Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gridiron Solitaire #122: Marketing and Ideas

I've gone through about 800 of the 1200 entries in the Game Youtubers Megalist, which is a massive list of YouTube gaming channels.

I've learned some stuff.

First off, only a tiny fraction of these channels play sports games. A slightly larger fraction play indie games, but slightly. Minecraft is staggeringly popular, though, as is Nintendo.

Out of the 800 channels I've checked, I've found 16 that might be appropriate locations for a Gridiron Solitaire inquiry. Yes, that's 2%.

If even 1 out of 5 are willing to make a Let's Play of the game, or even mention it, that would be a nice outcome. That would be a final hit rate of .4%.

Such is marketing an indie game.

That's okay, though. Like I said last week, I'm okay with the long haul.

Gloria was in Dallas Saturday night, and Eli 13.1 was spending the night at a friend's house, so I was by myself. I had a list of things I was going to do, but at some point early on, I tried to remember the last time I was alone in the house and wasn't working on something.

For the life of me, I couldn't remember. Four years, at least.

So on Saturday night, I sat on the couch and watched football, reading when the commercials came on. Played NHL 15 on the PS4. Consciously did nothing that could even resemble work (even though, funny to say, it was hard).

On Sunday, I had a wild idea out of the blue that I immediately loved, even though it's highly unlikely that it will ever make its way into the game. What if those "big images" shown in the game were "big animations" instead? So instead of an image of a receiver catching a touchdown pass that displays for 5 seconds, there would be an animation of a receiver catching a touchdown pass. It would display for the same 5 seconds, but there would be so much more energy coming from an animation than a still image.

There are lots of practical objections to doing that, though, and like I said, it probably won't ever make it into the game. It's a sexy idea, though.

I talked to DQ Legal Advisor Lee Rawles last week, and he asked if I had ever considered adding a college variant of the game.

I have, actually. I've thought about adding a 32-team college version and integrating it with the existing "pro" version, with a relegation mechanic that would shuffle two teams a year.

The relegation mechanic in soccer is fantastic. It's entirely fascinating, and as a game mechanic, it would be just as good.

This would be set up so that if you won the college championship, you'd have the option of taking your team to the pros. You wouldn't be forced to play at one level or another, though. It would be entirely flexible.

Structurally, I think that works very well.

What doesn't work well is that I have no way to distinguish the gameplay of the college version from the pro version, and without that, there's no reason to consider doing it. College football has distinct gameplay from the NFL--faster, higher scoring, and more wide-open offensively, and I would have to capture that same feeling for there to be a reason to add the college structure.

So far, I haven't, so for now, it's an interesting but ultimately unworkable idea.

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