Archive for May, 2007

Rocky knows the score

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Saw Rocky Balboa last night and enjoyed it. Bit slow but the end was good. Anyway the Rocky movies are always motivational and one bit of the latest movie in particular sounded like something straight out of a self-improvement book. I’ll post it here:

Rocky Balboa: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”

Well said and very true – although a tad negative because there is lots of sunshine and there are pleny of rainbows, if you are tuned into them ;-) But anyway the point is to keep on going and not get knocked back by things (big and small). Doing a martial art (or intense sport) teaches you this kind of self-motivation and determination anyway.

Another really important point is not blaming others for your current situation but to say “I made my life what it is now” and if you want to change it, then change it! The past is gone, now is a beautiful moment and the future is what you want to make it – so make it great, be a winner.

Jump on the Bandwagon?

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I was just reading a forum thread where the poster (an associate) said:

“I have it on very good authority that the best selling genres at the moment are Match 3′s and the ‘Find random objects in a busy screen’ games”

And they then went on to say:

“I’m also told that a good Match 3 game is no longer enough to be a hit. It needs a twist, a la Cradle of Rome, to hold the player’s interest.

Way I see it, I have two choices.

1. Swallow my pride and adopt a tried-and-tested formula.
2. Take a risk and do something else.

Bearing in mind that I don’t want to invest a load of time in a game that won’t sell, I’m not sure what to do. Jumping on the match 3 bandwagon doesn’t exactly fill me with joy, either.”

Welcome to the dilemma of being a professional Indie my friend! Well I jumped on the match-3 bandwagon quite a while ago now (nearly 2 years!) and I explained why in this post.

Anyway, the other major seller right now is those management type games e.g Diner Dash, Nanny Mania, Cake Mania etc.

Some other sim games also do OK like the Virtual Villager games.

Oh and card games always sell.

And Zuma clones, but you don’t see many these days since Luxor pretty much cornered the market.

Plus some word games.

So guess what I’m making at the moment? Actually don’t bother cos I can’t tell you.

Apart from that lot you’ll have a job making any real money from say a platformer, shooter, or a “unique” puzzle game. I see lots of “innovative” “never been done before” puzzle games, but they don’t sell, not really. And forget making money from a whacky “arty” Indie game unless you are one in oooh 10,000. Look at Gish, didn’t make that much money…

The point is whatever you make, you have to make it fantasically polished and with a “story/cartoon strip” and a “map” and probably a meta game (like Cradle of Rome). This is on top of all the usual stuff like profiles, Vista support, options screen, stats/high scores, fancy intro and animated title screen, blah blah. Oh and a Mac version. Good luck!

100,000 hits!

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Yay! has finally has 100,000 hits! I started the hit counter quite a while ago (Nov 29th 2005) but my site didn’t really get much traffic in it’s first “programmer black” incarnation. Later on I changed the site to it’s current look (with the help of a young designer from Texas) but it was all one page.

Finally I remade the site to have it’s current layout (minus blog) of a main games page and separate pages for each commercial game, plus I put my free games on a different page. This was to coincide with the release of Holiday Bonus in December 2006.

Since then I’ve had a reasonable amount of traffic due to press releases, shareware submissions and forum posts. I also moved my blog from wordpress to here in late February 2007 and started posting regularly, which has brought in some traffic. My Alexa rating is OK but not fab at around 300,000.

Traffic is slowly dipping since the re-release of Easter Bonus but hopefully the release of my next game in July (fingers crossed) will boost traffic back up again – or perhaps my blog will gain more readers. I’m not actively promoting the site so any traffic at all is nice :-) Thanks everyone!