How can you assess if your project is commercially viable beforehand??

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Lars Ulrika, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Scythuz

    Scythuz Explorer Bot *beep beep* Restaff

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    What I've seen some devs do before, is post their game up on various non-steam sites for a month or so, then launch a greenlight campaign from there.  I think the idea is to gather a small audience beforehand which would, theoretically, give the developer a headstart on greenlight votes and get some favourable comments from people who already own the game and enjoy it.  If done right, it could also result in a domino effect, praise begetting more praise etc.  Could be an idea worth considering?
     
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  2. AwesomeCool

    AwesomeCool Bratty and spoiled little sister Veteran

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    @Matseb2611 - HAVE ALL THE LIKES!  ALL OF THEM!!!


    On a side note: I do not think there was ever a indie boom (with a rise and a fall) and only a select few indie games ever made it to popularity as countless others failed.


    It feels like how people think of casinos before and after experiencing it themselves.  They will see and hear of all these people winning until they actually try it out themselves.


    The difference being that most people where not making indie games during the "boom" so they think it changed when it really didn't.  There are probably thousands of RPG Maker games out there and very few ever stood out and I bet 99+ percent of people will flat out ignore any RPG Maker game that uses the RTP.  That is due to, for better or worse, there are so many that don't use the RTP that they would rather try instead (thinking that more effort was put into them and thus a higher chance of being good).
     
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  3. sabao

    sabao Veteran Veteran

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    The indie bubble isn't so much burst as much as it's currently just... there. Indie games like Braid and the like weren't the first indie games or anything, but one of the very few to make a big splash on the consumer market. Given that, it was easy to take advantage of the novel underdog story to give it that extra push in the market. Now, we have stuff like RPG Maker, Unity3D and platforms like Greenlight, itch.io, and so on which makes development and distribution easier and more accessible than it was nearly a decade ago. Indie sections are more or less required for online storefronts like Nintendo's eShop now, and there's several of them coming out on several online spaces daily. As bgilisp has said, I wouldn't quit my day job unless I had the next Stardew Valley on my hands.


    That's not to say you can't aspire to make a commercial project though. Just be careful. Invest in what you can, and make sure you still have enough money to take care of yourself in the long run. You can get yourself funded on Kickstarter, greenlit on Greenlight and critics/your mum can tell you the game is the best thing since sliced bread, but there will always remain the possibility that the game remains a financial bust.
     
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  4. Menos

    Menos Veteran Veteran

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    One thing I haven't seen much discussion of is how Steam drives sales from people who will never play your game. Look at the owners and players columns, even for some of the top RPG Maker games as posted by the Steamyspy link. An enormous number of sales can be produced when a game becomes part of a bundle or goes on sale. It might not be creatively gratifying to think people are buying your game mostly because it's $1, but if 10k of them do it...
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Menos: There is a forum member here who admitted they got a little over $10K in sales mainly by including it in many bundles. So it is AN option, though maybe not the best if you want to become filthy rich.


    Of course, 10K for me would be a decent percent of my student loans gone, so I'd be happy with it. And I think most of us here would be happy with it, as long as we are not asking ourselves to live on 10K a year, especially if we happen to live in the US (though I hear 10K would go really far in other countries. Maybe I need to move?)
     
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  6. kaukusaki

    kaukusaki Awesome Programmer Extraordinaire Veteran

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    Reality: Popularity is random and video games are a high risk venture. Even if you customise everything (art, music, mechanics, original story etc) and devote time to a marketing campaign the market is so saturated (and the opportunity to program is so easy as just about anyone with a brain a computer and time can do it)  you might not sell much if any at all. Even if you do multiple platforms you still might not move copies.


    Don't rely on that one game to be your sole source of income. Make sure you have a backup plan and another plan after that.


    BUT if you do well, congrats! If anyone asks why you can shrug and call it luck because a variety of factors fall in place - timing, conditions, etc. You can't determine who might find your game awesome... Just hope for the best. 
     
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  7. terrorchan

    terrorchan Literally a Gloop Veteran

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    Rune Factory 4 is literally one of the best games I've ever played personally. I have no idea why it didn't get popular :(  Niche market??


    And yea I agree, Stardew Valley definitely benefited from other similarly style games becoming a hit. Not that Stardew Valley isn't good, it is, but to say it didn't get looked at in a different way by people who would normally ignore such an aesthetic style would be dishonest.


    I suppose this leads into a bigger point. Timing can mean a lot when it comes to releasing your game. Remember back when The Witch's House, Ib, and Mad Father were all the rave? That would have been the ideal time to release and RPG Horror puzzle games. However, the genre isn't thriving at the moment and a commercial release of such a game wouldn't do as well. 
     
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