Which scenario makes the most money?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by 2dnoob, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    B but agree with others that first it's best to make smaller practice games before going for the big one.
     
  2. Chroma

    Chroma New Member

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    Your question is very similar to investing. Do you diversify or put all your eggs into one basket? One high quality game is more risky but would potentially yield the most profits if it was a hit. Five "ok" titles would be less risky and provide more steady income but potentially a lot lower income overall. I guess it depends on what type of person you are. A play-it-safe guy or a risk-taker. You can take a lot of the guesswork out of it by really analyzing the game idea and getting feedback on the game mechanics with alpha demos before you commit.

    I for one plan to take the Blizzard approach and make low number of top-notch games. Blizzard is a great business model for indie developers imo. Plus I despise developers who flood the system with crappy games just to "get them out there".

    So my advice would be: Make one quality game as opposed to five mediocre games.
     
    #42 Chroma, Mar 28, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  3. Sharpfish

    Original Member

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    Same Here... then make another quality one and another... takes a lot longer but at least you know you gave it your best shot and are proud of the end product. Having said this, that's just my personal way of attempting it, some people may not be able to stick at one game for more than 8 months and in that case it's better to release shorter/smaller/quicker games than release none because they are all aborted after a year because they "don't live up" to your grand ideas.
     
  4. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    Can this work at an indie level? People seem to forget (or simply not know) that Blizzard cut their teeth as developers for other publishers, going as far back as early 90's when they were known as Silicon & Synapse (and very briefly as Chaos Studios); Does Rock n Roll Racing, Blackthorne, Lost Vikings, Justice League, etc ring a bell? None of these, except maying RnR Racing, were top quality games. Something kept them aloft, especially through the mid-90's console shake-out and it wasn't the model of producing a few quality games. By the time Warcraft II and Diablo came out, they had a really solid foundation to build on thanks to the success of Warcraft, and being acquired by Davidson & Associates in 1994.
     
    #44 LilGames, Mar 28, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
  5. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Yeah, until you get one hit and can live off its sales I don't suggest taking 3 years per game. After you can just sit around for a year and survive on the sales of your old games, then it might be time to make 3-year games.

    But as I said, there's something to be said for intensity of development. How many 3-year games did a person spend every single day working on? Probably none. How many 3-month games did a person spend every single day working on? Probably most. Even pregnancies only last 9 months, and human beings are incredibly complex things to create.
     
  6. Sharpfish

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    You have a great point about intensity, it's also easier to stay enthusiastic if you say "ok I MUST finish this game in 8/10 weeks" or whatever. However, I think there is also something to be said for giving a game some natural distance, taking time off from it (which can only be done in longer projects). When you look back at the game another developer could say "that game could have been done in 6 months yet you took a year", but the R&D, prototypes, and clarity from giving it space are what take up a large part of the initial development time and that can't be rushed (unless you have a 100% definite game design doc worked out before hand which also takes time of it's own to ensure it has no flaws - unlikely without a prototype to test it)

    This only applies to games that are not following a strict blueprint taken (cloned?) from another game, where time (even downtime to think) is as much part of the game as the intial design and final product.

    So, simply there is no right or wrong, nor standard formula that will work for everyone or with every type of game. A finished game doesn't even need to be that complex to still take 12+ months to make (with time off) because part of that time is sitting back and deciding what to *remove* as well as what features to add/substitue that are going to be for the benifit of the game in the long run.

    Obviously, if your house/relationships depend on it and you have NO other income to tide you over then taking ages to finish is not reccomended and RinkuHero's point becomes more valid. Especially if the game is a somewhat cookie cutter/generic gametype that has plenty of proven examples out there to study.
     
  7. Chroma

    Chroma New Member

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    Yes, very easily.

    It's just my advice though, feel free not to follow it. It's just common sense to me to take 1 year to create a quality game that has a better chance of selling well than to crank out a mediocre game every 3-4 months that sells poorly. In other words, everyone has their own agenda.

    How many games has Blizzard released since Warcraft II? Not many. And I'd have to say each one has been a smash. History is screaming "take time to make quality games". I choose not to ignore it.
     
  8. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    "It's just common sense to me to take 1 year to create a quality game that has a better chance of selling well than to crank out a mediocre game every 3-4 months that sells poorly."

    That's common sense to me too, except, that there's no evidence that I know of that games that take longer to make sell better or even are better than games that take less time to make.
     
  9. Pevnia

    Pevnia New Member

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    It all depends on why the game takes longer. If you are trying to fix a bug that causes the entire game to crash, then please, take your time. Many amazing games have been tarnished by bugs not known until it has already launched. However, we also hear a lot about companies delaying games excessively for little gain. I for one cannot understand how they can afford to do so.
     
  10. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    You assume it's little gain, but consider that usually a small handful of the top games earn the most sales, so the gain from getting into that top handful is actually very very worth it.


    We should be talking about "polish" rather than dev time. Yes, more polish requires more dev time, but like was said above, the actual time will vary per game (so no sense nailing the time so specifically, like "1 year").
     
  11. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I don't think it's unreasonable to not expect to be a top seller, particularly when you're starting out, no matter how long you work on a game. The original question seems to be posed by someone who has never created a game before; how many shareware top sellers are a person's first game?
     

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