Sunday, November 22, 2020

I can code - but can I sell?

A month ago, I released my first game, Ballsy! World Cup 2020.v12_goal01_small.gif, Nov 2020

The goal of this project was to 'get a game out there' - I've always wanted to do so, but never actually completed anything for various reasons, and that needed to be addressed. In that regard, this project was a great success!

Some numbers; development took roughly 10 months, including a 2-month hiatus. At this moment, in it's first month, it sold about 65 times, which of course is a meaningless number (for a $5 game), and definitely not worth the time put it, from a purely economic point of view.

Again, that's irrelevant, since my main goal was to release a complete game. The best way to learn anything is through experience, and I wanted to experience that process of getting something in the online stores.

Now that I've managed to do so, it's time for my next lesson - selling a game. This comes less naturally to me than programming one! This blog is my first step towards this new goal. It will document my journey of the development of my next game, as well as function as an anchor for my interactions with the outside world.

What got me thinking was a talk on Aesthetic Driven Development by Vladimir Slav from Coldwild Games. Though I wouldn't copy their exact process, they did make me realize it's a good idea to see the game's development as a whole instead of as seperate processes. For Coldwild Games, the choice of art style is already part of both the the market research and the community interaction.

My friend Job Talle is a proponent of sharing - as you can see on his blog - all kinds of fun experiments in the form of web apps and .gif files. By sharing these on social media, he gains plenty followers, and it makes sense; people love seeing byte-sized, visually appealing moving images. So while these experiments may feel like a waste of time to some, things like that can play an important part in eventually selling a product.

Another good talk on the holistic process of indie game development that I'm taking to heart is Making Games That Stand Out and Survive by Nick Popovic. If there's one thing from that talk that interested me, it's the concept of 'home' in a game. I'm not going to explain what it means; Nick does it best ;)

In my next log, I will lay down my plans for the development process of my next game. I know, in this oversaturated market, it's gonna be tough to actually make it a financial success, even with this improved effort on the social marketing side of things - but it will be a valuable lesson either way. Cheers!