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Improving exposure by working with other Indie developers?
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Joined: 17 May 2003
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Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: Improving exposure by working with other Indie developers? Reply with quote

I'm sat here, coming back to the site to get another response code after yet again wanting to play Starscape long after a PC wipe happened, and I'm thinking... What could indie developers be doing differently from mainstream developers that they aren't doing now to improve their exposure?

So I'm thinking. I'm thinking about Moonpod, so far with just one (very good) game available. And then I'm thinking about Introversion; again, great games, but only 2 of them. Both suffer from the main problem; a game is released, people crowd around, people buy, and then people move away. By the time the next game is out, however long down the line, most of the audience has been lost; you have to start from scratch, just a handful die-hard fans still around from the last game. Too big a gap, not enough to keep hooked over long periods. Bigger companies get around this simply by releasing more games, even if it means cutting development on some of them short; the name stays in gamers minds, because there's little time to forget. Meanwhile, as an adamant fan of Starscape, I freely admit I find myself completely forgetting Moonpod exists for months at a time. Where's the solution?

What if... what if, some of these bigger, better, BOLDER indie developers, such as Introversion and yourselves, associated themselves together? I'm not talking Popcap or any of that "amusing for five minutes, releasing a clone of another simple game every month" stuff, I'm talking about those of you with similar ideals about what a game should be that are going up against the big boys?

Nothing fancy. I'm not talking collaborating on code or funds. But something like, I dunno, mentioning each other's games when released. Maybe when there're enough developers on board, a formal website at the center of it. Just something to get people viewing all of your sites. People will stick around; between the companies, it's no longer 1 game every 2 years, it's a new game every 12 months, every 8 months, every 5 months. Between this and all the community building stuff, patches, extras, people won't find it as easy to log into the site one day, realise there's nothing new, and never come back.

How many people over on the IV forums would LOVE Starscape, but haven't heard of it? This kind of game is what they're about, after all; a unique game by a customer-friendly company that taps into the old-school charm that's been lost by the bigger developers. The vice-versa is also true; I don't doubt there are people in the Moonpod community that would snap up IVs stuff in a second if they'd heard about it.

Maybe my idea is stupid, I don't know; but I just can't shake this feeling that, if you threw Chris an e-mail (head Introversion guy,) worked something out, opened a dialogue, that this could work out well for everyone involved.

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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not an inherently stupid idea, and in fact, we have toyed with the idea of setting up something similar. Basically a website that everyone could link to from their purchase emails and newsletters with a line like:

'try more great games out at www.gamedevclub.com' and then that would rotate all the games displayed.

Problem with that> it's a lot of effort for one person to set up, and probably would cause some administration headaches afterwards. Plus, the people who sell the most benefit the least, so it would be difficult to convince anyone worthwhile it was a good idea.

Hmm. Thinking about it again, you could use it like a click exchanger and that might work. Essentially > every time you send someone to the link, you gain a credit to have your own game displayed.

Fundamental issues against us being interested are:

  • Without fail, if we have to deal with anyone outside the moonpod offices then things go wrong and eat up our time. The above idea is asking us to deal with a lot of people.
  • I already want to kill myself whenever I look at the task list for the website.
  • The second anyone has more than one game, then they already have another game to advertise in their newsletters and purchase emails.
  • How do you get round someone writing a program to call their counter and click it to death? Thus cheating the system.

Introversion are probably a bad idea to talk to, because their focus is mainstream distribution rather than online. One game outfits like Short Hike and Star Wraith/Evochron with pretty cool games might be interested, because it would have a lot to offer them.

Maybe we'll do it sometime when we have time free to even think about it, but we rarely seem to get into that zone Smile
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