article - Congratulations, Your First Indie Game is a Flop

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Here is some article by Matej Jan.

Is is a good reading about what to expect, nothing much different from my own researches so far, but quite good.
I do have to disagree a bit on the "don´t worry the results, the process is more important" ideal, but I guess he lays it on a nice way.

One thing I like about it though (that he dosen´t mention), is that making an article about your game experience, is a powerful way to promote that same game, specially if it lands on the likes of Gamasutra (well, somehow, I´m promoting his game by posting this here right?). People have been doing this for quite a while now and the majority is quite good. Although lately, things started getting redundant, people are promoting their games by article talking the same old things. Such a tatic is also not new, the majority of the communication industry already relies on this for ages.

Anyway, I find this a good read, I agree with the great majority of his points of view.
What to you guys think?


I like gamasutra, good source of information.


However, pertaining to the train of thought in your response to that article..
I feel GLBasic forums and the expanded Versatility of game creation(platform wise) it can publish, makes that article obsolete for us here. Especially with the ability to publish games to be sold on istore and such.

Bing ChatGpt is pretty smart :O


Yep, GLBasic capabilities do make some of the efforts there obsolete.

I kind of enjoy 3 points there:

1. it will take 3x more time to do it.
If you have done any app/game since 1978 in any computer, you already know this, but new users might find this info useful.

2. Your first game will probably fit into the 0-1k dollar range.
As we research open numbers from small indie attempts, this is, in fact, quite true.

3. The marketing.
That is a good part,  He did attempt the current ways of it, and it seems review sites did him good.
I heard a lot of people saying review sites won´t do jack, but we know it matters and he talks about it, so it´s quite welcome.

What actually hold interest for me in this article, is that my first modern-to-be-published game has a lot in common with his.
And there is a part of the article that strikes me, which is the online highscore stuff.

I have seen that doing such in GLB is no secret or a monumentous task at all.
I´m thinking whether I should add online highscore to my game, since it is a single screen game quite based on final score.

For one side of the coin, I´m not much a high score person myself, but I do know a bit of its powers by personal experience, for example, I hold the world high score on Shoot´em till people hacked the board.
I also do enjoy score on pinball games and a few others. For the other side of the same coin, implementing it means more work, and maintaining it means even more work.

So, how important would an online highscore be considering sales of a product?
Would this feature drive more users into it?

I kind of think none, but I´m really not sure, specially considering my own game.
It is not a score based as simple as let´s say space invaders. It has plenty of action and many endings, but all based on the score achieved and playing from start to end, in case you don´t loose, won´t ever take more then 5 minutes.

What are your experiences with online highscore?



You should be a Journalist yourself.
I totally trolled you, and got what i wanted ;)
We share a common goal here, to get more information distrubuted, about the final stages of game development.
Thank you very much for sharing this knowledge with us, on the forums.

Bing ChatGpt is pretty smart :O


hehe suuure :-[

Still, I would like to know what people think of online high scores.


Nice read, and it's somewhat close to my AppStore-experience as a developer. It's been almost a year now and my game Snake Slider sold around 700 units (~230 Apple, ~470 Palm Pre). At around €0.40 profit per unit that hardly makes up for the investment in the graphics. I didn't expect to become a millionaire, but this is downright discouraging. :doubt:

Still, I can't complain because I've created and actually sold my own software which is an achievement in its own right.

I've got two good game ideas but creating them will take 6 months, each, at least. And the App Store "ecosystem" (I hate that term) isn't exactly encouraging me to invest heavily (both time and money) into a new game. There hasn't been a new entry in the App Store thread since months so I guess I'm not the only one.

So, instead of creating "My Next Big Gaming Masterpiece(tm)" :P I've recently decided to create some relatively easy-to-develop games (~1 or 2 months per game) and see how that goes. :)


Quote from: BdR on 2012-Jun-29
...So, instead of creating "My Next Big Gaming Masterpiece(tm)" :P I've recently decided to create some relatively easy-to-develop games (~1 or 2 months per game) and see how that goes. :)

It´s what I´m doing too, I´d wish I can make this game a series of 10 little games maybe.
First is sure taking more then 2 months as it will be ground for the rest, and have to put up a site, get sales system in, etc.


Quote from: erico on 2012-Jun-28
Here is some article by Matej Jan.

I think this is the classic mistake many startups make - producing the game they think people will like instead of doing proper market research and finding out what games people actually want to play.

Seriously, how big is the market for game & watch remakes? Seriously??
Now, how much time it takes to realize that? Much less than making the thing, I'd say.

And then they did the other mistake: feature creep.
HD graphics for game&watch, a director, artist and three programmers? Seriously??

And then at the end comes the ultimate indie fallacy(TM): arbitrary throwing of imaginary sums of money.
$50,000 - O RLY?!? For a game&watch remake??

What they're doing is throwing stuff at the wall and hoping that it sticks. Bad business.

From business point of view, a kid that bumps in a forum and yells: "I want to make a RPG like Skyrim, only better!" actually makes more sense. That's how games at EA, Ubisoft, Activision start.  :whistle:
The kid might not have the skill, work capacity and financial resources, but he has the idea. That idea will fail, but at zero cost in time and money.
Much cheaper mistake to learn on.


Ah yes, I read about this article on Reddit's gamedev subreddit. The comment that was upvoted the most pointed out that his game just simply doesn't look that interesting to play. It basically is a throwback to a classic style game that most people pointed out they didn't actually enjoy back when they were around, so why would they play something like that now?

Frankly that he saw as much success as he did, speaks to his ability to market something that wasn't meant to succeed in the first place. Plus everyone thought his home-made trailer in his attic looked cheesy. I agree it didn't really do much to make *me* want to play it.


Yep thaose watch games were extremelly boring, I had octopus. Even thought to remake it to extend into something cooler.
50$k for such game, only if you consider equipment and software you have to buy, otherwise, I believe 25$k would do it good.

Quote from: Falstaff on 2012-Jul-04
Frankly that he saw as much success as he did, speaks to his ability to market something that wasn't meant to succeed in the first place...

Thinking about it, I guess I agree to that.