Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

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vdweller
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Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » December 9th, 2015, 7:47 am

This question is mostly directed at BasiliskWrangler, but anyone with some insight on the matter is more than welcome to provide it.

I have been developing a Windows game for the past 4 years. I am near the stage of finishing it. So, aside from Steam Greenlight or other online platforms, I am looking to set up an online store and a website.

I saw that Basilisk Games use BMT Micro for such a purpose. My questions are (skip any if it's sensitive):

1) Do you recommend them? I am an individual, not a company.
2) Do people actually buy your games from your website? Or is, like, 99% of sales coming from Steam or elsewhere?
3) I don't want to wait for the game to be greenlit (or rejected). I want to set up a website first, with a demo and a purchase button, and then submit the game elsewhere. Is this the right way of thinking? Does this have any complications? Say that I want to sell my game for $4.99 in my website. And then after some time it gets greenlit. Do I have to alter my price?
4) Does a dev blog help things? There are so many many many blogs out there that makes wasting precious development time to write stuff just for a handful of people to see seem counter-productive and vain. I am a team of one (my cat has thorougly denied any pleas for collaborating with me so far) and spending 1 hour writing some stuff for the blog is not spending 1 hour to add a game feature...

Thanks in advance for your responses! I'm kind of swimming in the dark for these things. Making games is what I like to do...but setting up all the rest seems quite colossal so some info wouldn't hurt.

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by BasiliskWrangler » December 9th, 2015, 11:45 am

1) Yes, BMT Micro is a great site to handle the sale transaction. You don't want to have to set up credit card, bank wires, and PayPal processing on your own. Just let BMT Micro do it, and let them send out the download links. They'll take 10% of all sales, but that is a small price to pay to have it all done for you.

Oh, and about "not being a company"- if you sell stuff online, you are a company. You have customers, you sell a product, you'll pay taxes, deal with customer complaints, and sign all kinds of legal agreements with vendors. Isn't that what a business, a company, is? Seek some legal advice from an accountant and/or a business lawyer before you start so you know how to handle it properly.

2) Yes, people buy our game(s) from our site almost every day. But yes, Steam has a MUCH higher rate of sale. They take 30% off all sales, but it is worth it. Would you rather sell 10 copies on your site and keep 90% of the money, or 100 copies on Steam and keep 70% of it?

3) Yep, do it like that. Start your website right away. When your game gets Greenlit, you don't have to change your price, but you might want to run a sale. Most of your income will come from sales to be honest.

4) Dev blog will only help if you update it frequently and have some interesting stuff to say. People won't visit the blog unless you are actively updating it with juicy info. I say don't waste your time, but try to talk about your game everywhere you can - Twitter, Facebook, etc.
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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by blatherbeard » December 9th, 2015, 8:31 pm

I posted your questions to a friend of mine who has a game on EA steam and sells from his own website as well.

Ill post up his answers when he gets a chance to get back to me. hes in australia.
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So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by blatherbeard » December 10th, 2015, 9:51 pm

and here are his answers---

1. I have no experience with BMT Micro, so I can't answer that one, sorry.
2. Since I launched on Steam I'd say only around 10% of sales come from my website. The big platforms eclipse personal sites easily, just due to familiarity and convenience.
3. I used that method and it worked fine for me. Just make sure your prices match up between them so your customers don't feel gypped.
4. A dev blog helps massively in the development stages, but once you've got a practically whole product, no-one gives a shit about the development. They get super happy with (relatively) regular updates now and again. Just try to make them personal. Don't assume that people don't want to hear about certain aspects of the dev. People like being reminded that it's a human being making the game.

Hopefully this helps. If your mate has any other questions, hit me up!

if you have more questions let me know and ill relay them or give you his email/site info.
The armies joined in a bloody battle on this fine day, then storm clouds broke, and it rained.

So they all went home.---Story knots within blatherbeards Beard.

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » December 12th, 2015, 8:50 am

Thanks a lot for your replies! They are useful and to the point. It seems that, among others, opinions on website/Steam sales ratios tend to converge.

Sometimes I feel that it's too late to do some stuff like make a dev blog. If I made one back in 2012 when I started it, it would have made more sense. But now what am I supposed to write in it? "Hey check out this cool feature I added 3,5 years before. Incidentally, I don't remember what it does any more. But let me know what you think in the comments!"

On a side note, dafuq happened yesterday with the spam attacks?! I'm used to communicating in forums (born in '84 so I had pleny of time with them) and I'm kinda frustrated that Facebook etc kinda emptied forums. Those assholic spam/ad crusades don't make things easier either.

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » December 20th, 2015, 1:30 pm

About preorders:

Does BMT Micro handle pre-orders? If so, how does this work? I mean, someone pays. Then what? What do they get? An activation key? The game link is emailed at them when the game is ready?

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » April 28th, 2016, 8:38 am

This question is mainly directed at Thomas but anyone who know can help:

Do you have any experience with Humbe Bundle and Indiegala etc.? Is it worth it to proceed with them? How significant are they compared to Steam?

EDIT: I am asking because they contacted me themselves.

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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by BasiliskWrangler » April 28th, 2016, 12:29 pm

vdweller wrote:This question is mainly directed at Thomas but anyone who know can help:

Do you have any experience with Humbe Bundle and Indiegala etc.? Is it worth it to proceed with them? How significant are they compared to Steam?

EDIT: I am asking because they contacted me themselves.
Bundles can bring in a lot of money quickly, but it also drives your game into "discount bin" territory really quickly. I bundled Book 3 too quickly. Next game I won't bundle for at least a full year after release (well, unless it bombs completely upon launch).

I never could get Humble to work with me. If you can bundle with them, you can make a nice chunk of money. I did work with Indiegala and they were good too.
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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » May 1st, 2016, 5:52 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:
vdweller wrote:This question is mainly directed at Thomas but anyone who know can help:

Do you have any experience with Humbe Bundle and Indiegala etc.? Is it worth it to proceed with them? How significant are they compared to Steam?

EDIT: I am asking because they contacted me themselves.
Bundles can bring in a lot of money quickly, but it also drives your game into "discount bin" territory really quickly. I bundled Book 3 too quickly. Next game I won't bundle for at least a full year after release (well, unless it bombs completely upon launch).

I never could get Humble to work with me. If you can bundle with them, you can make a nice chunk of money. I did work with Indiegala and they were good too.
I was thinking of the Humble store rather than a bundle inclusion. Also the humble widget doesn't seem bad.

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vdweller
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Re: Setting up an online store for a game&more Questions

Post by vdweller » May 11th, 2016, 4:47 am

Hmmm...Indiegala asks me if I want to launch the game with a 30% discount, while at the moment it is not under any discount on Steam, Itch and the Humble Store. I wonder, is it a good practice to have a game discounted only in one store?

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