Groups quitting because of no sales/feedback

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By snout

Ascended (15187)

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18-03-2003, 11:54

We've seen it before, and I'm afraid it will happen in the future... many interesting MSX groups like Bandwagon, Mark Jelsma and TeddyWareZ stopped creating new products for MSX as there were low/no sales and mostly only negative feedback.

We have got some ideas up our sleeves that might improve the sales and feedback part on the long run, but I think it's good to discuss what we can do about it now. For starters... buy new software, don't copy. It destroyed too much already.

The second part is not as easy... personally I think developers should be aware that people only contact developers when they are not satisfied, when they have questions. Most people never contact people to say 'hey your software is great!!!'. So getting no/little feedback is actually a good thing. Just as long as your sales/downloads are doing fine Smile

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By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

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18-03-2003, 13:12

I hardly beleive that sales figures can be an argument for developping on the MSX anymore, the userbase is not large enough for that. Negative, or worse, no feedback is more of a problem. The case of Bandwagon is a good example of a group creating high quality MSX demos and getting little feedback. Maybe if they visited a MSX fair with their productions it would have been different and they would have got more direct feedback.

Lack of competition / new challenge is also one of the reasons why many groups stopped. In the old days it was fun to come up with something that had never been done before or write a better piece of software than a competing group. Looking at recent productions on other 8bits clearly shows the importance of competition on the overall quality. Bandwagon demonstrated that it was still possible to do new things on the MSX, alas they were the only ones with Lieve Tuore.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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18-03-2003, 14:02

Well.. I'm not talking about making big bucks, but selling one or two copies of your software on a fair were 100 - 200 people come is kind of disappointing, isn't it?

In the case of Bandwagon I always thought it was a bit odd they left MSX scene because they got no feedback. If you want feedback, you should ask for it. Have a look on our forum in the Meridian and Sunrise IDE threads and you can see how these topics have contributed to the further development of software.

Lack of competition... that's a true thing.... competition keeps you sharp. Maybe it's time or a community revival. Smile

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

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18-03-2003, 16:16

I don't know what software you are thinking of but it could also be due to the fact that the software in question either is not better or different enough from what already exists on the MSX.

There has been so many software created for the MSX already. If what you make doesn't bring something new or improvement then it will be hard to be noticed. Sunrise IDE CF Card is a good example, it exactly the kind of new things the MSX community needs. Same goes with Bandwagon demos, they were inovative and original.

Regarding games, I don't think we need yet another Nemesis/Aleste/Tetris/etc clone. There are many game types that have never been exploited on the MSX (Micro-Machine / Platform / Adventure games like Day of Tentacle / Fighting games). It IS possible to make such games on the MSX, and anyone coming up with such type of game (if it's nicely programmed) would certainly get some good audience.

By msxgamesbox

Champion (397)

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18-03-2003, 17:20

True some sales would probably bring some enthusiasm to their developpers and would maybe give them the will to develop new games - but if indeed they only manage to sell 10 copies it's understandable it can be disapointing...
Anyhow I have one reflection on the 'marketing' aspect and on the availability of those new (and very often great) games - this through experience:

1) Very little promotion is done, so unless you are really active in the MSX world and have the opportunity to go to fairs, you would not even get the chance to know new games exist...

2) Most new games are available at fairs, but let's be honest, a vast majority (95% i'd say) of MSX users will never attend a fair, and god knows how many would be eventually interested to buy new games.

3) When (after a lot of searching) you find a developpers website that made new games, either the sites are very average (not all of course), or there are no Demo's so to try-out (true for 50% of the cases).

4) When you really decide you want to give it a go, it's a total pain to order... people not answering promptly your e-mails (I know they just consider this as an hobby but...), and it takes much time to get the game in your mailbox... I don't want to cite anybody here but my last experience was horrendous, taking over one month from my first e-mail to getting the game at home...

5) Finally, in 99.99% of the cases, payment terms are not convenient at all (cash, IPMO, wiretransferts) - if people offered the opportunity to receive payments via Paypal for example, that would help very much.

Last point, very few general MSX websites enable you to find any information on new games... blame also on me as I run a MSX gaming site since a couple of years now but if the MSX community with a website could talk about these games and with appropriate links that might help. It's something I started to do with my game reviews I do periodically and the feedback I received from the developpers who read them was very positive and encourages me to go on (and hopefully them too).

There is also the case of developpers doing this for the fun only and who do not care about selling a few copies, but that's a different story!

Just my 2cts.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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18-03-2003, 17:51

As usual, the MRC has got some ideas up their sleeve to improve a lot for current developers and for people who want to buy MSX software. However, we are not even near finishing this project, and there are other things to be done first. Furthermore, we are still working out some legal issues concerning the ideas we have. We hope to have some interesting info soon.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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18-03-2003, 20:47

I'm convinced that there are ppl outthere who could create a very good game if they would join forces!

The old demoscene habit of spitting on others and bragging with your own stuff was fun back then, but time has changed!

imo, coders are the key element to a creation, since there are enough (gfx/music)artists around.

Link active motivated coders to active motivated artists.. that's the trick..

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

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18-03-2003, 20:50

It is not the groups quitting to write software, but the individuals inside the group who stop.
The solution is to bring those individuals again in a team , so that you can divide the time and your pleasure return.Everyone who has to put effort in everything, write code, have the ideas , make the music etc.
If this cannot be done software writing is gone forever.
Accepting Paypal is only in some cases useful.
ipmo YOU CAN FORGET, cause it doesnot exist anymore
INside a country is always best to use banktransfer or even elctronic banking.
I used it e.g. to pay the components we use for the moonsound ordered in Korea, very easy

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

18-03-2003, 20:56

PayPal is the new way of international payment. Quick and safe. Easy to use.

As for getting people together again. After two things that will be introduced within a month, our first focus goes to some MRC features that allow people to get in touch with the right people very easy. For people who are curious.. I advise you to fill in the info in the "My Account" menu Smile

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5515)

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19-03-2003, 00:11

I agree with you, Snout : Paypal is the best way to pay in the 21th century. I have used Paypal in 2002 to order MSX software of Delta Soft, and I was not deceived.
Other software sellers should understand that most buyers prefer a easy, safe and quick way of payment. All the others ways of payment are more difficult : you must go to the post or you must use a not so very easy program of e-banking for example.
I could order other MSX software (like some games), but if I see that I can't use Paypal, I'm still hesitating and finally, I don't order !
So if MRC could be a modern platform for selling and buying MSX software, it should be an excellent step in the good direction : we should have a MSX server for new MSX software and if the MRC plans could be in harmony with the plans of the MSX-Association, then we should have a real international MSX server ! Big smile

By msxgamesbox

Champion (397)

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19-03-2003, 08:42

IPMO still exist, I just received one last week.
Bank Transfert is not convenient at all except within same country - and it is not cheap.
Paypal is from far the best and I back totally Benoît's opinion that without paypal you just don't want to take all the steps necessary to make a payment by another mean, besides they are usually very slow.
Yes, if MRC could be a kind of distributor, that would be just great!

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