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Where's all the creativity?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Master-Frog, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I have that desire. But I'll be honest, when no one's interested in what you're doing, it's incredibly hard to find motivation.

    I made a post on this a few months ago, and there have been a couple of threads. But I do plenty of creative stuff--writing novels, making music. And I still plug away at it. But when you mention it to someone IRL and they're like "meh," it's really hard to have any desire to do it.

    I always have the ideas. I've been played 999 and VLR and thinking something like that (retaining information over different choices and different "worldlines") would be awesome for a more free-form game where the player's retaining the information, rather than a character automatically doing it. I still have my idea for a puzzle/walking sim/"dialog" simulator with four endings where the first one outright tricks the player (but they can avoid it if they figure it out). I still have the idea for a game that's basically real AI acting in a breathing world. I have a VN idea (that I've written one scene for) that revolves around the player encountering these characters of various moral decay and having the choice to kill them or not, then later at the end "passing" or "failing" based on the decision they made.

    But I'm busy almost all the time, and I could be playing VLR, and I'm never going to show my games to anyone even if I complete them, so...so what? Just put it off until the fancy strikes me.
     
  2. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I think the idea would be to put more effort into getting people interested. When I talk to people about making games, a lot of the time it's 'meh' but often when I show something, whether it's a demo or a bit of artwork, people can suddenly get very intrigued and interested.

    I think there are many, many people who might play games regularly, but just for some reason consider the vocation itself to be a bit of a 'dropout' thing. But I think that's just the context it comes up in - in social situations the context always gets stuck on "is it a `people' career" or "is it improving society" etc, when people don't realise that they and everyone else spend a significant part of their time doing stuff that is purely for their own pleasure, and which depends on an industry of people devoting their careers to create it.

    I think the way game development is seen is one of the most fickle things, and in a way it's good - depending on how you communicate it you either come across as a really interesting person or a loser, but hardly ever in between.
     
  3. ThePositiveMoxie

    ThePositiveMoxie

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    I dunno, but I believe it's a worldly mindset problem. People are driven by very different things than 10-20 years ago. So much negativity online, and everyone being connected directly to it with utter ease. You just need to wake up in the morning. It effects peoples creativity. Creativity is intended to be open and limitless.

    When you are more worried about self discovery, and changing the world in some way, wanting to become impactful and leaving your stamp for the future, you think different than a business person or general hobbiest. It's an inner drive that needs to be cultivated to express things on the bigger picture.

    I hear daily people saying it's luck, that's not possible ect. Hell yes, it's all possible. Possibilities are endless. Drive home that idea, until it's perfect with your imagination, or even better. Don't listen to anyone, your gut will tell you if your doing it right or wrong in every moment. You might hit on to something special. Instead of just another cool mechanic.
     
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  4. Zephus

    Zephus

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    Honestly, I've been losing motivation because everything you find when someone talks about wanting to make games is this:
    • You won't make a hit
    • Your games will suck
    • 10% is making the game, 90% is marketing
    • You won't even make a single cent
    I can't speak for everyone, but if people are constantly telling me that what I'm doing is in vain and there's no hope of ever making money from making games, then my motivation just goes away after a while.

    The thought of having a shot at being the next big hit is something that I feel is very important when it comes to game development. It doesn't matter in the slightest that the chance is next to zero. This is what motivates me. Seeing that there's indeed success to be found in something. Hearing 'you suck' for the 1000th time achieves the exact opposite.

    As @ThePositiveMoxie said - there's so much negativity online. When game engines like Unity weren't there people were so much more excited for new games. And they were impressed when someone made a game all by himself.
    Now look at what this changed into.

    I'm seeing more "omg Unity sucks go away with your crappy game" than actual discussion, constructive criticism or respect for the person that just spend hundreds or thousands of hours working on his passion project.
     
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  5. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Ignoring the one that is just obnoxious (second entry), the other three are often not that far from the truth. If having the next big hit is a major motivational factor for you then you will need to market your games and you will need to accept that you won't necessarily make it on the first try.

    Angry Birds was the 52nd game from Rovio Entertainment. Considering that you never hear anything of the preceding games it's safe to assume that they were effectively failures. Failures that were developed over the course of six years before they finally hit paydirt (Rovio was basically founded 2003 and Angry Birds came out 2009).

    Minecraft is one of the very few examples of a first time success but it's important to remember that a large part of that success was the marketing it received from YouTube personalities and word of mouth from fans. Additionally it was very inexpensive which meant that worst case you were down the cost of a fast food meal.
     
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  6. Zephus

    Zephus

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    That's besides the point. You might not agree, but I'd say that creative projects come out the best when there's absolutely no pressure, when there's people supporting you all the way, and - most importantly - when you're living in your own little bubble, just creating whatever the hell you want, without any kind of negative influence from reality.

    I don't want to know that my game will probably not succeed. I want to focus on the project itself without a care in the world. People trying to get me back to reality is just interfering with the creative process.

    Yes, it's delusional. But in my opinion that is just what you need to make something really special. Thinking about how you're going to get money out of it and that you'll need to do a lot of marketing is just killing creativity and motivation for me.

    As I said - you might all disagree. This is just how I personally feel. Reality needs to go away while I'm trying to create something creative.
     
    ThePositiveMoxie likes this.
  7. Ryiah

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    Then focus on the project yourself without a care in the world. You don't need to handle the marketing aspect yourself. You can always choose the route of a partner or third party handling your marketing while you focus on the creative aspect.

    That said marketing doesn't have to be heavily involving. Posting a comment somewhere about something random happening in the moment, posting a screenshot for something you're excited about in the game, etc to a social media account works.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  8. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

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    I can relate to that. You're putting a lot of work and people all around you telling you "don't get your hopes up", with the best of intents but messing with your creative process, especially when you're trying to focus on putting together your first complete comercial game.
    Creativity is all about psychology, your mood affects the result of what you do. If you plan for losing, you've already lost. You can deal with what happens when it happens, until then, as you're working, you at least need to believe you're doing great work, successful work.

    I've finished my first game. I can tell you, what I've learned from it is that you can definitely succeed. The possibility is real and it's there. It's NOT easy, it'll take a lot of learning, but you can have a peace of mind that you can do it.
    In my case I made several fundamental mistakes that I could have avoided by sharing my work with other people earlier. In that case it's ok to expose to people's criticism, because you'd be involving people, as beta testers, it's good to hear what people say, don't worry about spoilers, that wont happen when you're so unknown, show your game around. That's my advice. Keep going, have a peace of mind, involve people early.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
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  9. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    This forum is not about giving everyone unconditional praise. A lot of people (myself included) come here looking for a different perspective, even if it's one we don't like. For me personally, constructive negative feedback is gold, and generic praise is deadly. When someone tells me something is good, I get uncomfortable, and start looking for someone who doesn't like it.

    I understand this might not be the ideal thing for you, but frankly, creating delusional bubbles around you is what family and friends are for. Think of the forums as a pre-release point halfway toward Steam. If you're not planning to release your game, well, a lot of people are and they need what this forum can give.

    I agree that quite a lot of times here on the forum, criticism or judgements of the merits of things are often way too preemptive and read out of a sermon rather than from experience. There's nothing I would tell someone not to do game-wise, but if someone posts a demo for feedback, that's exactly what I give them, exactly the way I see it and exactly the way I would like to get it - straightforward, specific and not hidden in the footnotes.

    So anyway, if you want unconditional encouragement, I suggest looking for it not from the public but from people close to you, and maybe then you will be able to value criticisms that others give here that are meant to help you create something better. There's a time for everything, but you have to look for it in the right places. I do agree that a lot of time comments here seems to be a game of who can open the sermon to the right page the fastest and I don't think that's a great idea, but if that's the kind of advice someone wants to give you just have to take it in context and move on.
     
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  10. GarBenjamin

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    @Zephus I would never tell anyone they won't make a cent. Nor that they will fail. I have a very different opinion about games than many here... I think.

    I don't believe you need to (or even should) labor for years trying to make your game as perfect as you can as big as you can as polished as you can. The important thing is if you want financial success then you can't just focus on your game.

    You need to focus on building a business that is centered around you developing, marketing and ultimately selling your games. A game in itself NEVER makes any money. Sales (or at least plays and ad displays) are what make money.

    Quality of your game certainly can play a part in getting those plays or sales. But it is not nearly the end all be all deciding factor many people make it out to be. It's just an easy way to "explain away" lack of success... oh that game just wasn't good enough.

    Basically it is a way to keep people focused on pouring all of their time in perfection to create a shinier lottery ticket instead of focusing on creating a business. The more time you focus on business principles and activities I'd say the less the actual game itself matters.

    This (I think) is what @Ryiah was sharing with you above.
     
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  11. frosted

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    In most cases those things are all true though. If you're going to let some random comments on the internet kill your passion, you never had the determination to finish a quality game anyway.

    I have crazy amounts of respect for guys who have really built quality games solo. After talking with a number of them (some very, very successful), they are absolutely not the kind of people who would let some forum posts or blog posts stop them.

    If you want to make a game, make a game. Don't ask permission, take action.
     
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  12. Arowx

    Arowx

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    It takes a lot of time to make an MMO.
     
  13. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    You need to find a way to stay motivated even when nobody cares about your work and nobody is willing to pay for it. I realize that sounds rough, but it is the truth. Nearly nobody creates a hit games on the first try. Most overnight success stories took years to achieve. If you want to succeed in a creative pursuit, you need to prioritize tenacity above all else. Failing over and over can lead to success eventually.

    If you do not want to have the stress of trying to make money developing games, remember that you can do it as a hobby. Get a reliable day job to pay the bills, and then develop games for fun in your spare time. That way you can measure success in terms of completing your game project instead of whether or not it makes money.

    Remember there are lots of talented musicians that have a full day job outside of the music industry to pay their bills. They make music in their spare time because they enjoy it. You can do the same thing with game development.
     
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  14. frosted

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    This.

    There are some nasty valleys where things are unfinished and stuff sucks, where even the most determined will find it challenging to move forward.

    Almost every small dev I've ever spoken to, even on extremely successful games (as in millions of sales), has talked about how seriously they considered throwing in the towel at some point.
     
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  15. RichardKain

    RichardKain

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    Last year, I had to massively scale back my personal projects and interests due to my personal circumstances. My parents were building a new house and moving into that new house. I spent a massive amount of time helping them with this process. I also have friends that I hang out with, two young nephews that I want to spend time with, an enormous back-catalog of games that I occasionally want to play, and quite a few books that I've been meaning to read. With all of these things combined, I found much less time that I could devote to development.

    Despite this, I did manage to get one Unity Asset finished. But I did not have enough time to create tutorials and documentation, so I haven't published it yet. This year has slowed down a bit. My parents are moved into their new place, and for the most part, all of their electronics are working as desired. (a major part of my contribution to their new home) I've spent the past month cleaning up my own home, and I believe that very soon I will be able to re-focus more of my time and effort on game development. But I can't always afford to prioritize development over other aspects of my life.

    The fact of the matter is, having a balanced life often means that you can't devote all your time to such ventures. You have to pick and choose. For me, game development is a hobby. I don't do it professionally. It doesn't pay the bills. I have a day job in a different technical field, and that pays the bills. While I adore games, and the development thereof, I do have to pick and choose how much time I devote to it, and sometimes other factors simply intervene.
     
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  16. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    There is also the case of that many creatives game are either:
    - in a genre out of the interest of the person asking (jane austin simulator?)
    - too crude because there is no formula to follow, people will overlook
    - have wacky aesthetics because too much creativity
    - has move into underground culture and full of obscure reference and injoke
    - is in a conventional style but is getting mocked by people because it clash with the perception of what the style/genre/culture value (think early walking simulator).
    - is made by a prolific person who have a million half finish prototype and it get buried and lumped together with the other half finish game so no body is paying real attention.

    tl;dr: go to itch.io
     
  17. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Imo some people here may be confusing what is an what isn't negativity
    1. You wont make any money
    2. Your game will fail
    3. No one will know it exists
    etc. etc. Whilst i don't disagree with the validity of the statements, they are in my opinion quite negative. They have their time and place but can be quite demoralising and destructive

    Criticism on the other hand, no matter how harsh, is gold. As long as the intention is to help and not to hurt, i think criticsm is one of the most valuable things, because its what will help make your game successful.

    Also, generic negativity like "your game will fail" imo is negative and unhelpful, however "your game will fail necause of ..." or anything specific tothe actual situation is in my eyes no longer harmful negativity, but just cold hard truth, or a bit of pessimism :p
     
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  18. squidbeam

    squidbeam

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    I feel that there is as much creativity now than there was five years, or ten years ago. There are still amazing indie games being released each year. But what has dramatically changed is the background noise (as some people mentioned here). I am sorry to say, but these days, I constantly see indie games available on the major distribution websites (such as Steam, Apple Store, Google Play) that should have never been released in stores in the first place. I meet so many young people at conventions that tell me "I'm writing my first game and I will release it this year, would you have any advice?" - then I tell them that the best advice I would give them is to NOT release their first game in stores. I mean, this is a little harsh, but when they show me their games, they are always very poor clones of Asteroids, Flappy Bird, or another flawed runner game. And this is what a first game should be - you clone an existing game and try to learn from it, nothing more. I also personally blame it on the distribution network we have today, they should have much stricter policies in place. Back in the 1990s when I started developing my first games as a teenager, publishers would never pick a half backed, poorly made and unfinished game, end of story. Again, this is maybe a little too harsh - first games can be awesome games and some devs are incredibly talented! But, to answer another of your question, I don't spend as much time on forums and groups as I used to because I'm tired seeing the same clones again and again, the same basic questions again and again, and these 'first games' that should never be released in stores in the first place. But don't read me wrong, I love helping devs whenever I can and give constructive feedback because this is what helps all of us moving forward and learn, and this at any level of experience.
    On a bright note, although it is a lot more difficult today, being indie has never been so good! I mean, I tried several time to get back into game making in the past 20 years, but always gave up because it was way too difficult (multi platform was non-existent, distribution was incredibly hard and so forth). Now you can design a game and deploy it to any platform you can think of, you can publish it and reach out to million of players around the world. But as always, easier for you means easier for others and this is what indie devs have to work with these days. And yes, it is really hard and very depressing at times, I can only agree with that...
     
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  19. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You can't criticise developers with zero experience releasing any old crap in stores, because it's not their fault. Nobody can or should say to them "dude no, you're not good enough" because it's not anyone's place to say no.

    It's in fact the store's place to say no. Think about that.
     
  20. squidbeam

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    I totally agree, this is why I said that stores should have stricter policies, this is definitively where it should happen. I'm sorry if I sounded like I was criticizing devs with zero experience to release their games, this was not my intention. But I always want to give devs the best and most constructive feedback - and when they show me a first-time game that is, in essence, just an exercise to start learning how to make games, then I advice them to carry on and maybe their second, or third game will be the one ready for a store release. Because, at the end of the day, although stores will accept their game, consumers will sadly ignore it. Again, I agree with you, stores should be the place that say no :)
     
  21. Kiwasi

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    Someone really should have told Atari... The practice of releasing substandard games and hoping to make a quick buck on it has been around since the very early days of game development.

    Why? Think like a capitalist. What is in it for the stores to curate? The various smart phone stores have done well off of realitively open markets. Steam has done well off of GreenLight. Poor games don't affect the store fronts much at all.

    On the other hand curation has a high upfront cost. It would mean the market is heavily influenced by curator taste. It also tends to drive some devs and their customers to other storefronts.

    The cost of missing a hit is far higher then the cost of hosting games that don't sell.

    Ultimately online stores have little to no financial incentive to curate content.
     
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  22. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Completely agree. More accurate and less negative would be:
    1. The overwhelming majority of games do not make money.
    2. All developers have games fail. (successful developers don't give up and improve at knowing when when to cut a game).
    3. Getting word out about your game is challenge everyone faces.
    These realities are just part of developing and publishing games. Everyone faces them and it is important to understand that from the start. But clearly there are games that do make money, and succeed, and people do successfully market their games. Knowing the landscape will help you better plan to avoid the pitfalls.
     
  23. Ryiah

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    At least not when you effectively have a monopoly and very few popular alternatives for most games. :p
     
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  24. squidbeam

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    Which led to a video game crash in 1983 and companies like Nintendo to implement strict release policies. But I agree that releasing substandard games in order to make a quick buck has been and will always be around, as well as markets collapsing under their own weights if not kept in check ;)

    I'm not sure about this - I mean, although I mentioned that stores could curate their content, I'm well aware that it is not in their best interest. But is it? I have so many friends (including myself) who used to browse Steam all the time and purchase games 'on the fly'. Today, I don't do that much anymore, I purchase a game I read and hear about, but I don't browse Steam anymore because I can't find anything of interest among the noise. So this, I feel, has definitively changed. Which goes along the lines of what we've been saying, if your game doesn't make the store front, then your chances of being seen are very slim, which, as an indie means more marketing work. Which I'm not complaining about, really, this is how things have always been and we were just lucky that, a few years back, the market was smaller and it was easier to get visibility. These are the realities of developing and publishing games.
     
  25. Kiwasi

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    If enough people do this, either Steam will change their stance on curation. Or a rival store which does curate will arise.

    Which could work out well.
     
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  26. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    So you would like customers to do the hard work of sifting through garbage to find gems. I understand it if it's optional, such as having a premium category.

    Steam seems to think greenlight is a failure though. If it was a success it wouldn't be replaced.
     
  27. Ryiah

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    My understanding from listening to the "video" by TotalBiscuit is that Steam's automatic system for showing you the games you're most likely interested in has the downside that if you view games with a certain pattern to them for a sufficiently long period of time that it will become fixated on the idea that you genuinely like them.

    Only in the sense that it is incorrectly restricting games from coming through that have a good chance while occasionally allowing games through that have no chance largely in part because the community has started treating it as a game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  28. Kiwasi

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    It's always been the customers responsibility to choose what they want to buy. On top of that there is marketing to help influence the customers choice.

    As I see it the prime responsibility of stores is, and has always been, to make products available for customers to buy. Curation has always been a side effect of limited shelf space. But it's never been the primary purpose of stores.

    The commentary coming from Steam seems to be the opposite. GreenLight was a success in that it enabled multiple games to succeed that would have been kept out by the old curation system. GreenLight was a failure in that it added uncertainty to the process, and put up a barrier that kept some devs out of Steam.

    The replacement that had been announced has even less curation then GreenLight did. I don't think Steam views this as a failure. I think they view it as the natural progression away from curation.
     
  29. ThePositiveMoxie

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    Exactly this. It's also your responsibility to get people to trust your business. Not the store. You do that by creating the best games that people can emotionally invest in, that mean something to your target market. If you have a hit, you've gained some trust. If you didn't design a hit on accident, then you should be able to do it again. Perhaps better now that you have more money to invest, and more people who will listen.

    It's your choice and your fault if you don't succeed, and you better make sure you put in as much effort on game two, and 3 and 4, or you risk that trust, as that maybe you didn't really know what you were doing to get there in the first place.

    That's the thinking you may need to become the next big thing with staying power. There is a reason a company like say Nintendo can sell anything easier than the others. Consistent polish, and a huge emphasis on fun factor, and emotional investment. That can dwindle at any time though if you get lazy and money hungry without the customers enjoyment coming first.
     
  30. Billy4184

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    From the perspective of a customer, I don't agree. A store has only the responsibility to satisfy the customers that they are targeting. If that's everybody, then of course they will just stack the shelves with everything they get. But if they want to create a brand based on quality that attracts certain kinds of people (who are willing to pay more to offset the reduced customer base) then that's what their responsibility is. I'm pretty certain this is not what Steam wants though.

    I don't think I'm alone in wanting something like this for games. I'm not someone who thinks money is more important than time, or that finding a decent game justifies hours of sifting around. In fact for me, the main purpose of money is to cut through bs to get to something of quality, fast.

    In fact, I see stacked shelves the same way that I see spam advertising - a deluge of mostly irrelevant information that has no right to my attention whatsoever, and which I would gladly pay money to remove. I'd rather spend a one-off amount of time searching for a store with the right kind of principles and barriers to entry, and rest on the probability that what I find there will contain most of the things worth knowing about.
     
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  31. Kiwasi

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    Sure. There are botique stores. And it can be a profitable business model. But that's not what Steam is aiming to be. Steam wants to be the supermarket of gaming stores. The place every gamer goes to pick up everything.

    If you want the botique experience, I would suggest leaving Steam and going somewhere else. Just like you don't go to the supermarket to find organic gluten-free sugar-free tri-spiced bread.
     
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  32. Billy4184

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    Or just to find decent bread in general. It would be the equivalent of a supermarket where anyone can go and peddle their bread made according to whatever they felt like (or was cheapest to) throw in the oven.

    I guess the best thing to hope for is that steam gets some significant competition.
     
  33. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    A ramble about discoverability and launch windows from personal experience with multiple titles:

    At some point, developers will realise how S***ty the current stores are for them. But they'll have to release a game first on these markets to realise why bottomless stores suck so bad (for developers). Because you can't guarantee glowing IGN reviews. You can't guarantee being discovered. So the more signal to noise ratio is the more risky your investment in launching in that store.

    And no, you can't expect sales over time to match your launch window period unless you're something like Rust: have built up a lifetime following of fans and or are willing to work on the same thing for a long time so sustained sales actually do happen.

    That's very very few developers. So by having such an encompassing store, you're basically making the richer richer, and the poorer poorer, all because absolutely anyone can harm your sales putting hello world up multiple times. And steam KNOWS this.

    That's why there's a barrier to entry on the horizion, but some curation will occur, suspect it's just going to be better user-curation tools. But without the barrier to entry, the market is doomed. Because no sane developer will invest 3 years on the chance launch day will be flooded with slenderman one click asset flips, pushing your only chance of exposure out of sight.

    So you'll end up making cheap knock offs yourself because 3 years is way too much risk. Who suffers? everyone except people who already made it and are rich enough to shout loud enough or develop long enough.

    I didn't make that up, it's the state of mobile markets and steam is dangerously close to that right now. Thankfully, changes are happening to at least provide a barrier to entry which will automatically curate a huge volume of garbage. Nobody is going to risk their cash with so little chance of return.

    Side ramble - will explain after why...

    Everyone reads about so and so's success story and thinks it's common to do well. Hello, it's not. For every 100,000 developers, someone gets rich, someone posts on forums they did well. 100,000 : 1 aren't good odds for getting minted.

    Unity knows this too. In fact, Unity's business model depends on your dreams of doing well, getting rich and so on. Modern everyday engines thrive on developers having dreams. And it's not their fault, and we do need them. Unity has things like https://madewith.unity.com/ which can help with some exposure - it's just not exposure on the ground where customers usually are.

    Why:

    So still, being discovered on launch represents the very best opportunity for an aspiring developer to get the title noticed by press, by user-curators and more. You need a clean launch window, so now more than ever we need *some* barrier to entry and *some* curation. It doesn't actually have to be extreme at all, it just needs to be enough to get you enough exposure to sell maybe, 10k units which is enough to get seen and spoken about, enough to actually get on the radar of various lists for further sales.

    Right now most people don't get on any radars and great games sink like stones, shoved under by endless piles of refuge being dumped. The idea the great game will sell itself is a true one but it's lifetime sales are always going to be crippled by a bad launch, since launches are typically where most earnings happen for most titles due to best seller lists top 100 lists and so on.

    We need good launches so we need some (small) curation and (small) barrier to entry. Just not open season for all. That's what the internet is for.
     
  34. chelnok

    chelnok

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    That made me think. I don't believe there is such a thing, like a game boutique focused for fps or platformers.. probably few that are focused for vr at the moment, but overall, genre based game stores doesn't exists.

    Wonder when that is a common thing? I guess after ai and robots do the most of all regular jobs. Humanity goes to age of entertainment, and there's a billion indie devs with billions games available to choose.
     
  35. JasonB

    JasonB

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    Well if it makes you feel any less lonely, OP, my only ambition at the moment is to create PC games. Having seen the various mobile storefronts I'm disgusted by all the copyright infringement (in my opinion) and so forth that runs rampant with no policing.

    Combining this with all the games where ads get in the way of the game, try to trick you into clicking them, large communities of mobile developers who only talk about how to optimize ad placement while not caring one bit about the quality of their product, etc., the entire mobile world seems very skeevy to me and I have no interest in taking part.

    I'm a Steam developer and I'm loving it, personally. PC games are my first love. But it's also true that most people who use Unity (from what I can surmise) use it for mobile development. More power to them.

    But if you ever want to talk PC development, you've got me at least.

    There are some pretty good recent PC ambassadors for Unity though. Yooka-Laylee is made in Unity. (Bad camera issues aside, which is entirely a programming/design fault and not a fault with Unity.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  36. chelnok

    chelnok

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    Why is that? I've "always" been towards to Steam, and have had a feeling i need to get some stuff to steam - with no real reasoning, but "thats the store i need to get my games to".. and after all (those years), because couple months ago they said the greenlight is gonna be replaced with another thing, i've been trying to get something out (to be greenlit), and to get the foothold on steam.

    Now, why are you loving to be Steam Developer? Is it worth to go "all in" - as i am doing right now. And for the op's topic, my (wannabe) game is kind of creative, so all the creativity is not gone :)
     
  37. frosted

    frosted

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    This is basically the whole story.

    There's also the long tail stuff, specific niches.

    __________________________

    Fact is, for all the spam about crap games on steam, as a steam user, I don't have any problem. Steam never presents me with terrible games.

    As a user, the thing I personally find most annoying is when Steam pushes well reviewed, good indie games. I'm a picky consumer, and I don't play many indies and I don't like browsing them.

    I tend to find most indie games have really obnoxious banners and logos. Mobile games and casual games especially. Terraria has 12 million sales, but the banner straight up annoys me. It's clearly a great game, but I just hate the art style personally.
    [​IMG]
    As a consumer, I personally find this to be more annoying, since Steam does present these kinds of games to me fairly frequently. Terraria was constantly being marketed to me every time I opened Steam.

    These are good games, well reviewed, solid sales numbers, but as a consumer, I'm not interested. I do buy indies now and then, based on reviews or research, but I never want to browse them.

    The other thing that I personally find most annoying as a steam user is expansions. Expansion spam is included in default search and browse, and a game with 20 dlc add ons can take up half of the screen before you filter.

    Asset flips and stuff are almost completely invisible to a normal steam user.

    Fact is, most talk about crap games on Steam is really about the idea of what Steam should be more than what Steam actually is for users.

    The real problem for small devs on Steam isn't crap games, it's that there are too many good games.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  38. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    What happens when you click "not interested" on the game's store page? Shouldn't that hide it on the frontpage or does that do something else?
     
  39. frosted

    frosted

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    Maybe. That would require clicking on the game in the first place. I don't click on games I'm not interested in ;)

    I'm just saying, for actual users, "asset flips" and the like are largely a non issue. Steam does a reasonably good job at sorting stuff for presentation and the really crap games tend to be invisible unless you're searching for them.
     
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  40. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I don't go on Steam much, but I hear this from a few people so I'll take it as true. I guess the question then is, how do you avoid dropping off the radar at the beginning when you have very few downloads?

    Because either Steam is sending the majority of their games into another dimension, or you're still getting inundated with stuff as a consumer, considering how many games are being added (e.g. 40% of Steam games (4207 products to be exact) were added in 2016.)
     
  41. frosted

    frosted

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    Luck and developing your PR efforts all the way through development. It depends on your sales goals.

    One project I've followed has spent perhaps an equal amount of time on PR and outreach as he has development, and I think it's paying off. He's most likely a year away from release still, and he has dozens (maybe 100) of youtubers who've played and reviewed the game, he's gone to tons of events, presented at GDC, etc. He's slowly but surely built a pretty solid network and presence.

    Who knows what the future holds, but I would bet on his effort being a success (even if there are still major hudles that need to be overcome).

    The biggest advantage some people have is low overhead. A total flop for one effort would be a windfall victory for another, it really just depends on the costs involved. There's a big difference between needing to sell 500 copies and needing to sell 50,000 copies.
     
  42. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Ah well, I guess indies just have to peddle like crazy to escape the flood.
     
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  43. frosted

    frosted

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    Modest goals, and huge amounts of work. It can be done, but it sure as hell isn't easy.
     
  44. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Makes sense though, right? Sounds like starting any business. If it is to have any real chance of success it takes a lot of time and effort. Having a great plan from the start is a huge help as well.

    I don't think anything is wrong with Indie game dev. It is just a business. One of perhaps millions a person can do. I think what the real problem is that causes people to think there is an issue with Indie game dev is simply all of media focus and hype on the ultra tiny % of people who made a lot of money through mainly plain ole luck.

    All of that focus on the wrong stuff (money money money all of that money $50k per day or whatever from just THAT game?) created an imaginary precedent people still have a hard time shaking off.

    Game dev is just a business in the end. It needs to be treated as such same as a person started a business building websites, creating coin collecting software, portrait painting or starting a landscape business. Or any other. The only "magical" thing about game dev is that it can be a good amount of fun at times. Same thing can be said for building a business around anything a person enjoys.

    Way too much focus on money in game dev IMO. Too much focus on the "just build something awesome and they will come" line of thought. Of course when thinking of business obviously money is a major driver.

    What I meant is I see a huge focus on the money part and the having fun making games part but hardly any focus on the business building part. And also from a business perspective not all are equal. This particular one has such an insanely low barrier of entry now that it in fact now has an extremely high barrier of entry.

    The low / no barrier to entry is an illusion at this point. Sure anyone can build a game. But most assuredly not just anyone can build a successful game dev business. The entry barriers were stripped down so much that we are right back to where we were and probably worse. If you have the right contacts you may do well. If you have a lot of money to invest you may do well. If you focus on fundamentals and have a longterm view you can probably build a modest size game dev business over 5 to 10 years of continued effort.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  45. Billy4184

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    That's always been the case, but the question for me is how to reduce the effort I have to put in just to get noticed. If you look at the pie chart of games released on steam each year, as recently as 2013 it was a tiny fraction, and last year was 40% of the total. That's an insane difference.

    Right now I'm aiming at the mobile market but I'm not sure if I should bother, what with 1000-2000 apps added DAILY on google play - the only reason I bother is because I'm going to sell it in the premium section. On steam, I think the fee will remove the absolute worst of the junk but considering the link I posted above, the flood is well and truly on and if nothing changes, an absolute ton of games will be added in 2017.

    It's tempting just to peddle and pray but the climate is obviously much, much worse than it has ever been. It's all well and good for everybody to be able to release somewhere, but the lack of competition, especially at the 'boutique' end of the market, is making things very impractical.
     
  46. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Anyway, talking about curation and barriers to entry and store policies is actually super relevant to the thread's main question: by placing all of the risk at the feet of the developers, a lot of developers are going to take less risks. That means games become more generic and everyone loses slowly.

    You can of course be totally creative if you're not doing it for much cash, or money isn't the objective. But it's probably not going to have much in the way of fancy art. And that's perfectly OK.
     
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  47. tswalk

    tswalk

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    I'm too busy failing.. more failures to make!
     
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  48. Velo222

    Velo222

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    I think we need to remember that the change in the format of the Unity website itself might have a little something to do with it as well. Before, there were only a few categories for people to choose to post on when they came to the Unity website.

    With the "new" website format, there are a lot more categories, and topics are a lot more spread out. Which was a good idea to have a place for every topic, but it also means less views per topic. It makes it a little more difficult to get noticed if you actually post something in the appropriate category now.

    I found that once Unity 5 hit, and the "professional" version basically went to the "free to use" model, I spend a lot more time actually working on my games, and less time on the forums now. Maybe it's because I've moved past the "beginner" stage, and I now only have questions every once in awhile, instead of all the time lol.

    I agree that the freedom and ambition to be boldly creative seems to have dropped it seems -- but I don't know exactly what poured cold water on that. I find this an interesting topic. It does seem like creativity has been stifled, and now only "cookie cutter" games get released for some reason......

    Maybe it's because, like Hippo said, people are less willing to take risks for some reason.
     
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  49. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Probably just the reality of it all. Anyone who has been around here for a few years or more has watched people pour years of care into making something truly good. Something that obviously wasn't just quickly thrown together yet these games seem to do no better (or not much anyway) than a game someone knocked out in a month or three.

    If a person is wanting to build a successful game dev business... actually make money... ironically they may not he able to afford to spend so much care on any one game. Instead they may need to either spend 1/10th of the time making the game and an equal amount of time focused on marketing activities. Or just make far simpler games and throw them out there building up a business a dollar or so at a time so to speak.

    I am talking about Indies as in 1 person, 2 people at most. If you have a team of 10+ people sure they should be able to knock out bigger games. But a solo Indie shouldn't be trying to compete with such games. I don't think most people that open an ice cream store really expect to compete with Dairy Queen. Need to focus on the fundamentals. And that may stifle creativity in itself to a large degree.

    Although... I don't know... I'd think the opposite really. Focus on a tiny game but try to make it about 20% unique. Something unique. Maybe it is simply all of the games that have been made the past 5 years or so people have seen so many different things now it is significantly harder to innovate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  50. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Dont worry Arrowx and I will still be making games after the indie apocalypse

    I have been working at AR startup part time 3 days a week and meet some cool dudes, including an artist with a good work ethic so things are about to ramp up. We just finished a mobile trump game in our spare time. I got a cool idea for an AR project myself so when I start getting some more money im going to throw some money at that
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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