It's Tough Being An Indie

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alphadog 101 Aug 15, 2012 at 20:04

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/going-broke-with-success-how-an-app-with-200000-downloads-led-to-devel

Good article on a simple point for indies selling a game…

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Reedbeta 167 Aug 15, 2012 at 21:27

Ouch. That sucks a lot for them, but I’m finding it hard to understand why they made such an elementary mistake as failing to make the in-app purchase big, obvious, and easy.

It also sounds from some of the comments (I haven’t played their game myself) like they made too much of the content free, although that’s an area where you might just need experience to make good judgements. Unfortunately it’s difficult to walk that back post-release. They’ll probably provoke massive outrage if they move previously-free content behind the paywall.

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TheNut 179 Aug 16, 2012 at 00:22

Living on your friends couch sucks, but living on the couch at work sucks even more :(

Their marketing model in my opinion was their first downfall. Giving most of the game away for free and hoping for philanthropic customers is like holding your coffee cup out for cash. You’ll get some kind souls, but the majority will look the other way. Can’t really say I blame them though. With all the GPL, LGPL, MIT, BSD, CC licensing schemes brainwashing us to think software devs should give everything away free. They’re in a tight spot since more often then not first impressions are lasting ones. Whatever they do, they should tread carefully. If they stick with the in-app purchase model, they should abandon their one-time full version purchase and instead opt more for offering a shopping mall worth of goods and a reward system to entice gamers to stick around and spend.

Their second downfall I believe was taking 2 years to develop that game. Since they already have past experience developing games, I think they could have cut down that time significantly.

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fireside 141 Aug 16, 2012 at 11:13

The market is pretty flooded and people actually making a decent amount of money are in the vast minority. I read an article not too long ago where someone took out the top tier games and computed average amount made. I think it was in the hundreds or low thousands per game. These guys really just made a few marketing mistakes. They apparently made enough to live for a couple years on their earlier game. They need to work on development time and execution. If you are going to make it a business then you have to treat it that way.

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rouncer 103 Aug 20, 2012 at 22:34

my best guess, is make the engine - and flaunt the same code as much as possible - get way more games for less code, less pain involved.

im no solution tho = perhaps im arrogant for saying a month is pumpable time for the game (once all the generic code is in - all of it, media importing, animation, networking) but what if my games are just a dullery? quality might be my set back.