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To Past Successes and Future Failures!

Posted by (twitter: @@ZakChaos)
October 9th, 2013 12:23 pm

It’s been a little over a year now since i’ve been making video games. Though, in one way or another, I’ve been makin em far back as I remember.(I can still remember some of the rule sets I had for my legos, and chess modifications. )

Last October, I read about the october challenge, and though not ready for it yet, I pored through all of the resources available to me sayin, one day, one day. that day came several months later, after I decided to work on a game for a month straight, and to put it
on a market shortly after. the result was a touch based android game where you kept your finger on the screen, dodging blades and collecting coins. I had a good 10 levels, and spent some time polishing it the best my beginner gimp skills allowed. I began by submitting it to the google play store, thinking i’d put it up for free, then if people liked it I could simply raise the price higher, I later learned that wasn’t the case, and learned a lesson there. “You cannot raise the price of a item on the google play store, only lower it.” But I didn’t stop there, I submitted to all the market places I could find, “amazon, opera,slide.me, and several others.” most of the markets, I learned, don’t give you the greatest exposure. It was then i read something about samsung’s 100% indie program and began the process of submitting with them.

I began my communication with 100% indie’s customer support, and they were very responsive and helpful with getting my game published. However, I was used to submitting my game and having it show up instantly in the market place, The submission process took a week,I got my app back rejected, with a report telling me that it wouldnt be supported by a list of tablets, I almost quit, but I didn’t. I loaded up the website to resubmit, and only submitted it for the devices it would support. I waited another week, I got my app back, rejected. this time the message was that the game was broken due to the fact that when a finger was removed from the screen the level quit. I almost quit, and shelved the game. But I didn’t. Due to this being a gameplay mechanic explained in the opening screen, I sent them an email explaining the confusion, and yanno what? A coupla days later, my app was approved, and copies were (by my standards) “Flying off the shelf.”
graph
I felt a feeling of success nothing in life had made me feel, though I didn’t quit my job quite yet,(that would come later.)
I felt like this could be something I wanted to do full time, though over the course of several months, sales plummeted
leaving my grand total around $40 …$40!!! I had set out to make one dollar, and I smashed the goal. But all too quickly,
It wasn’t enough.

The months rolled on, and eventually tensions mounted at my employer, I found myself quickly unemployed. No problem I thought to myself I can fund my family making games, (Can I?). several little jam games later(1 took 3rd place and won me 25$!), october rolled around, and I thought to myself, ok. Time to do something serious and commercial. Working with a little prototype I developed, I started putting together “Super Pixel Ball” A cross between Marble Madness, and 2d platformers, with slippery marble controls, you make your way thru levels while avoiding obstacles. I’ve got ten levels done so far, and as with my previous release I’m releasing it free/pay as you want. the plan is to keep it that way thru development, then when it’s finished I suppose I’ll survey the players to get a good price point. The first day I announced it I got a couple preorders, So I can say my october challenge this year has been completed, but that would be lazy, So I made 40$ on my first october challenge, I hope 100$ isn’t too high
of a bar to set, only time will tell!

I’m amazed how much I’ve learned in such a short time, and will continue to keep pressing on with my delusions of grandeur of being a full time self sufficient independent games developer. I’d like to share with you just a couple of imb portant things I’ve learned in the last year on being profitable.

1: Don’t Give up!  : No matter how many times i’ve felt like it in the last year this insatiable addiction to keep churning out games is unstoppable,It only stands to reason that if at any one of those times I had quit making games, then i would not be 70$ richer as I am today.

2:Ask for money. You will never make any money as a game developer if you don’t sell your games right? There are a great number of markets out there, go out there and submit!

3:Talk to people. There are SO many opportunities you can find by just gettin out of your head and talking to other like minded gamedev folks, also good friends are worth > $$!

I’ve been trying to make games commercially for goin on 5 months now, and more than anything in the world, I’d like a
paying job as a game developer, sometimes I ask myself, “Do I have a snowballs chance in hell?” . Well as most people tell me,
I probably don’t, but i’ll be damned if I ever stop tryin.

-ZakChaos

Thats bout all I got for now, please post any other tips for becoming a lucrative game developer in the comments :)

Dont get Cut! Free on Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zaxco.dntgtct&hl=en

Don’t Get Cut! 1$ on samsung app store:

http://apps.samsung.com/mars/topApps/topAppsDetail.as?productId=000000598954

Super Pixel Ball Free(web Version) on gamejolt.com:

http://gamejolt.com/games/arcade/super-pixel-ball/18059/

Super Pixel Ball Pay as you want :

http://zakchaos.itch.io/super-pixel-ball

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3 Responses to “To Past Successes and Future Failures!”

  1. If you don’t mind me asking, how are sales on itch.io? I’ve been curious how little games like this do there.

  2. zakchaos says:

    Just like anything else, you can’t expect it to generate many views alone, It acts as a great 3rd party and makes setting up your game to sell very easy, they take 10% of your sale, The real question is, how do you get interested people who want to buy your game to that page, the rest is easy right?

  3. terrmith says:

    Thanks for sharing. I was wondering what is it like for absolute beginner to get into market and actually sell games. Every bit of information helps :) It is fucking hard to find time for game development with a daily job, it was much easier in school, but back then i was too lazy. But this time. I am gonna finish it and make my own 40 dollars!

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