform.... that is of course a tough nut to crack, but you could for example look at the amount of similar puzzle games than yours, and see how they are doing revenue wise.

 

2) Really look into how much effort it is to create a build for both target platforms.

- Depending on your game, that might not be too hard. Most important things to change is control scheme, then making sure graphics and screen resolution / aspect ratio is correct for each platform, then comes all the rest. Maybe concentrate on the two most important points I made and see how your game holds up on each platform. If you are lucky, gameplaywise it will do just fine.

- This is of course much easier if you use an Engine like Unity or Unreal Engine 4. There building for different targets is just some clicks away. Of course that will not handle differences in control schemes, Graphics and all that, so you still need to do some tweaking...

 

 

My personal opinion:

 

1) be careful with your expectations on mobile app stores. To make a fortune there, you need incredible luck (a very good game, exceptional marketing, and still some luck)....

To get any meaningful revenue with ads, your game must be downloaded AND played A LOT! Worked fine for Flappy Bird, but how many other have seen similar numbers? I guess you can count them on one hand.

Mobile App stores are flooded with hundreds of new games every day, and revenue margins are extremly low, so either you are one of the top few % and make good money, or you are not really making any money at all...

So if you are going mobile, I would really think long and hard about revenue model (premium games are a hard sell and still make not much money (if you are not a known studio and can charge 5$ for your game), but a F2P model with inapp purchases might give you a better chance at making a meaningful amount of money)... and I would really try to bring to PC, where game prices haven't been raced to the bottom this much yet, at the same time. 

 

2) Getting greenlit (without cheating tongue.png ) takes time and money, you need to build a community BEFORE you can even launch your game. Same as with Kickstarter. So you will need to have somebody dedicate quite some time to that, and set aside some time and money to create your marketing materials and campaign.

 

.... not that you wouldn't have to do that anyway for mobile, as your launch might be a complete waste without a lot of pre-release marketing (your game will fade quickly into obscurity)

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I don't think Windows games have to be different to Android ones - there are certain casual puzzle games very popular on both platforms. Also traditional PC RPGs like Baldur's Gate have been released for Android. (As for Windows 8, the complaints such as the start menu being different or replacing the button with a hotspot aren't to do with laptop versus mobile device - some people don't like the changes, other people do, but the idea of it being unusable on a laptop is a myth, it's just some people like it and some don't, as with any change - there are plenty of other threads to discuss Windows 8, anyway.)

One does have to be careful though - the puzzle games I'm thinking of for Windows tend to be web-based (including Facebook-based). Steam may well be a different market. But then this is arguably all the more reason to support both.

Edited by mdwh

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