GP Xmas Calendar 2009 – Door 14 (What Cats Can Teach Us About Marketing)

Here’s a witty cat behind door 14.

That cat has figured out a thing. Conquering such a small niche that no other big dudes care to come there. It might sit bit uncomfortable, but he is the king. I think Cliff Harris has managed to get in such position. Cliff does simulation games one after another. His games use complex neural networks to build a map of causes and effects, and there’s always tons of content in his games. In fact… I think he is pretty much a king in that jungle. I don’t know if other (indie) devs have succeeded in that genre Cliff enjoys.

Another king in the somewhat bigger rpg jungle is Jeff Vogel. This dude has been making games since 1994 (it’s bloody 2009 now) and is wearing a big indie crown in those deep rpg games. I can spot more competition in this genre (talk about games from Diablo to Fallout), but Jeff has found such a niche that he can cater for his audience. And if a company is still alive after 15 years it can’t be that bad.

What have you planned for yourself? You want to become a king some day?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. > I myself wanted to be king of match-3s some years ago.

    Well, not an easy task. No Way anyone will ever stole the crone from bejeweled.


  2. My goal is to be the king of Cyberpunk games.

    Sure, there has been several Cyberpunk games over the years, but noone seem to have had the ambitions that I have with my indie company(I might be wrong about this one, so plz enlighten me if I am ;) ).
    Namely to create a Cyberpunk setting that will grow with every game we make.
    Each game exploring different aspects and views of the Cyberpunk world, so that the gamers will feel like they live in a living world.

  3. Jeff Vogel’s games are classic. Love Avernum 5, very long game, loads of depth.

    I myself wanted to be king of match-3s some years ago. Having made 5, and one that sold the most copies on BFG in the first week, I believe that I have some claim to that crown, but to be fair, there are some other match-3 royalty out there too.

  4. Thanks for this one, Juuso. Firstly for introducing shareware veteran Jeff Vogel (did not know him before). Secondly for giving the broad hint of hunting for niches to settle in. My last few prototyping sessions moved my project into a stale direction. This post reminded me to hunt for yet undiscovered treasury (means USPs).

  5. The funny thing is that I often think that here in (almost) 2010 it is easy to be “late for the bus” and that all the opportunities are gone for cutting out your own niche. It’s really a crazy thought and I have to remind myself that there will always be new markets and ways to reach people.

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