I used Unity for a long time up until last year, this year I've been maintaining some non-game apps with Objective-C, Swift, and Flutter, and just playing around with game stuff. Yesterday I tried out ink, I think I like it better than twine but haven't spent much time with either. If I upgrade my Mac, I might try converting my bowling game to Unreal. I'm interested in Godot, but last I checked it didn't have FBX support which I need for the port, but I suppose I can use it for a new project if I can think of one.
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I used Unity for over ten years (almost everything I have here is in Unity) but I want to try other tools, thinking of porting HyperBowl to Unreal this year. I'd like to try Godot, but I don't think it has much FBX support. I did use Unreal a long time ago, back when they had Unrealscript, and also CryEngine.
There's nothing wrong with trying to make money from games, and one could argue that you should try, especially if you're trying to run a studio, pay salaries and bills, or at least pay for the tools and assets you use to make games! Of course, gamedev may not be the best way to make money, but that's a separate topic. In any case, I've only made about $50 here, but I only do pay-what-you-want and I've received no payments after adding webplayers for each game (so there may be some UI or psychological issue there). Also, I don't put much time into marketing. However, I just like how itch.io is set up and the developer spirit here, and it supports badges that link to other app stors, so I use it as my main portal and portfolio and it's possible that it's driven some of my earnings on the App Store, for example, and I'm sure having my own projects helped me get other work.
One thing I've never been quite sure about is if an Android APK distributed on itch.io with Unity Ads will actually generate ad revenue, as I've seen statements about a Google Play requirement like this one that says the user must have access to Google Play, which maybe just means the phone has Google Play on it, but I've never seen it explained precisely.
I wrote some essays on software development, including a few on game development, several years ago, available here on itch.io. The table of content links point to the same articles on Medium. It's oriented to professional development, and some of it is a bit dated, but maybe you'll find something useful. Aside from that I recommend reading project postmortems wherever you can find them (gamasutra.com has a lot) to see what other people went through to get their games done, and I always look at in-game credits to see how many people worked on it, what specialties, tools, etc...
It's good that you list specific game references. Two of them were made with Unity, but I don't know about Sara is Missing. Besides the tools, I'd also try to find out how many people worked for the project and how long, which is why the first thing I do when I play a game is check the credits, and I like reading the postmortem articles on gamasutra (I guess I should read the ones on itch.io too!) This way you can get some realistic expectations on the resources needed and whether you need to adjust the scope.
Back to game engines, you probably won't go wrong with Unity since it's so popular, general purpose, and cross-platform, and there are a lot of free and paid addons. But by the same token there's a lot to learn. If you're new to gamedev and especially programming and you're interested in visual novels, for example, then I'd suggest starting with something like ren'py which will let you concentrate more on content and get in the gamedev flow more quickly, and then you can work your way around to other engines for other projects as appropriate. I haven't used ren'py for anything but I recently saw a game here, I think it was Distortion Nation, which had some nice animation and graphics (including UI) which I didn't know was feasible in ren'py.
I agree with the rest of the advice here, and along the lines of you should give as much as you get, I see on your profile you're only following one person, so if you follow more people and provide them some nice feedback, I'm sure some will reciprocate.
One thing you can do is perform a trademark search on uspto.gov and take a screenshot showing your game name has not been trademarked by anyone (and if you really value your game name, you can trademark it but that will cost you a few hundred dollars).
I haven't had much trouble with Amazon but often I've got into a situation with Apple App Store submissions where I have to guess what their real objection is (and sometimes conclude the reviewer is just determined to reject the app). I've had one case where Apple said I violated one of their trademarks, but it wasn't a trademark, it was just an animation that resembled one of their TV ads. They have an army of reviewers who just spend a few minutes on each app so there's going to be some sloppy and opinionated reviewing. It's also possible that it got flagged by some automated process, which I've had happen on Google Play, and it's hard to argue with a computer.
If no one else has a claim to the name Botty, then I can only speculate they think any name with Bird is too close to Angry Birds (I've had a lawyer for the hip hop fashion line FUBU contact me to say my Fugu Games infringed on their trademark), and if that's a real sticking issue, then maybe the easiest thing is to just change the name on the Amazon Appstore. In the worst case you might have a reviewer who is determined for some reason to reject your app and just keeps coming up with new problems. When that's happened to me with Apple, I've waited a few months and resubmitted in the hopes I get a different reviewer.
Just off the top of my head, the game titles that stick in my mind are single word titles. Doom, Quake, Portal, Myst, Halo, Centipede, and titles that sound like two words but are glommed as one, GoldenEye, Battlezone, HyperBowl (that last one is mine but it's licensed IP so I didn't pick the title). That probably doesn't make sense for visual novels, though.
Oh yeah, whenever I meet someone who says they have a great idea they just need someone to implement, I'm like please, I've got a bunch of my own ideas I'd like to get to. By the way, I started using Flutter for mobile app dev last year, really like it, although I don't know how suitable it is for games.
I already made HyperBowl free to be of use during this stay-at-home time, so same with Fugu Maze.
By the way, Fugu Maze was my first app on the App Store and started out free. I was so excited it got twenty thousand downloads in a few days so I started charging $.99 for it and the downloads went down to a trickle.
I don't know what's available in your area, but here (in Las Vegas) there's a recently revived IGDA meetup, occasional game jams, a Unity user group, and a monthly Demo Day where developers give a five-minute presentation of their projects. There's probably more stuff, but I don't look around that much.
I guess the really savvy marketers use a lot of channels but these days I don't want to spend that much time on it. I find twitter useful for interacting with other developers and getting useful dev and research info. I had good results with Facebook pages but I'm anti-facebook now so I got rid of it (same with Instagram). I'm sure others here have good ideas, e.g. I see a lot of people use Discord. Also, I've checked out local gamedev and developer meetups and those look like good places to show your work and hobnob with others (even maybe team up!)
I'm taking a break from my bowling game HyperBowl, which I've been working for ten years in Unity, and focusing on a dim sum app for now. I'm thinking about remaking the bowling game in Unreal later this year. I'm also doing some contract maintenance on the Cinefex iPad app.
I've only just tried to participate here on itch.io a bit more recently. Not much, just started playing some more games and supplying ratings and posting in the occasional thread. One thing I'd like to see is a share to social media button for games. I'm more active on twitter, so I share things there (and that's what I mean by feed, people's twitter profiles, but on itch.io I do check people's creator and community profiles, too).
Yeah, it's difficult, and I have to admit I don't often bother to provide ratings or reviews, either, for games, books, movies... and there's some much content out there it's hard to command anyone's attention for long!
That said, one thing I suggest if you're not doing already, is make a concerted effort to provide feedback on other people's projects and hopefully they will reciprocate. I like to say that networking is not just about asking for help, it's about giving it. I often receive requests to retweet or follow or blog about someone's project but if I look on their feed and see they only talk about their own project I don't feel any obligation to spend any time on them. On the other hand if they're actively helping others it seems like a good cause.
I'll check out your game later (I'm not much of a gamer, but I try to spend a little time each evening checking out a different itch.io game). I hope you're not discouraged, two years shows good perseverance and a lot of people give up too easily or expect results too quickly. I figure as long as you're learning, it's worthwhile, but my two cents is that it's better to complete and polish one level before implementing all the others, so you have something that looks more finished and playable sooner and then maybe you can make an earlier decision about whether to continue development or move on. On the other hand I did work on a AAA game where they basically implemented all the levels at the same time (which still seems really risky to me).
A long time ago I got around a similar problem by deleting the old build before uploading the new one. But to be safe, I'd try uploading it as a separate build (i.e. renaming it) first to make sure that works.
I don't mind seeing my stats, in fact I want to see them, but perhaps they could be on a separate page from the main dashboard. One motivation for this is when I view my dashboard on my phone browser, the two columns (projects and stats) side by side are so narrow that I can't read them, so in that situation just the project column would be better with the stats elsewhere (on another page or perhaps below the projects). Not a big deal, but it'd be a nice little enhancement.
I saw something recently on twitter which I can't find right now, but as I recall the person said they've learned to immediately look for weaknesses in every idea so that they think it through and discard them in a timely fashion if necessary so they can move on to other ideas without wasting time.
Personally, I have a stack of ideas that I've never gotten around to or followed through on, and non-programmers are always trying to tell me their ideas (for a revenue share!), but I only get traction when I think of something simply-scoped I want to try, often just to learn a tool or how to implement a particular thing, and then when it starts to turn into something that I like or other people like then it gets some momentum.
As long as the web site works on mobile devices, in particular narrow screens (including the I think that's pretty good, already. The only place I noticed it didn't display well is when the sidebar layout is chosen in the creator pages (I noticed this when viewing on narrow split-screen Safari on an iPad), but that's probably not a surprise (and other sites including Google Play do a pretty bad job on that also)
I can't speak for everyone else making horror games, but just from my own experience, one of my first little games/apps was just an experiment in procedurally generating mazes, and once that was working I thought hey, I could put in a first person controller that just walks, keep it dark except for a flashlight, leave it quiet except for footstep sounds and occasional suspense music (stock suspense sound I later heard used a lot in movies) while you try to find your way out. Not quite horror and not quite a full game, but still it was kind of popular and by going that route it simplified development and asset requirements.
I think there is a subtle difference, jealously springs out of a feeling of entitlement while envy is not as bad, coveting others' success. In any case, like Halloween Astronaut said, it's normal, and you shouldn't castigate yourself for those feelings, and envy is often a motivator, I want what that person is having.
But I think you're on the right track about community and collaboration. It's easy to look at celebrities and feel it's unfair they have so much success, but personally, although I'm not that interested in collaborating on specific projects, I'm inspired by people here and those I follow on twitter, as I can see the effort and learning they put in and the help that they put back out into the community, so I'm rooting for their success, even if I'm mildly envious when they achieve it!
I suggest pick a game engine and start playing with it, read whatever you can, there are lots of gamedev books and online articles and tutorials. I particularly like reading postmortem articles on gamasutra for example as they give you a real-life perspective and what it took to get games done and you get a feel for the amount of work and expertise required for each type and size of game.
One thing to watch out for, in the past as I recall, I've run into this error when uploading an updated build (zip file for an HTML game) and was able to avoid it by deleting the previous build first.
My first game written from scratch was a Reversi program written in BASIC on an Apple II. I found out it was published in a pirated way when someone gave me floppy disk full of games and mine was on it! I was hoping it would show up on some Apple II internet archive but haven't seen it.
But my first real game industry game was working on HyperBowl for a studio back in 2001, and now I have my own remade licensed version on itch.io!
Who is "he?" Paypal? I didn't see a requirement for a business license when I upgraded my paypal account.
However, I am in the US. I don't know if there are differerent requirements in other countries.