Author Topic: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman  (Read 1617 times)

Slash

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2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« on: July 06, 2016, 06:28:35 PM »
This weekend I had a chance to share a trip to the Colombian Coffee Area with Glenn Wichman, one of the creators of the original Rogue (along with Michael Toy and Ken Arnold) and a veteran of the video games industry.

On Sunday we did this small but hopefully interesting interview, in the middle of the Colombian nature. Some of the topics we talked about are:

  • Game Design challenges when incorporating new technologies.
  • “Roguelites” and diversity on game design elements.
  • Issues with current videogame distribution channels
  • The role of the Game Designer and some other related disciplines.
  • A message for the roguelike development community

Check it out here!

getter77

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 09:46:05 PM »
Good stuff and surely good times.   8)
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Krice

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 10:02:06 AM »
I think the advice to create fun games is a good one. Game designers often are too interested about details and the amount of stuff as he said, rather than is the game fun to play.

Aleksanderus

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 09:23:33 PM »
I think the advice to create fun games is a good one. Game designers often are too interested about details and the amount of stuff as he said, rather than is the game fun to play.
Big amount of stuff is awesome as long as it's placed and used correctly.

Lord_Mork

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 07:04:54 PM »
What do you guys think about the "distribution channel" discussions? Why is it that he says it is so difficult to gain recognition on an app store? I don't use the Apple app store, so I don't know.

jere

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 08:02:15 PM »
^The Android and Apple appstores each contain about 2,000,000 apps.

Compare to Steam, which has fewer than 10,000 games. And even on Steam people complain about the "indiepocalypse" where it's harder and harder to make it every month.

If there's 2 million apps in the store, there's no way in hell someone is going to randomly stumble upon your game. You need good reviews, marketing, word of mouth, etc.. Generally there's a feeling that the app store owners could do more to surface interesting games, but that's a difficult thing to do. As it stands, the rich just keep getting richer. The AAA F2P garbage stays on top because they can afford millions in advertising.
Golden Krone Hotel -- available on Steam Early Access now

Krice

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2016, 07:25:24 AM »
Generally there's a feeling that the app store owners could do more to surface interesting games, but that's a difficult thing to do. As it stands, the rich just keep getting richer. The AAA F2P garbage stays on top because they can afford millions in advertising.

It's not that simple. People play AAA F2P garbage, because they want to play them. The mobile market is mostly average people, not traditional players. Yet I think usually good games will succeed. The problem is that most developers believe their game is good, which is not always the case. Then they wonder why can't they become millionaires like the other guys and the "reasons" are no money for advertising etc.

jere

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 11:13:54 PM »
Quote
People play AAA F2P garbage, because they want to play them.
And people play slot machines and buy lottery tickets because they want to as well. OK.

Surely, AAA tend to have better graphics, music, and polish. It explains a lot about their success, but it doesn't explain it completely.

Lots of games have great art and mechanics and just don't go anywhere. The developer behind Auro has recently confessed that, despite working on the game for 6 years, it's been really unsuccessful: http://keithburgun.net/cgd-episode-26-auro-and-my-change-in-philosophy/
Golden Krone Hotel -- available on Steam Early Access now

Krice

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2016, 01:02:07 PM »
And people play slot machines and buy lottery tickets because they want to as well. OK.

Exactly. By now everyone should realize there is a whole new market of ignorant players who are either what I call "average" people or too young to know what is a good game. That's why you can easily remake any of that old 8-bit crap and sell it as a new game, some of them make lot of money. It sometimes may come as a surprise to people like us that normal people are incredibly dumb. They can play anything and enjoy it just fine. Think of games like that awful fruit game everyone is playing with their phone.

Often these games become success, because social media makes them visible to people. Flappy Bird became an instant hit and gave the developer some good money, even that game is so bad. All you need is create some kind of response and you might find your goldmine. Then there are serious developers who put all effort to create a decent game and it just doesn't sell. It's not interesting, it might be too well designed, too smooth etc.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 01:08:34 PM by Krice »

mushroom patch

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2016, 11:04:25 AM »
Generally there's a feeling that the app store owners could do more to surface interesting games, but that's a difficult thing to do. As it stands, the rich just keep getting richer. The AAA F2P garbage stays on top because they can afford millions in advertising.

It's not that simple.

Actually, it is that simple. The best predictor of how successful any product brought to a general market will be commercially is how much is spent promoting it. Yes, there are practical limits to how bad a product can be marketed, but within the realm of reasonable products, promotion is everything.

Krice

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 12:45:07 PM »
es, there are practical limits to how bad a product can be marketed, but within the realm of reasonable products, promotion is everything.

It's a matter of debate what is marketing today. Internet has changed it, too. Indie (or other) games can get really good visibility from famous youtubers/game reviewers. That way you spend 0$ for marketing the game. Forums and other social media also has a big role, because people start to talk about some game and the word spreads that way. I think Almost Human did not spend money to advertise Legend Of Grimrock, but it still became a nice success story. Which is a good example that social media works, because Grimrock is an actual game, although retro-ish, rather than just another dumb mobile "game".

mushroom patch

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2016, 01:04:01 PM »
I'm not saying that the probability of a game being a commercial success without a promotional budget is zero. I am saying the dominant factor in commercial success of reasonably marketable games is promotion.  In particular, no promotion means almost no chance of commercial success.

If you think you can make a game a commercial success or even just popular without professional promotion, you had better have a damn good plan for promoting it.

edit: also, the podcast about that Auro game is just sad as hell. To be fair, the game looks like a cough syrup-induced nightmare and seeing video of it playing is like watching a game of cricket -- I have no idea what the fuck is going on and I have no idea how to figure it out. Still, not learning the lesson that you have to promote a product to sell product after six years of effort to get in the position to learn it... damn.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 01:09:12 PM by mushroom patch »

Slash

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Re: 2016 Interview with Glenn Wichman
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2016, 03:06:16 PM »
I just posted the transcript, in case someone wants to read instead of watch-