What kind of people buy indie games?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by dogzer, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. GBGames

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    Sweet! Now I just need to make $30 million, and I'm on my way to making the best MMORPG/RTS/FPS ever!!!
     
  2. GBGames

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    Essentially you are talking about market research, which is good.

    Who buys indie games? Anyone who has a credit card and doesn't feel scared using it to purchase a downloadable executable to play a game.

    Now, the person who thinks that awesome graphics and special effects are what makes the game might not appreciate good games that happen to have lousy production budgets (whether money or time). They are clearly not the target audience.

    Who is? Well you have hardcore gamers, casual gamers, niche gamers, and interstitial gamers.

    Hardcore gamers are those that pay $60 for a game and play for hours every day. They aren't afraid of control schemes or computers for the most part.

    Casual gamers are the opposite. They might play a game once in awhile, and for minutes at a time at that. Minesweeper, solitaire, and puzzle games have great appeal.

    Niche gamers are those fanatics who love games that most people don't think about. Turn based historical strategy war games appeal to a certain segment, for example.

    Interstitial gamers are ex-hardcore players, usually due to other things taking up their time. When you love games but find that your job and family take up your time, you can't see investing $60 in a game that requires hours per day. And after playing some awesome games in the past, why settle for casual games? They are too simple for your tastes.

    Any other way to break this down?
     
  3. Leper

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    I am an Interstitial gamer. Nowadays in my free half hour or whatever I'll play the latest shareware shmup, or maybe a platform game, a puzzle game, a strategy game, etc. Sometimes I get lost in one of those games and play for like 2 hours ;)

    Actually I'll play just about any "casual game" but a "match-3" one..

    But I used to spend 6-12 hours on the PC when I was a kid.. I used to spend days and days and weeks on one game, learning everything about it and mastering it! Learning all of it's exploits, every thing about it.

    I simply dont have time to do that anymore, and when I play a highly involved game like one of those $60.00 games I usually get discouraged because it looks like too much of a daunting task. I'd much rather get highly involved in something that makes me feel like I'm being productive. If I want to entertain myself, I'll play a casual game!
     
  4. GBGames

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    Ok, so maybe it's not casual games so much as very simple games. I think someone raised on Super Mario Bros, Total Annihilation, and Diablo 2 would probably not enjoy playing Bejeweled for too long and would want to find something along the lines of Strange Adventures in Infinite Space or Oasis.
     
  5. Mr.Blaub

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    Is there any justification in typing that I'm most of the above?

    I'll play anything from Half-Life 2 to tetris, and most things inbetween.

    I recently played a text adventure that was made two decades ago.

    And of course I'd purchase a casual game if I felt it deserved my money, so am I a freak of nature or are there more like me?

    Anyways, I like the ideal that you attempt to market (and therefore design) your game based around the widest demographic possible. If you've got the chance to incorporate multiple types of gameplay (and the option to omit (sp?) each segment) I think you would get more sales.

    I'm currently making an Adventure game/Exploration game/puzzle game/twitch game hybrid, and some of the extra components (they're kind of like minigames, in a sense) can be shut off for the price of a deduction in potential high score points. This way, if someone just can't (or can't be bothered to) get past a certain obstacle, they can just skip it.

    I wouldn't overdo this though. If you make too much of the game skippable (and don't have penalties for doing so) then the player will skip their way through the game, and will complete it too quickly/remain unfulfilled.

    So that's one way of doing things - cram a bunch of different elements into one game. I don't know if this is going to be successful, as I haven't fully developed and released the game yet, but we'll see what happens :)
     
  6. gosub

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    In no particular order...

    1) Free download. $60 is a pretty big investment when you can only read the back of the box.

    2) Inexpensive. You know what you've got, and you don't mind spending $12, $15, $20, or whatever.

    3) Not mutually exclusive. My mom plays $60 games, $19 games, and $15 games, and free games. My guess is that she spent more hours playing Snood than Myst or Zork.

    4) Variety. There's a lot more Indi games than $30 million budget games.

    5) Boredom. After playing any game for a while, you get bored with it. If you liked the basic premise of the game, you might go for a clone that is similar but different.

    6) Luck. Your game is worse and more expensive, but they download it first. Or maybe they got bored with the better cheaper version, and want something new.

    7) Stupidity. Why did people buy pet rocks when they could just go outside and pick one up? Did people actually buy pet rocks, or is that a myth? How about the guy who made millions by selling a program that only changed one registry key?

    8) For fun. People will play a free zero-budget game for hours on end if it's fun. Of course, they might not pay for it either.

    9) The list goes on...

    -Jeremy
     
  7. gpetersz

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    You might even ask, why should I watch "Blackadder" with Rowan Atkinson, when the whole series didn't cost the same as one episode of Star wars.

    Because it IS different. And I like it BETTER. Because contrary that I like Lucas's films, and I really like SW (I watch it from time to time), I don't have that intelectual plus what makes "Blackadder" so much fun (black-sarcastic humour, the personality).

    I don't really understand your question to be honest. The practice's shown that the two genre simple LIVES side by side.

    Hmmm.... and personality. That's what Call of Duty does not have (personal opinion). I liked COD very much, played it 5-6 times, done it in all levels 1 or 2 times. Enjoyed the scenes. Then get bored of this scripted environment...

    I've downloaded Professor Fizzwizzle yesterday. I love him!!!
    I'll very likely buy a piece for my wife (and for myself naturally :)) for christmas. He's got personality, he is original in some ways, and the quality is quite good. Many times I feel when I play the next flashy AAA game that it is empty. (there are AAA titles that became my pastourized games, and remained installed, but very few)

    So it is not a XOR but an AND relation between AAA and indie games. If I want a 30 million budget high-tech rendered movie I choose AAA if I want something ELSE I have an indie game.

    Not to mention that I grew up on Spectrum/C64/Amiga games, and indie games are not different than the AAA titles of that days. So in my opinion when the tools and machines become that advanced indies will make Call of Duties (there are even now a commercial FPS maker, where you can make FPSs without coding!) while the AAAs will do something high-tech then.
     
  8. soniCron

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    *thinks about it* Actually, it would be an OR. ;)
     
  9. ManuelMarino

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    I think the BIG POINT is the gameplay. Consider games like Monopoly... they had a huge success in their pc versions, while the budget behind was very small compared to some AAA games released in these years.

    I know Lux, and I consider it a great game. Again, the gameplay is amazing, so the gameplay is what makes these games so interesting.

    While many AAA titles don't need great gameplays to be successful (there are other factors to make them successful), low budget games absolutely need a very good gameplay to be winners in the competition.
     

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