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Author Topic: Evolving Markets and Target Platforms  (Read 39011 times)
fog
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« on: April 12, 2011, 03:06:51 PM »

A couple of years ago it was pretty clear that the only platform really worth worrying about was the PC.  Sure there was a willing audience on Mac and Linux, but unless you could do a quick port as a solo in dev with limited resources and time it was hardly worth the effort .

How things have changed.  We now have a whole host of handhelds, tablets and mobiles we can target (Android, iOS etc etc) there's Xbox Indie Games and with things like Steam and the App store on Mac they should no longer be ignored either.

The Humble Bundle did a breakdown of payment for their last bundle and PC's now accounted for just over half with Mac and Linus users willing to pay more...

Quote
Total payments: $1,825,893.47
Number of purchases: 232,855
Average purchase: $7.84
Average Windows: $6.68
Average Mac: $9.27
Average Linux: $13.78

So which approach to take?  Concentrate on one platform giving it your 100% attention (if so which one?) or take the scatter-gun approach and target several platforms at once?  This has the advantage of extending your potential audience and maybe some cross platform word of mouth marketing (if just one platform generates interest then this could help promote the other versions), but has the downside that development time, bug fixing and support will possibly increase considerably and on platforms where you will initially have little knowledge or experience.

Hmm.

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T_M_C
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 08:11:17 PM »

lol

So, you still can't decide.   Roll Eyes

Instead of looking at the problem from a single to multi platform issue, have you looked at ' the best language for the type of game you want to create' approach.

For a shoot em up for instance, ideally you'd want a fast system that can handle lots of bullets and objects.  Xna or C++  being the obvious choice there.  Although Blitzmax is no slouch in that area.

Or for an adventure or casual game where Monkey might be the best option.

If you want to dabble in 3d at all then Unity is probably the best option.

Other issues to consider might be, do you want to create a commercial game, to reach the largest possible market which gives the maximum returns.


Only you can answer those questions.


One thing i will say though is

Minecraft and Java   Grin

Just goes to show, that the programming language plays second fiddle to a good idea.

TMC
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 08:15:56 PM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
prince caro 19
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 08:37:21 PM »

A couple of years ago it was pretty clear that the only platform really worth worrying about was the PC.  Sure there was a willing audience on Mac and Linux, but unless you could do a quick port as a solo in dev with limited resources and time it was hardly worth the effort .

How things have changed.  We now have a whole host of handhelds, tablets and mobiles we can target (Android, iOS etc etc) there's Xbox Indie Games and with things like Steam and the App store on Mac they should no longer be ignored either.

The Humble Bundle did a breakdown of payment for their last bundle and PC's now accounted for just over half with Mac and Linus users willing to pay more...

Quote
Total payments: $1,825,893.47
Number of purchases: 232,855
Average purchase: $7.84
Average Windows: $6.68
Average Mac: $9.27
Average Linux: $13.78

So which approach to take?  Concentrate on one platform giving it your 100% attention (if so which one?) or take the scatter-gun approach and target several platforms at once?  This has the advantage of extending your potential audience and maybe some cross platform word of mouth marketing (if just one platform generates interest then this could help promote the other versions), but has the downside that development time, bug fixing and support will possibly increase considerably and on platforms where you will initially have little knowledge or experience.

Hmm.


Isn't it obvious?
Concentrate on the platforms that are required get you on the Humble Indie Bundle!  Grin

Then again, after one wipes the $ signs from their eye's (assuming they can do so), and decide that they wanted to make games for fun/themselves, then TMC's 'look at the best language (or platform) for the type of game you want to make' approach should seem logical.
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fog
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 10:28:32 PM »

So, you still can't decide.   Roll Eyes
lol. Smiley  No, I have decided I just thought it was an interesting discussion point as until very recently it wasn't even a question us indie devs really had to consider.  It was just a given that you developed for PC and if you could squeeze a quick Mac port out then it was a bonus.

The stuff I will be writing could probably be written in any language so I plan on taking a variation on your "the best language for the type of game you want to create" approach.  I'll pick a language like Unity or Monkey and then choose "the best platform for the type of game you want to create".

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T_M_C
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 11:11:44 PM »

New Indie Bundle is out

http://www.humblebundle.com/

87656 sales at time of writing, or so it says on their site.

None of the games apeal to me though

But the video is really funny.

Love the Arnie impressions.  Made me chuckle.

TMC
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fog
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 10:18:08 PM »

New Indie Bundle is out

http://www.humblebundle.com/

87656 sales at time of writing, or so it says on their site.

None of the games apeal to me though

But the video is really funny.

Love the Arnie impressions.  Made me chuckle.
Same here.  The previous bundles were much better and more varied.

It's obviously been successful for them all from a revenue and exposure point of view and is maybe another sign of how the market is changing.

I remember a few collections being sold back in the Commodore days, but I can't think of many instances of it being done since then.  The App store pricing takes you back to the old 1.99 tapes too. Smiley
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prince caro 19
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 01:44:37 AM »

New Indie Bundle is out

http://www.humblebundle.com/

87656 sales at time of writing, or so it says on their site.

None of the games apeal to me though

But the video is really funny.

Love the Arnie impressions.  Made me chuckle.
Same here.  The previous bundles were much better and more varied.
Well, isn't that to be expected when it's from a single developer this time, and the last bundles were from a variety of talented dev's?
I still picked it up, even if it's a little inferior to it's predecessors, it's still a bargain.

TMC, have you considered trying to get your shmup on the next bundle? I remember reading that the founder wanted lesser known titles in the bundles as long as they were good, so why not?

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T_M_C
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 04:28:51 AM »

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TMC, have you considered trying to get your shmup on the next bundle? I remember reading that the founder wanted lesser known titles in the bundles as long as they were good, so why not?


It's an idea.   Cheesy

I expect there will be alot of competition to get on the bundles though, because they have been so succesful.

I've been thinking of trying another route though.

And thats a one time sale, code, media and publishing rights to the finished game, plus a years technical support from me to help the buyer bring the game to market.

As i really don't want to do all the marketing and promotion for the game.  Jumping through all the myriad hoops publishers and distributors want.

Would probably mean i'll make alot less money in the long run.

I'll probably make a website though to promote the sale.  And maybe auction the game to the highest bidder.
It would have to make a minimum price though.


Quote
I remember a few collections being sold back in the Commodore days, but I can't think of many instances of it being done since then.  The App store pricing takes you back to the old 1.99 tapes too.

Ahh, yes.

I still remember the good old days where i could nip into town and buy a mastertronic game for 1.99.

Made the Darling brothers millionaires as i recall.

TMC
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 04:30:42 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
fog
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 08:43:05 PM »

Ahh, yes.

I still remember the good old days where i could nip into town and buy a mastertronic game for 1.99.
Exactly the same here Smiley  25 years ago and it really does just seem like yesterday  Tongue
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fog
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 08:38:16 PM »

I found this on the state of the mobile market, and more accurately Androids relative failure so far, interesting.  The disparity in these figures in particular.  Double the market share of iOS, but less than a tenth of the revenue?

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According to research by Kantar WorldPanel Comtech, Android now accounts for 38% of the UK smartphone market, compared to 23% for Apple's devices.

Stateside, Android is faring even better, holding a 54.7% share, while iOS has 27.2%.

Last month, Google revealed that 350,000 Android phones are being activated every day.

Yet sales of Android apps remain relatively poor.

IHS Screen Digest estimates that 1.1billion of revenue flowed through Apple's App store last year.

Android Market managed just 62m. The figure was lower than both Blackberry App World (100m) and Nokia's Ovi store (64m).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13284156
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 04:16:28 PM »

Odd; but keep in mind that the reason for that large market share is a lot of low-end Android phones, that are less likely to be app'd up to the teeth. Also, take every single sale of Angry Birds on iPhone - it's free on Android. Whole bunch of reasons; I do love Android more though.
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las6
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 07:07:46 PM »

Most of the apps on android market are free or ad-supported. That doesn't necessarily mean they are worse, like for example the Angry Birds which TheKhakinator brought up. Android market still gets all the different versions of the game, for free. The only difference is the appearance of an in-game ad. I guess android users aren't really accustomed to buying stuff since they are getting most of the stuff for free.

And yeah, the platform is pretty heavily fragmented - but the situation should be getting better now.
As it stands, iPhone is the better platform for gaming, unless you're into emulators  Wink

That said, I'm not changing my humble android (htc legend) for an iphone.
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fog
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 10:48:34 PM »

I must admit I've never had an Android phone myself, although I might have to soon for development purposes.  Most of my opinion is just based on the few people I know with one and their OS versions and hardware specs are all over the place.  For most casual users I doubt that really matters, but as a potential developer....


Most of the apps on android market are free or ad-supported. That doesn't necessarily mean they are worse, like for example the Angry Birds which TheKhakinator brought up. Android market still gets all the different versions of the game, for free. The only difference is the appearance of an in-game ad. I guess android users aren't really accustomed to buying stuff since they are getting most of the stuff for free.
Without knowing what the royalty rates are, I wonder how much it suits Google to have most apps Ad-Supported given where a large portion of their income comes from?  That would also be why they don't mind others setting up App Stors of their own as Google still get their Ad income.
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las6
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2011, 09:16:57 PM »

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Most of my opinion is just based on the few people I know with one and their OS versions and hardware specs are all over the place.  For most casual users I doubt that really matters, but as a potential developer....
it's a bit like a minefield with precious loot scattered all over.

You can get very fast, capable phones for something like 200 dollars (huawei). Or you can spend a fortune and end up getting an okay phone that is being crippled by either the operator or the hardware manufacturer.

As a developer, you should probably pony up for the official "google phone"... currently the Nexus S ... as it will get the latest updates asap and usually lasts quite a bit longer than the alternatives. On the other hand, it doesn't emulate the behaviour of sub-par android phones - which probably make up most of the market Tongue

I know there's been a big fuss over the whole fragmentation business and now people are saying that it doesn't exist. But then you have things like Flash for example. It is listed as available for all Android versions 2.2 and up - but the reality is that there are many Android 2.2 phones without the necessary hardware support. And not long ago there were a lot of phones that could've been capable, but ran only 2.1 or older versions of Android because the hardware manufacturer chose to edit each version of android to suit their image. This 'editing' apparently takes months, yet the active community can whip up new roms in a matter of days, usually.

Things are looking better now as Google is starting to ask more from the manufacturers - they are being pushed towards supporting the phones they sell for at least 18 months and maybe setting some time limits as to how fast the update process (= the editing done by the hw manufacturer) should be.

It's a shame, really, as with few changes they could have the latest versions running in most phones without having to go through all those carriers and manufacturers. But then the carriers wouldn't like that... as at least in the US they seem to want to cripple the phones by disabling internet tethering and then asking you to pay more in order to share the internet connection you're already paying for. Which makes no sense to me seeing as the connection is already capped at some ridiculously low GB amount and they charge you a fortune for going over it. Tethering would most likely push you over the cap so it would be more money for them...
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 03:46:12 PM »

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Most of my opinion is just based on the few people I know with one and their OS versions and hardware specs are all over the place.  For most casual users I doubt that really matters, but as a potential developer....
it's a bit like a minefield with precious loot scattered all over.

You can get very fast, capable phones for something like 200 dollars (huawei). Or you can spend a fortune and end up getting an okay phone that is being crippled by either the operator or the hardware manufacturer.

As a developer, you should probably pony up for the official "google phone"... currently the Nexus S ... as it will get the latest updates asap and usually lasts quite a bit longer than the alternatives. On the other hand, it doesn't emulate the behaviour of sub-par android phones - which probably make up most of the market Tongue

I know there's been a big fuss over the whole fragmentation business and now people are saying that it doesn't exist. But then you have things like Flash for example. It is listed as available for all Android versions 2.2 and up - but the reality is that there are many Android 2.2 phones without the necessary hardware support. And not long ago there were a lot of phones that could've been capable, but ran only 2.1 or older versions of Android because the hardware manufacturer chose to edit each version of android to suit their image. This 'editing' apparently takes months, yet the active community can whip up new roms in a matter of days, usually.

Things are looking better now as Google is starting to ask more from the manufacturers - they are being pushed towards supporting the phones they sell for at least 18 months and maybe setting some time limits as to how fast the update process (= the editing done by the hw manufacturer) should be.

It's a shame, really, as with few changes they could have the latest versions running in most phones without having to go through all those carriers and manufacturers. But then the carriers wouldn't like that... as at least in the US they seem to want to cripple the phones by disabling internet tethering and then asking you to pay more in order to share the internet connection you're already paying for. Which makes no sense to me seeing as the connection is already capped at some ridiculously low GB amount and they charge you a fortune for going over it. Tethering would most likely push you over the cap so it would be more money for them...
That'd be why I love Android so much; I just bought a Huawei Ideos X5 a few weeks ago. XD
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