Questions for people who have succeded in building an indie business

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by endasil, Jan 29, 2006.

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  1. Ricardo Vladimiro

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    ggambet,

    Thank you for your answer, but I'm cool, really, I am. :) No worries.
     
  2. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    To further clarify my position : my comment "Advice from people with no experience and no completed games should be ignored or taken with a HUGE grain of salt" referred specifically to the two guys who always have an answer to everything, whether they know what they're talking about or not, even in a thread whose title explicitly states the question is NOT for them.
     
  3. soniCron

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    But organizing a business plan is something I have experience with at this point, and was the purpose of my post. How am I not qualified to speak about such matters?
     
  4. steve bisson

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    sonicron ......

    "Questions for people who have succeded in building an indie business". I guess it implies many years of contant success in the game industry.

    your website is not even online.
     
  5. soniCron

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    How does that invalidate the point of my post, that industry sales data is important to build a remotely realistic business plan? It is an area I do have experience with, and was in response to all past and future posts about the uselessness of sharing that data.

    Please, only respond if you're American.
     
  6. steve bisson

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    i cant believe someone could write that. Why do i always have the impression you make efforts to have every thread revolve around you.
     
  7. soniCron

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    You see the idiocy in asserting irrelevant labels?

    EDIT: And among all this hooplah about my qualifications for discussing business plans, has anyone bothered to offer a valid counterpoint to my original post? No. All we've heard are prejudicial and derogatory comments against contributors of this board that aren't published...even when it's totally irrelevant.
     
    #27 soniCron, Jan 31, 2006
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2006
  8. Savant

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    I see lots of idiocy here, in many different areas.
     
  9. steve bisson

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    your are comparing apples and oranges and further extending a debate about you and nothing about the original topic AGAIN.
     
  10. soniCron

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    There has been nothing about the original topic to discuss! Nobody's said anything against it! Please! Tell me why what I said 29 posts back is wrong! But just don't tell me it's wrong because I'm not published, because that's simply prejudice!
     
  11. steve bisson

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    I was not reacting to your initial post but at the way you like to highjack threads and turn it into a mello drama in wich you like to be the center of attention as seen here

     
  12. Game Producer

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    Back to the original topic...

    1) Little hint: do a search in these forums, you'll find some sales info.
    2) I'm starting a "sales stats" place in my blog. I'm going to gather sales data from various sources... I put stuff online as soon as I get it (I already have statistics from 20 (or was it 50 ;)) games... you'll see them this month if you visit there. (see - I hope)

    Oh, and I think these were very good questions. And yes, I think this thread needs some cool watering ;)
     
  13. soniCron

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    Ok. I'll make my point and leave it alone, so there's no need to lock the thread:

    A visitor asks advice from successful developers. One of those questions involves sales data. This is a question that has been asked a million times in the past. The usual response? "It doesn't matter." Now, when the first response to his initial query was, "It doesn't matter," (which I suspected would be), I retorted with a reasonable -- and common -- situation in which it would be highly valuable.

    Now, the title of this thread specifically requests responses from successful developers. However, my response was one in favor of the original poster's question -- that is, I was defending it. In other words, someone immediately stated that sales figures were irrelevant, and I refuted that. I was attributing validity to the original poster's question.

    Now, instead of citing a specific reason why my scenario was wrong, we met with the usual response, "Don't listen to people who haven't released a game." This attempt to refute my assertion that sales data was important was no more than prejudicial and derogatory.

    The idea was that, since I haven't released a game, I haven't the capacity to speak about any of the elements in creating a viable independent game business, even if one of those elements was something that I am previously familiar.

    Does completing savegame code qualify me to talk about business plans? No. How about high-score code? No. Profiles? No. Marketting? No. Customer service? No. Dealing with portals? No.

    In fact, not one element beyond making a business plan qualifies me to discuss making business plans. No amount of polish, coding, sales, or configuring a dedicated web server has anything to do with discussing and formulating a business plan.

    So how does completing a game accrue any relevancy in discussing business plans? The answer: It doesn't.

    And there's a word for this: Prejudice. That is, the assertion that my capacity for understanding and objectively evaluating the subject is dependent on an irrelevant condition. (White, male, published games, etc.) The fact that I'm a man has no bearing on my qualifications to discuss those matters. Nor does my being an American. Nor my successfully completing, releasing, and supporting a finished game.

    To assert that they do is misguided and prejudicial, not to mention hurtful. And this is something we see far too often on these forums. If I were to release my game next week, does that instantly validate my opinions?

    So, please, either refute my original post, or PM me. Don't help me pollute this thread any further! ;)
     
  14. Savant

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    You're right. But you know what WOULD qualify you to talk about business plans? Running a successful business.
     
  15. soniCron

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    Wouldn't, also, having difficulty formulating a realistic business plan due to the dearth of sales data qualify me to assert that such data is important?
     
  16. Grey Alien

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    I am interested in seeing these too, I started to compile my own set of figures from sources on the web a year ago but the task was massive and time consuming, so i just made games instead!
     
  17. paulhuxt

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    How many people were you when you started the company?

    2 in 2000, 6 now.

    How long have you been selling games?
    from 2005.
    But selling games is not our #1 activity (unfortunately).

    We still depend mostly on "work for hire" projects in the field of game programming.

    On average, how much time do you spend developing each game?
    between 3 weeks for a free online game to 6 months for a retail game.

    What do you consider important to think about when starting up a game development company?

    having a goal or strategy that differentiate you from other game development companies. This is related to your personnality or your strengths/weaknesses, so it can't be "teached".

    What methods have you used to make people aware of your site and games?
    Nothing special.
    Other websites apparently appreciate our games and link to us.

    How many games did you sell per week during the first three months of your business?
    about 200

    How many games do you sell per week now?
    about 10

    What is the download / buy ratio? In other words how many of those who download your demo actually buys them?
    less than 1%

    Anything else you would like to add?
    no , thanks ;-)
     
    #37 paulhuxt, Feb 1, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  18. Game Producer

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    Heh.

    In fact, the first numbers come public tomorrow at 8 am (gmt+2).
     
  19. Nexic

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    How many people were you when you started the company?
    Just me.

    How long have you been selling games?
    2 years.

    On average, how much time do you spend developing each game?
    3-6 months.

    What do you consider important to think about when starting up a game development company?
    The most important thing in my opininon is making a good game, one that is highly polished, and one that will appeal to the majority of casual games. I got this wrong early on.

    What methods have you used to make people aware of your site and games?
    Banner ads, google ad words, forum chat, newsletters, press releases, SEO. SEO and press releases work best.

    How many games did you sell per week during the first three months of your business?
    My first game yieled such a low weekly figure that I might as well just say zero. By my second game was more like 1.

    How many games do you sell per week now?
    About 10 if you mean direct sales. I can't say how many indirect (portal) sales, but it's a fair bit more than this number.

    What is the download / buy ratio? In other words how many of those who download your demo actually buys them?
    From my own site, about 0.5%.


    Anything else you would like to add?
    You could easily do a lot worse than me, or easily do a lot better. You can't expect anything.
     
  20. cliffski

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    How many people were you when you started the company?
    Just me.

    How long have you been selling games?
    8 years

    On average, how much time do you spend developing each game?
    between 6 months to a year

    What do you consider important to think about when starting up a game development company?
    Learn how to code BIG projects. And learn how to do coder art, at least at the start, learn a bit of everything so you dont need anyone else.

    What methods have you used to make people aware of your site and games?
    Everything, advertising, emailing people, magazine submissions, download sites, forum postings.

    How many games did you sell per week during the first three months of your business?
    maybe 1 a week at most. possibly much less.

    How many games do you sell per week now?
    Lots more. Its a disaster if it's not at least 1 day, often many more.

    What is the download / buy ratio? In other words how many of those who download your demo actually buys them?
    Varies massivly per game, some its 0.001%, some its more like 2-3%

    Anything else you would like to add?
    Everyone get back to work immediately.
     
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