Monthly Archives: July 2006

New Server

GameProducer.net was few days offline, due problems with our previous website service provider. (How on earth this kind of stuff happens on the one week in year when I’m not checking my emails ;). Now we are running on brand new dedicated server – and running fast! Thanks for everybody who sent emails regarding the issue. It’s nice to know that people look forward to reading the blog.

Things look much brighter and faster now.

Edoiki Progress

It’s good to be on holiday. While I’ve been away, our graphics artist and music artist have been busy. New tracks and new graphics for Edoiki is finished. The image above is a new ‘background’ texture for units.

Just before I started my holiday, I managed to program the latest pieces of code to have *playable demo* finished. The new graphics, and few more (hundred…) lines of code are needed – but when they are done (and my holiday ends, and my pile of emails, and 800 other things is finished…) we are getting closer and closer to the launch of the first demo version.

Exciting.

Polycount Productions is Looking For Online Multiplayer Titles

Polycount Productions (my company) is looking for online multiplayer games. It is in my interest to start selling (either as affiliate or as publisher, non-exclusive or exclusive basis) these games. Polycount Productions is focused on publishing and developing online multiplayer titles – and it would be a good opportunity for anyone doing multiplayer games

I’m especially interested games that fill the following requirements:
- Online multiplayer option (I repeat: online multiplayer, this is absolutely required) must be available. Game can have single player or story modes, but there must also be online multiplayer option.
- Quality. Quality. Quality. I’m interested in publishing few good, rather than many poor games.
- Games can be freeware – but remember: quality is required.
- Technology doesn’t matter: if it’s Flash, Java or C++, it doesn’t matter. Most important is to have the ability to play online.
- Windows platform must be supported. Mac & Linux is a plus.
- Genre doesn’t matter. We want to give people to opportunity to play together – and have fun together. It doesn’t matter what kind of game it is, as long as it’s fun!
- The game can be either hosted by me or you (direct affiliate links)
- Affiliate system can be the one you use (Plimus, ShareIt etc.) – I can register to it.

If you are interested, contact me.

GameProducer.net and PolycountProductions.com in total receive tens of thousands unique visitors each month, and Polycount Production’s mission is to bring and distribute fun games for people to play.

Email Todo

I use my email software as a some sort of todo list vehicle. Instead of marking emails read I leave them bolded – if they need action. I have categorized my emails in several folders (such as blog, business, team etc.) and whenever a new email arrives I either deal with it and mark it read, or I leave it to check later (and leave it bold). This way I can see with little effort what sort of tasks (business, blog etc.) I have to do.

The problem of this system is that I cannot assign a date for these emails, so I need to have another bigger todo list where I put all the todos that needs to be done on certain date. But other than this, I find the system very nice and easy to use. Much of the communication is done via email, so it’s very time saving way to handle different issues.

End User Agreement

Question:

In particular I am looking for a stock standard End User Agreement which is
cheaper (although more likely less bullet proof) than the $3000 my Lawyers
have quoted. Given that every piece of software downloaded has one, and that
nobody actually reads them I figure there should be an industry standard
already out there. Do you have any advice on the matter?

Answer:
Fire your lawyer.

(Just kidding)

If you have indie game and need end user license agreement, I’m sure you can find one from existing games. Wikipedia offers some information about what EULA is. Basically it’s the agreement between you and your gamer, which grants the player a license to use your software. I guess the words “provided AS IS basis” are the most important ones.

Here’s (free) example EULA: download. It’s used by Indiepath.

Ask Producer – Where to Start?

Questions:

Hello and thank you for your time. I was wondering if I can have your input on game development for indie game dev teams. Well I guess I can take my situation for example; I was thinking of starting a Game project from scratch. But I have no idea where to start. The project and plan is going to be built from the ground up.The problem is I have to start entirely from scratch. I mean I don’t even have a team put together. I was planning to start a collaboration between other indie game developers. Finding a means of funding is important but where is really hard. Is finding a local publisher most important right now?

I want to become a game producer. Right now i dont have any experience in the gaming industry. I will tell you where i exactly stand. I have a bachelors degree in Science majoring in Mathematics, from India and now i am studying at Academy Of Art University, San Francisco pursuing bachelors degree in Art (emphasis in game design)

I have taken classes like game level design, Unreal Scripting some Maya classes and texturing class. I definetly have some idea of how a game is developed.

But on top of that i personally feel and i know i have good management and buisness skills which comes naturally to me.That is the reason i want to get into production. What do you think i need to do right now to get into the gaming industry in the production dept.

Answer:
I will write a more detailed article about how to start game development, but before I do that I give some information to use right now.

I believe the first thing to concentrate on both cases is to concentrate on developing your first game. Focus on developing a game. Learning and reading is good, but without action it’s worthless. Finding a team is not necessary in the beginning: just start programming your game, you’ll find the right team members later.

If you want to know how others are doing games, then start asking them and reading information about game development. Forums such as indiegamer.com are great way to start. Devmaster.net offers plenty of options for game engine, so you don’t really have to start from scratch.

Re-read the following articles:
- How do you get your game to market
- Creating Your Very Own Massively Multiplayer Online (Role Playing) Game

Here are two other articles which both of you might find very useful:
- How To: Create your own game company, Part One
- Five Realistic Steps To Starting A Game Development Company

Good luck guys!

Ask Producer – Would a Game Like This Sell Well?

Question:

Do you believe a 2D RPG for the PC would do well in the shareware market with nice graphics if the gameplay is top notch.

Answer:
Absolutely. If you find the right market, have top notch game play I see no reason why it couldn’t do well. If you have the patience and skill to make it sell, I’m sure it will.

But more important question is – do you believe it could sell?

Ask Producer – Casual Games Sales Curve

Question

Regarding casual games, it’s common to find ourselves lacking good sources about selling stats and the such. The best initiative so far is the ‘Sales Stats’ area on your website and for that I send you huge kudos as it is very useful.

However, I still lack any information about the sales curve of the typical casual / downloadable / try’n buy game. How long does a game sell? 2 years? And what curve would best describe the sales? Strong numbers at the beggining? Or a slow increasing rate until peak and then an equally slow decrease?

If you have any educated guesses on this matter, I’d be very glad to hear them. Hope you can address this sometime in the future.

Answer
Tough question. I don’t have enough data to say a solid opinion regarding this, but I do my best. “Average” is always difficult.

I will get some information for longer period of time and post them in the future. In the meantime, I believe some games keep selling year after year – even 10 or more years. Some see peak sales on “special” occasions such when your game gets featured on magazine, or gets in the frontpage of some major website etc.

Recently I posted some sales stats which you might find interesting. There’s also the game-sales-charts.com which might give you some information about weekly top selling games. Some of the games keep selling for weeks on top lists.

Time Tables

I use time tables in quite a flexible way: I use milestones (like the ones we missed couple of weeks ago…) to tell about the “bigger picture”. Having information about the big steps makes it clearer for everybody involved in the production – team members will have idea about where you are going.

People (expecially indies) either work hard or not and make their own time tables or not. In the past I worked with a guy who repeated mentioning the hours he spends on development, he said he was doing 10 or 14 hour days. Yet, I didn’t see almost any results and eventually the guy just vanished after I asked for he to give me the work he had done. That’s the last time I heard about him. On the other hand, I worked with a very skilled programmer who worked really hard. In both cases the time tables were handled in similar manner – milestones to give a bigger picture, and then some sort of task list to see what needs to be done next.

Better to have some sort of plan, and work hard on in rather than to have very detailed and big plans that never get done.

GameProducer.net Layout Tweaking – Comments?

I’ve edited the GameProducer.net layout: I’ve added several links (interviews, sales stats, money making opportunities, recommended tools) in the header of the website. This is the first initial version, and I’d like to hear your comments: what would you like to see in the header?

My idea is to gather the most interesting posts, links & resources in the header – give something where new and old readers can get fast into gameproducer.net. I’m going to add ‘How to start game development’ type of articles in the header when I have written them.

In the meantime – what’s your suggestions? Comments? Feedback? Any ideas to make the site better are most welcome!