Category Archives: showmethegames

Dirty Dozen promotion post-mortem

September 04, 2014 | Filed under: showmethegames

I can’t give you exact sales figures, because they are confidential. But that sale did ok. It wasn’t launched at the best time, but it did nevertheless make as good money as the majority of the ‘indie bundles’ out there, ignoring the humble one of course :D.

I’m definitely going to run another one, later in the year. I think I’ve done enough work to know that the model works, and setting it up will be easier next time around. Now that the sale has run once, I can say to developers ‘the sale earned an average of $X per developer last time’, which might bring in some developers who would otherwise turn it down. Funnily enough, I still get developers who refuse to be listed on showmethegames. I don’t understand why. Maybe they hate traffic, or money, or me. Whatever.

Anyway, it will still be the only ‘100% developer share’ bundle that is not PWYW. So it should continue to attract devs that want to build up their direct sales and who don’t want their games available for under a dollar. It’s a nice little side project for my spare time anyway.

Behold, it is announcement time! You know I’ve been blogging a bit about my indie game site at www.showmethegames.com, maybe mentioning all the new articles on there written by the talented Dan? Well that was just part of the SMTG world domination plan. Behold phase II!

It’s time for the SMTG Dirty Dozen Discount week:

ddd

So what’s all this about then? It’s a dozen high quality indie games you should know about, that all have the option to buy direct from the developer, and all of which are on sale for the next week. Some of them have huge stonking great discounts, like a political strategy game I’ve read *great* things about. You should go check out the page right now. And of course, you all know this, but it is extremely helpful if you can share the news on social media, twitter, reddit, facebook and so on. I feel a bit stupid asking people to do that, but then most people complain about paid advertising, and most people complain about self-promotion on social media, and it just ends up as an arms race to see whose readers are the most likely to retweet things, which I guess is inevitable but seems a bit weird. Anyway…. all such promotional help is hugely appreciated. Now… why should you care?

  • This isn’t a bundle. you can buy 1 game or all dozen, which makes a change
  • This is another place offering game discounts and offers, and variety is always good for the consumer in a free market.
  • 100% of the money goes to the developers. I run SMTG out of my own pocket. the site doesn’t take a single penny.
  • Did I mention 100% of the money goes to the developers?

So there you go…hopefully it gets noticed, generates some sales for the developers involved (including me, I’m one of the 12), and it justifies doing it again some time.

 

Show me the long term

August 17, 2014 | Filed under: business | showmethegames

It was a long time ago that I set up www.showmethegames. It was done out of exasperation with a conversation I’d seen 100 times in private lists and forums and email conversations that goes like this:

indie #1: we should set up a site that encourages people to visit each others indie websites
indie#2: thats a cool idea. It should have forums and a blog
indie3: ...yeah! and it should have regularly updated content...
indie4:..not only that, there should be embedded video, and also devlogs, and listings for all our games
indie1: Excellent, who is going to set up the site?
....sound of tumbleweed....

So I thought ‘fuck it’ and set one up myself. I got a lot of indie games listed on there, paid a web designer to do a logo and initial site design, and spent some time talking to other indies, even recording video from conferences to post content…

And it did ok. We ran a sale once, and that got very good traffic. But then I got busy. VERY busy, and getting anyone to write content for it was like pulling teeth. I should know better, because I was fighting against…

THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS

Which is basically why nobody had ever done this before. So about three months ago I changed my strategy. I’d left the site neglected for a while, but now I had a new outlook, and it was this…

“I am going to invest in building up SMTG as a decent traffic generator for indie game developers. It doesn’t matter that I do it alone, or that others are benefiting from my work and financial investment. In the long term I’m building up an asset. It’s not worth much yet, but it will be, and in two years time I’ll be glad I did it.”

So I hired a proper game journalist to write cool articles each week for the site which are now online. I also re-engineered the back-end a little bit to support me updating it more often without a lot of legwork by me. I also have other plans, to be revealed soon. I’m spending a few thousand dollars here and there. Not a lot, but not totally insignificant. Many indie games sites die through lack of traffic and interest. I’m prepared to do what it takes to keep this site running.

To that end…it needs more games. It needs recent games. HIGH QUALITY indie games that sell direct (through humble widget is fine), and that are finished (not early access). Do you know any? If so email em at cliff AT positech…. etc.

If you have read this blog for a long time you will know I own and run a site called www.showmethegames.com. It’s been around a while, and it’s a collaborative indie thing, that basically serves as a cool database of indie games you can buy direct from the developer. It’s essentially a bunch of screenshots, short descriptions and links. It’s NOT a portal, because it doesn’t sell anything. Every link takes you to a developers own site, and the owner (me) doesn’t skim a penny from anyone. It’s run by me because I like indie games and I like supporting indie developers.

Anyway, the problem with it, is there is little draw to it traffic wise. Some indie devs link to it, but not many. The problem is that the devs are all too busy making games to contribute any fresh content, and although I stuck some stuff up there in the past, interviews with some indies, some videos about upcoming games… I’m as busy as the next guy (probably MORE SO).

smtg

So I’ve bitten the bullet and accepted I should actually hire proper writer types to generate content for it!

This isn’t going to be another Rock Paper Shotgun. it’s not getting daily updates and won’t cover today’s gaming news. It will be feature-driven, not news-driven, but I hope it will prove interesting and worth a place on your bookmarks or under your tweet button.

The first article has just gone up on the site, courtesy of Dan Griliopoulos, talking about the Golden age of simulations, and you can read it right here, right now.

For the business minded asking why I am doing this, this is a long, long term hedge. There is no immediate profit from doing it, although obviously my own games are amongst the 100+ so far listed on the site.

 

The SMTG bundle runs out tonight at midnight. If you missed the earlier blog post, then I suggest just going here:

http://www.showmethegames.com/bundle1.php

And checking it out. It’s five hgh quality indie games, on a sort-of-strategy theme, than are bundled together for $28.50.

On the topic of SMTG, that brings me to the question of the sites future. I’m really please that SMTG is up and running, that it gets some traffic, that it looks nice, and that it has the support of so many developers.

That’s the good side.

The bad side is that the site earns $0, and actually costs some bandwidth, plus also the site takes time to develop further. Frankly, I don’t have the time to dedicate enough effort to constantly add content, and I can’t afford to hire a full time (or even decent part-time)  site manager to handle it. I like to have total control over stuff, so I’m not looking for a volunteer, I prefer to pay people and then tell them what to do :D

So although SMTG works very well, and definitely drives sales to developers etc, I’m unsure what will happen to it next. I’ll continue to add new games that I think are really awesome, and I hope to find some time to add features and improve upon it over time, but it’s not going to grow like Steam or even Moddb, because of lack of time. Maybe when my next game has shipped I’ll get a lot more free time and spend a few months on it, but I already have to find time for top-secret-side-project #1 as it is… Ho hum.