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Can games make you money?

Updated on April 27, 2017

Success or Failure?

Our own Cover for the game Bob:Saving Bobbett.
Our own Cover for the game Bob:Saving Bobbett. | Source

There are many articles on how successful a game can be and a majority of articles how you will fail in making a game, I really got frustrated of the copy and pasted articles as they all contain the same info success or failure, at the end I decided what better way to find this information then making my own for this experiment to reveal the truth.

To correctly calculate, we based this entire project on a minimum budget as low as possible with a cheap easy to use Game Engine and of course a small team to help, so I got my nephew 14 years old to just randomly draw up characters and levels, my wife to do the animations and myself to do the programming and make sure everything comes together.

Costing nothing so far after we had some characters and levels created we needed a cheap engine with features but easy to use, remember this project is for the first time indie developer so we had the options between Game maker and Construct 2, Game maker is easy and the programming is easy to catch up, Construct 2 require next to no programming just understanding of how the language comes together, our choice was Construct 2.

So far our expense is only $429.99 this is for Construct 2 business license; of course, you can also get the free version of Construct 2 but you will be limited to nearly everything but it will be enough to get familiar with Construct 2.

In just a few days we had levels ready and playable, and then it happened with my Desktop Crashing every now and then, which happened to be the Cpu cooler not working properly but the damage was done and I had to replace the motherboard, Cpu, and Cpu cooler, setting us back another $2,333 despite the damages we were back up and running.

With nearly every level we made we encountered problems some Construct 2 couldn’t do some we did wrong, but there was many to fix, so the game self-didn't go flawlessly as we expected it to go, but these problems were easily fixed or replaced with other methods, none the less it can be a walk in the park or hell for short depending how new you are to doing this line of work.

The creations was the first thing to be completed then the animations and packing all the levels soon followed the programming a month later the game looked good but we were still missing an important must do “testing the game” 5 days passed after completing the game with more problems to solve, add more to the game to make it new and different than other games under the same platform and genre, but the worse and most frustrating of all was to make the game balance out in every aspect, this is how hard the game is how many times will you encounter an enemy and since we went with a more strategic point of view it became so much harder.

So we decided to add time, power and different attacks to make the player think each attack would be strong or weak to a certain enemy with the cost of coins, death would mean losing some of your coins, with a collection of Keys randomly placed on each level while collecting Monster Points.

Now we have the game balanced out with some strategic aspects like doing it in time, collecting coins, consuming coins for stronger attacks while collecting keys and defeating foes for monster points leaving the player to think where to use how much time he would spend, hard but not impossible.

Everything working fine after testing again we now had to publish this game to people that will sell this game before taking any steps in doing that I first did more research to see how most indie developers promote their games and most of them don’t, so we decided not to either so that we don’t go astray from the objective here.

We got in touch with Amazon, they will require your PC game to have an installer and uninstall without these two they will decline your game on the spot, so we had to make more Icons for all of the new selections, we got this on Amazon in less than a day, we also added the game to another self-publishing site called itch.io, we tried Desura but this ended up to be very time consuming and until the game is ready we decided to release it for other instead.

Conclusions

Bonus levels of course
Bonus levels of course | Source

Making a game will either be hard or easy depending on your experience; it will surely not be overnight for completing a game, sure maybe if you’re doing it for free or as a hobby.

The game should be worthwhile and be new with some new approaches to the platform and genre, besides the must ironic idea can be the best idea no one will know unless it’s tried.

It's best to not set an income rate or plan to make this much and so much cause yes the truth hurt as it can make next to nothing, Bob: Saving Bobbett did not even reach $500 yet, but we also should consider that we did not promote our game at all, we made a short trailer video under 2 minutes and that’s really about it, just to find how hard it really can be, though this will be a fact that if you are working on a project there is no better time to start promoting your game as soon as possible, there are many cheap ways to do this it’s not hard as many would believe I can think of many free alternatives to many cheap methods of promoting.

Or if you are one that makes short games over the weekends for free that will turn out to be great for a future game you might be working on as free or expensive each sale or download will either impress or disappoint but the more it impress the more your promoting, at the end of the day people will look forward to more games made by you or your small group of developers.

YouTube and many others can be a good free alternative if you have the viewers or readers but even if you don’t each view counts it might just be one impression more to your upcoming game.

At the end it all comes down to how much effort you put into your project cheap or expensive it’s the same we only used $430 but with unexpected problems, we had to show an extra $2,333 and this is things that happen so it’s good to have some cash as a backup.

Making games won’t replace your day job; it won’t be your main income stream for living month to month, I am also not saying that it could be but for starting it best to keep your options open until more players joined your side, fans of your work.

This game is now free

After months of waiting this game is now free we barely made more then our expensis of a total of $4,900, it comes to show that preparing and gaining potential players is a must relying on Word of mouth really isn't much of an option here unless you already made a well known game enjoyed by many.

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© 2015 Phillip Grobler

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