A call for platform games?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by coffee, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. coffee

    Original Member

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    I dont want to go and make YAM3G (Yet Another Match 3 Game), I have a generious $3500 budge to spend on development costs (gfx and sfx) and I'm leaning towards a platform game, games similar to bubble booble & pastrol stars (Arcade platform games).

    I have not seen too many platform games in the charts in the last year, this could be because theres not much of a market or no good platform games released this last year.

    I was wondering if any of you guys have experience of platform games in the indie scene. Or some other information you think I should consider.
     
  2. TunaBreeze

    TunaBreeze New Member

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    I have yet to release a game of my own but speaking from a gamer standpoint I think the main arena where you would find platform games is kids games. My little cousins have those little all in one joystick games you connect to your TV and they love those platform games. The also have quite a few on their PC that they play. It may not be the most fun to play for you but that's where I've seen the majority of platform games these days.
     
  3. DJNet

    DJNet New Member

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    i know that platform games arent too hard...they are actually very fun to make...but i am one of many that prefer 2d games over 3d any day
    2D 4EVA
     
  4. JoKa

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    Compared to other genres, most platformers don't sell good on portals, but that's more a problem of the audience. Very few seem to sell ok, but these games are exceptions. So don't rely on portals too much, better be prepared for selling directly.
     
  5. Didier

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    What about the Super Granny series by Sandlot or the Turtle Odyssey series by Realore all of them made it into the top 10 the last few months.

    You shouldn't really care what the market wants, just make something with good gameplay and sales will follow (look at Peggle).
    It's not the type of game that makes a game good, it's the gameplay so just focus on that. ;)
     
  6. Emmanuel

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    Our audience is as casual as it goes, and Realore's turtle odyssey as well as its sequel have done very well; both solid top tenners.

    dracula twins, a very well executed 3d platformer with blood drinking characters, also showed a strong performance over Halloween.

    In its time, bud redhead has been a mega-hit (and it's an awesome game, too). Patrice (phelios) did the Mac conversion for it using ptk and it sold excellently.

    And of course, like everyone else, I'm also waiting on gorgeous looking cletus clay!

    I understand that Arcadelab's fantastic retro and mouse-controlled platformer pizza panic did very well too. So there's certainly a market for accessible platformers out there, and it's not necessarily a requirement to have ponies as main characters either.

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     
    #6 Emmanuel, Apr 9, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  7. ZeHa

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    The problem with many platform games is that they are simply Super Mario clones, but less playable / enjoyable.

    Overall, platform games are very cool, but I think they have to have some special things about them which make them a little unique. Of course it doesn't have to be extremely gameplay-wise, it could be also just unique settings or characters and perhaps some special abilites.

    I love "a game with a kitty", because it's very cute in its graphical style. The gameplay isn't too far from Mario, but it's got some fresh ideas / moves / attacks in it, and overall it's really enjoyable. Perhaps you should check it out and find out what makes it unique and "rememberable" (don't know if this word exists :D )
     
  8. Uesugi

    Uesugi New Member

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    I'd love to play something like Jet Set Willy or Wizard/Ultimate Wizard (C64), but I know I'm not in the majority...
     
  9. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Biggest issue I find is the controls. A keyboard just isn't anywhere near as comfortable to use as a gamepad. It just doesn't feel the same. As for platformers with mouse control - that's a tricky thing to get right.
     
  10. alfie

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  11. Pogacha

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    My game did it as well as many other first indiegames. But because it was a first game I wouldn't take it into account.

    With all my respects, Turtle's Odyssey has only really good graphics/presentation/effects as a difference from other platformers ... its gameplay, controls and IAs are all really basic.

    I guess you have to read what the market wants (if some day you learn how, please teach me :D).
     
  12. Nexic

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    Not good advice in my opinion. You're then basically rolling a dice as to whether your game will sell.

    I'm certain they were fully aware that the market would like Peggle before making it. They knew it would sell because it's just the kind of gameplay that appeals to that type of audience.

    Making what you want without thinking about the market is a serious mistake. It doesn't have to be the casual portal market by any stretch of the imagination, but you must have an accessible audience in mind.

    Sure people have been successful just making what they want without thinking about a market. But that doesn't make it the best option. I'm not saying that you should only make stuff which is proven to sell, rather just make stuff that the target audience will have a good chance of liking. No hardcore beat em ups for the casual crowd etc.
     
    #12 Nexic, Apr 9, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  13. soniCron

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    And, for what it's worth, Peggle was not a stellar performer. Especially for a game that was in development for, what, two years?
     
  14. James C. Smith

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    I agree that Peggle doesn't seem to be a stellar hit overall. But I wanted to mention that it is currently #2 in Reflexive top sellers list which is very hard to do. A game that is popular for 2 weeks doesn't necessarily get into Reflexive's top 10 because Reflexive.com ranks "top sellers" based on 30 DAYS of sales. The only other games to make it into the Reflexive top 2 in 2007 are Virtual Villagers, Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects, Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst, Mysteryville, Dream Day Wedding™, Virtual Villagers - The Lost Children and for a single day Diner Dash®: Flo on the Go. Now Peggle joins that short list.
     
  15. soniCron

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    I'm gleaning this from your Game Sales Charts site. Compared to a recent top-seller, it appears to be doing very poorly.

    Peggle's performance on Reflexive Arcade seems to be the exception rather than the rule, regardless of the position's prestige.
     
  16. Rainer Deyke

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    Platform games on the PC are in a truly sorry state today. Is it any wonder these games are not selling, when none of today's titles can live up to the standard set by Commander Keen over 15 years ago?

    My advice: don't bother making any game in any genre unless you are committed to making a great game. Mediocrity - in any genre - will only lead to failure. However, if you can make a platform game that would have been considered passable 15 years ago, go ahead and do so. It should face almost no competition in today's match-3 world.
     
  17. ZeHa

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    As for platformers with mouse control - that's a tricky thing to get right.

    Pizza Panic did a very good job on this, though I prefered to use the keyboard. But I think it only worked because it's a dude on a skateboard. If it's someone who walks around, mouse control would be indeed a very hard task.
     
  18. oNyx

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    I agree with luggage. There certainly are quite a lot of people who like platformers, but they are painful to play with a keyboard and many people don't have a joypad (even if you can get a decent one for only 5 bucks).

    It's a shame really. It's such a lovely genre.
     
  19. Anthony Flack

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    I was actually quite surprised at this game's success. It's one of the most simplistic platformers I've ever seen, and the content is spread incredibly thin, across endless identical levels. Perhaps that's just me not understanding the casual market of course, but I wasn't expecting something that basic to do well.
     
  20. PoV

    PoV
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    The good: Games in that same vein can possibly be content light. Bonus.

    The bad: That's going to be a hard budget to work with. You're going need a clear vision of your content requirements. I'd strongly suggest finishing your game first, then update it with better content. As I see it, that's the cheapest way to work with content.

    Also, borrow design philosophies of those such older games. Take advantage of the fact that simple repetitious tiled like graphics can look good, and simple variations (darker, lighter) can make a boring tiling much more interesting, and should be easy for you to do.

    Know your graphics tools too, and get source art from your artist. Layered PSD's, Flash files, etc. Or if it's pixel art, you can tweak the palettes.

    Good luck.
     

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