Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

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Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#1 Post by cookiestruck » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:45 pm

I've been thinking lately about this. Actually, what kind of game that WORTH to be a commercial? They always say stuffs like this:
Good games are usually commercial. The free ones mostly aren't as good as the commercial one.
It's true, to be honest. Almost all good games are commercial. But, it makes me wonder.. what is the definition of good games?

Is it about the story length? The interface? The story plot? The art? Hours to play? Or anything else?

If the condition is like this: Story length is enormously long (more than 100.000+ words in total), the interface is pretty good, the art is quiet decent. The story plot isn't really the best part of the game. Has endings more than 10. Should it be commercial?

Other condition: Story length not really long, around 60.000 words, art quite decent, nice story plot, interface pretty good. A lot of CGs. Ending less than 10. Should it be commercial?

Or... any specific condition where a game should be a commercial?

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#2 Post by Miyuki » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:15 pm

Well, to me it's interface, plot, art, and quality of writing. The length isn't quite as important, but I think that it it's a pretty short game it should probably have a lower price.

The Heileen games are about 50k words each and I'd say the first one is a good minimum length for a commercial game for an outright visual novel with low frills. Also Jisei and Kansei aren't overly long but are a suitable length for the $15 price. I'm not sure how many words they are though.

Word count doesn't always mean too much because of screens, interactions, choices, etc. It's difficult to gauge how long it takes one person to play one VN since reading rates vary quite a bit too.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#3 Post by SundownKid » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:33 pm

Length is a non-issue, as long as the price is matched accordingly, but the quality of the story is more important than the length of it. A long but mediocre story won't hold people's interest, but a short and good one will. The art definitely has to reach a certain modicum of quality, since it's the most visual aspect of the game. So, the main judge of whether it should be commercial isn't "is it large enough", but that it is high quality in all areas, not just some of them.

For that reason, I'd say that option #2 would be a better fit to be commercial since it has a balanced quality in all aspects.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#4 Post by Minnfae » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:49 pm

SundownKid wrote:Length is a non-issue, as long as the price is matched accordingly, but the quality of the story is more important than the length of it. A long but mediocre story won't hold people's interest, but a short and good one will. The art definitely has to reach a certain modicum of quality, since it's the most visual aspect of the game. So, the main judge of whether it should be commercial isn't "is it large enough", but that it is high quality in all areas, not just some of them.

For that reason, I'd say that option #2 would be a better fit to be commercial since it has a balanced quality in all aspects.
I disagree, the quality of the story isn't really an important difference between free and commercial games. There are many commercial games with really generic or mediocre stories but you can tell they're commercial because of the grammar, and because they tend to have original and consistent art and music.
Then again there are exceptions, and some free games are good enough to be worth paying for, just as some commercial games are pretty poorly made, but they're exceptions as most people aren't willing to spend that much time and money into something free.
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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#5 Post by MysteriousArtistX » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:45 pm

Good games are usually commercial. The free ones mostly aren't as good as the commercial one.
I'm don't agree with this logic at all, and I would never say it's a truth. Professionalism can make a game great, as it provides more resources, but by no means does this solidify that the game will genuinely be good. It all depends on the person personal decisions, effort, execution, and of course again keyword "resources". For example the game Deiz is free and though it is fairly short, the game incorporated grade elements and was all around a pretty good game considering. The graphics were HQ, it had very lively sprites and a large CG and bonus content [Including some grade A animation], the story lines were ... "quirky" and just engaging enough, and it had a really cool GUI. That is an example of well rounded good free game with proper resources. But even without the top tier gear, there are great games like Digital The Love Story which is pure text and simple, and is a great game BECAUSE of that simplicity.

And as minnfae said there are plenty of free games I would gladly pay for because they were amazing, if not better quality than MANY commercial games I have played/reviewed. I am by no means bashing commercial media though, but realistically paying to have an all star team doesn't mean a thing if you lack in any aspect (well some more than others as a plain GUI is more forgivable than say poor writing) of a game, especially vision.

I would also never say that one sole key element is what determines a game's status as good or bad either. Sure a well rounded game is the ideal, but in reality this all comes down to individuals own preferences. For example a common motif in general with the gaming community is graphic hounding, where to logic "if the graphics suck the game is not worth the effort". Though to some degree it's understandable, as you may be spending long periods of time staring at this, it's highly flawed. I wont go to much into that unless you me to elaborate because this has potential to trail off topic haha, But you have the general idea of what I am getting at.

haha Sorry! Ended up writing more than I intended to, but I hope this provide some good perspective.
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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#6 Post by Dim Sum » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:32 pm

cookiestruck wrote:I've been thinking lately about this. Actually, what kind of game that WORTH to be a commercial? They always say stuffs like this:
Good games are usually commercial. The free ones mostly aren't as good as the commercial one.
It's true, to be honest. Almost all good games are commercial. But, it makes me wonder.. what is the definition of good games?

Is it about the story length? The interface? The story plot? The art? Hours to play? Or anything else?

If the condition is like this: Story length is enormously long (more than 100.000+ words in total), the interface is pretty good, the art is quiet decent. The story plot isn't really the best part of the game. Has endings more than 10. Should it be commercial?

Other condition: Story length not really long, around 60.000 words, art quite decent, nice story plot, interface pretty good. A lot of CGs. Ending less than 10. Should it be commercial?

Or... any specific condition where a game should be a commercial?
Misconception: Games that worth it to be commercial don't have to be good. Applies to all genre.

Lots of critic blasted art end up selling. Lots of good art end up not selling until creator dies.

Commercial games need only one criteria and one criteria only: Maker must make more in return from game.

Holds double true for VNs where there are little investment and studio interests.

You hear some said Christine Love only sold more cause her games were first pop VN that made it to Steam.

You hear some said F/SN needed hentai scenes to grab audience.

You hear some wonder how bad VN can get funded on Kickstarter.

You hear these cause it's all about moolah.

2nd misconception: It's easy to make bad game and make money off of it.

Often times when people first read 1st misconception they think it's about message of making bad games. They think it's about making things like Twilight...but really it's not. It's about getting back more than you paid to make game so that you have bigger resources next time.

Odds would always lean towards the better timed + better marketed + better overall quality product to make more than the crappier product.

3rd misconception: Hierarchy for VNs have been settled.

Admin for this forum once got into trouble for trying to say Heileen's art > Tsukihime's art.

Ask for what's good is...fine. Expecting answers will give you panacea is...misguided.

If great artists need to be able to draw blind. If great writers need to be able to write anything. If great musician need to know how to sync with sound less sprites/scenes. Great sales people need to know how to see potential customers and people behaviour. not what words/letters type out of people's fingers or come out of people's mouths.

Sometimes best sales aren't even those that exist on the radar. Their stuff sales people know will sell but also know people don't believe will sell and so they sell and difference between flukey salesman and great salesmen is that great salesmen immediately secure marketplace niche...even going so far as Microsofting their way when they can get away with it.

Sounds evil but process exists everywhere and customers/legislature/makers all are for it. Why else would people bother with copyright and copyleft? Why else would society be trained to hate copycats yet worship copycats they find entertaining?

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#7 Post by nyaatrap » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:38 pm

cookiestruck wrote:any specific condition where a game should be a commercial?
A game which makes people want to pay for it. In other words, A game developed (user's) objective stance, not (creator's) subjective stance.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#8 Post by Blane Doyle » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:59 pm

Personally? I think a game is worth being commercial when the creators put effort, time, and energy into making it good. That's it.

Horrible games have been made commercial while very good games have been set out for free.

I've seen multiple horrible indie games being sold commercially and wonder if they really make any profit, indie AND "professional" (for example, the last two Silent Hill games). Then I see great indie games being sold (Magical Diary and Cinders being personal favorite examples) where I can see the effort put into making it a good and fun game and wonder why people don't put as much effort into their own games.

It goes without saying these are multiple free games that are bad, and I would feel awful actually naming any. But honestly? There are some good free games that I thought were commercial at first, or thought they should have been. RE: Alistair++ is one game that I think could have been released commercially. It's fun, well put together, and just good overall. Katawa Shoujo, no matter how you look at it, probably could have been released commercially quite easily.

There is no real evidence to show that free games are automatically worse than commercial ones. Not when you play something like, say, IB or Coma or Digital or even the good old original version of Cave Story and you find them better and more enjoyable than commercial games that come out to home consoles for $60. But I do think that sometimes creators think "it is free, I don't have to make it amazing" so they get a little lax and because of a few creators there is a worse rep for freeware games around the net as being "bad".

To me a good game is fun, makes sense, is well put together, and hopefully looks good (though that is not a requirement). Games are mostly meant to entertain or waste your time or tell a story (while hopefully entertaining you). If it fails in entertaining you in some way then it could be considered a bad game. Horrible gameplay does not make a game bad either, in my opinion. There are some games like Rule of Rose, which has a notoriously HORRENDOUS battle system (damn you Mermaid boss I always DIE), but an amazing story that entertains players the whole time through. To me, the bad gameplay worsens it a bit, but as a whole the game is still good.

Then you have games like Angry Birds which are nothing but fun pure time wasting entertainment. Let me say that I am surprised they offer free versions of this game because holy zees it is ADDICTIVE AND FUN.

.... TL;DR because that was longer than intended:

A game is good enough to be commercial when it has effort from the creators in my opinion.

Free does not automatically mean "not as good as commercial".

To me, a good game entertains in some way, be it through gameplay or story.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#9 Post by papillon » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:28 pm

The thing that does come up occasionally and the reason that you see "commercial is better" trotted out a lot is that many people go around requesting full-length high-budget games for free.

There are many great free games in the world, but they are usually shorter and/or lower-budget than even a terrible for-profit title. That's not always the case, there are truly amazing games that people worked on for ten years in their spare time and all that, but in general people who are making games as a business can afford to put more resources into them.

I wouldn't count free versions of Angry Birds as an actual free game in the context that I'm using free here, because it's intended to upsell and make more money for the company. They didn't make that game for free.

Indie is slightly more complicated, because the financial underpinnings are more varied. Many people choose to 'go commercial' with a project not because their project hit some milestone of absolute length or quality, but because they are sinking enough time and money into making it what they want that they feel the need to recoup that investment, and they think their end result is good enough that people will be willing to pay for it.
Last edited by papillon on Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#10 Post by Arowana » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:29 pm

A game which makes people want to pay for it. In other words, A game developed (user's) objective stance, not (creator's) subjective stance.
Pretty much what I was going to say. :)

The reason for going commercial is to make money, right? So I'd think that the main criteria for whether your game should be commercial is if you can earn "enough" money from it to satisfy yourself. Whether that means making enough money to pay your artists or coders, enough money to make up for all your time and effort, or even just a bit of pocket change, is up to you, of course.

And while quality is certainly important, I think many other factors will affect whether people will buy your game. Will your premise, art style, etc. be popular enough to appeal to the masses, or perhaps a specific target demographic? Do you stand out from your competitors in a good way? Are you part of a well-known organization that people will recognize, or do you have well-established names working with you? If not, do you have the marketing skills and connections to get your game noticed?

I'd also think that making your game commercial limits the number of people who play it, since a lot of people just aren't willing to pay, so you might be facing a tradeoff between exposure and profit. (Of course, this is all speculation on my part - I'm a total n00b to the world of commercial games lol)
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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#11 Post by LVUER » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:32 pm

Perhaps the question here is not "commercial games is better quality than free ones", but rather "what is the minimum quality that needed for commercial games?" or may be "What is the minimum standard for a game before you are willing to pay to play it?"
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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#12 Post by Blane Doyle » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:53 pm

LVUER wrote:"What is the minimum standard for a game before you are willing to pay to play it?"
If that is the case?

Decent.

I have low standards in comparison to some people (if you ask some people), but as long as I can tell the creator put a great amount of effort into making the game itself good I would be happy to pay for it. Of course, there are things that I would weigh in price wise. I would pay more money for a game with art that has good coloring, a unique style, and proper anatomy than a game with amateur art, and I would also pay more for a VN if it is longer or has more gameplay than cheaper ones. This is part of the reason I was so ready to pay for Magical Diary, actually.

It has good art, has the stat-raising gameplay, and had an interesting premise. That, as well as the positive reviews I had read, made me ready and willing to purchase the game in a heartbeat.

However, if the game had no stat raising I would have thought longer before purchasing it for the price I did, and if the art was less than stellar on top of that I may not have purchased it without a sale or a much lower price.

The price for the quality of the game plays a large part to me. I am more willing to pay $20 for a game with gameplay, good art, and an interesting premise that may entertain me. But to pay the same price for one with not so great art and no gameplay and a cliche premise? ... I'd think twice. But if two games had good art and an interesting premise with one having no gameplay and one having a lot at the same price of $10? I would readily buy both. If another game with gameplay but only decent art was the same price, I may purchase that as well.

A demo that grabs my attention is always a plus, and I am always VERY weary about purchasing a game without a demo or preview movie available.

This is all personal opinion, but I stand by it nonetheless. To me, a the bare minimum for a game to be commercial is: Looks good (not perfect however), plays well (if there is gameplay), is interesting or entertaining in some way (preferably both). Something like Cinders sets the bar VERY high, and Magical Diary sets the bar high as well, so... I am having a hard time thinking of a good singular game.

I think looking at the games available from SakeVisual or HanakoGames give a good indication of what I am getting at though.

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Re: Game that worth it to be commercial? I need advice.

#13 Post by Dim Sum » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:12 pm

LVUER wrote:Perhaps the question here is not "commercial games is better quality than free ones", but rather "what is the minimum quality that needed for commercial games?" or may be "What is the minimum standard for a game before you are willing to pay to play it?"
Modified question is more problematic cause no true minimum but almost all posters will be guilty of trying to answer.

It's like poker game where big money pot bluffing strat would be recommended for small money pot bluffing strat but minimum bet should be different to begin with cause people's psychology different when money matters differ.

Example, SquareSoft believed that people are going to pay to play for Final Fantasy so they put most on their budget on Final Fantasy.

Company succeeded at developing FF1, FF7 and FF8 at a risk of a loss and they were rewarded.

Easy to think they have obvious answer to what minimum standard to make people play.

Three games were maximum. Other FF like V who improved class system and VI who improved storytelling system were high budgets minimums improving on key areas rather than overhauls.

On generic ignorant surface, there is no hint that Square would not know how to make FF fail to make people want to pay for it.

History differs: merged with Enix, modern FFs blamed for not being as good, bulk of diverse Square games die down cause only FF can make up for sales and successful risks dwindle.

History chock full of such developments. Prototype, Black Isle games, Fallout.

It is such risks that demand that even indie developers must maximized their profits. Those who can do minimum are not doing minimum. It would be as crazy as accepting prize money of 100 instead of 1000. Those who are doing minimum are doing minimum thinking they can get away with being lazier and still make a profit. Maybe cause of deadlines, maybe cause of contracts, maybe cause they think length of game is enough, maybe cause that's length they all want to put into it but only cause they have gotten good/want to play lottery.

Minimum thinking is suicide for commercial games if only cause you never know the odds are. You never know whether your audience would truly buy your game at period or some big budget game or indie android game would wash over trend. Even bugs can redirect schedule.

Opposite true too: What if you have GOAT VN and settled for less? That's profits down the drain. Game you minimally plan to make coulda become best selling franchise and you skimped on it and it suddenly sells at a loss.

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