Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Making Games On A Budget - Part 4

This is the fourth and final part of the Making Games On A Budget article that I wrote for PC Powerplay, an Australian gaming magazine. I hope you got something out of them!

Selling Your Game
So, you made a game. You’ve tested it. People like it. Now what?
It’s time to sell it to the world!

There are a number of services that will provide digital rights management (DRM) solutions and handle payment transactions for you. Most have no initial set up costs but will charge you a fee for every unit you sell. Trymedia, RegNow and Plimus are just a few options.

You can also elect to sell your game via affiliates. These range from big portals to fan web sites and every game you sell you will have to split the profit with the DRM provider and the affiliate - but the upside is you get immense exposure.

I chose Trymedia’s ActiveMARK technology for Word Shake and Brainiversity due to its simplicity. Once you sign up it’s a simple process to start selling online. You upload your exe file to their site for DRM wrapping, create an installer, test it, set your pricing, then upload the installer for verification. Within minutes they will send you a link that you can start selling your game from.

Okay, so if you've read parts 1,2 and 3 then you should have the tools to make a game, test it and start selling online. Except it doesn’t end there. Having your game online doesn’t guarantee that people will know it exists or that they will buy it. To let people know about your game you’ll need to market it.

Marketing games is a whole other topic, but there are some resources that you can look up online that will help point you in the right direction. Resources such as GameRelease.net and Video Game Marketing, a site run by Joseph Liebermanm author of the Game Marketing book. Even if you don’t use their services you may be able to get some useful marketing tips from their sites.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and make a game!

Brainiversity Statistics
Genre: Brain Training
Number of Mini-Games: 16
Beta Testers: 100+
Development Time: 6 months
SDK: PopCap Framework
Distributed By: Oberon Media

Here are the links again in one convenient location!

Indie Game Forums/News

Indie Gamer Forums – http://forums.indiegamer.com/

Development Environment
Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition - http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/visualc/

Game Engines/3D Engines
PopCap Framework - http://developer.popcap.com/
Play Ground SDK - https://developer.playfirst.com/overview
Irrlicht engine - http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/
Ogre3D - http://www.ogre3d.org/
Blitz3D (USD $100) / Blitz Max (USD $80) - http://blitzbasic.com/
Torque Engine (USD $150) - http://www.garagegames.com/
DarkBASIC (USD $39.99) - http://www.thegamecreators.com/
Protean IDE - http://proteanide.fadedrealm.com/

Graphics Tools
ArtRage 2 (FREE / USD $19.95) - http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html
Pro Motion (USD $29.95) - http://www.cosmigo.com/promotion/
GIF Movie Gear (USD $29.95 ) - http://www.gamani.com/

Sound Tools
Audacity - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Music Resource
Game Audio Australia – http://www.gameaudioaustralia.com/

Other Resources
ActiveMARK DRM technology - http://www.trymedia.com/
RegNow DRM technology - https://www.regnow.com/
Plimus - http://www.plimus.com/
Survey Monkey - http://www.surveymonkey.com/
Game Release Press Release Service - http://www.gamerelease.net/
Video Game Marketing - http://www.vgsmart.com/

Brainiversity game - http://www.brainiversity.com/
Word Shake game - http://www.casualgamesarcade.com/word_shake.htm


Copyright (c) 2007 John Passfield


Tom Arnold said...

Disclaimer - I work for Uniloc.

It should be noted that if you sign with Plimus, you can get Uniloc fingerprint, activation, copy protect and anti-tamper all through them. This is the same as we sell directly, but Plimus will host the license and activation server for you!


Andrew Goulding said...

Hi John,

I notice that for WordShake you went though casual games arcade, but for Brainiversity you registered your own url, and I assume are hosting it, or paying for hosting, yourself. What was the reason for doing it differently this time?

Passfield Games said...

Hi Andrew,

Casual Games Arcade is also my site but it focuses on lot of games including Brainiversity and Word Shake.

The reason I set up Brainiversity.com was to provide more information about the game than I would on Casual Games Arcade.

I'm currently revamping Casual Games Arcade and will create stronger ties to Brainiversity better in the near future. The plan is to make Casual Games Arcade the focal point for all my sites.


Andrew Goulding said...

Oh wow, I didn't know that!

There's heaps of games on there already. How did you find all of them to put up there? Do you go around to all the developers and ask if they'd like their game hosted on your site? Would you say you're finding it more profitable to make your own games, or to sell other peoples games?

Gil said...

I am very interested to learn how much income your games have generated since you've started selling them. gameproducer.net holds a game sales statistics section, and it is a very useful tool for making an assessment of getting into the casual market. If you don't wish to disclose exact numbers, it would be great if you wrote how long it took (or estimated to take) to cover the original expenses (including your own time's worth of coding). Thanks and good luck!

152utccbf302g21 said...

thanks for inforamation.I am goint to making game release