List of problems faced by indie developers and how to solve them

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by over_cloud9, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    I totally agree outsourcing is important. I do pay for art and music when I need it. My gripe about paying for writing is that American or Vietnamiese, I would still be a bad artist, no escape lol whereas as an American, I would most likely be a good writer and don't need to pay anything. It is really just down to a stupid wrong place of birth.
     
  2. Roman Budzowski

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    Oh well, if I was a son of Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Steve Jobs...... my parents, how could they do it to me? ;-)

    As an American you would have to pay for high school and med care and what not, it's always trade off.
     
  3. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The irony of that is killing me.

    I think you're doing writers a disservice. Splurgeing out any old shit even with good grammar and/or localisms still isn't going to guarantee compelling prose. Far from it.

    And the way Americans butcher the English language in the first place.... (hehe, sorry...)
     
  4. Indinera

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    Well that's why I want to learn and do it myself. This way I take full responsibility. Roleplaying games rely a lot on the story. The work on it should not be handed to someone else.
     
  5. zoombapup

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    Personally, my biggest problem is losing artists. Two more in the last 2 weeks. Just kind of evaporate when you give them some work to get on with. Disappear and that it. Must be on maybe two dozen or so having done that to me. These are paying gigs btw. I'm not trying to stiff anyone. Just let them get on with work.
     
  6. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Yeah, I've suffered that for a long time actually. It's hard to tell the hobbiests from the pro's as the core difference is not ability but work ethic, and you can't tell that from a portfolio.

    Maybe we need a referral scheme on this board for creatives that are proven to work hard and get shit delivered?
     
  7. terin

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    So wait, first we all seem to vaguely agree that marketing is important and then apparently vaguely agree that reviews are unimportant? Come on... press coverage is still important. I'm bias of course, but it really is. Will a review get you more sales in any meaningful amount? Well, from a small site probably not. From a large site, probably. In both cases you're hoping for a variety of good outcomes.
    1) Sales.
    2) Return visitors or reinforced messages (like branding, basically)
    3) Utilization of the review to attract other opportunities (such as other reviews, publishers, ect)
    4) Links to your site for SEO powahs!

    I'm not saying that reviews are the only marketing (far from it!) but I still consider them an integral part of marketing plans. I spend a lot of energy and effort on getting mainstream sites as well as small/mid sites to talk about my client's games in every conceivable way. Then you mix that with talking about your own game via facebook, twitter, reddit, digg, stumble. Toss in a good recurring newsletter and a site people actually have a reason to return to and presto- 3 years of making games later and everyone will be all like "oooh, how'd you do it?"

    I was just talking to Dave Gilbert about something similar and my experience is most people simply give up too soon. Simple as that. To me most indies fail at the stage where their first game isn't a success or their first 'marketing campaign' doesn't work so they stop doing it. The end. Most of the successful devs on the otherhand failed and simply kept at it. Anyway, moral of that conversation with Dave is failure keeps us sharp and weeds out the wanna-bees from the winners. (That's my opinion, not Dave's)

    -Joe

    edit- Oh yeah, I also managed to get a client 52 review copies sent out in 3 days so far... mind you I am talking about PC. iOS is a trickier animal by a leap. Still, I have confidence we'll see their iOS version on Slide 2 Play, Pocketgamer, and 148 Apps at the very least with full reviews. Because I am persistent :D
     
  8. Morgan Ramsay

    Morgan Ramsay New Member

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    The press isn't as critical today as they once were. You can skip the middlemen and take your products directly to consumers. For many indies, that will be the only course of action anyway. The top outlets tend to not give coverage to self-published titles (just like self-published books, by the way), so you'll need to establish your niche and explore alternate paths to those consumers.

    My (book) publisher sends out more than 10,000 review copies every day across their entire portfolio. Reviews for any medium can be very effective. But great marketing and great reviews won't help an indie who can't manage his/her business.
     
  9. Indinera

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    I'm sure Terin knows how things would be 10x easier for me if I was indeed American because he knows I'm successfully doing all his advices already. Just saying. I also totally agree with his opinion on reviews and how they impact sales and a career as a whole. Hence why I'm upset about my origins because I only miss the right native language to get great/good reviews instead of average ones. In fact I would have hired him if I was American because he is good at reaching the press but... it's not all about reaching it... to be efficient, a press coverage needs to be laudatory.

    This is silly. I'm mostly a writer. People making games based on their stories like Kan of To The Moon, Amanda of Aveyond, Dave from Wadjet or so many others, they are all american or native-speaking, yet they are not sons of Bill Gates or Jobs. I wish I could be like them. I wish I could sign my stories in my native language. Is it so hard to understand?
     
    #49 Indinera, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  10. Roman Budzowski

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    No, it is mot hard to understand. It's just that complaining about it won't take you anywhere. I had similar issue and similar thoughts to yours until I realized doing it myslef is pointless and just focused on making key-plot elements of the story and left the rest to native writers. Sure, Dave and Amanda don't have to pay extra for texts, but for sure they pay for something different.
     
  11. Indinera

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    You prefer to outsource but I prefer to learn even if it's hard. That would defeat entirely the purpose of what I am doing (and want to be, ie a writer) if I was just handing out the job to other writers. Plus outsourcing the texts of a RPG is very hard since this type of game is crammed with them (all the NPCs, all the interactions with objects etc.)

    Like everyone else I suppose... there is nothing to lose in speaking english perfectly.
     
  12. Jack Norton

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    Haha you can be persistent as much as you want, but in certain cases...doesn't work. I pestered RPS reviewers to review Planet Stronghold for months, but they were too busy reviewing some rainbow pony game and write the 140129302th article on Minecraft. I made a "spam post" in their forums, which made me 10 tracked sales (probably more) in the 5 minutes it was still visible before getting buried. Clearly, my game didn't interest their readers!
    But... I am persistent, and I really think my next game will get coverage, since everyone is loving it already just in beta.
     
  13. Indinera

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    The Loren game?
     
  14. Jack Norton

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    Yes, got mentioned already on Jayisgames, and never happened before to me :)
     
  15. terin

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    Sometimes being persistent is also about being patient and waiting for the opportunity. RPS rarely gives me the time of day, sad as I am to admit it, but when a conference or event happens I know they'll be at I am on them like flies to honey. Sometimes a face to face meeting is what it takes to get the coverage needed.
    -Joe
     
  16. Indinera

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    I rest my case...
     
  17. Jack Norton

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    Yes, same with Valve. That's the point Indinera and I are making. If you live at 30min car drive from <insert big portal/review site/magazine> makes things much easier... I had to turn down some interviews with important magazines here in Italy because was not worth my time. If was in UK/USA? sure thing :D
    Of course, not saying that it's just about that - first thing, you have to have a valid product.
     
  18. Indinera

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    Well OF COURSE if you are American you raise your opportunities by 20 times and not just because you can have people face to face but also because they will take you more seriously and let's face it, many people would rather help one of theirs over a foreigner if the products are of similar quality, if you see what I mean lol
    That's the whole point of my intervention. If you are indie, being american or native english speaker promotes everything you do to the next level(s).
     
    #58 Indinera, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  19. zoombapup

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    Just want to raise the point that I got quite a good set of initial press interest for one of my projects before even starting it, because I posted a tweet about the idea, which had a screenshot attached that I'd mocked up. It got on indiegames.com I think first, then RPS, then kotaku and beefjack and a few others. My point being that most sites feed off other sites, so you don't need to crack one particular site, just find ONE chink in the armour and most interesting games will get repeated a fair bit. Then use that interest to leverage more and get the ball rolling a bit more from there.

    Just my casual view of what happened to me.
     
  20. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Sounds like a perfect definition of viral marketing, nice one!

    (Most people seem to think the term relates to adding a facebook wall spam button)
     

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