Viability of an 'Alien Shooter' clone

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by -B-, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. -B-

    -B-
    Original Member

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    (Appologies up front if this is hard to follow, I'm pretty tired and was made redundant today, so I'm probably not as focused as i could be...)

    I'm quite interested in doing a game similar to Alien Shooter, but hopefully more story based (the plan is to do for alien shooter what Half-Life did for quake). My concern, however, is that there simply isn't a market for such a game. I'm led to believe that the content is too violent for the casual market, but reading some of the user reviews posted on various download sites suggests otherwise. I suspect that not being one of the major genres (FPS, RTS, RPG etc) it would probably fall under the radar of the more 'hardcore' gamers. But yet, Alien Shooter appears to be wildly popular, boasting hundreds of thousands of downloads on several of the sites it appears on. So who's downloading all the copies of the demo? Casual players who've got a taste for blood? Hardcore players looking for something new (non-FPS etc)?
    Or some group of people in between?

    So to summize, incase that made no sense:
    Would an Alien shooter clone sell? Why/Why Not?

    -B-

    For what it's worth, my current Alien Shooter clone is running on the GPL'd Quake III Engine and only uses the mouse+LMB to fire and RMB to walk/interact with the world.
     
  2. mahlzeit

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    Assuming that people who buy casual games don't buy violent action games, so what? If Alien Shooter is so successful, then why would another game that is better than Alien Shooter not be successful, as long as you sell to the right people, i.e. the people who enjoyed Alien Shooter, not the people who enjoy Bejeweled. So yes, I think an Alien Shooter clone would sell if a) it's better or at least as good as Alien Shooter and b) you let the right people know about it and c) the pixies aren't acting up. Not everyone enjoys match-3 games, obviously. ;)
     
  3. Nexic

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    Just FYI, there have been a number of Alien Shooter clones, of which, as far as I know, only Crimsonland has really had a similar amount of success. And I think the amount of money Alien Shooter made was still no where close to what a big portal hit would make. Alien Shooter came out in early 2003 (i think) and the market was a fair bit different then, so maybe that has something to do with it.

    Personally, I loved Alien Shooter, and as of yet I haven't played any shareware game that even came close to the amount of fun I had playing it (except maybe Jets N Guns). If a clone of it came along that was truely as good, or better I'd definitely buy it. But a lot of the charm of Alien Shooter (for me at least) is the pure frantic, over the top violence and huge swarms of enemies. To me, if you focused on story and less on action, it wouldn't be the same, and I probably wouldn't be so interested. Having said that, if you could meet other characters along the way which help you fight the aliens (like in HL), I think that would be really great.

    Over the years I have thought about doing a game in a similar vein to Alien Shooter, but to be honest I don't think I would be up the challenge at the present time. I would guess the amount of work involved in that game was quite substantial compared to a normal casual shooter title.
     
    #3 Nexic, Feb 22, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2006
  4. Emmanuel

    Moderator Original Member

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    Some shoot'em'ups can do really well for the developers on portals. Alien Shooter broke the top 10 on our german portal over the summer (the portal itself is doing extremely well). Channels like Reflexive Arcade or Arcadetown also have customers for this type of game (more than Real or the US site of BigFish, say).

    Best regards,
    Emmanuel
     
  5. -B-

    -B-
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the input, everybody, I really appriciate it. It's a lot more encouraging than I had feared :)

    So do you think using the Quake III engine is putting the requirements too high? It'll run on just about any 3d hardware (I remember playing it on the original 3dfx Voodoo) which presumably includes the intel extreme, umm, things they bundle with just about all machines these days. So does anybody have any experience using 3d accelerated graphics for this sort of market? I've noticed some Luxor and Breakout clones in 3D recently, is the 3D requirement hindering their sales badly? Or is decent OpenGL (1.1) support basically a given now-a-days? Would Direct3D be a safer bet? (although i've noticed their COM shenanigans isn't the backwards compatability panacea they keep telling us it is...)
     
  6. Nexic

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    As far as I know OpenGL is much riskier than DirectX. I would guess the Quake III engine would work okay requirement wise, and yes lots of games, if not all, use 3D acceleration (including Alien Shooter, Crimsonland and all my own games). Basically these days it's a safe enough bet.

    Though I'm not sure about how the license for Quake III works. I think it's GPL, which I think means you have to make your source code available and I'm not sure if you can sell it legally. You will have to look into it for yourself.

    If you are pretty new to making games (I assume you are, but please correct me if I'm wrong) you might have a tough time doing something like Alien Shooter straight away. I've been making games since I was 7 and have been selling games commerically for 2 years now, and I still don't think I could pull one like that off at the moment.
     
  7. -B-

    -B-
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    'Making' Games, sure :)

    Oh, I've been 'making' games for years (about 8, give or take), it's just that so called 'second 90%' I've never got the hang of :)

    Can't say I've ever really tried to make something to sell, usually just pet projects for a little mental masturbation, if you like... (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/j.barnes37/ for a couple of examples, nothing too interesting, I'm afraid)

    Now, however, I've decieded to embark on a 'serious' project, hopefully with some profit at the end. I'm not too concerned with making millions, but one or two sales would be nice.

    And yeah, Quake 3's been GPL'd, so as long as the source is made available (which I have no problem with) you can pretty much do what you want with it.
     

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