Would you sell a game that isn't good?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Talisman, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Talisman

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wrote a small game in java for a course which I'm about to finish. Now the holidays are approaching and I want to start making games for fun & profit.

    The game isn't particularly good (i.e. I think my 'real' game will be better). However, since I already have it, I might as well try selling it. Right?

    I had some alternative ideas for this unique IP - I could use it as a Puppygames-esque web game or free download to help build interest until I release a 'real' game.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,349
    Likes Received:
    3
    Could we take a look at the game? "Bad game" is relative :p

    But assuming it is definitely bad, I wouldn't sell it, especially if you plan to sell it under the brand name you plan to use for your "real" games. If enough people play it, it will just give you a bad reputation.
     
  3. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,392
    Likes Received:
    6
    Depending on how bad it is, you might be able to use it as a learning experience to get a good hold of all the ins and outs of setting up your online transaction processing, your website etc...
     
  4. Raptisoft

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    0
    If it was my first game, yes.

    On your first game, it's more important to do it than to do it well.

    Putting it out there gets you experience in setting up your online transaction accounts and such.

    Plus, you've already done it. Why waste that effort? If even one person buys it, it's better than NOT selling it.
     
  5. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    I echo Raptisoft's message. We did exactly that with Snowball Frenzy. It helped us get the web site going, transactions and to have an idea on what it takes to add a game to a website ready for sale.
     
  6. Sharpfish

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I would relase games that I thought were no good... I would have about ten on my site by now ;) seriously. I suppose I have to stop scrapping them once I consider them "not perfect" and just get feedback instead.

    My main project will be released and I feel it is good, of course.. but I know there is a lot to adjust to and get feedback from once you have all the systems of selling a game in place and that imo should be learned as soon as possible.

    On the other hand I plan on making FREE games as well but not because they are no good, but as a promotional device / goodwill gesture (obviously I am talking very small games here that would not eat into main development time). So you could try selling it or giving it away, but imo, if you think it is that bad - if it feels like a "test project" to you then I wouldn't release it. Not from a business standpoint but a personal one. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I couldn't sleep at night knowing I had received money for something I wasn't proud of. This of course, does not include the games I released on the Amiga which were passable but shameful by todays standards ;)
     
  7. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just release it! You have the chance to learn valueable lessons and you might get some money for it.

    There is no way it will seriously hurt your reputation as if it's that bad it won't get infornt of many people anyway...
     
  8. kerchen

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    The main problem with releasing a game that you're not happy with is that it can become a real drag on your mental energy. I decided to release Vault Vex for all the reasons mentioned in this thread: no sense throwing away the fruits of your efforts, it will be a learning experience, etc. However, after I submitted my not-so-perfect game to the 237th download site, and my first three sales were fraudulent, and my admittedly low sales expectations were (almost) met, and what little feedback I received from my potential customers simply confirmed that my game wasn't so good, I found myself wishing that perhaps I'd chosen to cut my teeth on a game that I loved a little bit more. Even if you're just going to "throw it out there," that still takes time and effort and if that time and effort is spent on something you don't love, you'll resent it. In retrospect, I would still have released Vault Vex, but I shouldn't have put so much time into it.
     
  9. impossible

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
  10. Talisman

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, everyone. The main message I'm getting is that this is a mental issue, not a marketing one: If selling the game will make me feel bad, I shouldn't do it, but if it will motivate me to set up a store and get some experience, I should.

    I might run the game by you after I've cleaned it up a bit. I'll also take a look at some of your infamous first games to get an idea for the standard :)
     
  11. AlexN

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    I may give it out for free, but I'll NEVER sell it.
     
  12. Greig Hamilton

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
  13. thierryb

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll do it

    Hi everyone,

    It's my first post here, though I've been reading you a lot for a while and find this site very very useful.
    I'm looking to release my first game too, and it is only a small card game (mix of chess and card game war). I was wondering the same as if i should release it or not as it looks more like a proof of concept than a complete game.
    I definitely will as i need to understand the whole process of selling a game by myself and as I would hate to have wasted my time even if it was a good experience to get me back in track for game programming (I've been out of the scene for quite a long time now).
    Once it is done, I promiss I'll post again and tell how many (if any) sells I got :)
    Thierry

     
  14. Leper

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a question. Have any of you guys ever sold your games without a vendors license (do you need one?) or even a REAL corporation or DBA? Anyone ever just make up a name and throw it on a website and call it "blah blah soft" and skip the Fed-ID and DBA or INC / LLC part? I was thinking about that but I think that is risky, or is it not? 'Cuz I think the hardest part of sellin games right now is that you hafta start a business. You have to get legal stuff done, and CPA, etc.
     
  15. Robert Cummings

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,155
    Likes Received:
    0
    How on earth do you think you can sell a game that isn't good?
     
  16. Sharpfish

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly what I was getting at in my posts. I think we have got a MASSIVE struggle ahead of us to promote and sell a game we believe in - how is spending all the time and energy on doing that to a game you think is "rubbish" going to help you?

    Obviously it may not be completely "Not good" and you were just saying that, so you have to be the judge. If it has merits and you won't look back in a year and cringe at it then I agree it would be useful to "test" the commerce side (which is a very valuable lesson) but if you totally lack faith in it ... how can you expect people to buy it? And if you don't expect people to buy it is it not just going to be a bandwidth stealer??
     
  17. monco

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wrote a complete steamer last year and tried to sell it. Two copies. But, as others have said, I learned about press releases, setting up the web site, order processing, etc. So, as far as developing/selling/marketing a game from soup to nuts, been there done that.

    Now, to make a game that people actually *want* to buy...
     
  18. dogzer

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I say polish it a bit and sell it. And keep polishing it according to people's suggestions. Maybe a sugestion box would be useful.

    Hey, it happens all the time with big companies. Especially those games that are based on movies and cartoons. They are very well advertised though.
     
  19. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    0
    I try to do my best to avoid making a game that isn't good - so that I never have to face this question. But to answer the question, I wouldn't sell a game that I didn't think was worth the money I was charging for it.
     
  20. Evak

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    I take to much pride in my work to sell a product that I feel isn't good. Often after gameplay niggles, its polish that causes the most strain on working relationships in indie teams.

    If your having doubts and need to ask, you probably don't want to sell your game. You have to remember that ultimately, people will judge you by the games you publish. So they better be things you can live with, bad products reflect on you and may get in the way later since a lot of people arent willing to give second chances, and first impressions tend to stick.
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer