How to contact publishers

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by thomasmahler, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Mattias Gustavsson

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    So when did it change from "redefining the FPS genre" to a game that just "uses a first person perspective"?

    If you're redefining the FPS genre, you ARE in competition with Call of Duties, Modern Warfares and even TF2s.

    On a side note: you probably should have lurked here for a bit before posting - that way you would have known what this place is all about.

    Thanks to Dan, Paul, Cliff (and others) for great posts.
     
  2. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Cliffski did say generally.
     
  3. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Ok, I tried to help, but fuck it. now I don't wish you any luck.
    *sigh*
     
  4. Scharlo

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    Well, forget about seeing the FPS genre redefined then.
     
  5. lightassassin

    lightassassin New Member

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    What! No new FPS definition! I'm shocked, SHOCKED! Well not that shocked...

    Been watching this all unfold and found it all interesting. I can't bring any advice to the table as I don't have that kind of experience and the only people that do already answered you.

    All I can suggest is let it be, just take what you can from the thread and be quiet. That is the best thing one can learn from the internet and it's many forums.

    Good luck with your efforts, and feel free to let us know how it goes (albiet in another thread).
     
  6. thomasmahler

    thomasmahler New Member

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    @cliffski: lol, that was not meant to be insulting. Holy shit, you guys are _very_ easy to upset :) And bam, I probably stepped on someones feet again by saying just that.

    It's funny how you guys also bite into this one thing I said in my first post (which makes sense, because without having seen it or without knowing what I'm talking about, it's easy to take that quote, take it out of context and make someone look like he's way in over his head).

    The reason why I think our game could have a big effect on the FPS genre is because we're mixing it cleverly with elements that the RTS genre introduced.

    It just fits together so nicely (again, if you haven't seen it, there's no sense in discussing this any further here) and the way we upgrade weapons and skills in realtime is something I haven't seen in other FPSs out there - not done properly, that is. It doesn't play the same way other FPSs play, so no, we're not competing with the Call of Duties out there, just as Fallout didn't compete with Call of Duty. And before we get a smartass remark here - nope, we're not competing with Fallout either.

    Yep, I should've been lurking here to see how you guys react to certain topics and people. You guys definitely are a funny bunch (again, not meant in any sort of degrading way).

    Anyway, last post here fellas. This thread already went past its prime and now it's just people picking posts apart and jumping in on the action and blabla'ing it. Thanks again for all good posts and see you guys later, when we redefined the FPS genre. Bam!
     
  7. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I don't think we're funny at all, this thread started out very civil and very positive. The reason it went sour for you very rapidly after that is totally exemplified by your last offering.

    I was right with you up until the very last word. Then
    You need to work on your presentation skills, especially when you're the new boy in the school. Even if your last school was bigger.
     
  8. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    Oh, you mean like Natural Selection?

    You're not competing with NS2 then?
     
  9. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    :rolleyes: Good fucking grief. Buh bye.
     
  10. AdeptSoftware

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    Hmm I should have done more math before I posted. Maybe 3% of gross is more reasonable as an average offer in a case like this. I did have a title in stores in the early 90's at $6, of which I received a sweet 10 cents.

    The subject of this thread is very interesting, we should use it to discuss the topic instead of worrying about pleasing the poster.
     
  11. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Again, and I keep stressing this in this thread... You are looking at things like a developer. Publishers usually look at things in a marketing sense. You really need to settle down for a second and accept the fact that the people you will be dealing with could have a very, VERY different viewpoint than you are used to.

    YES, if your game has a first-person perspective, it will be compared to other FPSes, even if you have some interesting mechanics that change everything. Do you expect marketing people to understand what a mechanic is?

    This is a really important point, because any work you have to do to explain the differentiation to your publisher is going to have to propagate out to consumers, as well (to the tune of millions of dollars; it's called a marketing campaign).

    Also, side note, but if you tell a publisher that your game is FPS with RTS elements, he's gonna think Savage/Uprising. Be prepared for that.
     
  12. cyodine

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    There seems to be a huge hurdle with regards to getting a publisher. I'm still confused as to whether it's worthwhile or not.

    Obviously, they have large market reach.

    So even if you're only getting $1 per game as royalties, it's still financially better than selling it via xbla or appstore etc... (unless you get extremely lucky) ?

    But is it worse in the long run for the purpose of generating a steady stream of income to last years? (Loss of IP, limited shelf-life, not able to cross market with your other games, etc...) or is it better just for those needing quick cash (or possibly to distribute the game into niche markets in parallel with your own marketing efforts), or want bragging rights with their friends by being able to show that their game is on store shelves?

    Some indies have made seriously good money off their IP. Has anyone gotten rich from 'selling' their idea to a publisher and then developing it for them? (or just made enough to pay the bills and fund later development?)

    Are the publisher deals a lot better if you are self-funding the development? I mean publishers can hire studios to crank out games that might or might not be good, or even finish. The studio gets the security of a set income, yet loses the chance to make it big if the game becomes a hit. With independently making the game first, you lack any of that security and the publisher gets to decide after you finish whether to publish you. One would like to think that the publishing deals would be better... so that if the game becomes a hit you would get some serious cash. I mean, very successful writers tend to make serious money, not just enough to fund more writing while the book publisher rolls in the millions.

    Basically, as indies many of us tend to try to think outside the box, despite the enormous risks involved. I'd like to think that if we were successful (despite the odds) in coming up with something that becomes a hit, our creativity / risk taking would be rewarded (as it would be in the writing field). Yes, I said 'I'd like to think'. Because, if this isn't the case, I see little financial sense in going that route.
     
  13. cyodine

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    first person perspective or first person shooter? (FPS)

    Though even with FPS, some hybridization can help distinguish it from other FPS. I mean I wouldn't consider Oblivion / Fallout 3 to be the same as a standard shooter because of the role-playing hybridization.

    Yet despite this, everything I've read / seen makes me wary of trying to compete with the big boys (FPS). I've seen indie games that tried real hard to compete, yet due to not having 50 people working on it, they always came across (at best) as something that you could pick up in the discount bin for $10. (You're competing with last year or two's shelf titles located there). And your market niche (hardcore gamers) are quite picky. So to compete, you may very well need that $5 mill cliffski mentioned.
     
  14. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Its a lot more guaranteed. You can make really silly money from XBLA and iPhone. But only a few do and oddly enough it's usually not the most technically competent games that do it either.

    There's no secret. Whilst you can affect your chances a fair amount, the end of the day its more luck than judgment if you get a runaway hit that goes stellar. And that's just not a sound business model. Nor is the blunderbuss approach of "one of these must make it, surely".

    We're looking to make hopefully 200K from our tanks game, which pays the wages here for 2 years at a stretch. What we do with those two years we'll worry about once the money is coming in. Probably rinse and repeat tbh. If we don't make that sort of money, I guess we carry on doing work for hire until we can afford another shot.

    For a small company with three fairly expensive guys, taking a punt on random iPhone self publishing etc just isn't a viable business model. If you can get by on a grand a month it might be for you but from what I hear even that level of income is totally random.

    The annoying thing for us is that the game fits the iPad the best of all the options and this is the platform we intend to demo it on when we get that far. But it'll probably be the worst actual seller of all the options by the time we're ready for market.
     
  15. zoombapup

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    I'm thinking of doing a FPS game btw. Technically not really any harder than any other game (I made another FPS engine to test this a year ago). Of course I'm not in any way thinking of "competing" with FPS's as a genre. But I think the first person viewpoint is really interesting from an immersion perspective.

    So the reverse question is:

    How do I make a FPS game, without people thinking about the comparison with other FPS games?

    Does the fact that you have an immersive view, with no player model and with a weapon in it automatically ensure you're mentally compared with COD?

    Does the idea of a third person view automatically mean you are going to be compared with something like Jak and Dexter?
     
  16. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think it depends on what your game actually does. Gothic certainly wasn't an FPS, but ticks all the boxes as to what an FPS actually is.

    But without uber levels of content and really nice levels I think it's always going to look like a budget cutdown version of something else.

    I think its probably the worst of the genres to throw your hat into. There's simply no getting away from the fact that you can't have an empty level with flat walls and crappy lighting.

    I agree that it would be a fun project though. I've never really done one, but I have the wish in me, but I know I couldn't make it look commercially viable so never actually bothered giving it a go.

    Maybe you can go for a completely original viewport that doesn't suck people into expecting the usual stuff. I'm thinking that mario galaxy levels shouldn't be beyond a serious indie but they get away with it because it isn't meant to look real and the gameplay is all over the place.
     
  17. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'll also be entering the FPS scene (more shooter than anything).

    Avoid making a poster with, "Zoombapup's About To Make You His Bitch." and you should be fine.

    Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it. Some people will draw comparisons, and some won't. If it really bothers you, build a strong community that'll work to spread word of what the game actually is.

    No. Despite what some people are saying, I don't think it's true every game with that is being compared to COD.

    Only if your game is like Jak and Dexter. If it's a sci-fi game, you're more likely to be compared to Mass Effect.
     
  18. Michael Flad

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    Not much to say but: Portal

    You cold argue whether it's a FPS because you only shoot portals but it's the perfect example that you can have an outstanding, unique game with very little content.
     
  19. zoombapup

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    Thats definitely the hope. Most of my content will be either procedurally generated (the city) or an emergent property (the squad/social AI model).

    I think I can compete in a way because it ISNT what you would traditionally think of an indie game to be like. I think it will have a strong aesthetic (and I'll be able to prove that to myself relatively quickly once I get the licenses for the tools sorted out). So the majority of it is working out if the behavior is convincing and fun.

    Aesthetically, I'm actually hoping that the clean look will be a positive rather than a negative. So it will be sparse, but deliberately so.
     
  20. mwtb

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    Portal falls out of the genre because there's no combat as such. Sure, someone might look at a screenshot in ignorance and classify it as an FPS but when playing it is clearly a puzzle game at heart. The same could be said of the first-person perspective adventure games out there like Sherlock:Nemesis.

    Can a low-budget FPS differentiate itself in a way that would allow forgiveness for not being a Halo/CoD/Crysis etc? I think so, if you step away from the type of combat gameplay they provide. Serious Sam is a decent example of an FPS that offers something that is clearly not what you get from the mainstream. At the other end of the spectrum I'm sure there's room for experimentation with stealth, traps, misdirection, sniping, getting inventive with the weaponry.

    If I were to make one suggestion it would be to throw out the standard idea of the FPS representing a single "mission" and start thinking more of it offering a basis for abstracted level-based gameplay. Once you do that a lot of the genre baggage disappears.
     

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