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TSoG Wish List / Re: New Enemy Ideas
« on: March 04, 2010, 08:13:49 PM »

No. Probably the least original idea ever thought of. Tolkien made elves. Now let's let him have his elves.

And we can have something elves.

General Discussion / Re: Ads, not sales, is the key
« on: March 03, 2010, 10:34:28 PM »
A seed fund is a kind of loan.

General Discussion / Re: Ads, not sales, is the key
« on: March 03, 2010, 08:40:54 PM »
That's what I was thinking when I said different platforms.

If he wants to earn money o' course.

General Discussion / Re: Ads, not sales, is the key
« on: March 03, 2010, 07:26:55 PM »
Although getting the best of two worlds is quite hard, I think that the free demos might help spread the world about the games.

I don't know how the ad revenue works, so please correct me if I'm wrong. A free playable demo of about 10MB to 20MB can be put on popular websites that might generate some add revenue. And, evidently, the demo itself would work as an add to the full game.

I was shocked when Craig decided to sell TPA2. And I would have preferred that TPA2 would be free (as I guess anyone else wanted, even Craig). But everyone has to make a living, and from Craig's (brief) comments, it was clear that the sales of TPA2 generated more revenue than the ad revenue from all the other TRPG games (again, please correct me if I'm wrong). Therefore, I understand Craig's choice on selling his games from now on.

Excluding minors from the market is indeed a problem. I don't really see a nice way out, other than the minors asking someone to give them the game or to buy it for them.

Another problem raised is related to the way the games are sold. Most online stores aren't (fully) trusted, at least in the country where I live. Not because they trick people but because the direct human contact is missing. The problem may be bigger in this case because we aren't buying a CD (or something else physical) - we are buying a link to be able to download. So, again, it's another layer of virtuality that may give people some discomfort on buying.

I haven't any good alternatives to the way it's done. Selling CDs will increase dramatically the costs (the CD itself with the case + shipping costs, including personnel costs). Selling on well known stores (that might benefit of higher trust from the consumers) may also reduce the margins, particularly since there might be some attempts of price squeezing.

About ads. I must say that ads annoy me (and I hate those blinking ads). So, I was happy when I found out that Firefox has Adblock Plus. As more people do what I do, the revenue of ads will be lower. Ingame ads might be an alternative, provided they aren't all over the place. I can accept a preloader ad (no blinking, please) and a couple of discrete ads in the main menu or in the high score table or in the middle of the game. More ads than that and I might feel too much pushed around and end giving up on the game.

Most people don't care about supporting the developer that much if they can cut it cheap.
Unfortunately, I think that I'm included in that category. I hope that Craig is successful but there is a (low?) limit to how much I'm willing to spend. I just hope that my bug tracking and suggestions are helpful.

If Craig's aim is really to earn money, he needs to get a reputation, and bigger fanbase,and then apply for a seed fund (which would make all the sales from TRPG games seem infinitesimal), and start hiring devs to work on the games.

Which doesn't seem to be happening.

TRPG2 / Re: Revival by Nelis
« on: March 02, 2010, 11:20:33 PM »
Does fate revive the main character? Or does it rewind time to give him a chance at a different outcome?

What I thought about your 'fate' death screen was just that there is a set future, so any actions killing the Hero did not actually happen and your goal is to get from Point A to Point B timewise.

General Discussion / Re: Ads, not sales, is the key
« on: March 02, 2010, 11:06:43 PM »
Forgive my cynicism, but are you speaking from experience, or from a desire to play Sinister Design games for free? Ads in Flash games really weren't all that lucrative back before the recession hit, and they're certainly no better now.

I do know of a small handful of Flash game developers who are able to make a living releasing free games (Pixel Jam being a prominent example), but most free Flash developers are either in high school or college, and don't have to worry about paying rent, paying back school loans, buying food, paying for doctor's bills, and so on and so on. With Pixel Jam, the kind of games they make--short, addictive action games--are much quicker to put together and release than the kind of games I make, and they appeal to a much larger audience. In short, they're a good fit for the free Flash model. Sad to say, mine really aren't.

Maybe I'll only earn a few thousand on TSoG--maybe not. I'd certainly like to earn more than that. We'll just have to see how things go, I suppose.

I would definitely give you ten dollars if we met in person, but the current buying method is really too clunky and I don't see the point of it.

Seeing as most of your fanbase is in the younger demographics, they are likely more unwilling to pay in such a manner. Perhaps there could be an indirect paying method, such as participating on a site to earn virtual currency, with advertisers paying to be listed.

What I would really like to see if increased notification of users of the existence of this site, so it gains traffic. Freeware would be a way to increase traffic, but it isn't the only way, others would be a more integrated site, getting the word around about the site, etc.

I think about it this way:

If I were a nine-year old, what would make me interested in this site and active in the forums?

And also, if you are going to put it up for a price, make the price lower than the price to sign up for a free download site.

Most people don't care about supporting the developer that much if they can cut it cheap.

General Discussion / Ads, not sales, is the key
« on: March 02, 2010, 09:31:01 PM »
Rather than having users pay for the games (how much are you earning from TPA2?), you think you should get some people to advertise on the games. In order to do this, you need to make people more aware of the existence of Sinister Design. A good example is (the DTD and FETD people). They restrict aspects of their games to the public, and inform the public of their website. This increases traffic, which makes ads more lucrative.
Although they do not do ads so much anymore, I think that’s more of trying to promote their image of a friendly site and reducing lag on their multiplayer games than anything else, along with the fact they have a seed fund, which, to my knowledge, you do not have.
As the buying method is unstreamlined, costs money (duh), the full versions of TPA2 and TsoG seem unlikely to spread beyond a dedicated fanbase and game reviewers.
Instead of selling the games, release them to the public and advertise SinisterDesign on more popular sites. Go for a seed fund, expand your games to different platforms, and get advertisers interested.
A fun idea would be to have ‘integrated ads’ in the game; for example, a poster in HQ advertising a company. Because every player of the game would see it, this could potentially be a very lucrative idea.
A good indicator of how well known SinisterDesign is its forum, activity in which is anemic. I have seen little notification of the expanded versions of games on the home site, and I believe informing the general populace of this will greatly increase traffic, and then how much money you can earn from ads.
I cannot see either of the current Telepath games earning more than a few thousand USD through sale, which is something of an insult to the effort you put into it. By gaining the attention of more potential users, however, you set yourself up to make yourself better positioned to begin commercially and gain a seed fund to make game-making a full-time job.

TSoG Bugs / Re: Telepath RPG: Servants of God buglist
« on: March 01, 2010, 09:03:39 PM »
If you beat on the Mechanics in the guard post at the labor site and go back inside, there is nobody there, but your movement is obstructed as if the Mechanics were there.

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