Five tips for Indie Developers trying to sell their games

Independent game developers are like the starving artists of the videogame industry.  They labor over their projects for days, months, years, and rarely ask for money for the fruits of their labor.  They don’t do it because it’s their job: they do it because they WANT to, and love to do it.

But sometimes Indie developers need a little compensation for ther hard work.  Maybe they need to pay rent, maybe they need to eat, or maybe they need it to buuy more moonshine and expensive whores.  Whatever the case may be, sometimes developers ask for gamers to buy their games.  And the general response of the general indie gaming populace?

Spitting in the faces of the developers.

While that’s another topic for another entry, maybe these ideas will help indie developers get spat in the face LESS and have people begrudgingly buy your games MORE.  I’m no expert, but as an indie gamer, these are just suggestions I’d like to make.

1. Have a demo of your game!

While this might be an obvious pointer, I’ve seen many developers try to sell their games without demos, so I have to put it.  No one wants to buy a game that they can’t even play-test a little of first!  It’s not that hard to throw one of two levels in a free demo, and nothing’s better than enticing the buyer into actually WANTING to buy your product.

2. Don’t try to sell your first work

Let’s face it, no one wants to buy your first work, no matter how good it looks or that you spent years making it.  To the general populace, you’re still a novice, an amateur.  As a developer, you’ll get better.  Make sure you have some games already under your belt, to show gamers that you’re an experienced devloper.

3. Make your prices reasonable

Trying to sell a platformer with ten levels for 30 dollars just won’t work.  On the flip side, sellign a full-length RPG that looks and plays like it should be on the PS2 for five dollars might be nice, but probably could be sold for more.  Try to make the money you’re charging equavalent to the amount of play-time your costumers will get out of it.

4. Give an option of a more tangiable form of the game you’re selling

Sometimes, it’s nice to own a tangible version of a game you bought.  That way, in case something strikes one’s computer down, you didn’t lose the money on those indie games, possibly having to buy them back again.  Whether it’s the option to ship a CD for a small fee or giving out some sort of code/passoword for the game, getting more than just a file sort of solidifies the purchase.

5. Don’t give up!

Just because your game sells at first means you should give up and just give it away.  Not only is that not making you money, but that’s practically betraying and stealing from the people that already bought the game.  Eventually word will get around that your game’s worth buying, and you’ll see the money rolling in.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Bacon
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 10:12:30

    Can’t say I really agree with number 3 and I don’t know if 4 is needed but it is nice.


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