Jan 282009

Gabe McGrath writes,

Hi Raph,

Found your blog via Technorati, whilst searching for more “retro remakes”. I hit this page. Don’t know if you (or your readers) would be interested, but the RR site was hacked recently, so your link to the downloads *won’t* work. I have compiled all the “off site” links I could find (for each remake author) and put them on one blogpost. So there you go. Sorry if you’ve already “moved on”. (Thought it might be of interest.)

PS: Funny – I stumbled on your page, and couldn’t work out where I knew your name. Then I saw the book cover – OF COURSE! “Theory of Fun” – read about it on Boing Boing ages ago. Alas, it’s still sitting safely in my “amazon to buy list” as the Aussie dollar has tanked against yours. Hopefully it recovers soon, so I can build my game-related library. All the best 🙂

Hacked… that sucks. 🙁 Hopefully they recover quickly, it’s one of my favorite indie projects.

Game talkHow well can indie games do?

 Posted by (Visited 13756 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Jan 142009

No, not top sellers like Braid. Ordinary indies that don’t manage to hit the top of the charts or land an XBLA deal — the stuff that comes and goes on the web portals, made by a guy or gal in the evenings working on it, often churning out hidden object games or another match-3 game because they have to.

Well, Grey Alien Games, an indie developer themselves, has culled some answers from a rather noisy thread on Indiegamer.

Cliffski, of Positech Games, made $189,423 in 2008 from direct sales…

Princec of Puppygames posted his direct sales figures and they told a very different story. He has made $11993 from 1073 units sold in 2008.

Siread of New Star Games posted his Direct Sales stats of $43246 and 2545 units.

SteveZ of Blue Tea Games shared his direct sales figures for 2008 of $1299 and 72 units sold… This then prompted a surprise turnaround from SteveZ who posted his Big Fish Games royalty report from November 2008. It showed $20837 in royalties in just a single month!!

Separately, but prompted by that post, we see the CEO of Anawiki Games posting

My sales stats for 2008: $21,650.09 and 1152 units. I have released 6 games so far on PC, Mac and Linux (not all of them have Linux versions). Two of them have been released in 2008.

One takeaway here — it’s hard work, and for most, you can’t quit your day job. But there’s plenty of opportunity if you are determined and skillful.

Dec 282008

The Experimental Gameplay Workshop has issued its call for submissions for 2009. Jonathan Blow says

It’s a two-hour showcase of unusual and cutting-edge game designs. Each designer gives a ten- or fifteen-minute presentation of each game, including a live demo.

We’re now looking for submissions for the 2009 workshop, which will be happening in March. If you make unconventional kinds of games, I encourage you to apply. Or, tell your friends. Or do both.

For me “telling your friends” means blogging it, so I did. 🙂

Game talkRara Racer is brilliant

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Dec 242008

There are games about games. Then there’s games about gaming. And then games about how we live our lives. Rara Racer is one of those latter ones. I think. Astonishing considering it was developed in 48 hours for an indie games competition. Don’t be misled by the screenshot.

Ludum Dare » Blog Archive » Rara Racer – Finished.

May your days be merry and bright!

Game talkFishing Girl

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Dec 212008
Fishing Girl screenshot

Fishing Girl screenshot

As many of you know, my friend Dan Cook does game prototyping challenges wherein he creates and gives away art and a base game design, and then invites whoever wants to pick the the challenge to make a full game.

Often, the art from these pops up in unexpected places — there’s certainly a few worlds on Metaplace that are using the tilesets that Dan has donated to the community!

Well, one of those challenge games has gone commercial and seems to be doing fairly well in terms of popularity on Newgrounds. A Web developer dove headlong into Flash and created a lovely an atmospheric version of the “Fishing Girl” challenge. Dan then encouraged him to commercialize it.

Check out the review here at JayIsGames, and of course, check out the game itself here: Fishing Girl.

Game talkWhy I found no shirts at Target

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Nov 112008

The Escapist’s new issue has an article about why I never found those t-shirts from the Experimental Gameplay Project at Target.

You know, alternate distribution methods like these are still a very good idea. But jumping straight to Target is challenging. Might the shirts have done better if they started out at something like Comic-Con instead? As of right now, few games have fandoms to the degree that they will follow a brand to a different store (my son’s Guitar Hero shirt was much admired at Cub Scout camp this weekend, but most games are not Guitar Hero).

To get crossover retail presence, the games are going to have be lifestyle brands to some degree, and be broadly recognizable enough to at least help get across tribal affiliation.