I was saddened yesterday when I found out that a site I follow (PowerOf2Games) is never going to ship anything. It seems that more and more people that are trying to make a go of console game development or even hand held systems aren’t making money. It has made me wonder what my long term target should be for both my engine and for my own professional development. If there isn’t money in console download games and handheld, other than PC where can indie developers turn?
I personally believe that you should “follow what you find fun” so I thought about some of what I like to play. I’m a little addicted to a flash based tower defense game called Xeno Tactics. These games have a very low cost of entry and really provide a great experience. I also like the pop-cap free online to play games like bookworm and bookworm adventures. I think the combination of an online preview plus being able to download and play and enhanced version offline is a powerful business model.
At some point I am going to have to pick up and learn how to make web based programs, but currently that would be categorized as a technical distraction. In the meantime, anyone know of any articles on web/indie based business articles? I think there is a great deal of money being made in the app store right now, but can it sustain? There seems to be a FLOOD of casual games out there on PC and it almost looks like the portal sites are as “lock and key” as cell phone companies for getting new product out there. Sort of looks like there isn’t an easy hit a market formula which goes back to the make something you want to play idea.
On a design side I think that these follow the sort of “Diablo rule of simplicity” where you can do anything with the click of a mouse button. So many really good games have an interface that boils down to pointing and clicking. Restricts the design but increases accessiblity.
While I am cooking away on a prototype engine platform I’m planning on writing out a list of games that I like that I think I could actually make something like. Stay tuned for that.