Publishing, Self-Publishing or Game Center

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by NinjaKittyProductions, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

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    {MH}
    This is non-maker specific. Meaning, it can go for any game made with any rpg maker series engine.

    As we near having a playable demo available for one of our projects (Storybook Hero), we have started looking at different ways to market our game. There is the route of self-publishing, finding a publisher, or using a platform (such as Steam, GameJolt, or Itch.io.)

    So, we would like to ask the RM community, if you have released a game (whether for profit or no), have you any experience in:
    • Self-publishing?
    • using a publisher?
    • using a gaming platform?
    If so, what have been your experiences with said subjects when it came to releasing your commercial product?
     
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  2. sura_tc

    sura_tc Loner Veteran

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    Shelling out 110 USD for a Steam product page is a good investment.
    It may seem like too much for indie projects but getting it on Steam does three good things.

    1. Steam provides a forum and PM system. Basically a communication tool between you and players.
    2. You have a go-to website for your project which also can act as proof that you are the real creator. This is especially useful when someone steals your game and you need to make a DMCA claim.
    3. No need to maintain a separate website for your game with Steam.

    Once you have something on Steam, some marketing platform websites will contact you silently. You can use them to spread your game or find independent Let's Play! youtubers, give them the game and let them create video content for your game. They gain views and you gain some exposure.

    This is the indie dev way currently.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I went with a publisher (Aldorlea) and so far the game is doing pretty good. I've made over 1K so far, which considering official release was Sept 27th and the sales report is October 1st is really good so far.

    Personally I think it matters more to find your market and sell to them, whereever they are. My game a long RPG game, which the Steam market doesn't seem to want (or will ignore due to my use of 640 x 480 resolution, among other factors), but Aldorlea loves those kind of games, so I went there.

    Also in my time here I've seen 3 people report their Steam sales in threads, and here are the known ones:

    1048 (an RPGMaker game in 2015, original graphics too)
    9 (reported to rockpapershotgun, didn't write down the game title, not an RPGMaker game)
    8 (reported in a thread here, game released about same time mine did).
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  4. Meike

    Meike ||Telling Stories Through Games|| Veteran

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    Depends on your goals as an indie game dev. I view it mostly as a hobby that I want to make profitable so I use itch.io and just try to build my own small platform with social media to find players. I love itch.io and I have one of my games on GameJolt, as my current games are free I haven't bothered trying to get on Steam, but maybe one day I'll put a bigger project on there.

    You mention self-publishing and 'game platform' as two separate things, but I really see it as one in the same. If you just throw your game on your own website for people to download, I'd imagine it would be a lot harder for people to find. Using itch.io people will find it when they look for newest releases or search for terms that your game is tagged as.
    I have my games in itch, and I put an itch.io download widget on my website, and I do get traffic/downloads from both locations, but it's harder to get them from the website and it tends to happen after I've posted a dev log or blog article to my site that I've then shared around.

    So in my head self-publishing is the same as using a site like itch.io.
     
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  5. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

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    I like the different views from different developers. You all have helped me in ways you couldn't imagine with knowledge on said post.

    I am not looking for Aldorlea for publishing but I am wondering how you went about getting a hold of the publisher. Was the interaction extensive or simple and to the point?

    I do not quite follow. What platform websites are you referring to?

    I see self-publishing as: making a site for your company and having your game on there, making a facebook and twitter account for your game, having a forum of sorts, paying for advertisements on other sites. Using a platform such as Steam or Itch.io come with their own publishing attributes. At least from what I can see.
     
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  6. Indinera

    Indinera Indie Dev Veteran

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    I've had experience with all of them.
    Self-publishing is always pretty good as long as you keep the website budget low. It gives a good impression for a game to have its own website, even better if it has its own forum, although it can backfire a bit if said forum is empty. It's some extra work, too.
    Using a publisher can generally be seen as a guarantee that your game won't completely tank. Reports such as 8 or 9 sales mentionned by bgillisp are very unlikely if you go through a publisher. On the other hand, they'll take their share.
    Using a platform depends on the platform. I've never tried itch.io myself but I've heard from several devs that it's pretty worthless. Steam on the other hand is the way to go even though it's completely saturated these days. Oh and Aldorlea is a platform. It's a good one if you've got a classical (old school/retro) RPG to sell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  7. sura_tc

    sura_tc Loner Veteran

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    I personally didn't have good experience on itch.io as well. The traffic isn't just enough in my opinion.
     
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