Author Topic: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.  (Read 13169 times)

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Offline roudoudou

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Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« on: 09:07, 18 July 17 »
Guys, I have created a new topic, as suggested, with the discussion about the motivation, etc.  :)

You realize you could get paid for producing a good game for the machine?! You have a game idea? :)


can't imagine the hourly wage...
« Last Edit: 23:01, 19 July 17 by ||C|-|E|| »
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Offline keith56

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #1 on: 11:59, 18 July 17 »
You realize you could get paid for producing a good game for the machine?! You have a game idea? :)

Get paid for writing CPC games? I'm struggling to get anyone interested in playing mine for free, as the THREE replies in the new game's thread shows... and ZERO replies to my 'Letsplay video: request for questions'... I don't want to make YT videos, but am having to as I have few options for promoting my game - and even then no one can be bothered to give any feedback.

I literally get more positive feedback on twitter for repairing broken MSX'es or doing beginners Spectrum coding than I do for six months of CPC development

Yes I'm bitter about it!

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Offline Targhan

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #2 on: 13:33, 18 July 17 »
Off-Topic:
Quote
Yes I'm bitter about it!

I'm really sorry to hear that, especially since your game is trully good and innovative. Keep on going though!
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #3 on: 14:37, 18 July 17 »
Get paid for writing CPC games? I'm struggling to get anyone interested in playing mine for free, as the THREE replies in the new game's thread shows... and ZERO replies to my 'Letsplay video: request for questions'... I don't want to make YT videos, but am having to as I have few options for promoting my game - and even then no one can be bothered to give any feedback.

I literally get more positive feedback on twitter for repairing broken MSX'es or doing beginners Spectrum coding than I do for six months of CPC development

Yes I'm bitter about it!


A page on the Wiki and a Link on the Main Page under CPC Related News should help with that.


I put my game (DSK and CDT images) on the Wiki, which I think now would of been better had I uploaded it to the Games Section in the Downloads. The Wiki is simply there to handle the pages and Links to the Downloads section, though I mainly code just for producing something a bit different, though enjoyable as well.
I think if you try and code something to something similar, which has been produced before, it might still be a great program, though it simply becomes another piece of software that falls into a category of a long bunch of well remembered games.
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Offline mr_lou

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #4 on: 15:23, 18 July 17 »
Get paid for writing CPC games? I'm struggling to get anyone interested in playing mine for free, as the THREE replies in the new game's thread shows... and ZERO replies to my 'Letsplay video: request for questions'... I don't want to make YT videos, but am having to as I have few options for promoting my game - and even then no one can be bothered to give any feedback.

I literally get more positive feedback on twitter for repairing broken MSX'es or doing beginners Spectrum coding than I do for six months of CPC development

Yes I'm bitter about it!

Overall the market is flooded with games in these modern times. Create a game for Android and you can forget about anyone playing your game, because it drowns in all the other titles. Try making one for Steam, and you'll receive a lot of negative comments trying to get it Greenlighted.

So if it is players you're looking for, I'm convinced you'll have more luck finding them by developing a game for a retro-computer, than for any modern platform. The CPC is a great platform to create games for these days.

I am a bit surprised to read your words here. I had a strong impression that your game was very popular. Didn't your initial thread have a lot of interest? I'm also certain I've seen at least two YouTube videos covering your game.
I admit I haven't tried it myself yet though, but that's mostly because I've been overbooked with a lot of other stuff. :-/

Offline Targhan

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #5 on: 15:26, 18 July 17 »
We can discuss this in another thread, but with Orion Prime, which I think was a great success, we made the promotion in many retro forums. There are also many non-english CPC forums which can be addressed to.
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Offline Puresox

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #6 on: 19:49, 18 July 17 »
Get paid for writing CPC games? I'm struggling to get anyone interested in playing mine for free, as the THREE replies in the new game's thread shows... and ZERO replies to my 'Letsplay video: request for questions'... I don't want to make YT videos, but am having to as I have few options for promoting my game - and even then no one can be bothered to give any feedback.

I literally get more positive feedback on twitter for repairing broken MSX'es or doing beginners Spectrum coding than I do for six months of CPC development

Yes I'm bitter about it!
I'm sorry to hear about your experience , I havent checked out your game, cos I havent been online for a while ,so will do. I think interest is more to do with awareness and organisation of this hobby . This Wiki is pretty decent and works very well with plenty of traffic . I am sure if that traffic can show a bit more love for the cpc . Money could be focused toward the right projects ? Who knows ,

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #7 on: 01:10, 19 July 17 »
Get paid for writing CPC games? I'm struggling to get anyone interested in playing mine for free, as the THREE replies in the new game's thread shows... and ZERO replies to my 'Letsplay video: request for questions'... I don't want to make YT videos, but am having to as I have few options for promoting my game - and even then no one can be bothered to give any feedback.

I literally get more positive feedback on twitter for repairing broken MSX'es or doing beginners Spectrum coding than I do for six months of CPC development

Yes I'm bitter about it!

Actually, I believe that the fact that the people is not answering does not mean that they/we are not interested in your game  :) At least I can say that I am following the development with great interest, although I have never commented in a Youtube video in my life and I did not write anything in the thread. I really like it though, and I will for sure play it when it is released, same as I did with the first part. Sometimes we are just a bit lazy showing the support, but it is there :)

Offline keith56

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #8 on: 11:22, 19 July 17 »
I am a bit surprised to read your words here. I had a strong impression that your game was very popular. Didn't your initial thread have a lot of interest? I'm also certain I've seen at least two YouTube videos covering your game.

Ok, well here's the low down on the popularity of my game!
1. I've had a couple of twitter messages, and a couple of CPC wiki pms - I think they total about 10 or so all in... I don't think I've recieved a single email of feedback since it's release (I got two, but they were replies to emails I had sent)
2. Website used to get good daily hits, but about 3 months after the games release, they dropped to near zero - all the hits I get now look like bot/hacker action ... remember the first game took 6 months of work to make - so that's a shortfall of 3 months of zero encouragement
3. the Chibiakumas ep1 thread got a total of 33 replies, but 14 of those were ME bumping my own thread to try to keep interest in the game... That means only 19 people actually commented on the first game

now check this thread out:
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/street-fighter-ii-cpc/
This is a thread about the Us-gold SF2 game (not the new one that's actually being developed) .. 44 replies to date ... about 2 days after the announcement of Chibi Akumas EP2 it had 22... more than both my games combined... and by that point Episode 2 announcement had been pushed off the 'recent posts' section of the first page.

SO people would rather whine about a game that never came out in 1992, by a company that never did any work on it, and being lied to by a magazine 20 years ago, than to show support for someone who has already released one game, and is working now to release a second one?... yes it seems so.

Some people have been great, diligently retweeting my posts, and people like Xyphoe and Novabug have kindly done videos of my game,  but Everyone on this site is tech literate, you all know give or take how Social networks and Google ranking work... and you don't need a website/blog/youtube channel to help promote developers... if people retweet/share/link/comment/bump your posts, they reach more people, if they do not, it doesn't matter if you've made the best game on the planet, no one will ever hear of it.

Well anyways, Chibi Akumas Ep2 is coming out on schedule whatever happens, but I've been forced to rethink my future plans, and I'm now having to aim for multiplatform on MSX/Spectrum and CPC for my releases, and that's going to mean a drop in the functionality of the CPC version.
I just can't get enough positive feedback on the CPC alone to keep putting the hours of work into this that are required to make the games I want to produce.
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Offline TMR

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #9 on: 11:59, 19 July 17 »
Well anyways, Chibi Akumas Ep2 is coming out on schedule whatever happens, but I've been forced to rethink my future plans, and I'm now having to aim for multiplatform on MSX/Spectrum and CPC for my releases, and that's going to mean a drop in the functionality of the CPC version.
I just can't get enough positive feedback on the CPC alone to keep putting the hours of work into this that are required to make the games I want to produce.

As a developer i've settled into taking a lack of feedback as positive in the sense that the people not responding means they couldn't find something negative to say. i just get on with coding for my own entertainment and education these days and letting the results out into the wild occasionally in the hope that some people might enjoy them. And i can't even get a review or interview in Retro Gamer! =-)

Yes it does suck to release something and get mostly tumbleweeds in response especially if you've put a lot of effort into it and are proud of that work, i've been upset by the same thing in the past which is how i accidentally ended up writing reviews and news about new 8- and later 16-bit games over the last twenty something years... i'm going for a lie down now, i suddenly feel old!

Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #10 on: 12:00, 19 July 17 »
Yeah, that's a shame. I try to like posts to do the encouragement aspect, but I'll try and reply more in future.


Doing a Speccy version is a good idea. The Spectrum Next is something you should look at, it's a Spectrum with (IMO) improved CPC Plus features tacked on, and faster CPU, in an FPGA. So you get hardware sprites (256 colour, 12 per scanline, 64 in the sprite bank), and even a 256 colour screen above/below the Speccy screen (with hardware scroll). They have got a 14MHz Z80 working with all the sprites and additional screen, and there's a 28MHz Z80 option that needs more timing work (I'm guessing memory access is getting tight here). There's about 3000 buyers of the board, and they're going to be active.

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #11 on: 12:58, 19 July 17 »
Ok, well here's the low down on the popularity of my game!
1. I've had a couple of twitter messages, and a couple of CPC wiki pms - I think they total about 10 or so all in... I don't think I've recieved a single email of feedback since it's release (I got two, but they were replies to emails I had sent)
2. Website used to get good daily hits, but about 3 months after the games release, they dropped to near zero - all the hits I get now look like bot/hacker action ... remember the first game took 6 months of work to make - so that's a shortfall of 3 months of zero encouragement
3. the Chibiakumas ep1 thread got a total of 33 replies, but 14 of those were ME bumping my own thread to try to keep interest in the game... That means only 19 people actually commented on the first game
...
I just can't get enough positive feedback on the CPC alone to keep putting the hours of work into this that are required to make the games I want to produce.

Well... I think most devs can relate to your frustration. We start out being very enthusiastic about our game project, imagining everyone will enjoy it just as much as we do ourselves. But that is rarely what happens.
So first thing to keep in mind: It doesn't only happen to you.
Next thing to keep in mind: It would happen on any other platform as well.

My girlfriend and I created an Android game "Pirate Diamonds" (www.PirateDiamonds.com) in our sparetime. It took us years, learning Android code, learning Blender to create the graphics, creating the music, matching the tones of the music to events in the game, donating to the author of the mod-player lib, adding options to challenge friends via SMS (thinking that would spread the game), etc etc. Result: No one is playing the game.
We had previously created "Ukko's Journey" (www.UkkosJourney.com) for the older cellphones, which didn't do that great either. (Ad-provider sucked). And now we decided to do a version for Blu-ray, playable on the modern gaming consoles (www.Blu-Play.com/games), while trying to get other Java devs interested in the platform. Nothing.
We also created "Space Rivals" for the CPC; a 4-player game. Targhan was the only one who posted a positive feedback comment on that one. I doubt anyone else even knows what it is.
My brother created "Another Rocket Game" with a mate of his. Took them at least 5 years creating their own level-editors and lots of levels and graphics etc etc. Then they tried to get it greenlighted on Steam, but got bashed by comments instead.

In other words: You are far from alone, if that's any comfort...

Offline keith56

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #12 on: 13:22, 19 July 17 »
In other words: You are far from alone, if that's any comfort...
Yeah, it is. I dunno, it just sucks when I see all the games on here that are stuck on 'preview' with no sign of an actual release date that have page after page of enthusiastic feedback...
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/other-retro/robocop-prime/
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/super-mario-bros-on-cpc-464-still-alive!/msg138202/#msg138202

don't get me wrong, good luck to them! but it sucks I can't get any of that for my finished game... I thought if I started teasing the game a few months before the release of episode 2 the overall response would be better this time, but as my massive 3 replys show I guess that's not happening

It doesn't really matter if the MSX/Spectrum communities give more feedback or not (though judging from what I've seen on twitter - they will), I can port all my game logic code, and level maps as is, and I can convert my graphics, and release the game on a new system for half the development time of a new game on the CPC

the next game wasn't going to even be a shooting game, so it would have been a total game engine rewrite even if it was CPC only, I just don't have the enthusiasm to start again from scratch right now.
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Offline mr_lou

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #13 on: 14:35, 19 July 17 »
Yea, I don't know what it is that makes the difference.

Take "Pirate Diamonds". Complete fail on Android. But actually it's just a "modern deluxe version" of Sort'em
Sort'em; our very first J2ME game (for older cellphones), which actually did pretty good. We made a decent amount of pocket money on Sort'em back then. So we know the concept itself is/was a success. It just didn't fly on Android despite being higher quality and supposedly more people play games on Android than on the old J2ME enabled phones.
My conclusion: The market is just overflooded - especially on Android.

Later on we made a CPC version of Sort'em
CPC version of Sort'em, which was my very first machine-code CPC game, and also first C experience. Very amateurish. So nothing to be proud of really. But it got much more attention than Space Rivals. Even got a review in Retro Gamer, which was a rather big surprise. It definitely isn't in the league of "Retro Gamer Reviews" in my opinion. But Space Rivals should have been.

At the end of the day, what we see is a complete lack of logic. It appears to be about luck. So what to do then?

Well, I think the best thing anyone can do is simply to ask for lots and lots of feedback and input. Use lots of betatesters for example, and take their feedback very serious. You may not find their feedback logical - but you should seriously consider implementing their suggestions anyway. This is always difficult, because we feel very attached to our projects, and don't want other people "ruining" it. We will instinctively reject most input. But if you want a bigger chance of success, you gotta give people what they want. Simple really.

We made a mistake that way when developing Ukko's Journey. A lot of our betatesters reported the difficulty being too hard. We ignored it because WE could easily beat the game, and we didn't want to bore people by making it too easy. Result: No one (except us) has ever reached level 4 in the game. (And we're talking 8 years now). People do still upload highscores, which is a bit fun, but no one has ever completed the game.

Implement options to please more people. For Space Rivals, we had betatesters say that it was too slow. But I definitely didn't want to speed it up. Solution: Create a "Turbo Mode" option. That way I could keep the normal speed, while also offering a faster "just for fun" version.

Offline Puresox

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #14 on: 18:21, 19 July 17 »
Yeah, it is. I dunno, it just sucks when I see all the games on here that are stuck on 'preview' with no sign of an actual release date that have page after page of enthusiastic feedback...
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/other-retro/robocop-prime/
http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/super-mario-bros-on-cpc-464-still-alive!/msg138202/#msg138202

don't get me wrong, good luck to them! but it sucks I can't get any of that for my finished game... I thought if I started teasing the game a few months before the release of episode 2 the overall response would be better this time, but as my massive 3 replys show I guess that's not happening

It doesn't really matter if the MSX/Spectrum communities give more feedback or not (though judging from what I've seen on twitter - they will), I can port all my game logic code, and level maps as is, and I can convert my graphics, and release the game on a new system for half the development time of a new game on the CPC

the next game wasn't going to even be a shooting game, so it would have been a total game engine rewrite even if it was CPC only, I just don't have the enthusiasm to start again from scratch right now.
I think issue is , Spectrum has a much larger retro devoted fanbase. CPC is always going to lag because of its market share at the time. And the Retro scene is going to be about Nostalgia more than anything. Even with a decent set up on Wiki CPC. There are a lot less people to rave about games , And when you have less numbers to show enthusiasm, people avoid showing it.
I've always been impressed with your stuff , but I don't think you need my support. I think you are making a decent point and does go to show how discouraging it is for people who have programmed for other machines and not the hardcore CPC programmer who knows what a tough job it can be as a fan of this machine

Offline Shining

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #15 on: 22:49, 19 July 17 »
Perhaps the moderators could split this thread. But because keith56 speaks out exactly what I'm thinking all the time, I want to add also my 2 cents to this:


I really love to code games for the cpc and I never ever wanted or thought that you can earn money with that. I did defence for free including a special edition at cost price. And also, I did pentomino. Look for example at pentomino: I was very glad that I had someone doing the gfx and I had much fun coding this one. The game can be downloaded at many places in the web, for example at my site. Regarding cpc.scifinet.org, I've recorded 259 downloads of pentomino, not knowing how many in total. But look at the thread in the forum: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/games/pentomino/ There are 6 posts. Two from me and one from the gfx-artist.


I thought, that I'm doing these games for the fun of coding and for all the other cpc-freaks out there. But doing such things on this beloved old machine lives from the feedback of you. This is our food, this is the payment for our work. If you like the games, tools, programs, the coders and artists do, or even if you dislike them, say it ! I'm really into doing more, but as keith56, I need feedback if it is worth to do and not for the trashbin.
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Offline Nich

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #16 on: 00:35, 20 July 17 »
We also created "Space Rivals" for the CPC; a 4-player game. Targhan was the only one who posted a positive feedback comment on that one. I doubt anyone else even knows what it is.

I know what Space Rivals is! Unfortunately it requires at least 2 players, and the computer can't control any of the players - so I guess the ability of CPC fans to play it is quite limited. I certainly don't have anyone else to play it with, which is a shame because it looks like a fairly entertaining little game.

Offline Nich

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #17 on: 00:49, 20 July 17 »
Well... I think most devs can relate to your frustration. We start out being very enthusiastic about our game project, imagining everyone will enjoy it just as much as we do ourselves. But that is rarely what happens.
So first thing to keep in mind: It doesn't only happen to you.

Your story is reassuring to hear! A couple of years ago, I tried to convert another Spectrum game to the CPC (having already converted two games years before with a reasonable degree of success), but it was taking me far longer than I expected, and I had difficulty understanding a lot of the code, so I gave up. I felt it just wasn't worth the effort when only a few dozen people at most would download and play it. :(

I've been spending months trying to learn programming on the PC, and again, it's taking a lot longer than I thought it would - but at least I now know that it has taken other people a very long time to produce and release something. I still have a long way to go before I reach that milestone.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #18 on: 01:20, 20 July 17 »
I guess the CPC community should really learn to send feedback whenever it can. I always try to send feedback when I can, but it's not always easy (sometimes, you simply don't like the production. In this case, I prefer not to say anything, I admit).


Orion Prime was a great success, but Imperial Mahjong's was of course much more limited, though it had more success than I thought, especially for a puzzle game. So this made me think: my next game WILL be a more "commercial" game. But a game I'll like first, because no one can pretend finishing a game he wouldn't want to play. But without feedback, one simply don't want to produce anymore.


Third point, is there anywhere a very simple web page with all the productions, as thumbnails, of the various productions done these last years? Wouldn't that be a good idea not to miss anything? One static page with nothing else than thumbnails. I'm pretty sure this would be efficient for people not to miss anything, even if they come here only once a year. But maybe this exists already...
« Last Edit: 13:39, 20 July 17 by Targhan »
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Offline andycadley

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #19 on: 02:24, 20 July 17 »

In all retro communities, not just the CPC, a lot of the "scene" interest is in nostalgia. New games and software are already, therefore, pitching at best to a minority of a small community. With platforms like the C64 and Speccy there is a slightly bigger exposure and so "bigger" releases might get spread a little further, but even that can be a bit limited.


Remakes of old games get a kind of bonus from nostalgia that entirely new titles don't. The people who have always had that nagging feeling R-Type could've been better, or that Double Dragon needed a third version or who still just like to grumble about all those promises of Street Fighter 2. There is as much conversation there about the "old days" as about any new developments. And ironically they're the least likely projects to get finished - both because replicating an existing title is harder and because living up to the expectations in people's heads is sometimes impossible.


And that's kind of why it has to be a labour of love. If you enjoy writing retro games for a niche piece of hardware go for it (and I hope you do, the first chibi seemed technically excellent if not exactly my cup of tea). If you want the adoration of the masses, release thousands of those hidden item/match 3 games for Android that seem intent on fleecing you out of house and home (that's where the masses are, after all).


Do it because you want to and then the end result really only has to please you. Code cross platform if you want, it's an interesting challenge if only because it can open your eyes to quite why so many "quick port" jobs ended up a bit clunky and why certain compromises got made to cut development time. Most of all have fun doing whatever you do, because that's really the best reward for dicking around with computers most people think belong in the trash.

Offline Puresox

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #20 on: 02:43, 20 July 17 »
I concur.

Offline TomEtJerry

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #21 on: 08:32, 20 July 17 »
Stop depressing guys, you have entered the real world.  :-X

Joking aside, we all have faced this lake of feedback about homemade tools, games, demoes, music or anything you can imagine. That's just human even it's sad : in general, people contact you to complain about bugs or because they want something.

I think it's less the same with adventure games like Orion Prime. People use to open threads on forums trying to solve the quest. I am sure that Thargan has received far less comments about the marvellous "Imperial Mahjong" than on Orion Prime.

Selling a CPC game with physical packaging should help to estimate the popularity of a program but that's time consumming and some buyers are just collectors, they don't play.

To me, a good way to have little feedback, it's to go to meetings or retrogaming events to present your game when it's still in development.
« Last Edit: 22:32, 20 July 17 by TomEtJerry »

Offline roudoudou

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #22 on: 09:24, 20 July 17 »
To me, a good way to have little feedback, it's to go to meetings or retrogaming events to present your game when it's still in development.


+10.000  :P
use RASM, the best assembler ever made :p

I will survive

Offline pacomix

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #23 on: 09:50, 20 July 17 »
Or probably the games were not really interesting for the people. As simple as that.


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Offline Dubliner

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Re: Coding a CPC game: motivation and feedback.
« Reply #24 on: 11:06, 20 July 17 »
I can't find it right now but there's a popular comic doing the rounds on twitter that it's mostly a conversation like this:

- Oh, i like that work.
- You should tell the creator something
- Nah, that's fine.

-Oh, that work is really lame. HEY, YOUR WORK SUCKS AND YOU SHOULD DIE.

We all should learn something. We, fans, should give more feedback about the things we like. And you, developers, if you don't get any feedback, probably it's because you are doing it right enough. I guess it sucks, but it should not be the end of the world.

P.S.: I do not have the time i used to have to write, but i did spent some of my very scarce free time three days ago on your new project. I hope it helps a bit http://retromaniacmagazine.blogspot.de/2017/07/a-punto-de-caramelo-chibi-akumas-ep-2.html