At least as far as I know 🙂 It now went back to the person who is helping me setting my business up and I really carefully feel like saying that I do somewhat like the business plan now 😮 I think I made 4 big iterations refining it as best as I could and now there should be no Information missing, everything being formulated out properly and all parts coming together neatly. I’m quite glad to be honest. It wasn’t easy, especially the part of trying to figure out how much sales I can expect from my games (how does one even do that when I’m not even knowing all the games I will make?XD)
But I figured out something…Mainly I made decisions and estimates on quality and what I want to do generally with my games and that actually gave me some foothold for the numbers I used. Just as an example, I want to sell my games for 6-20 euros at their release, depending on the time I spend developing it, how replayable I want my games to be, how many options there are to expand on those ideas (I want my games to have updates or expansions if possible, in case interest is high enough). I also took into account what the current prices are for other games, their quality as example quite often determines what can be asked for initially. Buggy, barely playable games and unaesthetic games seem to be on the lower end of the spectrum, while Indie games like Stardew Valley are on the higher end, because they are constantly receiving updates, have a lot of content, a lot of customization, have a story and sandbox elements or in other words, there is something for almost anyone in it, without being too broad by bringing everything together with a main theme etc.
Interestingly when trying to research about what an average developer earns or sells on average, there are only some very vague statistics online and otherwise it’s only articles about the low end or the bestsellers.
I tried to figure out where I could fit within that spectrum, which was or is difficult for me, considering I constantly see myself as “not good enough”, but also, I would say I’m somewhat above average or at least average (of course I could be wrong about that, I don’t even know how I can think I’m crap and at the same time think I’m great lol)
Nonetheless, I did then base it off of feedback I got from ludum dares I participated in, talks I had with other game developers and some introspection and came to the conclusion, that my games are probably gonna run, they are probably gonna look good, because I know how to create a style and keep consistency and because of generally my art background and because “cute” seems to attract some people, so just from that standpoint, my games might already make a few sales. Then I have learned how to reduce game ideas/concepts to their very core level, which means, it is easy for me to create early prototypes, which I can release to playtesters, which means I would definitely work with feedback while developing, which I think is making my games better.
practically everything I can think of, from marketing (which I have an education in) to game development, sound creation etc. I usually tend to be as accurate and knowledgeable as possible…I plan well and I try my best to research everything properly before I do it and then I also tend to iterate through each execution, to improve it, if it doesn’t measure up to my own expectations, which honestly are quite high, but I learned dealing with that on a sane level.
Which simply means to me that I will work on trying to create the best quality that is possible to me for anyone who wants to play/buy my games, therefore I should not be afraid of actually asking for value for them. Especially since I’m currently not planning on making mobile games, I don’t have to compete with their insanely low prices.
Oh one thing I definitely learned from going through all those numbers, is that it is a lot, I mean A LOT easier to imagine, what you might sell, if you think of how many sales you might do per day, if your game is not becoming a bestseller. I mean it’s just much simpler, to think “oh sure, I could sell 1 or 2 games per day”, it’s closer to what our minds can probably grasp the meaning of. At least for me, it was much less difficult to imagine, that there might be 2-3 people interested in my games each day, especially, if I work on the advertisement part and distribute it over several platforms etc. So those first few days after release, might be indeed just some friends buying your game or some people you told about it, but everything counts 🙂
Have to start somewhere….and honestly I was surprised when I saw my statistics on itch.io for how my game critters was running, without me even doing any advertisement, besides like 3 posts on the ludum dare page, when I made the game for ludum dare 😀
For those curious: My game Critters got viewed 506 times and downloaded 133 times, right at this moment, in total. And totally out of the blue I got 1 fanart for it and 2 videos and it was my third released game and game jam project.
And just as a comparison, I did quite alot of “advertising” for my very first ludum dare game, probably also because I was so excited about finishing a game 🙂 and it only got 278 views and 22! downloads on itch.io.