Category Archives: showmethegames

Various things going through my head today…

Firstly, the UK government gets to build a nuclear power station near me. That doesn’t scare me *as such*, although I’d definitely prefer it was a few hundred miles further away thanks. What pisses me off is that people are not prepared to discuss the facts, and risks. Even just RIGHT NOW on the BBC web site, there is news of new cracks in an existing reactor, and a ship carrying radioactive waste is drifting out of control. I mean…FFS, can we not even sensibly discuss the risks without being daubed as ‘anti-science’ and ignorant. I get that all the time because I’m very sceptically of nuclear power and it pisses me off. It’s possible to be informed, educated, sensible and still very wary of risks of these things thanks to the precautionary principle.

Anyway, I’m SURE that now we have guaranteed the french-owned nuclear station 30 years of a £92.50 strike price for nuclear energy we will get the same for solar generated by UK citizens right? The Feed-in-tariff is currently 6.38p/kwh for standalone solar PV. thats £63.80 guaranteed for 25 years, with no government implied insurance backing (nuclear plants are never insured), waste disposal or safety/security concerns. So….. err no.   I’m aware that solar has downsides due to indeterminacy and land-use, but rooftop solar has no land-use downside and the distributed nature of the energy source makes it more efficient due to lower power-line losses. Nukes have to be by the sea. Solar can be anywhere. Solar can be community owned, closer to the people and more democratized.

This is all in my mind as I’m looking for very-long-term investments for Positech Games. I’d ideally like to diversify a bit from games, and my dream project is a solar-farm or wind-farm. Ideally wind, but this is VERY expensive (there are huge economies of scale with turbine size, you really want 6MW turbines, which cost millions each), so more likely solar, which means buying land, which is hard to find. In both cases, planning is a nightmare because people somehow think solar panels in a field they can’t even see are somehow a problem. The thought of arguing with such people drives me nuts.

What I *could* do, what *everyone* in the UK does, is buy some cheap flats and rent them out to people who can’t afford to buy them. This is the default pension plan for middle and high income brits. I kinda hate it. I don’t want to leverage my financial position to squeeze ‘dead-money’ in rent from people on a lower income. That kinda sucks. I’d like to set up a business that generated renewable energy instead, but our politics in the uk is moving against the environment, and can I really trust a government feed-in-tariff promise anyway?

In unrelated news, getting new games to feature on showmethegames.com is like pulling teeth. A lot of indies sell only through steam. Not just only through 3rd party portals, but exclusively through one. This amazes me. I LOVE steam, but my attitude to any business is like Han Solo and Lando.

“Can you trust him?”

“No…but he is my friend…”

I don’t know who might buy valve next year, or in ten years time. Nobody does, not even Valve. Hedging your bets is good. You don’t stick your entire stock portfolio in one share, it’s too risky, however safe a bet it looks. BigFishGames started off paying devs 70% royalty as I recall. They ended up with  around 20%. Businesses can change. It seems I’m the only one who realizes this.

So these ‘indie’ devs (I can’t really call them independent), can’t be listed on SMTG because it only lists devs with a direct purchase option, and increasingly this isn’t the case. Add to that people who take the hilariously catch-22 attitude of not wanting to be on SMTG because it has relatively low-traffic.

Again..I’m trying to do the right thing…use my own money to run a site that promotes other indie devs FOR FREE. But nobody is that interested.

So maybe it’s time to close SMTG, spend the money (and any solar-investment money) on buying up a bunch of buy-to-let properties so I can squeeze young people off the property ladder in the UK even more. Apparently that is what sensible people do.

Bah.

So, my little side project (not so little any more…) showmethegames has been converted to wordpress. You probably can’t tell, it looks exactly the same, but what this means is…

  • submitting a new game (still done by me) is much easier
  • Submitting an article (done by dan) is TONS easier
  • It has comments!
  • It has endless-scrolling!

All of these are GOOD THINGS. For those new to this blog, SMTG is my indie-promoting site that acts as a database of cool, high quality indie games you can buy direct from the developer. You can get almost all of them from Steam or GoG too, but we like competition, so we support multiple payment options for gamers.

What I need is… MORE GAMES. The requirements are pretty simple:

  • Game must be high quality. Something that actually sells. If it’s not going to sell 100 copies, it’s probably just your first game, and thats *fine*, but not what the site is aimed at.
  • Game must be available from you, thew developer, through any payment system (Humble widget, BMTMicro, PayPal, fast-spring) in some format, not a portal-exclusive.
  • It must be finished and on sale, not a kickstarter, early access game. And currently not a F2P game, sorry :D
  • PC only.

If your game fits all those criteria and it isn’t already on there, email cliff AT positech dot co dot uk with this…

  • Game Title
  • Game Description (about 100 words)
  • Game Genre
  • 445pixel width screenshot of the game in jpg format, the best one you have to summarize how the game plays
  • A single ‘feature image’ of dimensions 740px by 356 in jpg format
  • A website URL
  • A demo URL, if available.
  • A purchase URL
  • A contact email (not published)

And I’ll add it. What’s in it for me? NOTHING. I just like supporting indie games. What does it cost you? NOTHING. How much traffic will it generate? err…some, but it will be veyr targeted and high quality.

If you are looking for something else to read now, go read dans summary of adventure games on the site.

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.