If you happen to be checking comments; do please consider a potential crowdfunding to port this to an engine like GoDoT that you would have full (MIT Licensed) open source freedom to modify and mold into the game you've always wanted without the cruft of the JRE requirement holding you down.
Recent community posts
Normally wouldn't care to reply to an obvious troll but I feel a learning opportunity for those following the thread is more important.
Now HTG did an article on it from 2012. Then LH did an article around 2013ish. The Java RunTime Environment (commonly called JRE) at the time had a nasty habit of bundling toolbars and other spyware/malware crap alongside the install which novice internet users didn't know how to disable or otherwise prevent from being installed alongside the JRE. The resulting mess was usually cleaned up by tech-saavy family members or otherwise left unchecked.
Java itself as a standalone programming language is not inherently insecure. The problem lies in the implementation/execution of sandbox features that leave much to be desired.
Now unfortunately most developers don't give a damn about the end-user when it comes to extra crap on the computer and therefore I expressed my distaste at any modern game (in 2019 current year argument) requiring the JRE to be installed at all. It is a relic of a time before HTML5 can run fully-fledged GPU-accelerated games in the web browser (and standalone) like CrossCode (web demo link).
The 'plugin architecture' of web browsers was always a crutch for a lack of basic functionality. HTML5 has superceded and replaced both Flash and Java because both of those things are now irrelevant to the modern web. As far as Java being used as a programming language, I won't demand programmers pick/choose one over another. That is not my place, but as a novice programmer myself (knowing my way around open source code every now and then) I personally prefer Python, Ruby, and other similar languages.
I fully stand by my statements that the JRE installed on the end-user's computer is an unnecessary security risk/vulnerability that is not necessary whatsoever in the modern gaming environment with so many freely-available tools and resources as alternatives to the JRE itself.
In addition, Oracle as a company is notoriously litigious and doesn't give a damn about end-users (see aforementioned bundled spyware/malware/crapware issues). It would be quite prudent for any legitimate indie developer to strongly reconsider JRE-based system requirements if they choose to develop via Java. The Android ecosystem is still remarkably different from the standard desktop-based ecosystem when it comes to use of Java.
I appreciate the clarification. Passive anonymized aggregated statistics/analytics like Itch.io uses are likely not subject to GDPR. They're pretty good on that stuff ;)
I had figured you meant analytics embedded into the actual game/project itself. So the update is great :)
DRM-Free is one of the reasons to even bother with itch.io; they are not large enough, feature-rich enough, or notable enough for high-quality high-profile games to begin implementing any form of DRM. Also no 'timed-exclusive' games to compell anyone to even look at itch.io.
That said, DRM-Free and the lack of such exclusives are the main reason I visit this site.
How difficult is it to just obtain informed consent? Put a GDPR privacy notice on your game's page that the game contains the analytics and anyone downloading/using it agrees to being analyzed. >_>
All this cloak & dagger stuff about 'how can I bypass the law' just seems a bit odd to me.
I can see why this wasn't funded, however I won't post it here publicly. If the devs wish to get my full (unfiltered) feedback, please join up to my Discord server (linked in my itch profile) and we'll have some nice Game Design chat :)
Much love and best of luck with your future endeavors <3
If you're talking about integrating those analytics in a web-based or downloadable game, then the answer is clear: Google Analytics is indeed a clear GDPR violation and prohibited by those rules. If you need such analytics then you'll need to exclude EU players (or obtained informed/explicit consent ahead of time).
Might be nice to just ask for explicit consent instead of all this cloak & dagger stuff.
I'm a gamer and (amateur) gaming dev hobbyist. These distributors both trouble and befuddle me a bit. I don't feel that Valve would be ok with anyone else flogging Steam keys on other platforms to bypass the Steam store. That would be a violation of Steam's Developer Agreement. It feels as if devs are doing these 'distributor agreements' to pay less than Valve's 30% cut while maintaining all the perks of the Steam marketplace.
I don't feel that itch.io should permit key-only selling by devs, publishers, or distributors. If they want to only sell Steam keys they can do it on Steam. If they don't want to do it on Steam then they can do it on Humble or IndieGala as well. Itch.io isn't really meant to be a Steam key purchasing store, nor is it set up properly to that end.
In a worst case scenario, Valve themselves could get involved and start terminating publishing arrangements on Steam with those that violate their Steam Developer Agreements.
Copyright infringement isn't 'theft' although it still feels like crap when that happens. Those who download free games from shady 3rd-party sites often do so due to a language barrier. This barrier can be overcome by offering the game & game's download page in multiple languages where possible.
"Piracy is a service problem" - Gabe Newell
Do consider those words for they are the way in which Steam entered the Russian and Brazilian markets and made absolute fortunes in environments that are extremely piracy-friendly.
I refuse to deal with Denuvo-encumbered games precisely because there are so many alternatives available to play instead.
Figured I'd offer some insight into this as I had a friend of mine go through this very issue. The problem was 'tags' (or a lack thereof). If you don't have enough tags (or the proper tags) on your project then it won't show up in search results at all. You may want to look at a similar project/game already on this site and then try to copy their tags for your own project (where applicable).
Flash is absolutely a nightmare on the modern internet and was phased out completely about a decade ago in favor of more modern tech like HTML5 and other modern browser tech. Security issues, Adobe being a terrible company, patent issues, and much more were part of the problem.
That said though, many creators like KupoGames (Epic Battle Fantasy series) and others have successfully ported their flash-based games to Steam and the PC platform in such a way as to segregate it away from the main system's web browser and sandbox it in a way to mitigate security risks as mush as possible.
However wonderful this scheme may be, it is only a panacea to the larger issue of using Flash at all.
Unity may be nice but do consider looking into HTML5 or a more open-source engine like GoDoT. The Unity brand has some fairly restrictive and non-free licensing on the whats and wherefores when it comes to use of their engine for educational use or otherwise.
I'd suggest making a post with your requirements (and maybe budget) in the 'looking for developers' section of the forums and see what you can come up with. If you haven't already done so, you may want to have a default legal form that potential devs can look over to see what terms they'd be agreeing to prior to signing away their games for licensing.
There is an alternative though. Introduce the younger generation to the types of games that the prior generations had when growing up. Stuff like Oregon Trail is both educational and fun. And who could forget Math Munchers or Mario Teaches Typing? Grab a dozen or so dirt-cheap copies off of Amazon/Ebay and away you go! If you aren't too worried on legalities, most of the companies who made these older games have poofed so almost-nobody would be around to enforce the copyright if it came to it ;)
A good team handles splitting revenue internally. If you all don't have the legal and logistical financial and fiduciary means to handle all this, then maybe being a 'team' may be a bit much. Some of the best 'teams' for indie projects are one or two main devs (usually programmers) and one or more contractors (usually artists) that perform 'work for hire' at a flat rate.
As someone who's created transformative fair use fan works (aka 'rom mods') for older games as well as mods for semi-newer games (FF12), I feel that I have a bit of perspective to offer here.
There are several choices but here are the ones that stick out to me:
-Make a fan game but have it be non-profit; know that it will go poof if the copyright holder gives a damn about it.
-Make an original game and have it be completely ignored in the absolute glut of great games coming out now and in the near-future. Be lost in the crowd and lose all motivation for being 'noticed' by senpai or otherwise.
-Make a non-profit free modification of an existing game that requires that game in order to work; realize your work won't ever be standalone but do it for the love of the game.
I chose the 3rd option but my most notable/useful mods have to be the simplest ones. I created a 'bug fix' patch/mod for Chrono Trigger (SNES) and a 'Cutscenes Unleashed' mod for FF12 that removed some black bars/crap that Squeenix left in during the PC port.
I'd love for more people to make original games. For example there's an absolutely jaw-dropping amazing rom mod called Metroid: Rogue Dawn. Completely original character very loosely based on existing IP; completely original environments, storyline, and all that. Change some names and it would be an amazing indie game. But nope; they not only insisted on making it a rom mod but also on having the actual name just be a subtitle under the Metroid brand. It got some initial buzz but died off shortly thereafter because other games come out all the time. Effectively it was some glorified fanfiction but NONE OF THAT MATTERED because the actual gameplay was just so damn good. You could leave out all the story and none of it would matter!
There were some other games, one of which was the 'Dragoon X Omega' series by 'SliverX' (yeah I know) but outside of the really terrible naming scheme, they never bothered to port the game ideas and story stuff to any other platform. Bit of a shame :(
My honest advice is to just grab a game engine and mess around with it. Try a bit of everything. RPG Maker, GoDoT, Unity, whatever. Make some prototypes and demos of stupid little trash games and bit by bit you can grow it into something amazing and worth releasing. Do all this on the side and then do a crowdfund to turn the prototype into a full game. If funded, proceed to release. If not? Keep it as only a hobby.
The easiest and quickest way to money in the current age is to hire an artist and make a clone of yet another gambling-focused 'gacha' game aimed at the JP/KR/CH markets. Or do even less by buying up some cheap patents and suing people in Texas courts, lol.
That said though, you will have the easiest path in having the ability to do what you want how you want with as little friction as possible. Biggest issue with rom modding is the need for external tools/editors (or coding some yourself) while fan games face the copyright issues. There's a copyright on Pokemon but zero copyright on the idea of capturing wildlife and making them fight each other in battles.
Really difficult to read through your post. I'll presume English is not your native language and/or you're using a machine translation.
There actually aren't all that many 'AAA grade' games being given for free each year. Console is irrelevant to the itch.io platform unless you're selling console games.
If indie devs want to make memorable/amazing games, it takes a bit of a combination of factors to make it work. The factors vary from person to person but for me it tends to be pretty simple.
-Strong well-written narrative.
-Fun gameplay with some kind of progression system (powerups like Metroid/Zelda or leveling systems like in most RPGs).
-Some kind of thinking/tactics involved in the combat that isn't just 'mash a single button to win'.
-Multiplayer is optional but a bonus; I prefer drop in/out multiplayer when possible.
-CUTSCENES AND STORY SEQUENCES SHOULD ALWAYS BE SKIPPABLE with a brief summary in a 'quest log' or equivalent.
The main reason that playtimes are going down is because IRL is becoming increasingly harsher while most people have to work longer hours and often multiple jobs just to pay their bills. The younger generation with less disposable income tends to spend their time on free to play games because there are so many of them and many of the mobile ones are popular and free as well.
I feel that indie devs need to realize that they cannot demand attention because attention is a precious and ever-dwindling resource. Between movies, anime, and other mediums, gaming tends to require a bit more activity and sometimes after a long day at work a person just wants to sit with a bowl of dessert and just watch some anime. ^_^
Let me tell you why the old-school Blizzard Entertainment is so beloved/memorable. They make great-quality games that work on a wide-variety of hardware and go out of their way to provide the BEST gaming stability & performance in the entire industry without equal.
Back in the days of Diablo 1 way back in 1996 the DirectX standard was still janky and not entirely reliable on a wide variety of hardware; even games like FreeLancer back in 2003 had an entire INI file dedicated to specific workarounds for hundreds of video card models!
So when I hear indie devs complaining about having to support a half-dozen AMD/Nvidia GPUs I kinda laugh a bit. Suck it up and be thankful that the market has consolidated to only three major manufacturers (AMD/Intel/Nvidia) rather than the multiple types that used to be around in the early 2000s.
The unfortunate problem with the games market today is so many of these 'free to pay' games end up being nothing more than manipulative and exploitative skinner-boxes that utilize pavlovian conditioning to coerce minors & children into playing and paying compulsively rather than because they are having fun. It is even worse in Korea/China/Japan where China's govt had to step in and force game developers to reveal the % droprates of every item in every single gamblebox they sell.
Now if only we'd get some govt intervention to force full source-code access to the RNG being used both client-side and server-side similar to the existing regulations present in actual real-money gambling machines in physical casinos.
I've confirmed with other (NSFW) game devs that Steam current guidelines/allowances are retroactive; even if games were previously rejected for content they are now openly permitted.
At worst, you could contact Steam Support and ask :)
Just in case the author is keeping track of comments...Steam now allows ALL the lewds/nudes. Feel free to update the Steam game permanently with the NSFW version!
Feel free to keep the SFW version here for those that aren't into all that. ^_^
Hello SL1010, awesome to hear the good news! If you'd like someone to edit/proofread through your script once you've finished translation, feel free to get in touch with me via Discord! ^_^
You don't seem to understand what 'intellectual honesty' means as you lack either attribute. You fail to understand how to conduct discourse and resort to calling people 'trolls' to avoid a discussion that you cannot fathom.
There's absolutely zero reason to spend any of the $5 USD that Steam charges for a 'paid account'. If money is to be spent, there is no minimum or maximum value imposed that Steam requires (to my knowledge). Presuming that money spent on Steam goes to indie devs is quite presumptuous and often incorrect. Most of the money spent on Steam tends to go towards well-known games that are well-marketed and have good word of mouth. Those that don't have these things tend to be ones that are refunded.
Why pay money for an unknown game when someone can just buy a game they know they'll love? Indie devs need to learn how to Marketing 101 (or hire someone to do it for them) if they want to stand out from the pile of games.
When you link to fucking Wikipedia to support your comments, that just makes me feel you are nothing but a helpless fool instead. If you're willing to do some actual research and link to some proper/verified sources then by all means feel free.
What I'm saying is that people seem to want all the features of Steam over here on itch (available DRM, social features, achievements, etc) but literally the reason itch.io can be cheaper is they have lower costs of operation and that means not having all those superfluous 'features' over on this site. They aren't necessary.
Speaking of logical fallacies, trying to say that "achievements is an industry-wide feature" is completely false.
While they are present in a handful of non-Steam games; the ones on Steam are token achievements that have no value/worth whatsoever.
Xbox Live and PSN are both console-specific services and the console market isn't the same as the PC/mobile markets. There are no achievements on mobile (which is by far the largest gaming market right now). PC has achievements with WoW and on Steam. Outside of a tiny handful of games from Spiderweb Software and KupoGames (indie devs), there are very few other games with 'achievements' that I can think of.
Itch doesn't need achievements; we don't need achievement-spammer games and we don't need the achievement-hunter dorks that care more about meaningless popups than actually achieving anything in a game or otherwise.
As someone who played games well before 'achievements' were a thing, there are already things far better than that. Speedrunning is already a popular gaming pasttime often used to help charity (most notably the annual runs for Awesome Games Done Quick). Gamers don't need achievements to make a difference in the world. If game devs want to put in speedrun-friendly game design (like skippable cutscenes) then that would be much more useful.
What's even sillier is you responded to my comment made ~2 months ago. There are many ways to have an interesting story without delving into tropes. That said, while the 'space commute battle' thing is different, that doesn't really mean that it is better.
Might as well not have a story at all and just say 'aliens are there, go kill em' and just give the player that objective like an old school arcade game.
Wonderful news! As soon as you all release your game feel free to make an announcement post and I'll be sure to do my part to let people know about your game!
I do my best to support wonderful gamer-friendly indie devs who know how to work with the community and make things awesome :)
I greatly appreciate the detailed responses and mini-walkthrough for the game.
I believe that you could just put the game through 'machine translate' via Google Translate or another free translation service. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be better than all German.
I'm already multilingual with English, Spanish, and some others. German isn't too high on my list as I don't encounter many times where I'd need it ;)
I'm sure if you put up a crowdfunding page then you could raise like $500ish or so to hire a professional translator and possibly put the game up on Steam once it is fully translated. You have some interesting game features so hopefully it would be good to try.
Feel free to join my FreshGaming Discord community server. We can talk game design and other bits if you want ^_^
My heart goes out to you and all that you've been through. This post-mortem (PM) was interesting to read through. Usually the PMs I've read through have three main sections called 'what went right' and 'what went wrong' and 'lessons learned'.
I think the biggest takeaway here is simple: Nobody should get into game development to make money. Game dev should be a hobby (at best) until such time as it becomes profitable/sustainable to do otherwise. Make prototypes and crowdfund the entirety of game development so everything doesn't have to be a solo project. Or if it is a solo project then with crowdfunding you can afford to eat.
I'm deeply admirable of your efforts to do everything from scratch. While I've never heard of that game engine, the LUA programming language information is somewhat useful. It is used for WoW addons and many other bits as a supplementary (rather than primary) programming language.
Focus on studies, get that piece of paper, get some work to pay off your student loans, then take some time to make more games as a hobby once your IRL is more stable.
It means they have an ancient computer that doesn't support 64-bit CPU instruction sets. They have an x86 processor instead of an x86_64 (or just x64) one.
I don't know how a computer that old would still be functioning but it is w/e to me. Just hoping they consider using a Linux-based OS since both Mac and Windows are now 64-bit only.
I'm going to disagree with this sentiment. There are far more important things that itch.io NEEDS compared to other online marketplaces.
If game devs want all the features of Steam then they'd just go to Steam.
Considering itch.io has a lower barrier of entry to get games published, it should be reasonable to NOT expect the same feature-set as Steam.
Also consider that something like achievement-spammer games became an issue because of Steam having achievements. Very few gamers care because very few game developers bother to implement unique, challenging, interesting, and useful achievements to their games. It has been a race to the bare bones bottom with them ever since they were on consoles and WoW and then everything else.
This is wonderful news! Would you be able to convince your contact at Epic Games to have them post a public statement somewhere? I believe even a tweet via their official Twitter account would do the trick. :)
If you were willing to open-source your game, then it could be easily compared to the existing open source project and determined how different it is.
I made my judgement (with the 'possible' caveat) due to the presence of specific items in specific locations in a specific sequence nearly identical to the open-source project.
Alternatively, if you have Hex-Rays IDA Pro (version 6.8 or higher) installed, there's a plugin for it called 'Zynamics BinDiff' that does a comprehensive comparison/analysis of both sets of code and determines how similar/different they are in a variety of ways.
I won't demand a free game merely because of my suspicions of potential plagiarism of an open-source project. That would be quite unreasonable of me to do so. Again, I can find several open-source 'Block' games that are similar to Tetris (TM).
Speaking of that TradeMark, you may want to rename your game to something without the trademarked term 'Tetris' in it. I personally don't care, but it would be bad form for itch.io to have to get some legal papers from the owners of the trademark because game devs didn't care.
Best of luck to you. I look forward to either being proven correct or incorrect by the posting of evidence. I don't have IDA Pro or the skill/software required to deep-dive examine and compare codebases. Also since I'm not the dev I don't have the raw source code to do such a comparison ;)
People don't spend money to unlock accounts. They spend money because of Steam sales, insane bundle deals, and so on. Most of the spam/etc accounts are 'botter' accounts that farm trading cards; primarily based on the Russian and Asian (Chinese primarily) markets.
SidAlpha did an in-depth video on the underground 'industry' behind trading card farming & automated selling. Game 'developers' (asset flippers) spam Steam with dozens of games and get trading cards for them through affiliated (corrupt) publishers that auto-enable trading cards on their new games.
Once that is done, the game dev sells keys for like 5 cents each in bulk packs of 100 or 1000+ to trading card bot farmers who end up making their money back within hours or (at most) days. Once that is done the rest is pure profit for all parties involved. Developers passively gain a few US cents (with a minimum of 1 US cent) per sale and you can keep farming over and over and over and over. Just let it idle on a menu and no need to really do anything.
It is trivial to buy black market stolen financial credentials (credit cards primarily) and use them to verify steam accounts and then farm as many cards as possible and sell them as quick as possible before the inevitable chargeback (if it ever even gets noticed; most people won't notice a random $5 Steam charge).
So please; let's not put any of that bollocks on the itch.io marketplace. If you want itch.io to act more like Steam then just go pay your $100 fee and 30% royalties to the great Lord Gaben (lol) and grovel at his feet when he deigns to feed you the scraps left from your meagre Steam sales.
As a budding game dev and a consumer/gamer, I am here because this place is NOT like Steam. Currently itch.io cut is completely optional/variable depending on what game devs want to contribute so expecting extra features cannot come unless a mandatory minimum fee/royalty is reinstated.
PSA: This 'game developer' doesn't mention that this is UNPAID work. They apparently want to leech off of some poor/broke/desperate artists and get 'free' art and then only if the game is 'successful' will they possibly pay them for it.
What a load of bollocks. You can shove this offer right up your Mary Janes, bud. What a disgrace of a 'game developer' :P
I'm seriously going to reconsider ever trying to help out with any 'game developer' randomly posting for an artist. From now on I'm going to demand upfront whether the work is going to be paid or not and how much is going to be offered. >_>
Hello firecat, I appreciate the thoughtful response. When someone asks for NSFW content to be flagged, that is 'adult' content. It is already widely-established that adult content on the internet is suitable only for those 18+ by law and by the standards of society as it currently exists.
I do believe 'everything should be allowed' on itch.io as long as it is not: virus/malware/trojan, scam, misrepresentative content, it works and doesn't just break/crash constantly.
While I enjoy the curation of GoG, I don't believe that curation should be the 'only' standard of a games platform. So far itch.io has been heavily favored towards game developers and less towards the actual end-users. It will remain a very niche platform as long as this is the case. The itch.io platform has the potential to be something truely amazing on-par with and directly competing with others. That won't happen if we allow tumblrinas to control the system.
Trigger warnings are not 'standard' in the world (thankfully) nor are they required. A simple tagging system for 'potentially objectionable' content is sufficient. Allow both the community and the creators to use tags and have mods handle reported tags that may be inaccurate.
I have no issue with the itch.io rules other than how vague they are (by design) that allows for wide/open interpretation that permits for censorship of reasonable ideas and viewpoints that happen to contradict what some special snowflake happens to dislike. I don't care for them, to be honest.
I'll stand by my statements in how I feel about trigger warnings being added to the itch platform and that it would be to the severe detriment (and possible outright destruction/abandonment) of the entire platform. That would be a shame :(
I'm not really here to make friends or change minds. Just expressing my opinions without the threat of overly-aggressive moderation/censorship. I'm not screaming obscenities or using all caps or otherwise directly naming & shaming individuals. They cannot fit me or those like me into a simple 'troll' box. Their attempts to do so will ultimately fail miserably.
Firecat, you seem to have a good grasp of how things work and I would greatly enjoy if you were willing to join my FreshGaming Discord server to chat with myself and others. I already have some other fellow game designers and am hoping to bring on more as time goes on. Gamer perspective is nice but game designers have their own perspective and it is really useful to get a variety of viewpoints on things.
This is the best response I can offer to those who are 'offended' by the opinions of others.
- In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.
The thing is that I do not take kindly to those who are conversational bullies demanding that I remain silent and exclusively allow them to speak while I am not permitted to think for myself. That isn't how any (decent) forum works.
Again, I was not flaming/trolling/harassing anyone, nor was I even speaking to the person in question. I don't feel that catering to 'tumblrinas' is productive for either itch.io or the greater gaming community at large. We should all be permitted to THINK for ourselves and if we think for ourselves we take the risk of being 'offensive' to someone somewhere somehow. That's the nature of a conversation/discussion.
Those who cannot handle a decent convo/discussion without being offended are not likely to improve themselves if they demand the silence of others instead.
I also would vehemently oppose any 'trigger warning' tagging system that invites drama and dissent rather than being useful in any way for those that actually matter (the gamers/players/consumers). Devs need to ultimately realize that the consumers are the ones with money and ignoring their needs in the marketplace is a one-way ticket to obscurity and low/zero profits. Too many want to just act as if the world revolves around them but it does not do so.
Trigger warnings do not belong in games, movies, or any other form of media. Those who rely on them lack the mental faculties to be considered adults. I stand fully by that statement and will gladly get into a more detailed discussion with citations, sources, and links from academic instutitions/papers. The infantalization of gaming into a homogenized 'agreeable' 'non offensive' sludge is not something I will sit by idly and remain silent upon.
I have several people on my FreshGaming Discord server with mental issues and other special needs, but none of them expect/demand that others cater to them. There are people who are trans or genderfluid or whatever but they never demand that anyone on the server calls them by specific pronouns.
It is as I have stated before. A child demands that the world bends to their whims. An adult understands the world is cold, cruel, and careless and does their best to adjust to what life throws at them.