Which platform should you release on first?

Today’s Ask Tobiah comes from Samuel Schumacher:

“My team and I are just wondering how many (and which) platforms we should support on launch. We are deep into development of a new endless runner/platformer game built mainly for touch screens (we are using Unity 5 for development). We are aiming to support as many platforms as possible, but are unsure as to which ones are the best to launch with (or if we should launch on all at the same time).”
-Samuel Schumacher

In an ideal world, the answer is clear: Release everywhere simultaneously. Continue reading Which platform should you release on first?

GameMaker HTML5 Module worth the cost?

Time for a quick “Ask Tobiah“:

Hello, I was researching the logistics of creating a Game. I would like to become an Indie Game Developer, and I was wondering if you think the GameMaker Modules (specifically HTML5 Module) is worth the cost of it. It’s now on sale for $149.99 (includes the 25% discount). I have been writing code to create websites, but does the HTML5 Module do more than just put the head and body tags in place? (One book I read has <10 lines of code that surrounds the Flash Animation so it’s easy to put a Flash Animation in HTML5 webpage). In other words: Would it be impossible or very difficult to export a game to HTML5 without the module? Another question: Do you have a list of websites to contact so that you can license your game to them after you create a game? I am new at this. Most of my experience is in writing code for websites. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.
-Trang Lam

Hi Trang. Personally, I think GameMaker is worth the money. It’s a great prototyping tool, and really great if you’re new to game development. It’s a harder argument now that Unity is free, but that doesn’t change that I think the tool is well worth the cost.

In order to run in a browser though, you will need to buy the GameMaker HTML5 module. Normally, GameMaker creates a Win32 .exe, can’t just include it in a page like you would a flash file. If your goal is to make games that run in the browser, you’ll just have to factor in the cost.

For your second question, not sure what you mean by “license”. Do you mean selling the game to gamers, or selling the source code? There are many sites that do both. Which one you should use depends a lot on what kind of game you have.

For gamers, different sites have different audiences. Find the ones that has players who would be into your kind of game. Unless you’re getting a good offer/promotion/something, try releasing to as many sites as possible to increase exposer. Though you may want to make sure you have some sort of news or notification system to know where your game ends up (if it gets copied) and if there are updates/they aren’t playing the latest greatest version.

For selling code, the clear choice would be the GameMaker Markplace.

Hope that answers your questions! I would also recommend checking out my resources page for other good links, and listening to other developers journeys on my Be Indie Now podcast.

-Tobiah

Blast Monkeys Design Philosophy

Been a few months, but time for another “Ask Tobiah“:

What principles did you use when designing levels for Blast Monkeys?
-Jeremy Welch

My good friend Jeremy recently asked me this question, and I figured I should answer in blog form.

To create the worlds for Blast Monkeys, we tried to follow some simple concepts:

Continue reading Blast Monkeys Design Philosophy

Art as a developer

Time for another “Ask Tobiah“:

How did you create the graphics and character designs for your first game? I know you are a developer. Did you do it by yourself? or find anyone for it? As a developer, it is a big challenge. I plan to use Unity.
-Tae Hwan Kim

Hey, just because I’m a “developer” doesn’t mean I am terrible at creating art!

I just happen, by pure coincidence, to be both a developer and terrible at art.

Continue reading Art as a developer

Monetization strategies for Windows markets

After the last two “Ask Tobiah” questions were about multiplatform development, time to change things up a bit:

How are monetization strategies different for the Windows markets? Any tips or tricks for success?
-Matthew Fossati

As an Evangelist from Microsoft, I don’t have access to numbers or percentages. Even if I did, I would not be able to share them due to privacy agreements unless given explicit permission to do so. But, I can speak from my own personal experience. Continue reading Monetization strategies for Windows markets

Multiplatform game frameworks

Welcome to part two of a new blog series I’ve started, “Ask Tobiah”!

You can read last Monday’s question about multiplatform development. In response to it, I got today’s question:

What are your feelings on the different frameworks for creating cross platform games (such as unity, xamarin etc)? Are they any good? What would make you choose one / not choose one?
Matt Whetton

I love them! I’d highly encourage game developers to use frameworks.

It doesn’t make sense to me why you would want to reinvent the wheel and deal with all the time and hassle of building your own engine… Continue reading Multiplatform game frameworks

When should you think about multiplatform?

I want to experiment with a new blog post series. People send me questions all the time, so instead of just responding to them via email, I will answer some here on my blog!

Sound fun? Let’s get into the first question:

Hey Tobiah. When you were developing your first app, did you target a specific platform? Or did you develop simultaneously for multiple platforms? Thanks for any advice!

Scott Christian

Great question, Scott.

The short answer is yes, when making a new app I definitely keep all target platforms in mind. Continue reading When should you think about multiplatform?