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Steve Job said people don't know what they want, you have to show them. If you ask people what they want they'll give you a shopping list of things they think they want, and then when they get them, they say..."No. Not like that." People do't have a clue what they want. Build a game based on what is emotionally fun and rewarding for people. Build a game that makes people feel excited and you have a winner. Hit them right in the feels! A good team helps too. ;)
@Austin Blackburn Steve Jobs had a track record for being innovative and disruptive, as evident by his work at Pixar. He even became a 6% shareholder of Disney's stocks after they purchased Pixar in 2006. His successors eroded Apple's stock prices by departing from Job's method of sales and eventually integrated Steve's new company into Apple. Steve Jobs brought them back from the brink of bankruptcy through multiple innovative products that are household names to this day. Henry Ford was an excellent entrepreneur in his own right, but there is no reason to compare the two.
@everyone Steve Jobs is being quoted because nobody alive was around to remember Henry Ford doesn't make him a genius. The dude didn't know what he was doing and got kicked out of his own company.
@Ilham Wicaksono games are not something "needed", that basically mean that we do do sell faster cart, the trick is to not compete with anybody else and make something unique with things that people already love, for example dead by daylight (a "horror" that is not scary by the way, of course it's actually another genera that don't have a game yet), or risk of rain a roguelike sci-fi shooter, the list goes on even for older games the trick is to find a player need for something and give it to them, for money and hopefully a lot of money if you create something actually valid
That doesnt mean market research is an inexistent thing
This video is 169% more successful than the average puzzle-platformer.
The ratio of likes vs dislikes = 66
Look at the likes they are 169
Glad I saw this video... I'm 2 weeks into making a 4 player local platformer game, thinking the market needed that....
@mehrdad broforce had a unique, laugh-out-loud gimmick though and was great for streamers even played solo. How many couch coops can claim that
how did it go?
@LugyD1xd ONE defi, one thing the designer need to convince the team, the publisher and the players is why this game is interesting to you the designer and hope they can understand that“Reverse empathy” they called it
@Isaiah Wilson you're never too young to learn computer logic, 3d modeling and how to make basic games.Download an engine like Unreal or Unity, and spend a few days following youtube tutorials about the most important tools in them.After a few finished and posted simple games (each taking a week to a month to make) you have what it takes to start making some money with it.Look up Phasmophobia. It was created mostly by one guy on his first serious try at a game, and it shows when you play it. He didnt take game dev classes and I don't think he ever had a job in the industry. That one game is making him a comfortable living now.
@Vladut Stefan what if your not old enough to get a job
On one hand, I'm surprised to hear his game did that badly, as Steam has recommended it to me on the very top of the store page probably more than 5 times. I thought that would count for something.On the other hand, I'd figure that game wouldn't do well, because it didn't look one bit appealing to me.He mentioned the importance of visuals, but I think he understated it.Also, correlation isn't causation, so take all stats presented with a grain of salt. Just because moddable games do well doesn't mean yours will do better if you slap the feature on top. It might just be that the type of games that lend themselves well to modding do better, regardless of whether they have modding support or not. Various other things could factor in.
Cheap looking visuals really can make you uninterested in a game because it usually screams "These devs didn't really care much about this, why would I think they cared about any other aspect"
Fun is a factor that’s difficult to measure and reviewers aren’t always good pickers of what many users will think is fun
Bronkster you didn’t buy it, did you? :)
This is a very good talk, appreciated! Speaker is neither monotone n'or fake excited. Makes me focus on the info and his words rather than the powerpoint and him.
He is worse than monotone, he lower his tones as the phrase is ending as If he is out of breath. That is ultra bothersome.
heh after watching i was just thinking how chill and relaxed he was for a presentation. impressive and well done sir
90% agree, the west coast way of ending most sentences like a question bugs me somewhat lol. Good talk tho for sure!
I can recognize these are WEKA generated charts, probably also WEKA generated statistics.Secondly, the statistics fit me quite well. I'm in my 40s. I am no longer interested in most AAA offerings that cost over $50 but only give 10 to 20 hours of gameplay. Instead, I look for "simulation" games that have deep, inter-related mechanics that require lots of play sessions and many hours of puzzling out, coupled with allowing me to be creative in coming up with beautiful and/or functional solutions. Games like Cities Skylines, Prison Architect, Rimworld, Oxygen Not Included, Empyrion. Hence the hundreds of hours of accumulated play time on these few games even though I only play during weekends.
Building games fit nicely in 2 higher-revenue categories: building and stickiness. So i bet they have a higher shot at success as long as the visuals don’t suck and aren’t hard to figure out what you’re supposed to do
What do you think about Minecraft and the upcoming Hytale. Is Minecraft going to focus less on storytelling to appeal to builders and redstone engineers?
This is a great video! Actually, when you're developing an indie game in the same high sales category, you may start to feel weird in the indie scenario. I mean, when you're developing a gritty third person shooter and look at your buddies games with colorful, heartwarming and cartoonish games, you feel bad for yourself. There were many times I caught myself thinking "am I doing something wrong? Why I'm doing a game so different from my game dev peers'? The journalists only review funny, cartoon and colorful games?". And I stop the paranoia and go back to my game...
I feel you, bro... I'm currently working on a dark story/police/TPS/crime game and I definitely feel weird when every dev I know is working on lighter themes... My guess is, you're probably going through the same problems I am, which are, highly complex challenges, both technical and artistic and the lack of free/low cost assets that match the standards of your project. I think most people just don't want or feel capable to deal with such challenges being indies and some even being one-man-bands. It definitely feels safer and wiser to invest efforts in something easier to achieve...
I've worked with a ton of indie devs, never made a game myself but the work that goes into some of these games are insane! good to know a lot of this stuff.
Isnt Steam a PC only platform? I'd think Puzzle platformers are usually played by console/phone users. That would mean the numbers would propably be different if it was released on the platforms with the most players im that genre.
You forgotten Epic Games Store
00:50 Introduce himself and his game.02:08 If you're making games to get rich, you're in the wrong industry.03:18 Know the context.04:16 Steam Spy is an absolutely fantastic resource. Boxleiter Method: estimate the number of sales base on reviews count.05:42 The dominant factor in the game's success is the fallacy of believing that the world is fair.05:49 Factor: Quality08:32 Factor: Genre.10:12 Factor: Visuals really matter.11:21 Factor: Tone.14:04 Factor: PlayTime.16:27 Factor: Streaming19:05 Takeaways.19:33 Targeting a Niche.We are #yolostudiogame - an indie game studio with two members. We are seriously learning about the game industry. So we tweet a GDC video summary every Tuesday.Happy making game, everyone!
@Akunspeci do you have a linkedin
@Akunspeci hey can I possibly work with you?
I own a gaming studio too and would love to connect. Are you on Linkedin?
This is a really good talk, one of the best in a while!
I get the feeling that the low playtimes for those earlier games comes from people buying lots of games but never playing them, thus contributing a zero to the average. Perhaps median (with zero excluded) would be a better indicator than mean. I dont see people just binging on buying lots of cheap steam games like you saw (and I certainly engaged in) 6-7 years ago, but never getting time to play them, isn't as common anymore. Usually if I buy a game now, I actually install and play the thing,
Really appreciate how thorough Erik was, and alllllllllllll that data. Major kudos.
We are talking about making indie games that sell, but comparing them to traditional AAA titles that have massive advertising budgets. That skews absolutely everything.
Advertising helps *a lot*, but it is only effective if you've first identified who your target players/buyers are. AAA franchises live-and-breath the "if you liked X, you'll like Y (really X2)" approach, pointedly focusing on people who've already proven that they want what they're selling. Indies have to work harder to find their market, but since it's a smaller crowd, it's actually cheaper to advertise to them.
Fast forward into the future - and this game of his has 232,000 owners (according to Steam Spy). Not bad for an Indie game.
It is not that easy. Selling people what they want is dificult since they probably already have it. Marketing works by convincing consumers that they want the product you are selling.
Apple: Invent problems, Sell solutions.Modded: Inventing appealing needs, Sell products.
@Mandisa W Good luck.
It is also possible to sell people more of what they want, if the market is still very undersaturated. I'm working on a Strategy/Tactics RPG - while that is definitely a niche genre, the waiting times between major releases from the market-leaders are long enough to leave the market mostly underserved.
Excellent presenter, excellent presentation. Informative and helpful. Thank you
one of the best talks. nice stats. please invite this guy to do a talk again
This talk doesn't hit as particularly useful to me. Yes there are some genres that are on average more successful than others. At the end of the day however its up to the developer to capitalize on marketability. Not every game can be marketed the same, and there's a lot of tricks to switch things up. While a genre may seem unpopular or overcrowded you shouldn't restrict your idea if you can convince yourself and others that it would be fun to play. The spirit of this talk felt more like "don't innovate, follow others", which I disagree with.
Hes talking about on average, not hard set rules for every game. He makes that point a few times
Perhaps the curse of Puzzle Platform games is the low barrier of entry, meaning anyone can create such a game overnight, which generates a flood of bad games of the genre on steam. Genres with a higher entry barrier can have a more selective success, so they have fewer bad games in the store and earn more.Anyway, I think that Research would be more useful if it took several genres and analyzed one by one, comparing what the games that earned a lot were different from those that earned little.
I absolutely love this channel. Much appreciated!
Great talk, very good observations. Thank you.
very good and informative. great speaker. to the point with a touch of humor sprinkled in
This is amazing 🙌🏾 👏 great talk ❤
This is some really valuable insight.
On the other hand: Fortnite is colorful, League of legends too. Many games that did well are colorful (look at blizzards art style). I dont know... Maybe its more of if a game is good and looks aesthetically good too and people learn about it, it will sell.
this makes me want to make my game even more.
What game are you working on ??
Go for it man, good luck! 👍👍
Great talk! Very informative
This is great information thanks for doing it.
Hiring a graphic designer for the Steam splash art alone could have doubled sales
Excellent talk! Hits home...
Very helpful (for my next game)!
having a multi player game or something people need to get to be able to be part of the conversation with their friends, you obviously are going to get some lower scores, and higher scales. advertising clearly helps. :)
"Should you make a puzzle platformer in 2018, the answer is no." Then Celeste came out and did gang busters. I think the real issue with Life Goes on is more the aesthetic, the game play looked fine but visually, I just had no interest in it.
Show me one single puzzle on Celeste.Celest is excentialy a high motor-skill base game that is a platform. Has nothing similar to this dude's game.
@ziplock9000 perhaps, but you didn’t really explain the conclusion you drew that may enlighten them.
You completely misunderstood the whole talk and stats if that is your conclusion
@Mea Ansel well, in general, there's been plenty of successful games with just good gameplay. Heck, a recent example is benett fodding game, that looks weird in general.The issues are that getting them into the door without visuals is pretty difficult.
yet its true. visuals was not really great in term of style... i think speakers games world or setting could be really close to shovel knight... and something that could feel as shovel knight im sure could rise his sales at least in some X times
FPS and action RPGs take much more work and resources to develop than casual puzzlers. You would need to divide the income generated by hours of work invested to have a better understanding of profitability.
So make a dark goth Zelda clone full of gore and cliff hangers between sections.Got it!
These charts and graphs are not particularly helpful as we don't know what are being used to make them. Is it just every game on steam? If that is the case, then of course the action and more mature games are going to look like they are doing way better because that is what most AAA studios are putting 100s of millions of dollars in to. And the medium of the colorful and family friendly games will be extremely low due to the fact that it is mostly indies and a lot of them are lower quality games (visually, mechanically or both) with little to no marketing. And a lot of first games.If you took out every game with an estimated budget of x and over. And any game that made and estimated y or lower. I wounder how it would change the graphs. Now I am not saying to look at these games too. You should look to see what made a game do well or poorly. But for something like this, I think it would be much more helpful and relevant without those games.I do recognize the effort that went in to this talk. And thank you for it.
@- Zack The median is not a good metric (at least not always). Not because AAA games, but on the contrary because of the high number of low budget games made by unexperimented devs. Just look at platformers, a lot of them looks like game jam entries (and not good ones). So it is exeptected that the median gross for this genre is close to 0 just because more than half of the games are not marketable. So the median gross for this genre is a worthless information. The median revenue can be usefull for genres with less crappy games, though (city builders, multiplayers, RPG etc.).
He did go out of his way to specify “median” throughout the talk. The numbers he came up with weren’t the average amount of money made, more the money made by the average developer. In other words, these graphs seem pretty reliable.
This! I would like to see these charts adjusted for some estimate of budget, and with the top sellers removed.
Talk about dropping some quality knowledge. Thanks for this!Also, am I the only one who can hear his heartbeat???
@Yosua Nicolaus Call me "Pulse, The Human Heart Monitor". I should consider a career change 😅
I think you have some hidden talent right there. You should contact Marvel.
I was there and it was a great talk.
Stardew Valley and Limbo are not comparable, it Will clearly consume more time being a "Farming" Game. There are many more data to consider and compare, but yea at the end is pretty good
Great talk, but I have no idea where are the games I mostly play; none of the categories seemed to apply. I.e. survival and building games, like Factorio, Space Engineers, Subnautica, Starbound, Terraria, Oxygen not Included, plus things like Elite Dangerous.
Quality of a game doesn't always translate to sales numbers, Just look at Madden.
Short and sweet, I like this guy's style.
Really classy that these videos are not monetized.
Me planning out the content for my game with very limited time and no budget:"Okay, looks like we're looking at about 3 to 4 hours."Guy presenting:"Games with 60 hour playtime make more money."Me again: "Shit!"
I mean anyone can tell you a single player puzzle game with cartoony graphics and just "jump in and play mentality who cares if you win or not" won't sell well.
Platformer market is so oversaturaed that its exhausting seeing the games. There's a small community of people that are really into them but pretty much everyone else I know hates being recommended them. I think I have just disabled any games with platformer tags being suggested to me in discover, figuring that if I hear about it somewhere else with good praise, I'll check it out. But yea, otherwise, as an indie dev don't make a platformer thinking its your make or break deal into game dev. Everyone and their mom can code a platformer, just take it as a learning experience and nothing more. Don't gamble with it.
Basically if your game is either Dark Souls or GTA then you'll do fine
More the opposite. If you are unkown in the market and you make a game in one of these genres, you better have a large marketing budget at hand AND a good game in order to stand out or else you get drown in the 1000s of competitors. Better you make a decent game in a niche and continue to serve that niche.
although the data here is interesting; anyone who sees this, and conclude lets make a crime game because family friendly doesn't work needs a course in how stats actually work.
good info, thanks.
good talk. work on the uptalk. Indie development is depressing af.
How do I keep up to date with recent trends ? Are there websites that can point it out to me ? Are there any similar data about mobile games ?
That comment at the end about how puzzle platforms only take an hour is not true- all games can be made with time and passion.
so make a dark fantasy moddable online coop action rpg with long play time?so dark souls with mods?
Dark souls 1 is being modded substantially. Look for mods like the scorched contract or daughters of ash.
@Arkadiusz Durakiewicz or Dark Fantasy become popular because of Dark Souls games ))
or maybe dark souls itsefs shows that we need more games like that.
9:25 hmm So, I suppose to sell well the best bet would be to make a first person roleplaying city builder..... shooter? 🤔🤔🤔
Fortnite, IS literally building cities to earn the heigh, at least building buildings,
@Cerbyo sure, minecraft has zombies
YOU FORGOT ZOMBIES!
Do you mean Fallout?
Arkadiusz Durakiewicz **mind blows**
4 player local are really hard to sell on steam? GEEE I WONDER WHY?
"game designer's really like to make 4player local games but it seems they're hard to sell on steam"??? there aren't even that many
These chart just show how lonely and unsocial we steam players are.
I wonder what these numbers look like for 2020
13:19 Proof that humanity is freaking scary and twisted sometimes
Do I read the stats right, is around 4h gameplay the best play time for a game?
for me it is, i love games that end between 4 to 6 hours of play time. Even shorter can be if it is as good as A short hike(2 hours).
Here I am starting to make a local multiplayer game...Think I gotta make it online
@DOSRetroGamer depends on the game. If it's using lobbies it can be fine if you play with friends etc. But yeah, it takes a lot more work to gwt right
Unless I had a million-dollar ideas and a solid team I think I wouldn't even consider doing any realtime online PVP as you either won't get enough players or if you do, there is so much crap you have to deal with and people will get upset at (lag, cheaters, matchmaking, weird network setups, balance issues... It's a nightmare)
@DOSRetroGamer didn't even finish the local game fully. Just a small demo.Did do another course for multiplayer, but hated every part of it lol
It's like twice the amount of work...Did you finish it?
Ugh, I guess should probably abandon my 4 years in dev adventure platformer.. 😁
Great information here, but your presentation felt very dry. Not much volume fluctuation, hand movements, background music... Very very dry. But good info
While I appreciate the data and the in-depth analysis, this felt more like a long talk about the dev trying to find where he could place blame for why their game failed. The data was VERY broad and leaves out countless variables.
Even if your game is successful, you would have earned more money with normal software or at least training simulations which offer real value to the customer. I learned it the hard way.It is so sad to see developers living in poverty while making games while they could earn six figures with their skills in conventional software development.
I recognize the guy, he is an actor on How I met your mother!
Video title should be: indie developer gets job with salary of $100,000 as a top statistician. Lol
Step up your audio game, GDC.
"We probably will never get our investment back out of it but we've done much better than we expected" wait, I need some explanation... the guy who's explaining how to make games that sell was aiming to get a revenue bellow his investment? O_O wuuuuut!!?
It is interesting to compare this to the talk from the dream daddy woman.
I appreciate the talk, but the title says indie games that sell, but it mostly talks about success of AAA and downfall of indies with "zero" business sense.
You compete against those anyway. The other parts of the ecuation are being efficient to reducing your time to market and cost, and achieving the best quality possible.It's hard :p
Is that his heart beat that we hear?
TIL I am not your average consumer (just kidding, I've always known, this is just proving my point :D)
So basically family friendly puzzle platformer vs colorful crime game? that's like Tetris vs Gta, I wonder which is more popular right now?
As a musician, I need to know how much soundtrack affects success.. ITS TIME FOR SOME RESEARCH.
8:50 at times, Fez and LimboNow at 2020 everything is different now
haha, well fuck. I have a puzzle platformer and a 4 player local on steam xD
I hated statistics during Uni...Now I love it.
All do kids only buy that top 2017 list, or simpler people...Those are also again the group that comes and goes within a day.
Dang, a few months too late. Both SteamSpy and TotalBiscuit are dead.
@StarvEgoFeedSoul Don't worry everyone does that.
@Chris D I didn't see it 😭
@StarvEgoFeedSoul Iirc, health. I said what happened to SteamSpy already.
@John Smith What was there to laugh about?
@Chris D what happened to these guys ?
Well i learned from this that i am making a family friendly single player buy to play puzzle platformer on android. Wish me luck lol.
The guy saying, "you can bang out a puzzle platformer in an hour" and "isn't every indie game E for everyone?" is clueless.
he may have been exaggerating a little, but I've made a platformer that would be considered E rated for a game jam in 3 days. If I kept the same basic code and replaced assets I could probably bang out a few new games with that base code in a day. They'd be complete garbage, but it's certainly possible.
Chicken and egg story. What did come first: Succes then charts? Or charts and then succes....
how can you compare the f*** compare a niche game with a "mega shooter, 3d person, doing everything" etc ?!
need that fella in me team
Not trying to bash the talk but it's 90% just charts and stats that don't lead to many conclusions
He's asking a lot of questions? Like the whole video? I thought he's here to teach us?
Like Like Like !!!
„go do something else“ but what? i have no idea what i can do with my skillet
I know we aren't strong speakers but my doctor is more interesting to listen to than this guy and Microsoft Sam has more liveliness in his voice.
I'm sorry, did you come here to date him?
The audio is too high in this recording the feedback is really annoying they need a damn sound engineer
bruh for Everyone game is low selling
Cliffs of Dover or GTFO
If the game is a reflection of his oratory abilities, that is why it didnt sold that much.
When the guy said multiply the ratings by 50 your better off multiplying by 100. And even with that you will still be atleast 25% short
Poor guy sounds utterly beaten, though it should be obvious why.