Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Just throwing this out there

Since I started on X+++++ I've always had it in my head doing it as a d/load game too ( That's why it's 800x600 ), using Zinc to wrap it up in.

X_psp.jpg

I'm blowing hot and cold about this. I really want to do it, we could do something really cool. All the sounds and images would be a lot clearer and better, the title screen flv ( Which is in the current build, although it's only the first attempt ) could be HD quality etc. Basically it'll be a mega-mix of the game.

So I'm thinking about this, both of us are liking the idea, and the cost to the gamer is going to be a really nominal fee, $0.99 - $1.99. In all honesty, after seeing the game so far, and being friends just by the virtue of coming here, would you pay that ? Would you go through the hassle of getting money into your paypal account and all that extra hoop jumping ? Is it far too much trouble to do ( I'm thinking that no one here registered at the NFL site to play our Gameball Maize Maze game, and that's nothing compared to handing over money )

Is the game not worth $0.99 ? By that I don't mean slag it off ( I've had a pretty dog shit couple of days as it is, don't twist the knife any deeper ) but is just a prettier full screen version no big deal over a free online one which may have ads in ?
Is it the sort of game that is all well and cool to play in your browser, but not one you'd fire up to take over your machine for 20mins ?

Flipping it the other way around, what would you expect from a d/load version of a Flash game ? More game modes, regular updates, some other cool feature ?

Has anyone else given this a try ? To be honest every previous attempt I've seen has died on it's arse ( I was even checking out the donations feature on Kong last night, and games with 5 million plus plays have had about 20 people donating towards them. If I made $19.80 for 5 million plays I wouldn't be over the moon ).

I'm thinking this is a pointless and very naïve idea, I know it is and it's just an ego thing on my behalf that I want to see the game maxed out and sexy as fuck with it ideally paying for that extra love, but with all the talk recently of diversifying your revenue streams when it comes to Flash games, maybe it is worth just throwing the idea out to you guys.

Squize.

Comments (9) -

  • nGFX

    2/20/2009 6:12:42 PM |

    I'd buy it!

    nGFX

  • Squize

    2/20/2009 6:14:27 PM |

    Only 'cause you'd expect some kind of mate's rate discount ;)

  • Kelvin Luck

    2/20/2009 9:49:48 PM |

    I think there definitely is a market for cheap downloadable flash based games. Look at the money people spend on the iTunes app store! It's just a case of getting a culture going where people expect to and where they can easily find and buy the games.

    We just released a product to help developers convert their AIR application (was there any reason you were thinking of Zinc instead of AIR?) into a shareware application - check it out:

    http://www.shair.it/

    The example mode of operation is for a trial period of for the application after which point it needs to be registered. But I think that for games it might be more appropriate to get people to pay for extra features (e.g. more levels, different weapons, more customisability etc) and our component can also be used like that.

    I'd love to know what you think of it and if you think it could be useful specifically in the context of games.

  • Squize

    2/21/2009 12:23:10 AM |

    Kev, that's almost perfect timing, how weird is that.

    It's late and I'm tired ( And still got work to do ) so I'll check that out over the weekend ( Sorry for being blunt. Late and tired etc. :) )

    As to Zinc over Air, Air has felt slightly clunky in the past with my very brief play with it, plus Zinc allows you to change the screen resolution ( So I'd drop the desktop down to 800x600 and full screen the game itself, which improves performance and looks pretty cool ).

    Oh as to the iTunes apps as a comparison, I don't know ( This is part of the problem ). If you've got $250+ of shiny sexy iPhone in your pocket you want stuff for it, even if that's cool stuff or crap stuff ( Same as a console. Look how many copies of Frogger have been sold on XBLA, it's frogger ffs. That wasn't even the best game back in the day ). It's that need to further validate a pretty big expense by spending more on it.
    Check feedback on most game portals, and people act like they've had to pay $50 for your game and then bitch about a 10 second advert that makes the developer $0.001

    Wow, I am tired and shitty. Time to stop :)

  • tonypa

    2/23/2009 8:36:14 AM |

    To make any money from downloadable game you need to put it in the shop first. Something like BigFishGames or ReflexiveArcade, place where people come to buy games. Of course those will take cut from profit too but they also help to make your game get attention of potential buyers. I doubt people storm to buy your game after playing it on the "free flash games portal" because they came to "free flash games portal" to play games for free.

  • Squize

    2/23/2009 12:46:06 PM |

    I had a look at shair.it and it does seem really cool, although I really think a zinc version for game devs would help a lot ( Well it'd help me, I don't really know how many game developers are using Zinc for desktop versions, but I guess it's more than people who are using Air for games ? ).
    Zinc does allow support for DRM in a slightly hacky way, it could be a useful market to pursue Kelvin ?
    ( I was checking the mdm site, makers of zinc, to see if they actually supported Air. Apparently they had an app ready but were forced to pull it by adobe due to the Air usage licence ( ie the app wouldn't conform to it ) which is a real pity, as you could do your Air version, drop shair.it into it, and then wrap that up in Zinc if you wanted to ).

    Tonypa, I agree with you totally. I was kinda hoping there would be a mad response here of people saying yeah they'd sell their kids if need be to raise the money to buy a copy.

    Hasn't really happened has it.

    My current plan is to look to do the offline version, and pimp it in the game itself, but make it a free download... but make it a register first thing.
    So you click the link in the game, it takes you to the d/load page and it's a simple enter your email address form to unlock the d/load.
    This should provide a lot of useful data to see if we can do something on a later ( Bigger ? ) game. We'll have number of times the games played online, the number of visits to the d/load page and then finally the number of people who actually cross that line and put their email address it to get the game.

    In my head I can see the figures being something like:

    1,000,000 > 2000 > 4

    And if so then a big d/loadable version for a small fee is never going to be viable for us.

  • Vex

    2/23/2009 1:23:01 PM |

    I really doubt you'd make much/any money from a download version, and I think the main reason would be down to the type of games you write.

    The kinda of people likely to play X++ are blokes, and blokes are also likely to be playing games like Left4Dead, GTAIV, etc.. Those games they're likely to pay for, but they're pretty unlikely to pay for any flash game I think.

    I might pay for it, but only because I know you. If it was just written by some random guy, then I'd play the online version for five minutes, and then go play Left4Dead for several hours...

    BTW, the game is coming along great. Two things that annoy me with the game:

    #1 - Collecting the powerups, I find the control method a bit annoying for collecting the powerups, I always seem to miss them.. Perhaps you could have it so that the powerups are attracted to the ship, so when you get within a certain distance of you, they start to float towards you? and accelerating away would loose the attraction..

    #2 - The first type of baddies (forgotten the name), on later levels (9+) they often seem to spawn right on top of you, which is very frustrating, given that generally you have little energy left by this point...


  • John Cotterell

    2/25/2009 1:26:29 PM |

    My thoughts (sorry for the delay, been very ill)

    AIR does have an active marketplace a la iPhone or Android:
    www.adobe.com/.../index.cfm

    Also, the linux/ubuntu crowd are getting pretty excited about it too, as it's a one-stop deployment for mac, pc and linux.


    Unless you're building throwaway mobile apps, nominal fees aren't worth it. The freebie crowd will still feel like you're punishing them whether you charge 99 cents or 99 dollars, and the value crowd won't think it's worth paying for if it's less than 9.99 (which is still only £6.90)



  • Squize

    3/5/2009 3:29:46 PM |

    Talk about a staggered reply ( Sorry ).

    Vex, you're totally right mate, couldn't agree more. And it's nice that you'd buy a copy, they're going to be a strictly limited edition, £2.5k each in a limited run of 10 copies ( I've got a picture of a Princess Di plate after writing that ).

    #1, yeah, the movement is wrong, I'm about to fix it right now. Once it's fixed, I still may make the power-ups home in on you if you're close enough.

    #2 hmm, if they teleport in on your position they should die and it not cost you any energy. I think placing them away from you may be more of a ball ache than it's worth, in that people will still fly into a group of them and think they've been hard done by, so the code will be a waste.

    John, cheers for the link mate, and the cross platform angle is one I hadn't really thought about to be perfectly honest.
    As to the pricing, yeah I've got to agree with that too. After posting this, I've gone out of my way to try and read through the iPhone hype, and there are a lot of developers saying that giving a game away for $0.99 isn't worth it, it's perceived as being a "cheap" title and to generate a decent return they'd have to sell a billion copies.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback so far.

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