How to Sell Your Game - Boot Camp

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Solo

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Thanks, Shaz, that was quick!

So if I understand this correctly, I can host my game on BMT Micro and sell it through my own site or any game portal that accepts my submission. Is there any additional cost for this? Could I host both the full game and the demo on BMT Micro?

And speaking of the demo, are you saying that, with such a setup, no one would be able to buy the full game without downloading the demo first? Or simply that, when they click to pay, they're taken to the page where the full game can be purchased, which is accessible to anyone anyway? The demo is just a way of letting people try the game before they buy it, and really doesn't protect the game like a DRM does... is that right?

PS - Is it not a good idea to include "too much of the game" in the demo? I made a demo of my game that's around five hours or longer (the full game is 70+ hours) because I wanted the player to reach a point where more of the game's unique features are prominent (it takes a little while to get to that point).
 
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Shaz

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To the first question, yes. You'd set up your game on BMT Micro, load up your installer, and set up your 'sell' page. You also need to set up your game for affiliation. When you sell on your own site, you link to the game's 'sell' page. When you apply to a small portal to distribute your game, they will use the affiliate contract page, so customers will go to your game's 'sell' page but the affiliate id will be linked, so the portals will get their share of income according to how you have it set up. If you go to BFG or Steam, you will just send them your full game - no demo version, no installer.


The second question depends on what you mean by demo. Normally you'd use DRM that will let the player download the full game, but it would only allow them to play for an hour. After that, they have to pay for the game, get the activation code, and enter it into the game to be able to continue. So you can use DRM to create a single version of the game that is both a demo and a full game. The other method - a separate demo, means you upload two files (and BMT Micro will let you do this) - one is the demo version which is not the full game and will cut out after a certain time or scene, and the other is the full game with no DRM. Anyone can download the demo and play it. If they want to play the full game, they have to pay, and will be sent a link to the full game, which they can then download.


Both methods are intended to let players have a bit of a taste of what the game is like, but not allow them to play the full game until they've paid. Both methods can be gotten around. The separate demo/full version is easier to circumvent because it doesn't require someone to create a crack or keygen.
 

Solo

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Okay, so playing the demo has nothing to do with paying for the full game. Both would be listed on the order processor site, but people would need to pay to download the full version. Have I got it now?

And thanks for bearing with me, Shaz. This is all so new and confusing to me... I apologize for being obtuse.
 

Shaz

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Yes, that's only if you had a separate demo and full version.


If you go with DRM, there IS only one version of the game, but the DRM will stop them from playing all of it if they haven't paid.
 

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Is there some kind of DRM that doesn't allow the 1 hour playtime? I'd rather the demo be separate rather than timed.
 
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Shaz

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If you had a separate demo, you could add DRM to your full version that doesn't let you play at all without entering the registration code. The 1 hour playtime is not a default - it will set it to what you tell it to use.
 
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Solo

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If you had a separate demo, you could add DRM to your full version that doesn't let you play at all without entering the registration code. The 1 hour playtime is not a default - it will set it to what you tell it to use.
Sounds like the best of both worlds.

Amanda's guide mentions SoftwarePassport, but also that it's no longer available as of 2013. Can anyone recommend another DRM program, then? Preferably not too complicated? And not too expensive? I'd only want to add a serial key/activation code to protect my game, nothing too intrusive or restrictive (man, I just read the "DRM vs. DRM-free" topic, what a bloodbath).
 

Shaz

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psst! Send the Software Passport guys an email and ask where the 'buy' link is as you can't find it.


When I did this, they sent me a free copy. That was a while ago, and they may not be doing that still, but it doesn't hurt to ask :)
 

amaranth

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Solo, I would contact the order processor that you plan on using and ask them which DRM solutions they support. 
 

Solo

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Solo, I would contact the order processor that you plan on using and ask them which DRM solutions they support. 
Yes, that sounds wise.

By the way, you're Amanda Fitch, aren't you? Great guide! I felt really overwhelmed at first, but now I'm slowly coming to grips with what it is I have to do.

And I did have another question. Do you have to manually send an activation key to each person who buys your game, or is the process automated? I ask this because, in the guide, it's advised to practice making keys, as if it's a skill that needs to be honed.
 

Shaz

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Your payment process will do that if you set it up according to the guide. But on the odd occasion you may have to manually create keys too.
 

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Hmm... can you elaborate on those "odd occasions"?
 

Shaz

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One instance I can think of is if you want to give your game away to a couple of people (we give our beta testers a free copy, but it still has DRM so they can use the same download as everyone else). Amanda might be able to elaborate on other occasions.
 

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Ohhh, I see. Well, that doesn't seem like such a big deal.
 

seita

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I need some help with obtaining a business license in my area. Frankly I'm a little lost. Here I am:

http://www.sba.gov/bgsearch/permitme2_0.do?q=94122&bcat=bt

First off, I would like to ask about the timing of acquiring the necessary licenses. Are these necessary before you start selling a product commercially, or can you wait until you are ready to release a product?

Now, what I understand from the link, assuming I choose a sole-proprietorship business and that I live in California:

I can skip the EIN for Step 1, but I must get a Seller's Permit for the California Tax Registration.

I must obtain a general business license via CalGold.

I must obtain a Local Permit from San Francisco (current city)

I can skip Step 4.

I would like to do Step 5, to do business under an indie studio name.

I can skip Step 6 since I have no employees (though I am commissioning many things, which as I understand, does not fall under the category of having an employee.)
 

Shaz

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You should have the licence BEFORE you start selling.  You COULD leave it until the last minute, but then your release will be delayed while you're waiting for it to be processed.

We cannot help you with your individual licencing requirements or process.  There should be departments in your area who can help you with that.  We do not live in your area, so we would either have to guess or look it up ourselves (which is just what you would do).  You're much better finding someone who knows the requirements for your area (not someone on these forums) and ask them.
 

Dickjutsu

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Hey, I'm having a little difficulty and I'm trying to track down where my problems are arising from. Whether it's something in RMVXAce or CreateInstall, etc.

My problems are twofold:
1. I test the game; everything works. I compress the game through RMVXA (encrypted), extract it to a new folder, then follow the steps for CreateInstall. I run the setup file it creates, everything works. I start up my newly installed version of the game, start playing...almost everything works. I try to save and BAM! Saving no longer works. I have tried compressing it from RMVXA without encryption, but same thing; saving doesn't work.

The only steps I didn't follow in Amanda's run-through was for the BMT stuff and the link to the transaction page, because I'm releasing my game for free so there are no transactions.  Otherwise I followed it step-for-step. :(

2. Installation works fine, as I said. But the CreateInstall Uninstall blazes to about half way, then just stops. It never succeeds and I wind up having to delete all the files and folders manually. Has anybody else had this problem, and if so how did you fix it?

I figure what I can't get answered here, I'll have to go to the CreateInstall support or forum route.  But I wanted to exhaust ideas on the RMVXA front, first.

Thanks.
 

Andar

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What path do you install in and what windows do you have?


By default, RM games save into their own folders - but in newer Windows versions, saving into a subfolder of "Programs" is restricted.


Because of this, you need to install the games to the "My documents" folder (works always) or into their own C:-Drive-folder (works on not specifically administrated /non-networked computers)
 

Dickjutsu

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Install to C: Program Files (x86), of course, on Windows 7!

I installed it to My Documents and sure enough the save feature works now.

But the uninstall still doesn't work.

And is there any way to make the My Document's folder be the default download goal with CreateInstall, if anyone knows, or do I just need to put in a message warning people not to put the game in Admin-Only Access directories?

Thanks.
 

Shaz

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Don't install to Program Files. The issue is because of Windows permission, and nothing to do with the game or the installer.


Normally you wouldn't install software (games) in My Documents either. If you download a game, it will normally go into something like C:\Company Name\Game Name or just C:\Game Name.
 
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