Tools Development

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IrishCream
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Tools Development

Postby IrishCream » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:44 am

In the last few years I've seen a large quantity of indie developers rise up. Games for mobile devices (notability the iphone/ipad) has really increased this. I see this and think "crap, look at all the competition". But then it occurred to me, perhaps there's potential for these other companies to be customers and not competition.

Do you guys think that it would be a good time to get into game dev tools market? I'd be interested in hearing what you guys think.
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Re: Tools Development

Postby Mike » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:54 am

I think it's a better market than games. Google game builder kits and there are a few out there.

I think the best target audience would be the home guy that thinks I play games I can code them.
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samw3
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Re: Tools Development

Postby samw3 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:31 pm

Looks can be deceiving. Remember, even though you can charge sometimes hundreds of dollars per item for a tool, your market (indie game devs) is much much smaller than for games (general populace).
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HanClinto
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Re: Tools Development

Postby HanClinto » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:56 pm

Tools purchasers require more support than gamers.

I've been doing the middleware / tools thing for a year or two now -- I'm branching out into doing actual games -- I think it will be interesting to compare the two.
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IrishCream
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Re: Tools Development

Postby IrishCream » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:38 am

I don't think there's much that's deceptive about it. Of course there's less customers for tools than games. There is, however, been a large influx of games on the market (specifically indie games) in the last 3 years. Digital distribution has enabled these indie shops to actually distribute their product.

The iPhone app market is flooded, the PC market is starting to look the same. I haven't seen the market for console games. There's more people in the tools market today than there was 3 years ago.


Support: absolutely it's more. That's part of the reason for the price tag. Frankly I think the only true way to support/test your tools is to make actual games with them.
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samw3
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Re: Tools Development

Postby samw3 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:26 am

I hope you didn't take my comment as saying "don't do it". I am emphasizing that it's a market that seems bigger than it is (at least it does to me).

I found this stat, only some of them are game developers, let's say half, 25,000.

Now, let's say you get a healthy 5% of that market due to competition, and specialization (i.e. your tool is for 2D games, or the RPG genre, etc.). 5% is 1 in 20 devs using your tool, or 1,250 sales. So, if you sell a product for $100, that's $125,000 in sales.

Now, say you have a team of only two people and that you have zero overhead.
$125,000 / 2 is 62,500/year each. Which isn't a bad salary. It's the 65th percentile of household income in the U.S..

Assuming all that (which I personally think is being optimistic), now you have to sustain that, and get that $100 again each year with up-selling new tools or in version updates.

I'm sure you have plenty of optimism for this endeavor. :) I encourage you to work out your own business plan sort of like this and to "count the cost" so to speak.
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brownboot
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Re: Tools Development

Postby brownboot » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:50 pm

The closing doors of the Gamebryo and Torque folks might be a red flag here... Just sayin.
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Kukanani
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Re: Tools Development

Postby Kukanani » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:06 am

I was going to mention that, brownboot. On the one hand they are going under, on the other hand it might open the market for more "indie" engine makers.
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D-SIPL
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Re: Tools Development

Postby D-SIPL » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:43 pm

I think there is a growing market for cross-platform game tools. With games hitting so many platforms it can be quite a tedious task to keep abstracting code into platform agnostic chunks and then fitting them all back together. I always look for libraries and tools that take the leg-work out and enable me to target platforms I might not have been able to previously (or at least not without a huge amount of work).

However tools generally evolve from many many finished projects, both big and small. I wouldn't write a game development tool just because there is a market for it. I remember reading an article a few years back which had quite a profound effect on how I approached games development*.

*http://scientificninja.com/blog/write-games-not-engines

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