Monthly Archives: March 2007

A new game on the horizon

Yes, I’m almost finished with my new “effort”. It is yet another kind of game, a simulation/management one, but very far from the sport simulation I’ve been releasing until now.

I don’t want to reveal anything yet, but I’m sure you’ll find it interesting enough to download and try it (and hopefully buy it!). It is quite innovative, and so far I know only 2 games that are related (one dates back to the Amiga age!).

I added so many new interesting gameplay elements to the basic idea, that I think the game will appeal the fan of the management genre. The only hint I want to give, is that my next title has something in common with Cinema Tycoon Gold.

But just something eh… !

Truth about piracy: some facts

I’ve decided to write this small post after so many discussions on indiegamer forums. Of course this is just my personal experience, but I think that you shouldn’t underestimate it…

Case Study: my game “The Goalkeeper

The game was released in September 2004, and was doing good. Nothing exceptional, but a solid seller. Then, in summer 2005 I found all those articles about piracy, and at same time I discovered the Armadillo protection system.

I decided to implement it in the game. That way, the only way would be either to post the serial (but at same time the real name of the buyer, which is something nobody should do) or make a crack/keygen. Keygen for Armadillo are almost impossible to make (don’t ask me why, but I never saw one), while cracks surely are possible.

So you might say, the piracy problem wasn’t solved. No, you’re wrong, very wrong.

You can’t defeat people that prefer to download a “RazorNFOCrackedGoalkeeperTrial.exe” and install it in their pc at own risk. No, you can’t. But you think that such people would buy your game? NO.

Instead you can “convert” people that may buy it, but first just to be sure they google for “gamename serial” to see if they can get it free. Doing a copy/paste is quite different from downloading an exe from an unknown site, at risk of destroying your whole HD and sending your financial/CC info to some nice guy that will happily steal all your money… 😀

Result: after august 2005, when I applied Armadillo protection, my sales for that game went up by 35% PERMANENTLY. Not just 1-2 month. AT time of writing, after almost 2 years, the increase in sales is still here.

What is the lesson of this story? Fighting hardcore piracy is futile – fighting “casual” piracy can help your business a lot!
Note: I had tried all the various protection schemes before, like fullversion download. I tried that with UBM. Unfortunately, there were a LOT of people complaining that they couldn’t download the complete version from Plimus, and every time I had to put the game online for them to download. This method clearly doesn’t work well if you sell at least 15 copies a month…Â 🙂 Beside that, was trivial for me to find the fullversion on the various bittorrent or rapidshare sites. So fullversion was causing troubles to legit user, and at same time was offering trivial piracy protection.

Magic Stones full version with quests

You may have noticed that my game Magic Stones started to appear on some other sites/portals. They sell it at lower price (around $20). Where’s the catch? the version on other sites beside mine doesn’t feature the Quest Mode and isn’t eligible for future updates. I think that this is well worth the $5 extra price if you buy the game directly from my site, that small difference will help the support of the development of future expansions and updates.

So remember, always buy on Winter Wolves site, if you want to get the full version of Magic Stones, with quest and updates! 🙂

Virtual Villagers, Chapter 2

I think everyone knows about the Virtual Villager success, since is one of the most famous casual games of the whole 2006. Now the guys at LDW released the second chapter, called “The Lost Children”. It was out already for Pc, and now is out even for Mac. I just had time to download it and start playing a bit… quite impressive, I think they’re going to repeat the success of the first episode!

Download the demo for Pc

Download the demo for Mac