Video Game Industry - Feasible?

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Have any of you guys ventured into the video game industry? It's something I've always considered so I started toying around in the past couple of weeks.

What I learned is that while Flash is still kicking as it was 10 years ago for this industry in terms of just online games, it's still good for apps. But lots of people are using Unity now too. Some people are coding in straight Java.

Before I got too deep the ultimate question was, can I make money? Here was the answer...

Your options seem to be to either
1) Get a sponsor
2) Sell it as an App
3) Give it away and sell in-app purchases​

#3 I wouldn't do if my life depended on it. That's going to be the downfall of the gaming industry. "Let's piss off our players and try to get them to spend money". #2 is possible but then you have to deal with marketing and your game BETTER be good. #1 is basically getting your game on Kongregate or Armor Games or NewGrounds or Adult Swim or Disney and the like and sharing advertising CPM's and CPC's with them.

I did learn that there is this auction based site called FGL.com where you basically post your completed game and these game websites and companies can place bids. It's like the Flippa for online games. They might want exclusive rights, or just to get you to only post it on their site for the first 6 months, or do a rev share with you, etc.

My understanding is that this path is ultimately like building MFA style sites. It's got to snowball by you pumping out tons of them. However this takes a ton of work versus just building out sites. Probably just as volatile and competitive.

As far as selling it as an app, I read about a ton of people trying to do it and even the most insane success stories really just boiled down to not being worth it. A team of four guys getting on Steam and selling almost a million copies and in the end only making about $30,000 each for 2 years of total work. $15,000 a year and that's the best success story I read.

I think it'd be fun to build ONE game and continue to try to improve it. That one game I dreamed about since I was a youngster playing NES. And just simply not have it about the money.

I guess another option is to not worry about any of the 3 options and just make a killer game people come back to and then flip it after the fact for the traffic and player base.

Anyways, I just wanted to start some discussion on the topic, but I also did pound out a couple of "games". They are functioning prototypes. One is classic Pong, and one is a little platformer game I toyed with, which is the cool one if you check out either.

I found some free file sharing site to host the files. They are just .SWF files. Flash files. You can drag and drop or just open them in your browser and get a full screen play of the games.


Download Links:
Uncheck the "Use our download manager and get recommended downloads" box!

- Pong

- Ding Dang's Adventure


Anyways, it's not something I'm going to pursue unless someone else can convince me it's worth the time and effort. There are just too many ways to make money out there and it's not my ultimate passion and I'm not going to slave for years for less than minimum wage just to say I did it.
 

vinnypolston

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@TeddyP Really like the idea! I can't give any direct advice as I have never done it myself.. but I would really suggest you checking out Indie Game: The Movie; if you have Netflix it is on their streaming service. It basically follows two different indie game developments from idea to concept to live. It's pretty fascinating, really. It isn't one of those glamorous documentaries. It's real life stuff.

One of the games it follows is supermeatboy. I had never heard of it but apparently it's pretty popular ( I won't give too much away causing spoilers ). Now their taking it and making an app version. Their story really touches a lot of the things you mentioned. It started with a free game called 'meatboy' that is available on newgrounds. After gaining some popularity they went full blown development to sell it on the xbox. I'll let you watch to see the rest.

Anyways hope that helps. Whatever you do.. do it 100% :thumbsup:
 
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This is interesting dude it sounds like it's something that interests you and considering the relatively low barrier to entry to get into it... I say just go for it if you've got a bit of extra time.

Supermeatboy is awesome.

What you also gotta keep in mind is that a lot of these game devs don't know a damn thing about marketing their game beyond what everyone else does for games. So if you have a sense of marketing then you have a huge boost over a lot of them. Maybe you could even approach some smaller game studios to offer help with their website / getting attention if you're so inclined...
 

chaddicus.

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I think it really depends on what you're trying to do here and what platform you're trying to use. If you're trying to go the true indie game route, I'd say bag the idea right now. Not to sound negative, but if its not something that you are passionate about or something that you are really driven to do then it is going to take a ton of your time, energy and cash to even get this thing up. Cause I'm assuming we're talking about an actual game here with its own unique elements, not something copied from another developer.
Now if you're cloning games and adding your own unique spin, then there might be some incentive for you to get into it. I come from a family of console game developers, guys that built out a bunch of levels for the GOW franchise, and its ridiculous the kind of time they have to put in. But their bonuses are HUGE. So its worth it.
But its probably unrealistic to think that you can get a console game out on your own and in short order. Admittedly, I have no knowledge of your skill sets.
I'd probably say your best bet for making money "quickly" via gaming is through apps. There is so much potential there if you can create a sticky concept. But again, uniqueness is key. And yet again, I'm operating on the assumption that you are going to do this all by your lonesome. I had a couple buddies in college that were pulling about $8k a month from apps they developed and put on the store. They were using ads at the time, but have since transitioned to in-app purchases. I'd personally argue that in-app purchases are the future of gaming because of how much ads suck for a good, immersive gaming experience... But that's for another day.
Long story short, I think getting a game on the app store is the best bet for a quicker turnaround. Plus there are a ton of ad networks that can get you some traffic in the app store for downloads. After a few thousand, you're in the black. Keep us updated on how it goes! I'd be interested to see what methods you end up going and playing some of your games!
 
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it sounds like chaddicus pretty much hit it on the head.

indie game devs seem like the starving artist folk who shake their fists at the app devs who are making all the bank with their "junkfood" version of gaming. there's always gonna be outliers but with a cheap app you don't need to sell a lot to be profitable... with some big indie game you do.