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Mr.Chubigans

Member Since 09 Feb 2004
Offline Last Active Mar 09 2016 05:07 AM

#4816161 Steam Leaderboards - Daily, Weekly etc.

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 02 June 2015 - 03:34 AM

I don't know how to do it automatically, so I do it manually for my game. I have weekly challenges that the player can download and compete in a leaderboard until the next week. So far that works great.

 

Basically the game downloads an INI file from my website, which it then reads and implements as a challenge, and every week I create a new leaderboard for the challenge.

 

There's probably an easier way but it works for me. If it was a daily thing I think I'd go crazy, hah.


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#4416865 Mavericks Osx Not Supported, Eta On New Build?

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 23 October 2013 - 08:06 PM

I've already submitted a bug report and it's been fixed in a future build of GM, but I'm wondering when a good ETA would be for the next build with the Mavericks fix? GM Games simply don't work at all on Mavericks. I've got a few agitated customers so any time frame would be great.

 

Thanks!


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#4254057 I Love This Tool!

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 03 April 2013 - 04:34 AM

I love it too, really really like the export options and hope they'll do some Sony-specific export options in the future for PS Mobile and such.


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#4198942 Any decent commercial games made with GM?

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 25 January 2013 - 02:20 AM

I'll throw my game out there and say Cook, Serve, Delicious! I put in about $8-10k and plan on releasing my sales figures in a few weeks. It's gotten quite a bit of press. :)
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#4197029 Set game orientation to landscape -FIXED!-

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 22 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

Yes, but in the manual it says that os_lock_orientation() will lock to the one selection in the settings. But what actually happens is that it will lock to the one it is currently in while launching the yoyo runner.

display_landscape is only used to get the orientation. I can't find any function to set it to the one I want it to be.


Edit: I can't find a solution through the other topics I found.. Btw I'm using the new ipod gen5 if that changes anything.

The game will display to Portrait if you're holding in that way ONLY in the YoYo Runner. When you export it as an IPA standalone, it will function correctly and will always be in landscape mode no matter how you're holding the device.
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#4189301 How much/How to pay people for different jobs?

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 13 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

Most composers I've worked with charge $100 per minute of song. I find that music is just as important as everything else in a game; you might be better off going to a royalty free music website.
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#4165340 iPhone 5 support (640*1136)

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 15 December 2012 - 03:12 AM

Hooray! That is amazing news. Now I hope you guys look into the nifty new Game Center features on iOS5/6 that could be implemented in GM as well... :D
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#4129579 Recording videos of Game Maker games

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 02 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

So, it's a minor annoyance, but I've heard that FRAPS causes a massive black border around video taken of Game Maker games that later has to be edited out. Does that extend into GMS games?

Also, does anyone have any experience with FFSplit? Does it work well with Game Maker games?

Thanks in advance.

This was a problem, however the black border bug was fixed in a June or so update to Fraps. So now all GM games record properly with the newest version of Fraps. Took a 720p video of a GM8.1 game myself just a week or so ago. :)
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#4032677 Big Fish Games Distribution

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 22 July 2012 - 11:44 PM

Hi GMC,

I noticed that Big Fish Games, a large gaming portal, allows you to submit PC Games for distribution. They say they offer a flat fee of $200 for your game, along with 40% of profits earned. I was wondering if anyone has ever used it before and found good use from them, or if they just steal your game, along with all potential for fame and profit... Do you think they are legit with this?

Thanks,
Terrified Virus


They are definitely legit, but that is a terrible revenue cut for the dev. Any distribution portal that doesn't give you more than 60% is not worth going after, imo. Especially since their standard are very high, to the point where if you made a game they would actually want, you'd be smarter to shop it elsewhere.
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#3677094 YoYo Games, to me, seems like they are getting..

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 17 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

I wouldn't say they've forgotten about the psp runner...wait and see. ;)
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#3549395 Yet Another Venture into Game Publishing, Part 3

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 22 June 2010 - 11:01 PM

The Gamasutra Sales Articles are now online, detailing my sales experiences with the Oil Blue. Check them out here:

Part 1- the first month- http://gamasutra.com...ake_anyways.php
Part 2- the first six months- http://gamasutra.com...ays_Part_II.php
NEW! Part 3- one year later- http://www.gamasutra...ys_Part_III.php

For the previous two threads in this three year old series, see:
Part 2
Part 1


---
Posted Image

For the full game details on the Oil Blue, visit the main web page or the GMC topic.

Another year, another chance to jump into the game industry with a brand new title to sell, called the Oil Blue. Before I get into that game, I'd like to take a moment and revisit Part 2 of this series and see where Spirits of Metropolis stands, sales wise.



Spirits of Metropolis: The Final Tally

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This is where I stand with Spirits of Metropolis after a year and a half. This does not include the figures for other sites that carried the game, though you could probably throw another $50 or so on top of the figures- it wasn't much.

You'll notice four different packages of games in there. A few months ago I remade one of my most popular games, the Sandbox of God, and added a few new features to it. I then released SOG:R as a pack-in bonus for buying any of my games at my website for a limited time. The result was a modest success- it jumpstarted sales of older games and brought in revenue that I probably wouldn't have gotten with just the game alone. Once the Sandbox of God was de-bundled with Spirits of Metropolis, sales returned to it's flat state.

I wouldn't call Spirits of Metropolis a failure, though I don't know what else you'd call it. As a game, I'm proud of it. As a sales product, it didn't do well for many reasons: the genre is over saturated, the load times were long, the game didn't run well on many computers due to the 60fps I was shooting for, the demo didn't help much (more on that later in the topic), the release during Christmas was a fairly stupid thing to do, the game didn't shine graphics wise, puzzle games in general are hard sells, the game was confusing to explain...

Reviews, the few that there are, were fairly positive. I supplemented the game with additional level packs throughout the year, with little effect. No casual review site wanted to review it, and the game was too casual for more hardcore indie sites. I was left with a product that couldn't really reach outside of my own website.

I'm glad that I made Spirits, because I learned so much from it (mainly "what not to do"). Going into the Oil Blue, I know what I needed to do to not only create a good game, but a strong looking one from a retail standpoint. And so, the Oil Blue started production in November and was just released today, June 22nd, 2010. This isn't going to be a behind-the-scenes look at how I made the game or anything, but rather what I did to try to make it successful on the Game Publishing beat. And so, onwards to Part 3!


The Oil Blue: The Demo

One thing I knew I absolutely had to change from Spirits of Metropolis to the Oil Blue was a really good demo, because I flat out BLEW it with Spirits of Metropolis.

Spirits was my first major commercial release, and I was worried of the backlash it might have had that I was moving from freeware to commercial games. So, I proudly stated that the demo to Spirits was going to have more content than even most free game releases. I figured, once you completed all the levels in the demo- of which there were quite a few- you were bound to be ready for more. Bam! Instant sales for me.

The problem with that mentality (looking back on it) is that it's like giving a full course meal to a family at a restaurant for free and hoping they'll buy the $20 dessert at the end. Chances are at that point, most have had their fill. (Even some GMC members thought I accidentally put up the full version of the game instead of the demo, which told me most didn't even finish the demo.)

With the Oil Blue, I put in a good amount of content (you'll clock in at about 30-45 minutes of game time) without showing all my cards, so to speak. You'll unlock many rewards in the demo, though half are blocked out for the demo (noted by text). There's no clear indication of when the demo ends either...and I ended it in such a way that you select to start a game, the loading screen appears, the screen fades to white and...you get a splash screen to buy the game instead of being able to play. I'm hoping to get that, "ah man!" expression because you really just don't see the end of the demo coming (and you'll have had enough content to know if you want more). I think it turned out really well. Give it a try here: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=478526

Something else I wanted to make sure of was the fact that players always have the opportunity to buy the game whenever possible...but not let it interfere with the game.

Posted Image

The small tab on the bottom is unobtrusive and goes away when the player engages in tutorials and gameplay. I never had anything like that for the Spirits demo, which was a pretty dumb mistake on my part.


Timing is Everything

If I'm successful with this game, I'll pin a good amount of that on some fortunate/unfortunate timing. Back in November I thought, man, are people really going to know/care about ocean oil drilling?

Hoo boy, do they ever now.

Part of that slightly backfired on me, as I didn't do a whole lot of research into oil drilling and just wanted to make a fun game. The harder levels in the game have you making upwards of 300 oil barrels in a week. That sounded like a lot to me, until the news broke that the BP oil spill is gushing tens of thousands of barrels a day. The oil production number now feels a bit off, but I didn't change it, because I like the smaller numbered mechanic anyways.

Because the spill happened early enough before launch, I was able to tie in the Gulf Oil spill a bit more into the game. The oil company you work for, once a glamorous beacon of high-powered corporate glitz, was toned down a bit in the final game. I also added a new intro that shows the public disapproval of oil drilling, but that was the extent of the ties to the spill- I didn't want the game to get preachy.

Still, it's pretty crazy how all of this fell into place. Whether or not that will really generate any more sales, I don't know. But it couldn't hurt.


Posted Image

A Slightly Different Approach.

One other thing I did differently this time around was to get an exclusive preview out to a fairly well known indie game site. The first website I chose, IndieGames.com, accepted and wrote a very positive preview of the game. This helped calm my nerves a bit but more importantly showed how the public would respond to the game- and therefore would allow me to shape my marketing a bit better.

http://www.indiegame...e_oil_blue.html

It also gets my foot in the door with a few other sites so that I'm not a complete unknown trying to peddle a game around the internet. It gives the game some credibility to portal/distribution sites and review sites, and builds a nice amount of hype.



It's Go Time.

The game was in beta for almost a month. I was originally going to do a 3-day beta and then release it earlier this month, but boy am I ever glad I delayed the game. The game wasn't glitchy per se, but needed a ton of balancing and I ended up scrapping some features entirely. Over one hundred new additions/bugs/features were added and removed, and the game is so much better for it. I cannot recommend a long, strong beta enough.

So, that's where we are right now. I feel that $14.95 is a good price, $5 off the original $20 price I had for Spirits of Metropolis. I'll be posting my first sales data sometime in the middle of July or so, as well as track how the indie community responds to the game (I've sent out over a dozen review copies to various sites). If I fail this time, well, I still have two other games I want to try. But I feel good about The Oil Blue. Let's get this train movin'!

edit: So far I have submitted the game to GamersGate, Direct2Drive, Steam, Impulse and Greenhouse. Gamersgate said yes but I haven't heard back from the others...and it's been about two weeks now since I submitted beta copies. I'll update once I get some kind of response from them.


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#2984324 My Venture Into Game Publishing, Part 2

Posted by Mr.Chubigans on 20 December 2008 - 05:20 AM

For a look at the publishing rollout, go to this post.
(Note: The major update starts on post #36)


So, about a year ago I gave a post about a game called ShellBlast that I tried to sell via Game Publishing, and the road I took. Make sure to read that post first before reading this one.

Sales Update: December 08

Sales Update: January 09

***
UPDATE: Game has now been released! Check it out at spiritsofmetropolis.com

Posted Image

A month or two after posting that thread, I started work on a new puzzle game. Unlike ShellBlast, this was going to be a commercial game from the outset. I was going to design it from the ground up as professional...that is, make it incredibly polished and have it worth the money I would be asking for it. I had learned from my mistakes with ShellBlast, which was that while ultimately I still think it's a successful puzzle game that's unique and challenging, it was not in any way a viable commercial product, for the reasons I posted in the last thread. As of this post, here's where I stand with ShellBlast:

Posted Image

Now ShellBlast was included twice on Game Giveaway of the Day, as the second time I went through PayPal instead. So the total earnings was about $800. Considering the startup costs and licensing accumulated around $1500, it's definitely a loss. Not anywhere near the kind of sales I'd like to be making, but I have to remember the product I was trying to sell as well. It wasn't commercially viable. (Interestingly enough, lowering the price from $20 to $5 had little to no impact on the amount of sales I received!)

So, fast forward to today. I've completed a new game called Spirits of Metropolis, and it will go live on sale this weekend. Will it be a better commercial success than my last game? Let's go through the checklist:

-Design. I have said that ShellBlast was a very confusing and somewhat uninteresting game to look at. Let's compare ShellBlast to Spirits of Metropolis:

ShellBlast screen 1

Spirits of Metropolis screen 1

ShellBlast screen 2

Spirits of Metropolis screen 2

Right away, you can see that I've gone for a totally new design. Oddly, I think Spirits of Metropolis has more gameplay elements on those screens than ShellBlast does, yet Spirits ends up looking more simpler. This is due to two factors: The way the user can recognize the screen (Oh hey, a puzzle game based in a city vs some...weird shape thingys with lots of lines in the background) and the way that gems are more universally known as a puzzle game.

Still, it's not quite in the same arena as, say, a commercially made puzzle casual game. Is it still too "simple"? I don't think it is once you play the game. But that's not what really counts here...its the way the screenshots present the game. And I'm very pleased with the result.


-Simplicity. As I mentioned with ShellBlast, it was a very confusing game to explain. Spirits of Metropolis started out as a complex game as well: with each gem that you would clear, you would building a city below. Red gems would give you corruption in the city, while green gems would pump up money in the economy, etc.

I realized, holy crap, I'm doing it again. I've turned a simple idea into a complex monster. And the base gameplay in the gems was already fun enough. Why was I trying to add more uniqueness to a game that already had an original puzzle element at it's core? So, I threw away the whole city building concept.

Once I did that, I had the style of the game in stone...until an artist (Amanda Redmond) came in and gave it a complete overhaul. I realized that my original style was not even in the same league that she was able to do. Here's an old picture vs a new one:

http://www.vertigoga...eoldspirits.png

http://www.vertigoga...enewspirits.png


-Confidence. A lot of good my confidence did me with ShellBlast, huh? Here's the difference: with ShellBlast, I was depending on the developer to make my money dreams come true. I wasn't totally convinced that ShellBlast could sell for $20, but I let the publisher take me along with the ride.
The difference here is that I'm confident in Spirits of Metropolis, and I'm absolutely certain that it's worth the $20. The question is, do I have an audience to sell to? Will they play the demo and come to the same conclusion?

I'm not going through a mass publisher like Oberon Media this time around, but going through dev-portals like GamersGate and hopefully Greenhouse. But it's mostly going to be up to me and my website. Here's the sales goals and challenges I'll be facing.


-Website traffic.
Here's a look at how my site, vertigogaming.net, is performing this month (note that we switched servers earlier this month so I don't have stats for that part):

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(We'll be focusing on the number of visits.)

My sales goal for this month is 30 copies sold. That's absolute peanuts for game devs and even some devs around here using GM commercially, but for me it's a good number to reach.

So, let's assume that I'm going to hit about 10,000 user visits this month at the rate of 360 people a day. Let's cut that down into maybe 6,000 unique visitors (which isn't shown on that graph, but percentage wise is what it would come out to). If I can sell my game to just 0.005% of those users, I'll hit my target. But I've purposely made it an easy target to reach, perhaps because I'm just plain nervous about jumping into the commercial dev business...something I've dreamed of pretty much my entire young life (to make game devving a viable option for me, I need to be selling at least 70 copies a month...more than ShellBlast sold in a year and a half).

Think about that for a second. That's an astounding percentage. Heck, it makes it look relatively easy. But the real question is, is my site generating enough traffic to deliver the goods? I honestly don't know right now. It's something I'll know from experience I think, but right now I can't say. Its unfortunate that I don't have the traffic data for when I released ShellBlast, as that'd be a huge help.


-Genre Overflow. I'm willing to bet that I have more competition with the match-3 gem genre than any other PC genre out there. Are people tiring of this genre? Have they had their fill of matching colors for combos? With the unique take Spirits of Metropolis has, I'm hoping that answer is no. We'll soon find out.


-Advertising. I have about three thousand dollars of debt I need to pay off, most from Vertigo Games server upkeep, equipment purchasing and so on. I have virtually no money for plastering ads anywhere right now. But what if the game is successful...do I pay off that debt, or invest the money into advertising for a wider audience? Right now, I just don't know. That's more down the line than anything else, so it's not anything for me to worry about right now.

***

So there you go. Over the course of the next several months I'll outline my plan of attack in pushing Spirits of Metropolis, share monthly sales, and learn right along with the rest of you what works and what doesn't. This isn't a business guide on how to make money; think of it as a crash course in trying to make a living. I've learned a lot since my last commercial game, but I'd be naive to think I know it all just yet.

The game will go live hopefully tomorrow, and from there we'll see how it goes. This could be the start of a great story...or perhaps just the opposite. I look forward to taking you all with me in this huge step in my life.

Let's do this, and if we don't succeed, then we'll do it again! :P
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