Recent

Author Topic: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus  (Read 2210 times)

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
I was originally working on a messaging platform, using fpc+laz to make the client, but then I had this idea for a networked game, and built it on top of the messaging platform.
Today I launched an early release. This time, leading up to the early release, it was a real crunch. It has been difficult, but I am super grateful for freepascal, lazarus, blender, and all the other software that gave me this chance to release something commercially.

Has anyone else experience with something like this? Any advice would be appreciated.
I have at times doubted the decision to not use a game engine. But then I think of my messaging queue made out of records and arrays. How could any generalist game engine compete with that kind of simplicity and efficiency? The simple answer is they can't really.

Today I am working on the windows version. The game is on itch.io if you want to check it out. I would love to hear any thoughts you may have. Do you think the price is good for what it is/what it seems to be?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2024, 09:45:23 am by BrassGear »

KodeZwerg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2241
  • Fifty shades of code.
    • Delphi & FreePascal
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2024, 01:00:21 pm »
How could any generalist game engine compete with that kind of simplicity and efficiency? The simple answer is they can't really.
How should anyone judge - we see no code?
So the only thing thats left is guessing or assuming, my guess is that a pre-made game engine offers way more possibilities and can do more than just paint a screen so I assume with a game engine it can be more easy to handle your ideas and help you to do the same in less time, more robust and stable, with ready do use methods and bling bling.
For 2D games, anything goes (even unaccelerated bitmaps, depend of course on type of game), for 3D my advise would be to watch different game engines and their features.
« Last Edit: Tomorrow at 31:76:97 xm by KodeZwerg »

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 01:20:51 pm »
my guess is that a pre-made game engine offers way more possibilities and can do more than just paint a screen so I assume with a game engine it can be more easy to handle your ideas and help you to do the same in less time, more robust and stable, with ready do use methods and bling bling.

You are probably correct. My expectations for the game were different when I made the decision.

Eugene Loza

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
    • My games in Pascal
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2024, 05:57:11 pm »
I've released multiple free and open source games (of course made in FreePascal) myself and also participated in several commercial game projects (also made in FreePascal :)). However, the first is not a commercial release experience and in the second I was a humble programmer, so also not aware of the commercial side. So, the notes below are rather from generic gamedev experience, I can't advice you on how to earn money or what price tag to put there.

So, from generic point of view:
1. Your page doesn't tell me almost a thing about your game. I suggest it's a hexagonal turn-based multiplayer strategy. This doesn't answer the question "why should I buy it?". You need to define your target audience and clearly communicate to them what you are selling and how it fits their demands. The game is described as "chess" though I rather see Battle for Wesnoth. Maybe there is some chess variant that I'm not aware of? Don't tell me, tell it on the landing page.
2. How does one play this game? I see a bunch of static screenshots that don't help me a bit. Make a trailer / gameplay trailer or at least a gif that will show the game flow; and most importantly - why the gameplay is exciting and worth spending my money on.
3. As it seems like some rare game variant or some unique take on chess - a free demo may give players by far better understanding of what the game is. Though demo is a double-edged sword, first it allows players to try the game for free and get hooked enough to buy it (if there is a good hook in the game), but on the other hand it may also give "free players" enough gameplay not to buy the full game. Hooking players with a demo is complicated.
4. You offer only Linux platform. My current hobby project has approximately 3% of the downloads for Linux platforms, 42% for Android and 55% for Windows. Free Pascal allows you to easily support Windows target and not so easily but still possible Android, it's more than worth a try.
5. Stonechess name is almost totally un-SEO-able. Google has >27 millions search results for this. You still can get to the first page, but until you do, you simply don't exist.
6. Most critical, IMHO. You are offering an online multiplayer game with no singleplayer option. How many concurrent players do you have now? How many can you easily obtain? Let's imagine: player buys your game but has no one to play with. Why did he buy the game? You need a stable online presence of a significant number of players for at least some matchmaking. I can understand that two friends can buy the game to play together and sync by-phone. But this is extremely small amount of game copies sold, given all of the above, may be literally zero.
7. When entering commercial gamedev you will eventually need to learn to do marketing and promotion of your game. If nobody knows about your game, it equals that it doesn't exist. Itch offers you some visibility buff at release, but in the last 24 hours there were 384 games released at Itch. You all compete for player's attention, how do you stand out among others?
8. Last but not least, Steam has 10x audience than Itch. If you want to go serious commercial unfortunately you don't have much of an option. Also consider other stores like Epic and maybe smaller ones like GameJolt, but you need to estimate result/effort ratio for those, which requires experience.

And finally, do not put too much hopes on your first release. You may get "lucky" and it will be a hit, but usually it's a miss. That's normal. Analyze, research, learn. See what worked, what didn't.

P.S. One very hard question. Why did you make specifically this game? Why did you pick this specific genre and visual aesthetics? Why multiplayer? I don't ask for answers, what I mean you must do market research. If you plan to go commercial, especially in hopes of self-sustaining your development, you must understand for whom you make games (target audience), what they like and what hooks them, how likely they are to spend money (should you use one-time payment, ads, INAPs or DLC monetization strategy?), how filled is this specific niche, etc. This should be done before writing the first line of code.
My FOSS games in FreePascal&CastleGameEngine: https://decoherence.itch.io/ (Sources: https://gitlab.com/EugeneLoza)

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2024, 07:45:05 pm »
Thank you. A lot of information there for me to think about. I will certainly consider Steam.
I thought my landing page got the idea across, but I have been staring at this project for months and I am very familiar with it. It's probably very difficult for me to see it from the eyes of a newcomer.
It's very true what you said about considering the investment against the return for smaller sites. Gamejolt for example is just white noise of low quality games.

I have uploaded the windows version. Getting to release on both windows and linux with a relatively small porting effort was one of the main reasons I chose freepascal and lazarus.

Seenkao

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 552
    • New ZenGL.
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2024, 07:57:21 pm »
Для того чтоб люди заинтересовались вашей игрой, вы должны сделать минимальный обзор игры. Один из лучших вариантов - это сделать видеообзор. Человек посмотрит и сможет решить имеет ли смысл брать игру или нет.

-----------------
Google translate:
In order for people to become interested in your game, you must provide a minimal review of the game. One of the best options is to do a video review. A person will look and be able to decide whether it makes sense to take the game or not.
Rus: Стремлюсь к созданию минимальных и достаточно быстрых приложений.

Eng: I strive to create applications that are minimal and reasonably fast.
Working on ZenGL

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2024, 03:17:28 pm »
Thank you, Seenkao.

It seems the general consensus so far that the presentation of the landing page is a major problem.

This is valuable feedback. It identified a blind spot I was not aware of.

Zoran

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1836
    • http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/User:Zoran
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2024, 04:23:11 pm »
I see there you have written how_to_play.pdf, but it can be downloaded only after the game is bought.
I can understand it is hard to prepare limited trial version of the game, but at least this pdf should be available for everyone without paying, don't you agree?

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
Re: I just released a commercial game written in freepascal and lazarus
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2024, 08:30:50 pm »
That is a good idea, thank you.

BrassGear

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Game Developer
    • My pascal game on itch.io
Thank you for your suggestions. I gave them a lot of consideration and integrated them into the release page of the full game as best I could.

 

TinyPortal © 2005-2018