Advertising / In-app purchases

Tyrael79

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Hey Guys,


I'm slowly... very slowly getting through making a commercial game. I'm looking for advice from other people who have made a commercial game.


1.) How did you go about selling the game?

  • Up front payment
  • In app purchases
  • In game advertising



2.) If it was either in app purchases or in game advertising, how did you go about achieving this? I haven't seen any type of method for achieving either of these.


I'm still a year away from finishing the game, but I need to pick a method of payment as it would affect the design of the game from this point forward. 


My initial idea is to make the game free with an in app purchase to unlock additional area's. However I cant see anyway to achieve this atm.
 

bgillisp

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I think for RPGMaker, everyone does up front payment, as no one has found a (good) way to do the other two methods. As it is, to do the others would probably require extensive knowledge of JavaScript to implement it, so unless you also know JavaScript and how to script, I'd suggest sticking with up front purchase.
 

Tyrael79

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Has anyone developed a Java Plugin, that's available for purchase?
 

LightAme

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Wow, in app purchase requires extensive knowledge on database, etc. Something related to connecting to server, etc. 


I heard that to use ads in your game, you need to add some codes into it and sign an agreement with the company in charge, tho I haven't try it out myself yet.
 

Andar

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All in-app purchases and in-app advertisements need a special security to prevent abuse (for example some people write bots to gain ad-clicks on their own websites, or people hacking the game to get in-game items without purchases and so on.


That security requires a server-sided program and is usually handed by either the advertising company (no exceptions for in-game ads) or by the company handling in-game payments (here you could do your own, but that would probably result in insufficient security so not adviced to do on your own).


The problem is that for a lot of reasons (including legal ones) Degica will not handle any part of that. There are already solutions out there in javascript (not specific to RM), but for obvious reasons none of the ad/banking companies give those for free, you have to make a contract with them first before you can get any details and info on those options.
 
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Niten Ichi Ryu

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If I were you, I would go with upfront payment. Not only it's the easiest way, this is the most straightforward.


In game advertising is horrible first of all, and as it's might be your first commercial game, as an indie, you will struggle to find someone willing to advertise in your game. This scheme of financing works better for social media games, where people come for quick fixes and may tolerate repeated expositions to ad, as the sessions of play will be shorter, aimed at achieving quick goals thus exciting satisfaction and enhancing the effectiveness of ads. if you actually make an RPG, players may be expected to spend a lenghty amount of time on it and may become disgusted to see the same ads for hours upon hours. Most often, games with ads would also offer an ad free version for an upfront payment.


In app purchases is IMHO, a sin against gaming :) , but regardless, to make it actually efficient you need to offer enticing purchasable items, and will need to take the impact it will have on your game balance in serious consideration.


If your game can be completed without the app purchases, it's relatively ok, but if such purchases become mandatory for the full game experience it makes no sense.. If app purchases are extra areas as you suggest, it might mean extra xp when completing them and possibly breaking the game balance if this XP makes the player OP, or worst turn your game in a Pay to Win, removing any sense of challenges. and think about sustainability. To live from In app purchases, you might need to update regularly your offer to keep the in app purchases attractive, so produce new content, that might involve costs (in money, time, resources).


Keep your feet on the ground, release your game as straightforward payment, and IF you actually make money out of it, you might learn enough business acumen to make other games at some points that could become sustainable via the other methods.
 

Tyrael79

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If I were you, I would go with upfront payment. Not only it's the easiest way, this is the most straightforward.


In game advertising is horrible first of all, and as it's might be your first commercial game, as an indie, you will struggle to find someone willing to advertise in your game. This scheme of financing works better for social media games, where people come for quick fixes and may tolerate repeated expositions to ad, as the sessions of play will be shorter, aimed at achieving quick goals thus exciting satisfaction and enhancing the effectiveness of ads. if you actually make an RPG, players may be expected to spend a lenghty amount of time on it and may become disgusted to see the same ads for hours upon hours. Most often, games with ads would also offer an ad free version for an upfront payment.


In app purchases is IMHO, a sin against gaming :) , but regardless, to make it actually efficient you need to offer enticing purchasable items, and will need to take the impact it will have on your game balance in serious consideration.


If your game can be completed without the app purchases, it's relatively ok, but if such purchases become mandatory for the full game experience it makes no sense.. If app purchases are extra areas as you suggest, it might mean extra xp when completing them and possibly breaking the game balance if this XP makes the player OP, or worst turn your game in a Pay to Win, removing any sense of challenges. and think about sustainability. To live from In app purchases, you might need to update regularly your offer to keep the in app purchases attractive, so produce new content, that might involve costs (in money, time, resources).


Keep your feet on the ground, release your game as straightforward payment, and IF you actually make money out of it, you might learn enough business acumen to make other games at some points that could become sustainable via the other methods.



There are a few issues I see with making an upfront payment straight up that severely limit its viability, maybe other people have ideas to get around them:


1.) It would mean 2 separate apps would need to be created, 1 for a free "demo" the other for the full game which requires payments,


2.) This then means, the number of downloads, comments, ratings...etc are split between the two apps and dramatically reduces the changes of the app getting a higher ranking in any app stores.


3.) With 2 separate apps, there is no easy way to transfer the progress someone has made in the demo app to the full app, meaning they would need to start all over again and provide a negative to actually going ahead and purchasing the app.


4.) People who want to purchase the app will have to manually search for the app and it makes it more difficult (however small) for them to purchase.


#2 is really my biggest concern, and I don't really see anyway around it.


Ideally I think the best paid solution for these types of games is for an in app purchase to unlock additional maps and areas. If anyone has ever made a plugin or been able to achieve this within RMMV or if you have a solution that resolves #2 I would really love to hear about it.
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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Hi I think for any advice to be really relevant, you should give a bigger picture of what your game is. 


Monetisation, as I said can be viable for some and a sure failure for others. 


1: yes, there could be two apps, but that's how game studios do, don't see how to bypass


2: following your reasoning, what you should do is a demo free, than once validated as payed will unlock the full game. 


That way, your point 3 and 4 and even 2 are addressed. Only one app, with content locked if people want to go further than the demo. 


So to clarify, if this is what you meant by in app purchase, study a little the business models, because that's not actual in app purchases, it's free trial. 


In any case, as pointed by Andar, if you wish to monetize like this, you will have to invest in professional security for payments and hire a pro scripter to make it for you. 


There will be cost.
 
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Andar

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Problem with 2, especially if done the way @Niten Ichi Ryu suggests, is that this requires a DRM server to unlock the full game. Theoretically there are ways around such a server, but practically that would require the player to be allowed to know how to turn the demo into the full game - which defeats the purpose of selling a game.


There is no perfect solution, you either have to use a DRM server (either from yourself which is expensive or by a company providing it for parts of the sale price) or you need to accept that the replies are split between demo and full game. Other solutions have other problems (like opening you to pirated results).
 

Andar

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As I said above, you can add in-app purchases - you just have to figure it out for yourself, because no one here can tell you how to do that - not only because no one knows, but because that may create legal problems for Degica as well.


And the best people to ask would be the people you want to handle the money for you. Because in-app purchases need to get the money to you somehow, and that is not something you can do on your own.Because you do not want to put your bank account data publically on the internet...
 

Tyrael79

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As I said above, you can add in-app purchases - you just have to figure it out for yourself, because no one here can tell you how to do that - not only because no one knows, but because that may create legal problems for Degica as well.


And the best people to ask would be the people you want to handle the money for you. Because in-app purchases need to get the money to you somehow, and that is not something you can do on your own.Because you do not want to put your bank account data publically on the internet...



Hi Andar, 


I understand what you're saying and appreciate that you cannot comment from the perspective of degica, thank you for the help you have given.
 

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