Blog Post

30
Pseudolonewolf
4 years ago

Why Betas are Private

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories:
I'd hoped to take a break from this place to stop the chronic headache and fatigue, but I've been dragged into it once again by the amoral actions of a single monster. Or maybe more than one. I don't know.

Rather than emotionally venting about how broken my heart is by the behaviour of such people - something that never achieves any good, especially when such people are apparently unable to feel bad about their actions - I'll instead just explain the way the beta testing and sponsorship of my games works.

I make games without being paid to do so; I receive no paycheque at the end of the week, and there's basically no 'job security' in this kind of thing. I'm doing it largely out of the goodness in my heart, and everyone will get to play the game for free when it's done anyway, so all I ask in return is patience and respect for the process.

However, during the development, I need to make sure the game is all working okay, and that requires beta testing. I'd actually really like to do public betas, where I develop the games completely transparently and people can see every step of the process and play every new version as it's developed. It'd probably be more motivating, and it'd make other people happier too, perhaps.

Sadly, it doesn't work that way. The only money I can hope to get from these Flash games is a sponsorship deal when a game is done, which involves a site like Kongregate or CrazyMonkeyGames or whatever paying to have their logo shoved into the game. They do this not out of the goodness in their hearts, but so then their brand name can be seen, so then they can get more hits, and can earn more money from having a larger audience and so on and so forth.

In order to maximise their exposure, they require that the games they sponsor haven't been seen online without their branding. If some game is released for the first time, and it can be ensured that ALL copies online, seen by the public, will have that sponsor's branding in, then they'd love that! If, however, hundreds of thousands of people had already played the game without their branding, then they'd have much less interest in paying a high price, or any at all.

I think some Flash games do go down the public beta route, but they must get paid much less in the end than an 'exclusive' game. My games earn only peanuts as it is - far less than I feel they should, considering the time and effort involved - so I try to do what I can to maximise the profits... which means private betas, playable only by a few select people.

Finding and playing an unfinished, unreleased game might be a bit of a thrill, a quick bit of fun, but to do so is to be completely blind to the long-term process. Getting your hands on the beta doesn't mean 'playing the game early'. It means playing a buggy, unfinished version and potentially ruining the entire development process. If I couldn't be expected to earn much from a game, why would I bother to finish it?

If you ever see any released versions of my unfinished games anywhere, then I'd be very grateful if you could report them so then I might try to get them taken down, in order to save my livelihood. Otherwise, I don't think this game-making thing will be feasible anymore; why spend months and months making something that will earn nothing? I can't survive that way.
48 Comments

on 13 Roots

48 Comments

bobbybob188
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I know I would pay money for a second arrangement of piano songs from the MARDEK series. There is a lot of songs that I would practically throw money at hoping for piano sheet music, such as Solaar's theme, Vehrn's theme, and Emela's theme. I don't know if this has been suggested before or if there is a reason that there was only one set of piano arrangements but I hope you consider making another.
Rythlion
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Have you thought of trying Patreon? I've enough disposable income to dedicate $25/month to your game development. It's not much, but if you could find at least a hundred like-minded individuals, you'd be able to live and produce the beautiful games you're capable of creating.
Din65
3

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Din65 27 United States ENTP 14C
It's really irresponsible to expect to make a living producing one work on one site every year. With Steam, iOS and Google Play, you have many, many options. Unless Kongregate is paying you 5 digits (in pounds) per game, explore other avenues. I'd really love to see more of your work, and that's only going to happen if you get the resources to survive while making them.
logan4456
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Actually Mardek is on Google Play. You can get it for your android phone and play it there. I don't know how well it works, or If Pseudo is the one who put it there and is getting paid, but it's there.
Seiryuu
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I think there was a blog post a while back that said that some platform essentially bootlegged it. Can't remember if it was Google Play.
Vekel
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Vekel 21 United States CholericMelancholic INFP 8w7 41C
I argue against Premium Content because it makes me feel that I can't truly "complete" the game without having to pay for it.

Now, if you wanted to make some BIG money, you could put a few games on Steam (Seems to be a popular idea), as well as getting a few games published for consoles like the XBox and PSwhatever # they're up to now.

You could also take Commissions, where someone pays you a flat amount to make their idea into a game. They might want more than Flash, though. You could spend some time learning new coding methods like Unity, Java or...some generic third item. I dunno, I've just started on C++ myself.

Maybe you could branch out and make other things BESIDES games? You could write books, make art, another generic third item.

All of these are just suggestions. I do recommend Books because of the royalties that last pretty much forever.

Yeah! Make MARDEK into a Book series! That'd sell, as well as attract more people to play the game. Clarence could be a short novel. Alora Fane...probably not.
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Sorry, I dont want to be critical or anything like that, but that book idea is the dumbest thing Ive ever hurd 1. Book is more boring than game 2. Who would read those? How to make camercial for those? 3. That just would be very weird its like turning pie into an alien. Games, movies are made by books not opposite again I must have been to rude sorry for that but I just think that it is stupid
Vekel
3

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Vekel 21 United States CholericMelancholic INFP 8w7 41C
Actually, you're right. Who reads anymore, besides their Facebook messages and tweets? Who reads real material? With the rise of technology and hyper-convenience, people simply don't have enough TIME (or the attention span) to read a chapter, yet alone a whole, massive 300-page nightmare of words.

That was sarcasm, if you didn't get that. And your first reason, "book is more boring than game" is an opinion, as is your third reason.
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Well tweets and all that stuff is more intresting lets say somebody asks you a question so youre eager to awnser it

anakin123
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
anakin123 19 Belgium MelancholicPhlegmatic INFJ 459 282C
The Hunger Games - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunger_Games‎
Vertaal deze pagina
After an initial print of 200,000, the book had sold 800,000 copies by February 2010


I think if you're good, books are a good way to earn money. A lot of people read. Well...
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Youre right but the movie was made by book wasnt it? Have you ever seen a book that was made by game? I know Ive never seen one also the making of the movie helped a lot for the book....
anakin123
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
anakin123 19 Belgium MelancholicPhlegmatic INFJ 459 282C
A book made by a game? Hmm, good question.
Who knows, I haven't seen any, but there probably are.
The book had already sold 50 million copies (more than harry potter) before the second movie came out...
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Well it was enough for the first film to attract the readers so im not amazed i didnt even know about book until the movie so i think movies games are more popular than books
Vekel
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Vekel 21 United States CholericMelancholic INFP 8w7 41C
Books made by other media=Fan fiction. And I've read some very good fan fiction. Now, if pseudo makes a book as good as the Hunger Games (Possible) and receives 1$ per book sold as a royalty, * 50 million copies=OH MY GOSH.
Zazax
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Zazax 27 Canada MelancholicPhlegmatic INTJ 4w5 85C
Books that are based off of games, as opposed to the other way around? Tons of them. Back in the day I read a couple Starcraft and Diablo books. As I type this my little brother is reading the latest Halo book. In particular, the book Halo: The Flood is actually Halo 1 in book form, rather than just a novel set in the game's universe. Probably more what you mean. And that's just to name a few; there's all sorts of examples.

If we're not limiting this to video games but games of all types, there's also a number of excellent books based off the various Warhammer sub-franchises (the Horus Heresy series is a perennial favourite), and there's various D&D-related books of varying quality.

So yeah. All over the place. Just need to know where to look.

Also, in response to a comment of yours earlier in this chain, I very much disagree that books are boring and wholeheartedly believe you're missing out, but I guess there's no accounting for opinion. To each their own.
Or maybe I'm just one of the weird ones. Who knows. Maybe I should start complaining about kids being on my lawn and shake a cane at people more often.
You kids these days with your twitter and rock and roll music. *shakes cane*
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Youre right im just saying that to me its superhard to start reading a book and more than 50% of the books are kind of boring melanchinic sad....
donutsizzle
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Keep in mind that your own personal prejudice does not necessarily correspond with the feelings of others. Personally, I find books to be, in general (and being equally selective in all realms) a far more interesting and valuable pursuit than films, video games, television programs, etcetera.

And anyway, aren't you going unnecessarily far out of your way to flaunt your anti-intellectualism?
PixelTzar
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
PixelTzar 27 United States INTP 564 37C
Rock and Roll? It has been out for ages *rolls eyes* though twitter is about 10 years now I think.
PixelTzar
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
PixelTzar 27 United States INTP 564 37C
Gabriel Knight was a game before it was a book, DnD has many book forms ect. they may not always be successful but they are out there that is just as far as I know I might look into it later.
memberis194
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Well thanks for example I agree about not succesful part
PixelTzar
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
PixelTzar 27 United States INTP 564 37C
That one is particular is not successful but there are plenty DnD books that are successful is both popularizing the game as well as good just to read. The reason I got interested in StarCraft awhile ago was because I read a visual novel on it and was told there was a game of it.
But this is me I enjoy reading especially Sci-Fi/ futuristic
ZeroPride
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
ZeroPride 23 Italy MelancholicPhlegmatic ISTJ 5w6 1C
how about putting a premium content on the game, kinda like Epic battle fantasy 4? the f2p content there didn't ruin the game, but gave a few extras to those that wanted to support the game
anakin123
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
anakin123 19 Belgium MelancholicPhlegmatic INFJ 459 282C
www.arcadeprehacks.com has a version (hacked) of deliverance, if you mind that. Seeing as it's abandonned, I never saw harm in it, but... Well. Just telling you.
adde1er
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
it also have all mardek (old 1st one and the newer version of the 3. 1 and 2 don't have kongregate logo but have crazymonkeygame logo and the 3rd have the kongregate logo) and even beast signer (but as it only an alpha version i'm not sure if it's bothering you). It even got clarence big chance.

here all the links to the games so that you can verify if they're wrong about this :

mardek old 1 :
∞ LINK ∞
mardek new 1:
∞ LINK ∞
mardek new 2:
∞ LINK ∞
mardek new 3:
∞ LINK ∞

beast signer:
∞ LINK ∞

clarence: ∞ LINK ∞

deliverance:
∞ LINK ∞

raider 2:
∞ LINK ∞

to me, the simple fact that they hacked your games means thay they were popular enough that they wanted to hack them but it's still very wrong to do that ...

(if after checking your games, you think that your games may stay there then please delete this post, i wouldn't like to let people play your games on sites where they shouldn't)
Matrigan
6

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I'm curious about the sponsorship route you intend to take for Alora Fane: Creation.
I know that way-back-when there was talk of a pay-to-play system in which there's no sponsor, and all the traffic is directed to the site. A system where you host everything, essentially, and people pay for access. This blog post implies that you intend to pursue sponsorship for AF:C, which is obviously totally your call to make, but I personally advocate for a pay-to-play system. AF:C is a large project with endless possibilities and replay value, one that I believe you said would be constantly updated. I think charging $5 for the game is more than fair, and would bring a great deal of traffic to the site. I personally would pay $10, but I understand that a lot of potentially players have no source of income and would be relying on their parents to pay for access. I think that $5 value, in relation to what people pay for other sources or entertainment, is a relatively low bar.
Now I'm sure you've considered this and know all of the ins and outs of monetizing your games much better than I do. I'd just like to say that I'm willing to pay, and that I believe many others would be as well. In fact, I'd prefer something that's pay-to-play above a free game that's sponsored, as it'd allow you to make the creative process public as you desire, and, I think, earn you more money in the long run, providing more motivation.
Avarion
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Avarion 29 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic INFP 655 21C
I'm inclined to agree with this - you've already done various games through sponsorship and you've said yourself that they don't bring anywhere near enough money in, especially for the amount of hours put into them.

Also, maybe it is my imagination but the amount of flash games coming out seems to be slowly decreasing in recent years. I'm sure it'll be a viable market for some time still, but you'd probably get more out of your original pay-to-play system.
SolaceDragonclaw
3

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
I haven't seen anything thus far, but I'll keep an eye open!

Also, have you considered Greenlight-ing some games on Steam? I think a bunch of people (including myself) would be willing to pay for games like Mardek and Clarence on Steam to help support your further projects and endeavors.
Gyrotechnics
3

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Perhaps you can sell your game on something like steam?
You wouldn't have to go through the process you described with the branding and instead just get your five or ten bucks per download.

It seems to me like that'd be the best option, but I don't know as much about selling games as I would like, so maybe I'm wrong.
The Skull
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
That'd require something more substantial than a flash game, though.
The Skull
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
Although you can make small cheap games for Steam, that is true.
Zyphon
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Zyphon 20 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic ISFP 5w4 13C
Not necessarily true, All of the Amanita games are flash games, and they do just fine.
The Skull
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
I didn't say it was true for 100% of all games on Steam. It's still true for the *majority* of games on Steam. And I'm sure Pseudo has considered the option himself, in the years he has been making games.
Lyle
1

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
Epic Battle Fantasy 4 was greenlit on Steam. If EBF4 can make it, then a game like Mardek 3 definitely can.
The Skull
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
True but, again, it's still not at as if it's a common occurrence on Steam. And, again, I didn't say it was impossible I was just pointing out that it's not the norm. And, again, I was also pointing out this is something he's almost definitely considered and has probably ruled out for some reason or another. It's unlikely he's never considered marketing his games on Steam.
The Skull
2

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
If I saw anything I'd report it to you immediately, I've read into this sort of thing for my own hopefully upcoming games so I know what a pain it can potentially be, and it isn't fair on the developer to have it happen.
The Skull
0

Notice: Undefined index: FID in /home4/yalort/public_html/charcoal/code/common.php on line 11
The Skull 22 United Kingdom CholericMelancholic INTJ 4w5 94C
Also, I know you don't really know me but if you ever need an extra beta tester, I'm a big fan of your work (especially Raider) and the opportunity to help would be terrific.