★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Show me a game with high polish/game design that failed!

07-16-2012, 08:56 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Show me a game with high polish/game design that failed!

I originally put this in the general forum, but feel this might be the better forum.

I've read many post, not just here but on the internets, about how people are disappointed in their sales. Almost always I can see huge flaws in their game with it either being polish, HCI concepts, or bad game design.

I wanted to see if anybody reading this knows of a game that they feel hit it out of the park but still failed. My definition of failed is, not making the money back that was put into it.

I still have the belief that if you do the following, you can at least earn the money back that you put into it :

1. Create a game that is easy to communicate through pics and icon what it's about

2. Polish, Polish, Polish

3. Make good game design choices, Make the user make interesting decisions( risk / reward type decisions )

4. Create a world that people what to interact with

5. Create good/obvious user interactions

Please, somebody prove me wrong by showing me a game that did these things but still failed.
07-16-2012, 09:48 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey_green View Post
Please, somebody prove me wrong by showing me a game that did these things but still failed.
I'll turn this around, please prove yourself and show me a game that did these things and succeeded.

I personally think twitter/facebook integration is a huge waste of time, i never get apps to use my twitter/facebook to spam everyone on my list. A pain

Last edited by psj3809; 07-16-2012 at 10:11 AM.

07-16-2012, 10:10 AM
#3
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 31
You don't have marketing and PR in your list, so I think it's possible to do great game, with all of the above and still slip through without any visibility, which of course means the game will fail financially.

Also I believe that "polished game", "good game design" and terms like that are really relative and subjective and it's hard to say when the game is really polished (or to put it like that - no game is completely polished, there is always something you can add or make better).
07-16-2012, 10:18 AM
#4
I think this is an inherently biased experiment. It's possible to find flaws in any game. If Angry Birds had failed, it would be easy to dismiss the failure by saying that the gameplay is too primitive to be compelling, or that the world isn't interactive enough.

The idea that a good, polished game will always make money is probably the most prominent myth about the game industry. For some reason, people who have actually worked in it long enough to release a game or two don't buy into it, though...

Trying to prove it with actual examples seems a bit unnecessary. You can browse the app store and see countless scam games, generic endless runners, and 3D games with shallow gameplay and tons of bugs outperforming utterly terrific indie titles.
07-16-2012, 11:01 AM
#5
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 127
I would like to nominate my game Eve of Impact, and I think it "failed" because in the end it does not have enough content (that depends what you expect for 99 cents) and it is aimed at a niche sci-fi market. I think it meets your criteria.

I'm not in it for the money though, creating a game and putting it in the market was #1 on my bucket list, so I'm really happy with the way it is and the achievement I accomplished.

So in the end for me it did not fail

Check out my iOS game Eve of Impact and / or follow me on Twitter ;-)
07-16-2012, 11:47 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by rikschennink View Post
I would like to nominate my game Eve of Impact, and I think it "failed" because in the end it does not have enough content (that depends what you expect for 99 cents) and it is aimed at a niche sci-fi market. I think it meets your criteria.
Hmm... looking at your game seems like a big problem you may have is it's hard to tell how the game plays from your screen shots. I'm actually going to buy it tonight to try it out though. Looks cool.

Games: Boom Boat | Boom Boat 2
Developer: Razoric.com
Social: Twitter | Facebook
07-16-2012, 01:05 PM
#7
Another thing missing from that list is:
6) Getting that lucky break of an Apple front-page feature
I can think of many games that struggled for months to get noticed - that is until Apple put the game on centre stage. Angry Birds is actually one such example of this, which most people don't realise wasn't an instant hit. Trainyard is another.

I think many people believe luck is nothing to do with it, but that is just as naive as thinking it is entirely about luck. It's clearly a case of working hard and just keep going and working at it until you get that lucky break - this applies to all walks of life.

Making a great game is essential of course, that's a given. And you increase your chances of getting lucky by making it even better and more polished. But you still need an element of luck to hit the big time, be it via the luck of an Apple feature, or it being something the gaming press lap up or it just having that magic formula to go viral.

No game that's junk ever gets anywhere, but search the App Store on your iPad and filter out everything below a 4-star average and you'll find endless undiscovered gems, where any one of them would probably be a big hit if they were given that lucky break by Apple. Especially mine

Apps: Lead Wars (TA Thread) | Super Grav (TA Thread)
DemonStudios Ltd | Indie Game Dev
www.demonstudios.com
Follow: Facebook | Twitter
07-16-2012, 01:47 PM
#8
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razoric View Post
Hmm... looking at your game seems like a big problem you may have is it's hard to tell how the game plays from your screen shots. I'm actually going to buy it tonight to try it out though. Looks cool.
Would be really great if you could let me know what you expected it to be from the screenshots and how that differed from your experience when playing it.

Check out my iOS game Eve of Impact and / or follow me on Twitter ;-)
07-16-2012, 01:52 PM
#9
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Devon, UK
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by rikschennink View Post
I would like to nominate my game Eve of Impact, and I think it "failed" because in the end it does not have enough content (that depends what you expect for 99 cents) and it is aimed at a niche sci-fi market. I think it meets your criteria.

I'm not in it for the money though, creating a game and putting it in the market was #1 on my bucket list, so I'm really happy with the way it is and the achievement I accomplished.

So in the end for me it did not fail
I too would not immediately have picked up on your game as being any more niche than say Asteroids. Once I looked closer at the screenshots and could see the detail only then the game appealed to me, lots more. But I am a massive sci-fi fan so those details are extra cool for me to happily discover. Will check it out later, too. Downloading already but it's not playtime yet hehe :-)

Some interesting replies in this thread. Finding myself agreeing with them. Though I would say to all that most of us only want to earn Anywhere near a living. I would also like to think that say advertising would generate a return. I'm confident that my game will, so yeah it's taken a third try to really honestly say it will be done when it's done. I understand that more than ever before, I guess development time here at Zenout has doubled per project from 6 months to a full year...and no I'm not releasing in December ever again :-D

Web: www.zenout.co.uk
Follow: @zenoutJez
Developer: BubbleSand Tetroms (Attic Eyes...Soon!)
AppStore search string: "Jez Hammond"
07-16-2012, 10:49 PM
#10
I thought the same thing before our game was released. Now I can easily see how a good game could come out and disappear completely. Its really hard to get visibility on the App store, and really hard to get sales without it.

disparitygames.com