Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Helping Xblig

I have spent a lot of time trying hard to figure out the best way to get the word that there is god stuff on Xblig out there. Heck, i am busy right now working on as many avenues as i can, as many leads as i can... following them hoping that one of these methods i come up with might just possibly lead to people visiting Xblig, and of course my games.

Everyone stands to benefit from more people going to the Xblig tab though on their Xbox. I am sure you have some doubts. I do not and here is why:-
1. There are some great games on Xblig
2. Players can come look and get a game they will enjoy for a rock bottom price
3. The developers will make more sales and more money, so are likely to stay around and do  another great game.
4. MS makes money from the sales too, therefore solidifying Xbligs place in the grand scheme of MS and Xbox things.

It is ALL win. I do not se a particularly bad situation. So what do we need? We need more people/players visiting the Indie games section of their dashboard. This is of course the part i have struggled with. spending way too much brain power on this problem. I am one of those developers that actually spends money on advertising. I also spend money on other types of promotions. I have some of my original ways of advertising listed somewhere in this blog. However none have so far proved useful. So how do i get more people to lok at my games. I have a great conversion rate, but i need more downloads.

Here is the latest idea i have. It does fall onto MS shoulders, and not developers. so far to be a dev and get the word out for Xblig is virtually impossible. so it must logically fall to whoever can make a difference. MS can do this. Though people have realised this and i have read numerous posts how MS should do this or that to save Xblig. I do not really agree with them. Or at least not whole heartedly. Mainly as they are all asking for too much. We need Leaderboards.. well with leaderboards come great responsibility. No way can peer reveiwers check to see if the game is pinging the servers too often etc. So that is out. Next up is the give us Achievements crowd. This is also not gonna happen. There is back end that would need to be done, and peer reveiwers again would have to check that it all worked as designed. This is a very tall order.

So what do i suggest that MS do i hear ya moan?
They give us some tiny Gamerscore. We do not hand it out. We do not control it. Therefore there is no XNA or C# changes required. So what is it exactly ?
Whenever anyone buys an Xblig game, they some small amount of gamerpoints.
1 dollar games get 5 points
3 dollar games get 10 points
5 dollar games get 15 points.

This could all be controlled by MS, behind the scenes for the most part. the values i choose are low compared to what you can get out of a full priced game for example. 1000 points in a 60 dollar game is good value. 200 points form an XBLA 15 dollar game is great too.

Yes people could look at this as buying points, but what are they doing when they buy 60 dollar games? Those first few points are always giveaways (10G you finished your first level etc).

I am sure some people will think this bad. But it is a relatively easy thing for MS to create. It should lead to a lot more interest in the Xblig area. Just look at all those sites that tell you the easiest games to garner gamerpoints from. I think the interest level for Xblig would go up. I think coverage on these sites would happen. who would really lose out? MS would get their 30% and Xblig devs would get their 70%.

Seems to me like a possible Win-Win situation. Now all i need to know is how to ask MS about it :O

Let me know what y'all think.

theBigDaddio showed me this Link talking about exactly this kind of thing and all the noise that surrounds it. Thanks mate!
Achievements for Xblig


  1. Dude I disagree, both Achievements and Leaderboards could be done, they have previously said so. The Apps frightened them. They were weirded out by the appearance of the massagers and such. I would say odds are we get something along those lines in 4.0.

  2. Hmm, well i did not say they could not be done. Obviously they can. However i think it is a bigger ask than what i am asking for. I also believe that leaderboards although incredibly useful to us, are not a big deal on a lot of games. (be great for 3 of my 4 though!).

    I just think we need a little help, waiting for a solution to the acheivement issue could be a long way off. Whereas i think what i suggested above will fast, easy and under their total control.

    think of it like this. If MS give us achievements to hand out. Just how many points will we be allowed to give? In keeping with the XBLA and Full priced titles it will be what ? 5-10 points for a 1 dollar game.. Not sure that is truly worth their while developing anything difficult to support.

    But one never knows. More for us is better for us that is for sure. So i can hope you are right, but it is not what i would be asking for if i wanted it soon.

    Da Voodoochief

    ps. thanks for the quick comment :)