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Majid Roth Media

A member registered Feb 15, 2022 · View creator page →

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Hi fellow devs,

I just finished my latest game and it's way better than my previous one. Feel free to download and play it.

Screenshot of a game session

Play Alice, collect gifts

You can play higher than level 12, but after 12 there are no new benefits.

It's a platformer game. The goal of the game is to collect 2.000 gifts. Sounds like a lot, but it goes really fast. Each round is 90 seconds (you change it to 180 sec, if you want).

You're right, it is similar. In the end the cover just has to match the content, otherwise the reputation will go the wrong direction. I think the covers aren't as crucial as we all think. On video games the screenshots are the driving force. Usually there are more key elements, but we Indie devs don't have them: reputation/established name, a big publisher and we don't go to the grand exhibitions like E3 or Gamescom, so the web isn't talking about us at all. All we have are the game title, the cover and the screenshots. That's why we put so much thought into our covers. We have to use what we have and hope for the best possible result.

In what price range do you work? :)

Thank you, I will post once per week how things go. That's also part of the new strategy: More hyping (although it will take time to get used to that, but hey, nothing to loose) :)

Depends on the game. As your game looks a lot like a horror genre game, I would go the keyboard way: Only show the health and profile UI when your character gets hit or any stats (like regeneration/near death/whatever) changes to a relevant amount.

If the player wants to know the current values, he/she has to press a certain key (like H for health), 3 seconds later it vanishes again and no UI to be seen.

I'm a bit redesigning the UI of my current main game and I can tell you: UI is important, but people don't play it for the UI. So make sure the graphics get most of the attention.

Hwo did the Xmas season work out for you on Steam? On Itch it went even worse than usual. I guess people were playing the blockbuster games in the winter holidays :)

It's true, in the end only quality matters. That's the reason why you have to take all feedback (even that of your brother) serious. We Indies don't get much feedback, so we should work with the amount we get, instead of complaining about the players. The players are not the problem, just the symptoms.

An easy, fast way to check whether your game is any good:

Tell me 3 features (reasons) why I, player X, should download or play your game, Mr. Joe! (I'm not talking about theoretical features of the game, but the ones that are really in the game and working)

I know many people give the advice of "start small, grow big", but it's true. Thank you dulsi for mentioning it. We cannot say that often enough.

Why are you developing games at all? You don't seem to have fun doing it. It would be better to do something that allows you to combine your skills. When I was younger (20 years ago), I started making 3D models. I was passionate about it. I "tried" it for 2-3 years and then gave up. The "passion" wasn't the problem, I just haven not been good at it, and very ironically it's still the case.

I'm still interested in the 3D modelling topic, but I'm constantly seeing new (younger) people coming out of nowhere, never having tried 3D modelling before and they are already better at it than me at my best time. So that's what humans call "talent". I'm not good at drawing and stuff. I'm rather the writer kind of guy. Very creative and my academic background is business administration.

Whenever possible I try to "outsource" stuff I'm not good at at. If the sources are too poor in regards to the quality or too expensive, I model it myself as I'm not the best 2D/3D artist, but also not the worst. It's a good practice for me as artist, but I guess I will never be "great", though.

You typed: SEO = "that almost sounds like cheating"

No, SEO on its own isn't cheating. Don't you know the difference? Click-baiting is cheating. Like "I'm promising a 3D game, but after starting the game the player realizes it's 2D." SEO is a technical thing and it doesn't cost you anything.

About your game character: If you think of yourself as a creative person, you will create a new char; maybe the char is completely different, but who says it's worse? Be happy you're not working for Hollywood as script author. They make you change characters, story content and other essential things all the time. You have to flexible in the entertainment industry.

About fame: Fame is not a construct that you take, it's something people are giving you as exchange for the achievement. Your visuals must get better (a whole lot better, we have 2023, man) and you should switch to a game engine that helps you get faster at coding/developing.

My personal impression: You're a perfectionist. You get stuck at a certain point and don't continue until it's the way you want it. But that's not how modern game develoment works. The magic word is iteration processes.

iteration = you create something, then you repeat but with more details and adjusting so you get closer to your goal.

Let's say you develop a Ping Pong game. First make the most simple version of Ping Pong possible. You can control the left box, the "AI" controls the right one. For the first version, just do random numbers of the Y position each time you the player have "pinged" the ball.

Iteration 2: Make the ball and the boxes more beautiful; iteration 3: make the AI smarter (more reactive); iteration 4: add the highscore function. etc.

Set yourself a time limit for each iteration. You are NOT cancelling your project this way, you just delay the problem that eats up your time. Imagine how much progress you make when you don't focus on one single problem that seems unfixable at the moment.

If you want, I could help you. Nonetheless, don't develop games just because you like playing games. Do it because you like being creative. Games are consumer-oriented entertainment products made by creatives. Coding/game engine is just a tool, the consumers/players don't care how you made the game, they just want a good looking game with "fun" gameplay.

Although I'm a solo dev, I recommend to team-up with other people. Not only it is more motivating when talking about the same project, you also save time. 

The second reason for going beyond solo, your partner/buddy has other skills and different experience. The worst thing about the lack of a fanbase is the lack of feedback and the constant feeling noone cares about your project.

I know that I don't know you very well, so it could be that my words may sound like nonsense.

About the marketing: I have no advice on this part of the business. I'm struggling, too. I'm just making games that seem to fit my personal taste, so the Alpha/Beta-testing isn't boring or feeling like work. I integrate insider gags only I understand, but I need such humor, otherwise my motivation would blow away instantly.

Where to meet new people? Join game jams. Personally, I dislike game jams, but people on are surprisingly open-minded when it comes to game jams.

My personal guess about the "successful" games on They lead players from outside the Itch-sphere. Simply don't expect to get new players by just having a page on Itch. Some devs have search-engine-optimized social-media pages where they show and talk about their projects and it works.

What kind of genre are developing in general? (obviously no FPS shooter, horror or dating sims) :)

Okay, everyone. Thank you for being patient. Here comes the final result of 4 weeks (1 different cover each week). Cover number #4 gave me more clicks than the other covers. Unfortunately, the differences weren't too big, so in the end it didn't matter (as I assumed from the beginning).

The conclusion of the experiment: Don't focus too much on the cover. It seems that the genre (FPS, platformer, open world action-adventure/whatever) and the setting/style (fantasy, scifi, medievil, anime/etc.) matter more by far. If you want to optimize your game cover, make sure it is clear what kind of game it is.

Additionally, if you cannot provide an awesome cover, the go minimalistic. The worst you can do is having an ugly cover.

It's better to make is simple than having a very ugly cover

As the cover isn't the biggest argument to click on your game, just make a cover that represents the game the best (depending on what highlight you want to emphasize). I'm off creating a new final cover and then no more thinking about changing the cover.

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In general, I like "realistic" looks, too. They look more cinematic, on the other hand, in the past (in the 80s and 90s) publisher tended to do that and when you saw the actual game the difference was way too big.

Thank you :)

I have to admit: This screenshot triggers my curiosity :)

What about Visual Novels? Are most VN players PC people or mobile phone players? What's your experience?

The 5mins were just an example. I'm just saying that the demo must be convincing (good) enough to make the player want to buy/install the full version.  So relax, I'm on your side :)

Just posting stuff and people come automatically? :) I'm kidding, but seriously, is Tumblr really that good? 10 years ago I tried Tumblr and I was fairly disappointed.

Make a demo only if it will be good. It needs a beginning and an end. Depending on the game itself, maybe a function to carry the save game over to the full version. If you have an ingame tutorial, copy-extract that one. People should see and "feel" the core mechanism of the game.

Making a good demo takes time. Are you willing to spend more than 5 mins for the demo? :)

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Since I started developing games I've been thinking about targeting the mobile game market (in addition to PC, especially Steam). But whenever I check the mobile stores, I find more competitors on Android (for example Pirates genre games) than on Steam and

What do you think: What are the mimimum requirements to survive in the mobile games market? And does the game have to be free to play?

What is your main platform?

Never heard of Embergen before, but looks like it's worth checking out :)

Yeah, comments like "game isn't fun" are very helpful, right?! lol In general every comment/feedback helps, but most of the time we devs aren't really "enlightened" by the "oh, that really is a problem" - effect.

I once had a beta tester who skipped my "cinematics" (the story part). Of course it was helpful to know she didn't like the story, but I still don't know why. :)

But what if you don't have any players? I get rarely any players and whenever someone comes by I don't get any feedback :)

I agree to your tips regarding feedback. Not every advice or critic is useful.

Nice to hear that. Graphics are very important and always will. :)

In the past one of the free web storages, but now I'm using an external hard drive (the bigger version of a USB stick, lol). It's just faster and it doesn't need the internet.

And occassionly I upload the latest milestone to Dropbox. But in the end, it depends on the size of the dev team and how much space the project needs. For small 2D games, dropbox is enough IMHO.

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Well, it depends on the definition of "open" and "big". If you copy&paste your items and set the size of the game to a huge number, anyone can create a big game that looks very open. Also an "RPG" is about character progression and story. Sure, you can write a lot of text, but the quantity of people willing to read a lot of text isn't that big. Whenever your char kills an enemy, your xp increases. The mechanical side isn't too complicated.

I don't know the "story" you want to tell in the game, but does it have to be a real open world RPG? How about making a small RPG that isn't open world? Open worlds are overrated. If you don't have enough interesting quests and enemies, it will end up as boring, soul-less game which you can label as "open world RPG", but if isn't fun, the genre title won't save you from developing a game noone will recommend.

I'n the worst case, the transition from RPGMaker to UE5 will be harder than you expected and the game will never see the light (release).

Don't get me wrong, I wish you all luck and fun when crafting such an ambitious project. Actually, I'm working on a RPG, too. Don't underestimate this genre! It's harder than it looks, but I have good news for you: It's not impossible. Step by step and you will succeed.

I have a question for you: How do you handle the graphics? Drawing/painting yourself, outsource them or only using public domain assets?

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Hmm.. and yellow on black? Could that work?

But you are talking about the maximum of the game duration, not about the actual time spent. In reality, not everyone finishes a game just because he bought/downloaded it.

A game with the price  of 5 $ that you play for 10 hours has a better price value than a game for 20 $ that you cancel after 1 hour.

There is also the difference between someone who actually plays it and a customer who bought and has it in his/her archive (pile of shame).

That all is the reason why  sequels are so popular in all media (movies, games, books, tv). If you like season 1/first part of the game or book series, you will probably like the sequel.

My platfomer is very short and I'm pretty sure it has a negative consequence.

My next "big" project will have hours (in theory), but I will see what the alpha play tests will tell me about the fun factor and other gameplay elements. It's always easy to plan, but you are right; even 10 minutes are a lot of work for a game dev.

Good ratings and reviews always help both parties: the devs and the potential customers. But so far I have never received any comments about the lenght of my games :)

Will it be a platformer game or which genre? You have written "top down" grid game. Is the picture an example of the top down view?

How about tags? Do you think we are making some mistakes on the tags? Let me make an example about me: Nobody types "Alice in Wonderland" and I think the tag "platformer" isn't so popular either. On the other side, "horror" is popular, but my games aren't horror at all.

U have a 3D game, my games are 2D. I'm pretty sure that most people think: oh..3D, he must be a pro :)

There is just 1 way to take advantage of a free game without micro-transactions: having a sequel of the same name, so if the people liked Ping Pong 1, they will highly think about buying/playing Part 2. This is the only way I can think of.

On the other side, people expect more content when they see the number "2". And it's still not a guarantee that they will remember you (depending on when part 2 comes out).

I would stop touching your latest game and make a new game. Don't look back! The more time you invest in thinking about older producs, the less time you have for your next game.

In theory I like marketing, but humans don't act as they should (by theory). Many things don't make sense. Lately I'm thinking about the way I'm searching for testers. We have to find out if the product is appealing or not before we release it. Well, easier said than done, I know :|

I'm surprised how much diference 1 and 3 USD/EUR/whatever make. I'm wondering: Is it just your game or is it something universal?

The lowest price I spent on a game in the last 5 years was Dragon Age: Inquisition (PS4) for 3 EURO. But I would have paid 4 or 5 as well. For me, on 5 EUR the next range starts: 5 to 9,90 EUR.

In the recent years I have become careful as I don't like buying games which disappoint me. So when I "wasted" 5 EUR it is definitely less dramatic. It's not about the money, it's a matter of principle: If a game isn't good, even 50 cent are too much.

2 years ago, I bought AC Odyssey (PS4) for 30 EUR and I don't regret it at all. So far it's the best game I have played on my current console. (but having a huge wishlist).

And that's why the reason micro-transactions work for many game companies: When a players tries a new F2P game and he/she (the player) doesn't like it, he/she will deinstall the game and forget it. No drama, just a little, mild disappointment.

I would have no problem with 60 EUR games, but then I want some sort of certainty that I will like it.

Some AC fans complain about the way AC games have been progressing, but I like the Action RPG way and I'm looking forward to buy & play Valhalla.

DLCs and other micros don't make 90% of the game, they are just additions. The "risk" is clear and the gain ... well, it depends on what you expect. In my opinion, Pay2 Win mechanics make no sense, who cares if you win a PvP match?

But hey, there is a market for such players. For me, only my "educational" games will be free (new games, not my old games), the rest must ask directly for money. Donations don't work on my side and you cannot participate on sales events.

It's always a sad thing if a game with potential doesn't succeed due to lack of players giving it a chance, but that's the way it is. Let's try to evolve in marketing and get better.

And do the flash covers work? lol

Your landing page is in Turkish. I'm not sure if Non-English games are featured. But to be honest, it's just a guess.

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Next week I start using new covers for my platformer game: Alice In Wonderland: The Tree of Life

Each week 1 new game cover, in the end it will have been 4 covers. I would like us to discuss which cover suits better to my game and why.

So far I'm using the following 2 covers at the moment:

Tree of Life Main Game Cover

my favorite one at the moment

and this one:

Alice In Wonderland second game cover

Gameplay Alice

What do you think: What serves me better?

To be honest, I'm wondering what kind of cover would be the best. What's your experience with game covers?

I don't want to promise anything I cannot deliver. On the other side, the cover must be "exciting" enough to make people visit the game page.

Should I make it more clear that it's a platformer? Some games just use a title:

Ping Pong Cover

The Ping Pong cover took me  just 5 seconds

This is the 4th and last experimental cover I'm using from Jan 10th till Jan 15th . I will tell you afterwards if my numbers will have increased or not.

The third cover was a flop (as well as the first two covers). So far it looks like the cover doesn't matter as much as I expected.

Hard question, I have no clue either. :)

Sometimes I have the feeling nothing works no matter what I do. I still believe the grahpics must be better (more appealing) and my PR (public relations) lack of good performance.

But I don't know how to make big gaming websites write about me. I'm sure they get emails of that kind of "offers" every single day.

I have been thinking about looking for a publisher. But I'm not sure what exactly I get for the 20%-30% I'm "sharing" with them.

Thank you Edd for telling us your latest experience with Steam.

It feels kind of wrong for me to hype a game for months. Sure, people have more time to find you. But in my opinion the timing is less important in the long-term. If people like your game, they write good reviews and recommend it to friends.

I agree to you, 0.99 is too low. When someone wants a product, he will pay the price even if it's 2.90 or even 4.90.

Will your next game have a story? Horror again? :)

Today I have been working on my current game and suddenly my PC partially crashed and I lost 1,5 hours, lol

I have a super cheap prototype. In my opinion a dev shouldn't start talking about pre-Alpha versions. In the early stage noone, not even the dev, can know how the final product will be. I'm not sure how much hype time is the right one to have a decent balance of "looking forward to" and "feels like this game will never come out".

Me & Motion sickness: sometimes yes, sometimes not at all; it really differs from game to game; when I was young, my body was better at handling quick motion frame rates of games.

My release window is: summer 2023, right now I can't say if it's realistic or not. But I will release it on Steam. It will be intersting to compare my numbers with yours then.

I have been wondering: How much efforts does it take to make a demo? You shouldn't rush a demo as demos are the shopping window of your product. If your demo fails to deliver, they won't buy the full version. Have you been thinking about making a demo?

I'm not sure if streamers are really interested in playing no-name games by no-name devs. In theory yes, then it should work, but if you look at concepts like search engine optimization (SEO), public relations and "quality first", the reality looks different.

The big ones get bigger, but the small indies get ignored. But that's okay, we all knew this is going to happen when we started developing games. :)

How do you know your game is fun? I'm currently building a prototype and have no clue if the gameplay is fun or if it's just imagination and fooling myself. In 3 weeks I'm showing the prototype to a friend, but to which extend can I rely on 1 tester?

I once thought of playing my own games on Twitch, but I do not have any followers there. No matter where you start, people don't come out of nowhere.

How much development time do you plan?

Hard to tell, there's a lot of competition out there. You just have to find the "right people". They push you and then many players are at least trying your game. From this point on it's the game's mission to live up to the "hype" (quality).

I don't know if it's just me, but the 2nd or 3rd game wasn't running better. My interpretation is that the quantity of games doesn't make any difference. Same goes for Youtube, Amazon and other websites. But I can only speak about my experience. As I can see it, marketing is not about releasing 100 products and hoping that one fine day it runs by itself.

Sometimes I think that my game covers are the problem. They just don't make people curious about it.