How to get the most money from a sponsorship?

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
The gameplay of Flappy Wings has absolutely no monetary requirements and the microtransactions? Hats. Hats for the bird. Hats that don't make him fly better, catch more game coins, or do anything special. They just make him look funny. The game is also free with unobtrusive ads between game play times/bird crashes. This game does nothing to require or entice me to pay a single cent. I simply chose to. That, to me, is a definition of "not a cash-grab". YMMV
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

irock

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Ah, so the secret to tricking people into thinking I'm not a money-hungry game developer is to rip off trendy games and offer useless hastily drawn pixel art hats for the character in exchange for real money. I see.

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
No real money is required at all to buy the hats. None. They can all be bought entirely with
free, in-game-earned money. I chose to buy game money for extra hats as a thank you for a fun, FREE game. But I guess me choosing to give the developer money he never required so he feels appreciated enough to make more fun games, makes him money-hungry. Interesting concept.
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

irock

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  • Posts: 2882
You're not blowing my mind here. That's often how microtransactions work. You're given the option to either play the game a lot in order to unlock things, or you can skip all that gameplay and pay for the useless junk and get it now. The developers hope that you conclude that forking your money over is less work than playing the game a bunch, and thus the more reasonable option. There's a reason this method is so often used by big profit-driven game studios.

You're choosing to thank the developer for stealing a game, making the bird spawn feces and squawk every now and then, asking you to rate the game when you die, making large ads appear in the menus and adding crummy looking costumes for you to either buy or unlock by playing the game a bunch and seeing lots of big ads.

Stevetheipad

  • Posts: 1301
Is there any real harm if the IAP are optional to the player?

irock

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"There is an on going theme these days to use a very basic video game shell and hang a "power up carrot" in front of the player. the player sees this carrot, and wants it! all the player needs to do is a few very rudimentary repetitious actions to attain it, once they get to it, another drops down and asks them to do more... but then the catch... instead of achieving these "goals" by running on the tread mill, you can instead just pay a single dollar and you instantly get to your goal! better yet pay 10 and unlock all your goals without even having to ever play the game!

words can not express how fucking wrong and horrible this is, for games, for gamers and for the platform as a whole... this business tactic is a slap in the face to actual game design and embodies everything that is wrong with the mobile/casual video game scene."


- Edmund Mcmillen, supermeatboy.com blog

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
Stencyl had a Flappy Jam. They encouraged people  "stealing a game" for the purposes of a contest. Why all the hostility? The art style is what it is because it's meant to resemble/copy Flappy Bird. Someone else did a Flappy copy where the bird and scene were designed to look plasticine. It's still a Flappy derivative. You talk about the ads in the game derisively. Does this mean having any ads in a game makes a dev a money-hungry person? Should we remove ad functionality from Stencyl to keep it pure and untainted by the appearance of money-grubbing?

Keep in mind Flappy Wings IAPs do NOT enhance the game play in any way. They just make the bird look silly. These are not gameplay carrots. The original Flappy Bird had no real artistry to its gameplay and no goals at all except dont crash/die. How is that better?

I still don't understand. Why all the hostility?
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

irock

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  • Posts: 2882
Stencyl did not host or organize Flappy Jam, nor was it exclusive to Stencyl games. That contest encouraged making games inspired by Flappy Bird for fun and in support of Dong Nguyen. It did not encourage making soulless clones of the game and monetizing them. Having ads does not make you greedy, but stealing a game and monetizing it does.

Whether the item you're purchasing has any functional use or not doesn't matter. All that matters is that users are paying real money so they can get an artificial reward and skip playing the game, and it takes advantage of the intricacies and little flaws of the human mind and our abilities (or lack thereof) to reason.

The difference is, Flappy Bird did not blatantly rip off another game out of greed and monetize it using slimy business practices. The difference is Dong Nguyen had the audacity to show a bit of humanity and worry about his game being too addictive, which played a large part in him taking it down.

If you honestly have any desire to learn about what video games have to do with morality, watch this talk by Braid creator, Jonathan Blow.

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
This is not pointed directly at you, Irock, but at a concept I've seen in general in the gaming industry as of late; game design snobbery. Unless my game is designed to make you think about your place in the world, how your neighbors interact with each other on a human level, how you've believed wrongly all this time and you're really just an insignificant speck in the grand time stream of existance, or how the giant Galapagos turtle manages to live, lay eggs, and start the beautiful cycle all over again, oh, and if I hope to make any sort of decent return on all my effort, I'm leading people down the rosy path to merry game maker's hell.

Flappy Anything aside, let's look at the historical level of games closer to the type we can create today with programs like Stencyl. I mean not pinball or games designed on an early oscilloscope to simulate tennis, but games with colours and graphics and real game play. For me, that era was the 80s.

Look at the arcades that once existed in great numbers, now not so much. I remember my home town arcade and saving up my allowance so I could go and play for an hour. Not one single game asked me to consider my place in the universe. Not one single game made me wonder about how I'm living my life. And not one single game was utterly free to play. Sure, power ups didn't cost money, but playing again and again after failed tries sure did. It encouraged you to try harder, play smarter, be quicker, so you could last longer in the game before having to pop in another quarter. There were ending scenes and credits that the few who had seen them would tell as if they'd witness a moment in history, inspiring you to play well enough to get to see the ending credits, too, and be equally amazed.

I remember getting together with a boyfriend to play Golden Axe. We were pretty good but we didn't get as far as we wanted on that first quarter. He looked to me and said, "Do you wanna see the ending of the game? I hear it's really good." I said yes, so he went to the counter, changed out a $20 for game tokens, and by gods, we saw the game ending. I don't remember how much of that $20 we used but I do know we needed it. And when we were done, we didn't have a product, we weren't full from a dinner, we didn't have anything except bragging rights to saying we saw the ending of Golden Axe. And you know what? We loved it. We weren't sorry at all.

These days, mobile games and other types allow you infinite play without paying a cent. I don't have to pop a quarter in every time I want to play Bejeweled. I bought the game once, I can play it forever. I also try to pick mobile games that don't make it near impossible to enjoy them without IAPs so that I decide if I want to pay, not the game. I can play Jetpack Joyride all I want without one single IAP. Hell, the friend who showed me the game in the first place, later saw me playing and saw my character had a different jetpack on and was like, "Whoa! How'd you do that?!" He'd been playing the game for weeks without even realizing there were IAPs. He seemed to be having just as much fun as I was.

There are people out there who want a nanny state where nothing they don't agree with happens or is available because "people can't be trusted to do the right thing when the wrong thing looks like so much fun". I say that as long as what I'm doing, in this case, the game I'm working on, doesn't cause blindness, seizures, or other instantaneous mishaps, then really, it's very nanny-like to child-proof my game even from adults because someone out there may be dumb and spend too much on my IAPs.

Apple allows you to turn off IAPs so you can't accidentally trigger them. A wife who worries her husband will spend too much while mobile gaming can lock that off from him. I tried Candy Crush Saga to hear what all the fuss was about, found after awhile that the game really tries to force you to buy IAPs before being able to complete a level and you know what?

Like the adult I am, I removed the game from my phone and never downloaded it again. To quote one of those office supply store commercials, "There. That was easy."

I refuse to go down the slippery slope of "Mobile IAPs are like gambling which is like smoking which is like alcoholism! They're all addictive and destroy lives!" Whether I'm a chicken or not in the great time stream of the universe, my sky isn't falling.

Stop shaming game creators for allowing them ways to make money and instead shame game players for playing irresponsibly. That's it. The end.
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

Stevetheipad

  • Posts: 1301
It's not all the responsibility of the player. The developer has a moral responsibility to not encourage bad decisions.

I don't think it's all anyones fault, it's a balance that not all developers and players have achieved.

irock

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When you're designing games to entice you to want to pay to skip playing the game so you can get in-game rewards faster, you do have a problem, not just morally, but as a game designer. It's not snobbery: it's something that's apparent if you design games and use your brain to analyze the medium. If you don't see it, then I feel sorry for you.

Did you watch that video?

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 112
Please don't feel sorry for me. I get enough condescension in life as it is. I've seen the video, yes. I still believe that with however many thousands of games now out there on various platforms, that it's not my job to moralize to my players. I find it preachy and snobbish. If they don't like how my game is made, go play someone else's. I'm not designing a game for the masses. I'm designing a game I would like to play, and hope others might want to play it, too. When the rest of the world wants to help pay the fees I need to make, export, and have my game hosted on an App Store, they can have whatever game from me they want.

Dong Nguyen certainly wasn't too concerned with originality by stealing the backdrop from Mario, the bird from Tiny Wings, and the game play from many, many other games, and he had no problems slapping ads on the game to make supposedly ludicrous amounts of money. But I guess that's what passes for "originality" these days. As long as you stole the idea first then other thieves after you are the unoriginal fools. *shrug*

I don't think this argument is going anywhere productive so without resorting to condescending remarks, I'm going to simply agree to disagree with you and bow out here.
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.

irock

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  • Posts: 2882
I don't know what you mean by "moralize to my players". Just don't use shitty manipulative monetization practices. Making a better and more honest game that focuses on selling a great experience rather than making players want to pay for worthless rewards isn't preachy or snobbish, it's just good game design. I really doubt you'll ever become a successful and respected game developer with your attitude, but maybe you're not concerned with that.

To anyone with similar views: Please get out of games, because you're only a determent to the medium and there's better money to be made elsewhere.

I'm not trying to make Dong Nguyen out to be some sort of bastion of originality, and I don't care to. It doesn't help or hurt my point at all. Only assholes steal games and make money off of them. Period.

colburt187

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  • Posts: 2403
If someone enjoys a game, it's a good game. Doesn't matter if it's pay to win, ads, IAP etc. if people play it and enjoy it then the game has achieved it's purpose.  To that person who played it and enjoyed it, it's a good game.

Also don't get out of games, make whatever games you want, even try to make some money from it if you can.

dripple

  • Posts: 748
Just don't use shitty manipulative monetization practices.
Sorry for asking, but what are you doing for living, how do you make your income?
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.


MayazCastle Keeper