dmitsuki

Current Licensing Market

Recommended Posts

@mentuat Great input. This approach confirms some of my own beliefs. Hearing it from somebody that has been doing this for three years is nice. 

When I saw your latest game (Street Race Fury) I couldn't believe you managed to make that game mechanic exciting. It works great on mobile!

 

I don't want to gush but pretty much all of you devs and your games have been an inspiration to us. It helped us catch up to some of the common practices when it comes to developing HTML5 games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, mentuat said:

The quality target is an easier thing to define - basically my plan of attack once I've decided on a game type is to find the current best html5 example then make sure mine is better in some way.  I will ditch a game idea if I see someone else has made an excellent version or if there are simply too many variations of them already around.  Ideally, make a game that won't have a lot of competition!

The fact that a type of game has too little options (a.k.a competition) isn't a signal that it may not be profitable ? I mean, if it well a popular kind of game, it probably would have a lot of competition.

Maybe I'm deadly wrong but for me competition is signal that the game idea (or any other kind of product / service you may imagine) has a huge amount of players (consumers). Am I wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The fact that a type of game has too little options (a.k.a competition) isn't a signal that it may not be profitable ? I mean, if it well a popular kind of game, it probably would have a lot of competition.

Maybe I'm deadly wrong but for me competition is signal that the game idea (or any other kind of product / service you may imagine) has a huge amount of players (consumers). Am I wrong?

ya, fair point

To clarify -  I meant to try and do games that have little competition in 'html5 world'

For example I made one of those side-on drag racing games that are all over the app stores but not so many in html5 - so it was a dumbed down generic clone of an already popular concept but moved to a platform where there was little competition.

No harm in making another bubble shooter or another 2D physics game - but it's going to have to be better than all the others out there if you want it to sell!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, plicatibu said:

The fact that a type of game has too little options (a.k.a competition) isn't a signal that it may not be profitable ? I mean, if it well a popular kind of game, it probably would have a lot of competition.

I concur, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an all or nothing. Although one would often be prone to consider causality as a whole, it's actually separated by time between cause and effect, so there must also be a reasonable time frame since a great original game emerges (and perhaps with a few handicaps you could address as well) to the spawning of a bunch of re-skins(if I got the term right). I guess that if you're lucky or avid enough to catch one of these in the right time frame, you could make a profit. I'm just speculating.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice conversation going on here.

I am not saying TrueValhalla is lying, just I am a little bit skeptical by nature and have heard less successful stories from developers I consider better in terms of quality/quantity of games. But his contract jobs and big marketing could make up for that gap for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ozdy said:

Nice conversation going on here.

I am not saying TrueValhalla is lying, just I am a little bit skeptical by nature and have heard less successful stories from developers I consider better in terms of quality/quantity of games. But his contract jobs and big marketing could make up for that gap for sure.

What do you think are a few of the big factors that contribute to these less successful stories when it comes to decent developers?

Marketing is one thing but is there anything else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big issue, in my opinion, is the popular mindset that simply making games is all that's needed to make games for a living. It's absolutely about so much more.

Saying that the differentiating factor here is "marketing" is extremely vague...I would instead say it's "business skills". Understanding the best approaches to various situations, crafting the most profitable outcomes, working edge factors that your competitors don't value, etc. Most aspiring developers, understandably, just don't have a refined business-orientated approach to making games.

Understanding the market as a whole, and knowing what type of content to build (and how much to invest in it) at any given time, is also crucial. Ozdy brings up the fair point that many of my older games are not the highest quality. Those games have been built over a period of 4 years, most not even by me, but they were all built with the state of the market in mind. At the time, it was a better business decision to sell low quality games. Even the games that were made in 48 hours earned $5,000 or more and, as a reaction to that trend, my portfolio favored quantity over quality for a long time. Of course, that's not the case today, and you can see my new standard for content in games like Battleships.

The key point is to research the market, develop an understanding of expectations, and build the right content at the right time. Then apply appropriate professional-quality business skills to successfully sell your products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Goblet Ed said:

What do you think are a few of the big factors that contribute to these less successful stories when it comes to decent developers?

Marketing is one thing but is there anything else?

If this newbie's allowed to answer the question with a guess: I've read all over the forum that poor artwork is a major issue. I've seen a number of very original works in the little time I've been around here, and some of them with decent or not so decent artwork. While I wouldn't wanna sound harsh, I suspect some of these won't make it too far into the market (although I wish them the best), which is a pity, because, at least for me, originality usually always equals to quality. So yes, my guess is that artwork could be, if not the main, a big reason for marketing failure.

I don't believe most players will be specially critic about minor details, but graphics&sound (i.e. eye candy). Sad, as I think there are true gems out there with cool original screenplays, innovative game schemes, etc. But I'm afraid that if they don't invest the time or money in eye candy, their games will sink among other worse ones with better eye candy.

I don't know about marketing, but what is good, remains good even decades afterwards. Look at Mario Bros, Sonic, Metroid, Megaman, Final Fantasy, Monkey Island, Fallout, all FPS that came after Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, with fake 3D and how they evolved into something greater, etc, etc. They'll all survive in a way, with sequels, versions or similar games, movies, etc. They were all original and had super cool eye candy for the time, plus the details that made them good at the time, such as peculiar gameplay or game schemes, etc. Now, I'm not saying a lone coder can do something like this, but at the very least, one should aim at getting something just as good and mind all components of a game.

I'm also eager to know about other reasons, so I'll let the experts speak up :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of a chat I had with a more veteran dev from TIGSource as I started my business. He took a look at my first game “Zombies Can’t Jump” and said that I should not expect to make more than $50 from it. I made well over 1000 times this amount.

What he saw was a sub-par mobile game with limited content and simple graphics (he was right I had just started learning Photoshop and the game had only 20 levels).

What he did not see is that for an HTML5 game it was pretty good standing. What he did not see is that on Windows Phone platform (offering at that time a great support for HTML5 apps) the game also had a good chance because the platform was not attracting many big studios. I went to see the Microsoft guys in their offices in London, I demoed them the game and this meeting resulted in over 150 featuring in a year including the Microsoft Red Stripe Deals. The game ranked 1st in 15 countries (US, China included) in paid strategy games category for several weeks on the platform and landing among big production titles.

This is what this guy could not see that “business is about opportunities taken at the right time”. A game does not have to have the best graphics or content, it can still plug a hole perfectly, fit within a market, and answer a specific demand. Yes, my games would certainly flop on Steam ($50 would even be optimistic), this is exactly why I had no interest in targeting Steam users. We need to understand the market and its opportunities to cash in.

In my opinion, graphics may or may not be important depending on your target audience because players are not all after the same experience when it comes to gaming so there is no point antagonising graphics and gameplay and so on… It is for the developer to understand what his target players want and deliver. I am not sure that you would enter a restaurant tagging “I cook wtf I want and you eat it”.  Yet I see many devs having this wrong approach (from a business perspective) and wondering why they cannot make a living from their games.

My 2 cents, hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I cook wtf I want and you eat it”. : that's called a high-end japanese restaurant ;) and it's expensive but it works. they are a bit subtle to tell it though, the tag says "organic and seasonal food daily made by the chef. reservations only." they have one menu and few tables and it's (very) difficult to get one ;)

i don't see why zombies can't jump would not address a steam audience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, totor said:

“I cook wtf I want and you eat it”. : that's called a high-end japanese restaurant ;) and it's expensive but it works. they are a bit subtle to tell it though, the tag says "organic and seasonal food daily made by the chef. reservations only." they have one menu and few tables and it's (very) difficult to get one ;)

Thinking of it there may be some lesson to learn here... ;)

33 minutes ago, totor said:

i don't see why zombies can't jump would not address a steam audience?

The steam audience is better educated in gaming than the casual mobile audience - the experience they are after is different. An example, the original version of Zombies Can't Jump had a "repair crate" option and levels were balanced so that the players had to make use of it to win. After play-testing on mobile I realised that many players were stuck at levels designed around this ability. Similarly, I decided to remove the ability to change weapons during the fight to streamline the gameplay on mobile after gathering results from play-testing and noticing that mobile players were barely using the "weapon-swapping" option. All this, I believe, helped improving the game for the target audience I had in mind but alienated more educated players who would love these options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about the Japanese Chef above made me think of the Brawl mode in Hearthstone – and I can see how some niche audience could be interested in a generalisation of this concept to spice up a given gaming genre.

At the end, target audience remains important even if the nature of the licensing market means that publishers are offsetting part of the risk for us (they may find a game cool and license it just to find out that it does not fit their audience). And I think it is very easy to deviate or add wrongly targeted features (gameplay or graphics) during the development. Keeping the target in mind and making sure they play-test and give feedback on the game as often as possible is very important to not end up with something very hard to sell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.