Is 4.99 a reasonable price for an RPG Maker game?

dariken

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I'm currently working on a game and plan to sell it on Steam and was wondering if 4.99 is a reasonable price. It uses custom assets and plug ins and some systems I made myself via events. Very little of the RTP is used(mostly tilesets and sprites for minor NPCs like towns people). The custom assets are allowed for commercial use. Unfortunately, the maps aren't very good mostly consisting of generated dungeons with various objects thrown in and some but very few of the pre-loaded maps. The reason I am wanting to sell it instead of releasing it for free is so I can fund future projects, maybe try to hire a map designer. So yeah, is $5 dollars a reasonable asking price. I'm using MV if that matters.
 

hahayes12

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I wouldn't say that, as alot of people wouldn't even pay 1$ for a game with ANY default assets, as it breaks immersion pretty much instantly. You can try though and gauge interest. If you have an audience, up the price a bit for another run, if not, keep it humbly low.
 

Syberduh

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What games on Steam, if any, have you purchased for $5? What was your experience with those games? What do the Steam pages of those games look like? If you're honest with yourself, how does your game stack up to other games at that price point? How strong is the hook in your Steam preview video? How cool do your Steam preview pictures look? All of these and more tie into "can I reasonably sell this for $5 on Steam?"
 

Shaz

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I've moved this thread to Commercial Discussion. Thank you.



It's not just about the assets. How long is the game? Is it an interesting story? How well developed are the characters?

If we know nothing about your game, we can hardly say what would be a fair price. And even if we know everything about your game, what people think is fair will vary greatly.

If the maps aren't very good, fewer people will be interested in playing.
 

Andar

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There are RPG-Maker games where even 50 cents is too much - and there are other RM-Games that sell for 15$ without a problem.

As Shaz said, without more details to judge quality and length we cannot determine what is a fair price.
That fair price might even be much more than you expect - but usually only experienced developers get enough of a following that others are willing to pay 15$ or even more for them.
 

Pearsona

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It's hard to gauge this without seeing the game. Do you have any footage or screenshots that you think best represent what you've made here?
 
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It's worth noting that on Steam, people are able to return games for refunds even if they do buy them - if the maps aren't good, to the point that people will wonder why the game is being sold in its current state, you might not be able to make back the fee you'd have to pay for putting a game on Steam.
 

Indinera

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How long is it? Is it a classic rpg?
Also please post screenshots.
 

ElCheffe

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Well, it is hard to answer your question based on the few information provided.

In general I think succesfully selling a game on steam requires either to be a well-known developer/company wìth an existing fan base OR/AND a lot of marketing. Simply putting your game up on steam won't be enough.

But one important remark:
As a newcomer, you should make sure that the games quality and content is not disappointing. This way you could actually ruin your name / your brands name which can cause a real impediment for all your future projects.
Always ask yourself: If you bought your game would you be satisfied with it? Does it feel like it is worth the invest?
 

ATT_Turan

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I wouldn't say that, as alot of people wouldn't even pay 1$ for a game with ANY default assets, as it breaks immersion pretty much instantly.
It has been pretty well established that, for the most part, the people making games in RPG Maker are not the people buying games made in RPG Maker. So unless you're talking about some kind of RPG Maker connoisseurs who play everything they can find made with it (which probably exist, but I doubt in large numbers), most people browsing Steam and possibly purchasing your game are not going to know what the default assets look like.

I don't know what your reference point for this claim is, but not all RPG Maker games that have sold copies have entirely original artwork.

Unfortunately, the maps aren't very good mostly consisting of generated dungeons with various objects thrown in and some but very few of the pre-loaded maps.
This is the troubling part. You being able to say this sentence is basically telling us (and any potential consumers) that you don't think your game is worth your effort to make it decent.

Now, sure, as I just said above, there are probably not a lot of potential players who would recognize a default map by sight, but the fact that you can't take the time to make your own is discouraging to anyone reading this.

You talk about hiring a map designer, but that seems like a copout. Yes, there are some people who have an artistic eye for it and can design particularly beautiful things; but for the rest of us, it's just a matter of taking the time to construct the map.

Click on tiles and put them there. If it doesn't look good, ask yourself why and move things around. Look at YouTube videos or make use of the threads in this forum that solicit feedback on maps.

You don't give us any idea of how long or otherwise complex your game is, but if we say a pretty good RPG Maker game is worth $15, does it sound like you've put in one third of that effort?
 

IArts

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Hi,

look, in case you never released a game and received feedback and in case you don't have your own community/fanbase yet who knows you and your games, try to release your game as a demo and collect some reviews. Do your research on that basis.

I don't think anyone here can judge a fair price without knowing your game's quality.
 

C64_Mat

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Worth is relative. We need to see the game in action. AraFell is an RPG Maker Game, as is Doom&Destiny Advance, as is To the Moon...

The engine is irrelevant. It's the game which matters.

But if you're going to go in with the attitude of "My maps are bad" as a focus point, it doesn't give much hope for the rest of the game, does it? You're the one responsible for making the game. You have to put the effort in. It doesn't matter if you're using RTP tilesets - create an interesting story with a good gameplay loop and fun places to explore, and you're heading in the right direction.

If you yourself think your maps are bad, remake them!

Take the time to place things tile by tile. Consider using things like Grid Free Doodads to allow yourself a bit of artistic freedom on scenery placement.

There's no quick fix to creating a good game. You can't throw out a handful of auto-generated dungeons and say "give me a fiver so my next game is good". You have to make it good yourself.

It takes time and it takes effort!
 

HexMozart88

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Basically as said. If *you* think your maps are bad and you haven't put very much effort into them, people are going to see that and skip over your game. If your maps are all default generated dungeons, do something about that. Practice making maps. It's actually a lot easier than you think. If you really can't figure it out, there are many people willing to put in their efforts in the recruitment forums for a trade. If there's something you're good at, offer it up in exchange for mapping. Even if it's just "I will play your game if you make my maps."
Now, back to your question of if it's worth 5 bucks, I'd generally release your first game for relatively cheap. No one knows who you are, and they're not going to be likely to dish out 5 bucks for someone where the only thing they can say about their game is that their maps are bad.
 

Heirukichi

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Unfortunately, the maps aren't very good mostly consisting of generated dungeons with various objects thrown in and some but very few of the pre-loaded maps. The reason I am wanting to sell it instead of releasing it for free is so I can fund future projects
While it is true that maps are not everything and that you can create a wonderful game even when using generated maps, it is also true that many potential customers DO judge a book by its cover.

I am not sure whether or not you will be able to sell it for $5, but, if your main concern is that of using that money to hire a mapper for future projects, why don't you try to rise a crowd-funded campaign to get that money for your current game instead?

You might make it better AND you might be able to fund one more project with it.
 

zzmmorgan

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I would definitely have people do some playtesting especially some people who are experienced with game dev stuff. Studio Blue does streams where they playtest games but their backlog is often a few months. Driftwood gaming does it as well. Playtesters will give you valuable feedback long so by the time you actually try to sell it you have a much better idea if people will be willing to pay for it.

As far as RTP goes there are people who seem to buy and refund pretty much everything on Steam so they can give lousy reviews and complain if they see anything they consider "default assets" and may go as far as calling a game other people enjoy an asset flip. You can safely ignore them... :)
 

AeroPergold

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Personally I'd price an RPG Maker title based on these characteristics:
  • Graphical Quality (RTP vs Custom Assets)
  • Length (Minimum gameplay time from beginning to credits)
  • Overall Quality (Effort put into levels, story, characters, gameplay)
  • Amount of Content (Sidequests, number of levels, anciliary content as different gameplay modes, boss rush, battle facilities a la Pokemon, etc.)

When I used to make commercial games, I priced my games upon these four things.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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Absolutely yes! 500% reasonable. That's not me guaranteeing it will sell, but it is completely reasonable.

Personally, I wouldn't purchase it because as I mentioned recently of the absolutely bonkers number of free RM games of very high quality available. But I'd be just as likely to buy it for $9.99 as I would for $1.00.
 

Plueschkatze

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I think when considering a price for your game... take into account:
- Pricing for similar games
- Length
- Quality (writing, graphics, gameplay, polish overall)
- Fun/emotions people get out of it (a short, very emotional game might be worth more to people than 10 hours of boring questing)
- pricing your game too cheap might make it look like trash, too pricey will end with bad reviews of it being overpriced
- that you have lower prices frequently during sales and can drop the price later on

4.99$ isn't a crazy price for a solid game, BUT I personally probably wouldn't consider paying it for a game that looks not well crafted, especially considering the amount of games you can get for the same money that are probably better. I think there are few RPG Maker games that sell well in that price range.
 

IArts

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Hi,

I can understand why so many game developers here are struggling with a fair price for their games. It's because the strugglers step into a territory they are not familiar with, they are unknown and they lack of public criticism when it's their first time.

As a newcomer, share screenshots, videos and a demo of your game and collect some reviews. They tell you a lot about the fun factor, graphics, quality etc. You get useful data that tells you if you are on the right track. That will help you a lot to classify yourself correctly in terms of price later.

In the same time, you will learn how to promote your game and get the visibility you need. Start with this very early (and not after the game is done, especially when it's your first).

If one day you are experienced enough, know your own qualities and standards, and have built a fanbase, I guarantee that you will not ask the community what a fair price for your game is.

Long story short, first analyze the market, how it will react to your game, and then decide on the price, because facts alone (length, quality, fun, too cheap, too expensive) won't help you if the judgement is from your own perspective. You need your customers' perspective.
 

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