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Shadow
03-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Another fellow indie rpg developer, Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software, has been posting sales stats for one of his games on his new blog (http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/) lately. Quite frankly they are quite fascinating.

The short summary is that Geneforge 4 (one of his average sellers) has sold a little less than 4000 copies, it cost around $120K to make, and has almost broke even over the last few years. Considering that it is one of his average sellers and breaking even means the game paid his salary for a year, this is a pretty good thing.

For me this is a glimpse into a successful indie that I would actually like to mimic. Usually the few success stories that I hear many details about are some crappy game on the iphone or some casual game on the PC. Personally I'd rather go back to the normal retail industry than make any of these types of games, so it is cool to hear details about a fellow indie rpg developer.

Jeff is basically where I would like to be someday, making games he likes and getting paid to do it so he can continue to make cool games for all of us.

udm
03-29-2009, 07:41 AM
That's because the Geneforge series has always appealed to specific groups of gamers. It's probably because Vogel knows what his audience wants

I think indie casual games don't sell well, because a good idea may not be fleshed out well enough. Look at games like Diner Dash or Insaniquarium - I know I won't be buying them, like I did with DoP. But even DoP may be a bit too casual for both the RPG and strategy crowd. Very successful games, like Mount&Blade or New Star Soccer, usually take a good idea and flesh it out well enough (although I still think that the final product of M&B isn't as good as I'd hoped it to be)

For an indie game to succeed, as far as I can tell, it needs to go out to please the target audience, and not be another excuse for a game that belongs to specific genre

Delilah Rehm
03-30-2009, 03:02 PM
Actually, I think Diner Dash did quite well. It got into Walmart USA which is something Depths hasn't done so far (although we did get in Walmart Canada and Best Buy which was cool!).

I think you're right about rpgers. They aren't too impressed with the casual game market in general (some exceptions like Fast Crawl). Steven seems (to me) almost done with multiplayer for Kivi and we should be starting the unnamed dungeon crawl soon, which I think will be embraced by Depths fans.

icekrystal10
03-30-2009, 05:22 PM
I really liked Kivi, it gave me the RPG fix without the time investment required for some other games, and I consider myself a hardcore gamer who is short on time. Soldak is alongside Blizzard as my favorite game companies. The polish, detail, TLC in your games is great and I hope you reach the success you envision.

I do think your games are too hardcore for casual gamers, who are not your target market anyway based on what you wrote.

Shadow
03-30-2009, 07:01 PM
Kivi is probably as casual as we will ever get.

udm
04-02-2009, 05:33 AM
I do think your games are too hardcore for casual gamers, who are not your target market anyway based on what you wrote.

Whoa there, I think you're mistaking niche for hardcore. I would say hardcore audiences refer more to people who need more than just simple killfests, like some game sequels that start with the letter F and have the number 3 in them

I'd say Kivi is definitely a casual game, as it's a game you can pick up and play for 10 minutes and get satisfied. It's most certainly not a hardcore game, as you don't have to really engage your heart into it while playing. Diablo would be more hardcore than Kivi, but I think Depths is more hardcore than Diablo

Also I can't wait for the next title. I really hope it'll be more of a thinker's RPG than Depths!

icekrystal10
04-02-2009, 09:53 AM
udm, I agree with everything you said. What I meant was that people who enjoy diner dash or bejeweled may not be as likely to play Kivi or DoP. Even though Kivi is casual, it still requires some strategy and thinking on the higher difficulties.

Delilah Rehm
04-02-2009, 10:32 AM
It's funny. While we were in the testing phase of Depths of Peril, my step-mother offered to be a tester because she wanted to help. After playing it for awhile, she said she loved the game and that we should market it to housewives because they would love it! Housewives? I agree that they may love it, but that's one immpossible marketing campaign! :eek:

Maybe the Diner Dash crowd would love it, but I don't think it will appeal enough for many of them to actually try it.

Shadow
04-02-2009, 11:08 AM
I really hope it'll be more of a thinker's RPG than Depths!

What do you mean by this?

udm
04-03-2009, 05:48 PM
I think the term "thinker's RPG" was first used by a reviewer to describe DoP, but I can't remember exactly where I saw it. I think it's either Out of Eight or Gametunnel

What I meant was, I hope that the strategy portion gets fleshed out more. The ability to use diplomacy to your advantage advances in a somewhat linear fashion. It would be nice if it was expanded to give users more choices on how to handle their covenant and their covenant relationships. Right now it seems like a more simplified version of Civ IV and MOO2's diplomacy system - this could be because DoP is an RPG. Maybe the diplomacy and thinking part can be stretched out further by adding in more strategic options, such as being able to borrow crystals/money, or sabotaging an enemy's house and putting the blame on someone else. I think that if given more choices, there will be more permutations on how a player can win a game, instead of the usual "make xxxx happy -> turn around and kill him when powerful enough"

Shadow
04-03-2009, 06:21 PM
Ah ok, I understand now.

ShaggyMoose
04-20-2009, 10:06 PM
Bring on the dungeon crawl...:D

Just please, please get it out before Diablo 3 gets here, or you will be sorry.

udm
04-21-2009, 05:52 AM
That's why I think the strategic portion needs to be fleshed out further. The market is too saturated with hack n slash clones

Shadow
04-21-2009, 09:57 AM
I don't think Diablo 3 is going to make it out this year, so I think we are safe. Either way, as usual, we are going to try to make our dungeon crawl different enough so that we don't directly compete with things like Diablo.