Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Lionel Pixel

My First Videogame Failed Conquering The Market

This topic is 724 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts


fb-background.png

I have completed and released a F2P puzzle/strategic game called The Bitles, (http://www.TheBitles.com) in which you have to solve puzzles and collect Bitcoins while solving them.
In the puzzles, you have to guide beetle-like insects through with the arrows, in order to make them reach the exit, and make them use bombs to kill the enemies.
The gameplay is inspired by SEGA's Chu Chu Rocket with some rules added to it.

The players can also earn free BTC while playing, and get BTC rewards everyday, then withdraw to their BTC wallet.
Giving the rewards is possible for me because the game is supported by ads, and the rewards actually are part of ad earnings.


This was my first game, made with Unity in 6 months , and i spent about
- 1.5k $ for outsourcing a part of the work, such as a few custom shaders, sounds FX, some 3D models and building the game on iOS and Mac
- 500$ for promoting it
total spent about 2k $  (plus all the months i spent working on it)

Result: despite i have promoted it on some minor magazines and BTC forums, the game has been getting just 30-40 game sessions a day since the start. So, 0 ROI.
It also failed on Steam Greenlight (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=711922785), because desktop gamers do not like ads, even though my game is paying them in Bitcoins to watch them.
They prefer to pay for a better game, and without ads.

I am writing this thread to ask you some feedback , why such a cruel failure? Even on mobile and even among Bitcoin enthusiasts.
Some of the Steam users told me they thought there is a BTC miner inside the game, or some malware, so that's the only reason of failure that comes to my mind now.
Is that the only deciding factor for the failure on mobile, and the ads on the desktop version , or is there something else?
Maybe bad promotion?
But i'm more inclined to say it could be bad execution of the gameplay idea.

I give the floor to you experts
Thanks!

Edited by PixelFun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Think about this for a second.

 

Typically when a player wants to -buy- a game. The last thing they'd expect would be to find advertisements or microtransactions in the game they had just shelled out money for. To them, this is just classless and utterly disgusting.

The second part of this, is that the game claims you're collecting free bitcoins. But in reality... is anything ever free? Sure, but at who's expense? Normally the players. While not only suffering some obstructive advertisements, it wouldn't be unfair to assume that they would need to invest a significant amount of time and or resources to get bitcoins. A currency that's not used as often as it's claimed to be. When the reality is... it's probably much more productive to just get a job like a normal person.

 

Third part is... Valve does not guarantee the safety of the user's information. Even if it's within their policies. The information that'd be required to mine and give bitcoins to the respective accounts can also be used to pull money from the bitcoin accounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Second part is correct. Actually the rewards were low compared to the effort of watching boring ads.
But hey! On mobile the people is used to see ads, no? So at least the mobile version of the game should have been accepted by players.

First part i disagree because the game is free-to-play.

And third part also is wrong because giving just your BTC address is like giving the bank coordinates or paypal account: it's for receiving money but not enough to let anyone pull money from it. They need the passwords don't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[color=#5a5a5b][font=Roboto]I am writing this thread to ask you some feedback , why such a cruel failure?


You're not asking a job advice question. Please don't use the Job Advice forum unless asking for job advice. Moving this to Business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry this isn't more constructive, because I don't have the art education to be specific, but -- the visual aspect of your game and website is unappealing.

Most people will make an instant judgement based on the first visual that's presented to them, and the colours, the composition, the style here just don't come together to make a beautiful piece of art.

 

It would be a very good investment to hire an experienced concept artist to visualize what the game could/should look like early on in production, and use that to produce a style guide / art bible for the rest of the production phase. You can also get a concept artist to "paint over" screenshots at any point in time to show you what they should look like, and then use that to focus on improving the art.

Same goes for the website -- an experienced graphic designer and UI/UX person would be invaluable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry this isn't more constructive, because I don't have the art education to be specific, but -- the visual aspect of your game and website is unappealing.

Most people will make an instant judgement based on the first visual that's presented to them, and the colours, the composition, the style here just don't come together to make a beautiful piece of art.

 

It would be a very good investment to hire an experienced concept artist to visualize what the game could/should look like early on in production, and use that to produce a style guide / art bible for the rest of the production phase. You can also get a concept artist to "paint over" screenshots at any point in time to show you what they should look like, and then use that to focus on improving the art.

Same goes for the website -- an experienced graphic designer and UI/UX person would be invaluable.

 

Talking about graphics in free indie games, what about this: 

 ?

The graphics are definitely ugly for a game from the 2012, but still had 176k plays!

 

And what about this one: 

Ugly graphics and over 150.000 downloads both on GameJolt and Play Store

 

There must be something related to either gameplay, or the fact people thinks there is a bitcoin miner/malware inside my game i think.

Edited by PixelFun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just a simple 2D game, pimped with some 3D.

And then you want people to watch ads too.

Get a life.

 

I understand.

 

But how about that Orange Roulette game i have linked? (that game is not mine).

Gameplay is too simplistic, and the graphics... you can count all the sprites it has with one hand

But it still reached 150k downloads on Google Play and it shows ads, although not frequently.

Edited by PixelFun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am writing this thread to ask you some feedback , why such a cruel failure? Even on mobile and even among Bitcoin enthusiasts.

 

 

These used to be heavily featured on our site, but they didn't survive the transition a few years back.  Even though the name "shareware" doesn't really apply, everything else does: Read This Thoughtfully

 

At a glance it is not pretty, nothing on the Google Play encourages it, you don't have effective marketing, you don't have a beautiful storefront.

 

Simply, I have not even bothered to play your game, and the tiny amount of your game I have seen does not make me want to play. That is one of many factors that need to get fixed.

 

Ugly can be fine, because ugly can still be pleasing in other ways.  Comically ugly can succeed.  

 

Take a serious look at your page:

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

 

The hand-scrawled font and ugly graphics, the heavily aliased blobs in the image (they don't show up well in the thumbnail version of your site, zoom in on that image), the mismatch between art styles between the world objects and game objects.  And on top of that all, you're asking "give me money for this!"

 

That image of a bug with that particular expression, you're using that as your headline. That is where people put their best work. The very best of your game is captured by that image of a bug with a stupid look on his face, those particular graphics, the skewed bubble letters that look they were thrown on by a ten-year-old who just discovered how to make word art. 

 

I've worked on teams that had child-like graphics, and watched as artists struggled for months building icon sets that looked childlike but not childish. It takes an enormous amount of effort to build that out as an art style. As a memorable quote:  "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." - Pablo Picasso

 

Those are the first things I would fix.  Get your art styles consistent, capture the funnest part of gameplay as your key images, and make marketing materials so they don't look like a fifth grader's art project.

 

Go over all your materials, everything in your game, and everything you are using to market your game.  Look at it on a big screen, take a good look at every detail and ask, "Is this my best work?  Would I buy this?" Repeat until you've covered the whole thing.  Then go get a bunch of people who you think are your target market and ask them the same questions, do it as focus groups, and fix everything they point out.  Repeat over and over, with bigger focus groups, re-releasing your product until you eventually get it right.

 

 

Thanks for the valuable feedback. I will read the article you point now.

 

 

The "aliased spots" you talk about are the ones on the bug's head (bug's yellow eyes, black spots on his head),   or the red ones in the "Bitles" text on the right?

 

And the in-game object whose style do not match with the world objects, is the Bitcoin ?

thebitles-screen-article-btc.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!