Out of interest, how many people here would like at some point to go commercial with their games?
Obviously it requires you to be talented enough to make games that people would wanna pay for, but yeah, how many people have actually considered going shareware?
I'm only asking because I'm doing a course in accountancy/business management at the moment, so in another 2 years if anyone wants a book-keeper and management accountant, they're welcome, lol.
It's basically my job to keep an accurate record of your expenses, incomes, debtors and creditors (people who owe you money and you owe money to) and turn it into useful information (eg: You made £250 more out of arcade games than space games last year, so this year it may be a good idea to make more arcade games instead of space ones. Or perhaps last year you spent £200 more than expected on electricity, so maybe you should ensure all equipment is switched off overnight to save money).
So yeah, how many people would actually like to go commercial one day, if someone could help them with all the mundane financial bits of it?
Being able to makes games with MMF for a living would be ideal for me, but I don't think that I have the skill to keep up with the current standard (I used to think I was pretty great at Click before I came to this site). The shareware market was made popular by companies such as Apogee, ID and Epic in the last decade, but it seems that I've rather missed the bubble.
There is hardly any shareware "community" today. At least not one we hear about? The Shareware market had its golden days in the early 90's when the Internet was still something found in the labs and universitys.
There are some independant game developers, but they tend to sell games of very limited nature on their websites only. Hardly something that gets them rich, but hopefully they do what they like?
I think it would be very difficult to do clicking for a living, you would have to move up to "the real" stuff, eg. c or c+ programming.
Yeah, clicking for a living could be pretty hard, but it should be able to form a nice extra income to reward you for your hobby.
I would probably focus on people selling games over websites. The standard Shareware way of doing things is releasing a limited demo which either advertises the full game, or can be expanded (via serial code) to be the full game. Another advantage of shareware is that you can submit them to download.com and other places, getting them more widely known.
One method of making the process a bit more lucrative is careful use of advertising. This isn't just advertising yourself (eg: paying people to display banners, or joining a banner rotation system), but using your games and site to advertise other people. You can ask companies if they'd pay you to put a little 'sponsored by...' screen at the start of the game. If you ask Clickteam, they may suggest forms of advertising that they would pay you for. You can also follow that with the 'Fueled By Fusion' logo, which immediately saves you having to shell out for MMF Pro.
If several clickers decide to start up commercially, you can probably do an advert exchange, where each company advertises and supports the other.
One other way I've used before is in-game adverts. Billboards in your level can actually advertise real companies instead of fake ones. Even very professional games (the ones you'll find in Game or MVC) do this lots.
As long as a game is professionally made, it has selling potential. People have a predefined concept of what a professional game is like. They associate certain features with a game that has cost them £30. If you emulate these features and only charge £10, they're kidded into thinking they got a bargain, lol.
Those features usually aren't too difficult to achieve - the main one is splash screens. People like to see the names of more than one company pop up at the start, it suggests a collaboration. If you've used this as an opportunity to advertise, then you're also getting paid for it!
A quick loading screen can add a sense of scale to your game, but make sure it is actually loading - there's nothing tackier than a fake loading screen that just waits 5 seconds and then advances. You may choose to replace a fast loop with a normal MMF loop in order to make a 'loading' sign out of a process that should be instant. It actually makes the game less efficient, but your users needn't know that.
Basically, a shrewd designer can kid a user into paying £10 for the right to mess around with a bunch of adverts.
But do people actually make any money from shareware? or do people just hack into it and warez it?
If i felt my game was good enough to sell i might do it but it would probably have to be something like The spirit engine rather than Buzz the squirrel 2.
Many people make living with shareware or indepedant games on the Internet including myself. There is still a market for it, it's possible to get rich and some people have become very rich with games that could easily be made in MMF.
Also there's a shareware community which is much bigger than The Daily Click or the click community.
Cysteine Creations has been going towards commercial games. Theres many games already make using klik products that have sold very well. Cactus Bruce is one example, Coin World is another.
Although some may consider Coin World a bad game (no disrespect to 47/7) it just goes to show theres a wide market for all kinds and quality of games.
Commercial game making often isn't about making the game as it is about doing business. In other words, chances are you won't be working on a game you like too terribly much. But there are exceptions.
BTW, good luck in the commercial sector Hammish
Personally, I think it would be easier to sell a MMF application, because apps dont have those stupid shallow fans that want full 3d pixel shaders. And if you keep to good old battleship grey for 9x, or XP's colour for things you're fine. People just want apps that make their lives easier
I dunno, it depends on your target audience. Usually it's not a good idea to sell an app' if there's a more expensive but better version available. Like selling an HTML editor when there's Dreamweaver available. People just warez Dreamweaver instead.
But when I was at college, I created a whole host of anti-admin tools to get around the college restrictions. When I left and my younger friends joined, I could update and sell these applications to them. You can even charge a bit extra to ship it on a USB FlashDrive. I found a place where you could get a 128mb flash drive for just £8 when most were nearer £20. So I could charge about £20 for the software preloaded onto the disk and they thought they were getting a bargain!
Especially handy in our case, because the college was so restrictive that anyone who wanted to pass the courses needed to have my software, LOL!
I am hoping to release the sequel to Planet wars as shareware. I don't know if it will be any good compared to any competition, but a lot of people enjoyed it so I figure that I might as well go for it and see how it turns out.
@colej_uk - you'd better check your target audience first and find out more or less who enjoyed your games. If most of the people who enjoyed your game has little or no purchasing power (ie, people at DC) then your not going to do very well selling your game.
You'll have very little competition since theres hardly any (if at all) games similar to planet wars, but that can mean either an investment opportunity or a pitfall everyone else is avoiding. I guess I'm just trying to say; know your stuff before you commit
Thanks for the advice Jerry. Planet Wars 2 is still a long way off but its very much playable so maybe I'll post a beta for people to test or something in the near future, to see how interested people are.
Hmmmm.... by posting a beta, your only really testing what the DC guys like... and like I said, most people here have very limited purchasing power, plus the mentality of "i wont pay for a klik game" is VERY heavy here. Every single commercial title has been bashed for being commercial - meeklits, cactus bruce, that new baby game (forgot the name).
I'd suggest you do some research on what kinds of games are successful and what those successful games have in common with eachother. One very common trait among most shareware games for example is that they all rely mostly on mouse for input - theres one issue that will effect your game design dramatically right there .
Anyways, experiment and have fun with your ideas, and good luck
Breaking into the shareware Industry with MMF would be a bit of a challenge, youd need a very good product, low price but is somehow different to most shareware games out there. Puzzle games usually go very good shareware, or something similiar and itd need to have Decent at the very least graphics.
A quite good idea would to sell a Game pack, packed full of numerous decent games and you could sell that, many people like to by CD's with 25+ Games for computer.
But that would take considerable time putting together a bunch of decent games.
Applications however would probably be abit easier to break into the commercial industry with MMF, you just have to think of an original idea that would simplify or help common computer users, pack it with a bunch of goodies, Research Applications anything like yours, beat them technically wise and price wise then you could have something that could sell well.
And also a bit of advertising and spreading the word around would help alot lol.
Myst was written in Hypercard. It sold shitloads, and it wasn't even that great a game. You Don't Know Jack was written in Director (IIRC), and that sold stacks too. I think it just comes down to exposure. Your average consumer could care less whether a game is made in an authoring tool or a shipping crate full of punch cards.
That's one advantage to these teams that have specialists in each major department - audio, graphics, code. But that's more people to pay, which splits up what earnings you make into even smaller chunks.
See, whats where budgeting comes in which comes after recognizing your buyers and projecting some sales. If you can convince artists to work on a deferred payment contract, you can easily outsource most of your work.
Basicly, I could make the crappiest game in the world (like a Stickman adventure) and ickle kids would buy it?
I see the same thing with 3D Movie Maker (a product made in 1995 by Microsoft). There's this 'film' by some looser called Gnomes which had the worst acting and quality out of anything in the world...and yet the guy's selling it at $15 per DVD, and he's sold about 20 copies! (Proof right here: www.darkgnomeproductions.com ).
Welcome to the 21st Century: A Generation of Idiots who will buy anything for any price. I better start my own company: Really Cheap S**t INC.
And if people buy a Phizzy Thong, then anything's possible.
Edited by the Author.
Fine Garbage since 2003.
-Paying off a massive amount of debt in college loans.
-Working in television.