Any "non-casual" games sell good?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by sticksfirmly, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. arcadetown

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    I echo DFG, bring me strategy games please! That and good Adventure and RPGs. Unfortunately these categories do comparatively weak on the huge portals so developers tend to ignore them. If qualify casuals as puzzlers and match-3s then some non-casuals that do well here include... Age of Castles, Gunner 2, World Domination, Star Defender 2, Aveyond, Cute Knight, Tribal Trouble, Motorama, etc.
     
  2. arcadetown

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    Master of Defense (published by BigFish) was very interesting to me and thought would be huge hit here as it's simply a great game. Instead it ended up doing relatively solid hitting our top 10 first month and now hovering around top 20 - 40. It briefly appeared in a few top 10s elsewhere but quickly vanished, including on BFG who had vested interest. My guess is the control system is still rather complex with scrolling screens and lots of buttons, even though it's uber simplified from a real RTS.

    Another was Devestation Zone Troopers. I had huge hopes for it and ended up doing relatively ok sales instead. My gut says it didn't put it's best face forward in first 5 minutes of play. Users have attention deficit, a game's gotta be great fast.
     
  3. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    How much exposure did Master of Defense get on traditional "hardcore gamer" websites? I'm just curious, because I feel that's the audience that would buy it, not the casual portal audience.
     
  4. Escapee

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    Hardcore gamers would probably prefer warcraft series (10xtimes) over MOD.
     
  5. Nauris

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    I dont know. There seems to be a growing market segment out there which is being strangely neglected- the aging hardcore gamer. Guys, 28-40 years old who were geeky hardcore gamers once but have matured since, are working hard, dont have enough time to spend long nights playing, being family men and all.
    Trouble is, there isnt yet a nice way for them to find such "semi-hardcore" titles. They tend to read gaming mags and big sites focusing on AAA titles and dont browse Yahoo or BigFish. Stardock or Steam seem to be the closest.
     
  6. jwc

    jwc New Member

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    There's no need for "semi-hardcore" titles. BTW what is that?

    Hardcore gamers just wait a few months (since as you said they have family etc so aren't in a hurry) and get lot of good titles for cheap.

    I just got galciv2 from play.com for only 22 euros, can't beat that (in the official site they sell it for $40+). I also bought Sacred for less than 10 euros and many others. The price is comparable to the shareware ones and the quality is MUCH higher (since there's a team behind them).

    For casual games the shareware fills a gap in the commercial sector, but for hardcore (roleplay, sports, strategy) there are PLENTY of options unless you played all the existing games (which seems a bit strange honestly). New interesting niche games comes out in the mainstream market every month, like Heroes of Annihilated Empires, or the upcoming Might&Magic 9.

    Sorry but shareware just can't compete with them...
     
  7. Escapee

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    Rite , it's a little risky to make a game that compete with the style and mechanism of successful core game like WCIII/Dota ( IMHO the game is a genre killer ). If the animation are feminist looking plus a girly title like " Angel defense " then we would probably have a different story :)
     
    #47 Escapee, Oct 16, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006
  8. sillytuna

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    I agree 100% with Nauris, and he's talking about people like me and many of our team.

    I no longer have time to spend hours on a game every day, and I love the pick up and play casual thing. I'm still waiting for more SNES style titles but with a modern feel to them - production values, easy to get into - and I thought XBLA would be the place for that. Now I'm not so sure.

    BTW Nice artwork there Nauris. You should drop us a line.
     
  9. Anthony Flack

    Indie Author

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    Those of us with jobs and families aren't nearly so concerned about the cost (we have plenty of money), but more the demands placed on us. I own lots and lots of games, and don't have much time to play. I've noticed that I'm far more likely to collect older games than newer ones (my collection of games from the last generation of home consoles is only about 30 PS2 and Gamecube games, whereas I have bought - fairly recently! - many hundreds of games that originate from the 90s). Even the PS2 games I have enjoyed most were things like Gradius V and Outrun 2006 - old-style games with state-of-the-art production. It's a world away from either Realarcade or World of Warcraft.

    I agree it's a neglected market. People like me have money and do buy games. But it could be difficult to produce this sort of title. It would have to be top-quality stuff. I'm not likely to buy an indie shooter game unless I really would rather play that than Gradius V or Radiant Silvergun. Actually I'm not sure that most indie developers are up to the task - I think one of the reasons people have been drawn to casual games is that the audience is comparitively easy to cater to.
     
  10. sillytuna

    Indie Author

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    Heh, may as well post this here...

    One of my future "pet" projects is to have Tuna develop a full-on super flashy highly playable shoot-em-up, and I'd really like to take on an up to date version of the Bitmap Brothers artstyle.

    So if there's anyone out there up to the task...
     
  11. Addictive 247

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    Definately need some Bitmap Brother inspired games. Xenon (the original) or the absolute classic Chaos Engine really do need to be re-done. Their art style was always lovely to look at, especially in Gods.
     
  12. princec

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    Mmm, Gods. That's the only platform game I've ever liked, apart from Cletus.

    Cas :)
     
  13. Fost

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    Check out Rod's art for Gus The Grey (bottom right thumbnail). I always thought that wasn't far off. Cool idea btw, I hope you get that off the ground.

    Gods was cool! What about The New Zealand Story? Or Cave Story? Two of my favourites. Possibly because they are shoot-em-platform-em-ups though.
     
  14. Anthony Flack

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    Platform shooters are one of my all-time favourite genres. I'd like to do one one day. Well, I'm kind of doing one now, but I mean a full-on one. An honest-to-goodness Metal Slug or Rolling Thunder. Non-stop jumpin' and blastin'. I don't care if it sells; I love 'em.
     
  15. Sharpfish

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    And going back to even simpler more archaic games... I loved stuff like "Exolon" on the Spectrum http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/articles/exolon.htm. I also want to make a game like this at some stage (having messed around with ideas in the past) and like you, "I don't care if it sells" (which it probably won't). ;)

    And before anyone mentions the glorious Turrican (2), that's taken as read! :)

    It's just fitting everything IN to the 24 hours a day along with a thousand other projects and 'todo stuff'.
     
  16. Nauris

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    Yeh, I meant that those gamers are short on time, not money, they`re actually more likely to buy games, since it seems normal entertainment expense for them, plus now they can afford them too :) so its not the price that influences their decision, but whether one can have enough fun without investing too much time and messing with job and family.

    I have always thought that Strange Adventures in Infinte Space was something very close to "semi-casual" title. Not that I`m trying to coin a new word or something, I just dont have a better one.

    @sillytuna- hey, thanks! Will do.. :)
     
  17. electronicStar

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    I can confirm the "neglected aging family male" market here :)
    Actually that's the type of game I am doing right now , and that's what I'd like to continue doing if I can do it in "the indie business".
    These gamers definitely need something to escape from their everyday life after a hard day at work and before going to spend the evening with the family.
    Some games with boy themes : science fiction, dark fantasy, parallel universes, spaceships, mutants, spies, etc,etc....
    Nowadays the mainstream retail games are increasingly focusing on the same boring themes (WW2,sports,desert "realistic" warfare, MMO fantasy) and they can't even release their multi-million dollar FPSes anymore, they are focusing so much on the eye-candy that they are constantly reworking their titles (DNF and stalker syndrome). There are also a lot less small studios as there were in the years 1998-2000 for example. If you look at the list of retail games in those years , you'll see dozen of smaller scale titles, in these times the budget sections of the retail shops were full with very interesting games one year after their release.

    I think there might be a market with this sort of games, but they need to be not too casual and not too hardcore either (not everybody likes spastic shooters), and I thik the effort must be put on the story to provide escapism.

    BTW gamestop just started an online service with this type of non-casual/budget games.
     
  18. Sparks

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    Nobody mentions Spiderwebs software ? Why is that ?
    They seem to be pretty succesfull.
     
  19. Escapee

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    justfreegames.com is very popular free site with their completely free semi-casual games such as the great air assault 3D shooter game ( cant believe this game is free ). They should be doing very well with google with such high traffic site filled with plenty of high quality free semi-casual games .
     
  20. Sharpfish

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    If it is free it's probably because according to siteadvisor it is riddled with adware!

    http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/justfreegames.com?ref=safe&aff_id=0

    As are 83 other downloads linked on that site.

    And I just noticed they have a very prominent "No Adware" and "No Spyware" graphic at the top of the site.
     

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