Free vs purchased demos
Tuesday, 25 May 2010

There has been some talk recently about charging gamers for demos. So far I've seen Crytek and EA mentioning the idea. I personally think the idea is pretty ridiculous.

Demos are pretty much a marketing tool. Like most marketing, it's a way to find people that find our game worth more than the money we are charging. Ultimately, when it works we have found a nice win-win situation.

However charging for the demo just seems very wrong. First of all, it means you are now demanding payment for your marketing. What's next, making the customer pay for your ads? Also what happens when they don't like your demo (which is going to happen fairly often)? The company got some amount of money, but the customer paid for something they didn't enjoy. A lose-win situation.

Personally I really dislike lose-win situations in business. I'm not in competition with our customers. We are in a mutually beneficial relationship, a loss for them is a loss for me. As a small aside, this is why we have a money back guarantee on all of our games.

All of this seems kind of obvious to me, so it's strange that this concept keeps popping up.

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Tweets 6
Friday, 21 May 2010

Here's some of my latest tweets from twitter / facebook with a bit more explanation.
 
Working on an interview again today, will hopefully be done soon. This was the Tales of the Rampant Coyote. It took me way too long to answer these (not because of the questions, I was just busy).

Submitting to game contests is a really big pain (way too much legal crap to read). I actually wrote this after submitting to PAX. However, I wrote this tweet thinking about most of the other contests we have entered. The PAX agreement in comparison is awesome. It is very short and in plain English.

Started thinking about expansion pack ideas today. I'm still thinking about expansion pack ideas, but we are much more likely to be going forward with this.

Just solved a meeting quest by accidentally triggering a trap, the 4th or 5th subsequent explosion killed the 2 monsters in the meeting. It was quite funny. Things just kept blowing up further and further into the distance, all of them out of sight. I went from oh god I hope that trap doesn't kill me to oh I somehow just solved a quest really quickly.

I know that I should leave blast triggers alone when playing hardcore but I just can't help myself. :) I'm a bit more careful but I still pull most of them (at least when it's not obvious I'm going to get caught in the explosion).

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Mini tournament idea
Friday, 14 May 2010

Ok, I have this idea for a mini tournament for Din's Curse that I think would be interesting.  First off there won't be any prizes or anything, it's just for fun.

My idea is that I generate a hardcore character with a random hybrid class and a random name and stick him into a random world. Then I exit the game, zip up the save, and post it on a thread in the forums. Everyone has a week to play the character and see how high of a level they can get him to. People that are playing would post the character export in the thread when they die or at the end of the week. At the end of the week I do a top 10 list or something for everyone and possibly start the next mini tournament.

So basically it would be a short hardcore tournament, but where everyone uses the same character and starts in the same world.

At least while everyone is in that same starting world, it might be interesting to see how similar the results turn out.

What do you all think? If there is enough interest I might start this on Monday.

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Din's Curse expansion?
Thursday, 13 May 2010

Right now I think the next thing from Soldak is going to be an expansion pack for Din's Curse. I don't guarantee such a thing, but that's the most likely thing. Anyway, I'm trying to be more open and talk more about our games, so here's some of my thoughts so far. This has possible spoilers below and very possibility things that might never happen. :)

I really want the expansion pack to have a strong theme and would like to do something similar in future expansion packs if there are any. Themes for DC could revolve around a class, monster, a new mode of play, or probably many other things. I think if we did a bunch of expansion packs and tried to keep up the same kind of theme though, a class or mode theme might be hard to keep going.

So right now I'm thinking of doing a monster theme, specifically, Demons. The rough idea is that the various types of Demons have gotten tired of all of the Undead constantly attacking them. They are banding together, calling forth other Demon kind, and fighting back. Right now my tentative title is Din's Curse: Demon War.

I would like to add at least a few new demon types and various new items, modifiers, objects, and traps that fit the theme. I'm sure I'll add other things that are just nice improvements also.

I would also like to add a new class. Two good suggestions on our forums have been a Monk or Bard. Both would be pretty cool. Another interesting class could be something along the lines of Demon Hunter or Demon Knight since it would fit the theme quite a bit.

I know there's nothing substantial here yet, but like I said this is still very early. What are your thoughts? BTW, I have been reading all of the various suggestion and expansion threads. There have already been a lot of good suggestions so far.

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Tweets 5
Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Here's some of my latest tweets from twitter / facebook with a bit more explanation. I haven't done this in a while so some of these are pretty old.

Some things added today: gravestones, Tombs, Teleporter Rooms, and Torture Rooms.

My Mac seems to be behaving better today, hopefully I fixed the problem. :) I had a pretty nasty Mac issue a while back where I couldn't even boot it up. However, I followed a bunch of user instructions online and everything has worked fine since.

Working on demo stuff today. The demo has been out for a while now.

For some reason when I take a few days off, I have a huge number of emails and posts to catch up on. Email and forums are always a pain to catch up on when I take off any time.

Started a mod page and added a few small mods for Din's Curse today at http://www.soldak.com/Dins-Curse/Mods.html

Forum quote: "Random cave-ins that kill pursuing monsters never get old." I've been trying to post a few quotes here and there.

I just made it so killed npcs leave dead bodies that can be looted, no one will ever think about letting npcs die on purpose. :)

Added an Arachnophobia Mod today for Din's Curse for those people that really don't like spiders at http://www.soldak.com/Dins-Curse/Mods.html

Npcs can now show their love a little better by building statues of the player and leaving gifts for the player. Hopefully a bunch of you have seen these by now.

I'm trying to test a change to Holy Shield Obelisks but Orcs keep coming over and using them before I can. Damn pesky monsters always getting in the way of my testing.

Added a nice summary to the win screen today in Din's Curse. You guys have probably all seen these.

Forum quote: "This game is awesome. Clocked 30 hours into it already, and I'm normally not a hack'n'slash fan."

I took a week off last week, things should be back to normal soon. :) Getting a few days off was very nice.

One of these days I'll get back to coding/fixing things again, I've been doing lots of little marketing tasks lately. You can tell I'm a programmer/designer. After a day of getting a ton of important marketing tasks done I always feel like I haven't actually done anything. However, if I finish a bunch of programming or design tasks and I feel nice and satisfied.

I fixed a couple things with our master server today. The nice thing about master server fixes is that everyone doesn't have to patch. I've actually made a bunch of changes since then, especially to logging.

Forum quote: "I've spent at least 15 hours just messing around with the 141 possible combinations."

Started working on patch 1.001 for Din's Curse finally. Yeah, this is also out already.

I stopped to watch a door that was losing health today. I thought it was a bug. Nope, zombie coming to kill me. :) I really was confused for a moment.

It's amazing how simple some things are to fix when you put them out of your mind for a few weeks and then come back to them fresh. In this case it was the problem when you need to kill a unique ghost and they can wander or start in an area that you can't get to. I finally occurred to me to just always force them to wander and they will eventually find the player.

Improved mod support today - better overrides stuff, better way to mod the UI, and a better way to add/change localization. All of these changes make it easier to mod the game without overriding entire files. On that thought, I'm hoping to put together a SDK soon.

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