For Ouya Increasing Choice For Devs Means Decreasing Choice For Gamers
March 27, 2014 at 8:53 am #4169
I have been a very happy Ouya supporter since the beginning. I love the concept of a low cost, purely digital console. It got a lot of its wind from t
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March 27, 2014 at 9:07 am #4170BonozoGuest
No point in having crappy demo versions, and developing great demos is on par with adding more levels, i.e. lots of work. Multiplayer demos have design considerations. Single player demos have to be a mix of tutorial with knock your socks off, sometimes out of order with the story in that sense.
March 27, 2014 at 10:45 am #4171
I agree with you when it comes to standalone demos. But the Ouya does not require the use of a standalone demo, but merely a “paywall” of sorts. As I mentioned in the article, this can simply be placed after the first few levels or after a certain period of time. Many games were successful using those methods.
The hit Towerfall let players play just the first multiplayer arena and the first challenge level in each training arena. This allowed for enough exposure to get people excited about buying the full game.
Another popular game, Bombsquad, used a 1 hour time limit. You could play all you wanted for one hour and then you had to buy it to keep playing.
Another game, Ice Rage, gave you a handful of play sessions each day. If you wanted to play more than that, you had to pay.
These are just three examples of ways developers have implemented the free to try aspect fairly well. It seems odd that other developers were complaining about this requirement.
March 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm #4172Jack KinseyGuest
There may be a silver lining to this however. Devs that don’t release demos and just make crap games still won’t really make any money. Just a few people buying a crappy game is enough to ruin the game’s sales, simply through word of mouth.
Honestly a Dev that doesn’t release a demo gives me a big red flag about a game. I think the more accomplished and experienced devs will continue to release quality games and demos alike. I’m really hoping this will just filter out a lot of the garbage.
I do agree that none of those excuses for not including a demo are really valid. If you only let me make a purchase solely based on reviews, then you better make damn sure that you game is kick ass.
March 29, 2014 at 4:43 am #4173Chuck SmithGuest
I think you’re really underestimating how much time it takes to add a paywall into a game. Some games can be easy (first level is free), but others can be incredibly difficult. Also, this adds additional time researching and making a compelling buy screen, since the purchase happens within the game instead of in the store. Then, there’s the additional consideration that you have to keep the freemium OUYA version codebase somehow separate from the other platforms you’re maintaining.
As a game developer, when you see these obstacles for a platform with the [small] market that OUYA has, you decide just not to support it. And that’s sad for app developers and gamers. If the OUYA market were bigger, they could demand that all devs make freemium games, but while I like the required free-to-try element on the OUYA, I think this decision is actually better for the OUYA game ecosystem.
March 31, 2014 at 7:29 am #4174
Perhaps it is my background using Haxe that leads me to believe that creating a single codebase for multiple platforms is simple. In Haxe, you can add platform based blocks of code that are only compiled when targeting that platform. So for an Ouya game, you would add an “if target platform is Ouya execute this paywall code, if not ignore it,” statement at that point. That is how Haxe handles a lot of platform specific functionality.
As for finding the right place to put it, I do know that some developers have had trouble finding that right point. It wasn’t so much as “my game just cannot have any kind of interruption at any point” issue, just a “I can’t find what I feel is a right balance of free content to paid content.” For example the developer behind Bombball. He expressed some difficulty, not in implementing the paywall, but finding the right amount of free content to have. That I understand, but he found the solution through experimentation, something other devs can do as well.
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