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Core Quality of the Game

Questions to consider regarding quality of game:

  • Does the game have fun/interesting gameplay mechanics?
  • Does the game has a consistent visual style?
  • Does the game has fine controls?
  • Does the game has fine audio?
  • Does the game has a good name?
  • Does the game stand out in some way by differentiating itself?

Questions to consider regarding market:

  • is there a demand for the genre/subgenre?
  • how big is the demand for the genre?
  • how good is the game compared to the best games from the genre? (better, same, worse)
  • how big might the demand for that particular game be?
  • how much choice do players who are into the genre have? (how much competition…how saturated is the genre? playtime and money of player is finite…thus can’t play/buy all… plays/buys x games from that genre per year…usually chooses the best)
  • what do other games from the same genre offer?
  • if niche genre is there any chance for cooperation with other developers with similar games of similar quality? (cross promotion, teaming up and making well made site about the niche genre…)

Does Expected Quality and Reality Match?

below you can find an example with platformers:

1. goal:
people who are into platformers usually play them for entertainment/enjoyment/fun.

2. expected characteristics:
for the goal to be reached they usually expect certain characteristics/qualities from the game… for example:

  • very good controls
  • consistent enjoyable visual style
  • fine level design, balance
  • maybe something that differentiates the game from other platformers etc….

note: of course expectations vary from person to person and might also be influenced by

  • experience (has player played many games from the genre? does player appreciate/understand all details that are important for that genre?…)
  • personal preferences (does the player like or dislike the genre?)
  • hype (might increase expectations)

3. reality:
the expected characteristics/qualities can either be met, exceeded or not reached at all…
the degree to which these qualities are fulfilled usually determine how much the game is enjoyed (or not enjoyed)

How indie games get discovered, evaluated and bought

the important aspect here is to have a game that is interesting enough (for those that are into the genre).
otherwise it stops right at the discovering phase…