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rugged

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Cost
« on: March 24, 2006, 06:57:07 PM »

Are you able to shed any light on the expected cost of Al?
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coroloro

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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2006, 07:56:26 PM »

I'd be surprised if even Chris knows yet. :P *laughs* I wonder if they will either draw lots, or maybe toss dice...

-Patrick
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Morte

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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2006, 08:30:29 PM »

I can't speak for the developers or their marketing team, but here's my thoughts as a consumer (and a first-waver who enjoyed Al Emmo quite a bit).

From my experience, the vast majority of indie adventure games range from about $9.99 US to $19.99. For some recent examples, consider "Bone: Adventure Out of Boneville" ($19.99), "Hope Springs Eternal" ($18.00), and "Shady Brook" ($9.99).

Even AAA mainstream titles from, say, The Adventure Company (http://tinyurl.com/eh6gf) only top out at $29.99... and these guys are one of the biggest adventure publishers around right now.

IMHO:
- $30 or more = hardcore and nostalgic niche-gamers only
- $20-$30 = not competitive enough
- $15-$20 = my pick for most reasonable
- $10-$15 = great deal
- $10 or less = perfect impulse buy for those outside the targeted demographic

That's my two cents, anyway (incompetent pun intended :)).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2006, 12:07:47 AM by Morte »
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"You lick a thick smear of filth off the street, finding the taste unpleasant. You quickly swallow it. What a smart person you are." -Space Quest IV

rugged

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Hmm
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2006, 12:04:46 AM »

I agree, I would be keen on spending about $20 US, for the game
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MKB

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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2006, 04:46:19 AM »

I remember spending $47 to $49 US for each of the Space Quest series when they first came out. Radio Shack  was the only store here that carried AGs. I don't think Al Emmo (or any other AG) will ever be that steep again so I'm sure I'll be happy with the price.
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MusicallyInspired

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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2006, 12:57:34 PM »

What about having it up for a certain price with an option to donate more for those that don't mind paying more and want to help Himalaya out?
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Luke

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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2006, 10:13:01 PM »

Quote from: "MusicallyInspired"
What about having it up for a certain price with an option to donate more for those that don't mind paying more and want to help Himalaya out?

Good idea, Brandon.  I'd definitely be willing to fork over an extra $5 or $10.
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aspid

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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2006, 01:47:29 AM »

Don't know what the price will be, but I agree that 19.95$ (or 19.99 - damn this thing ;-)) would be a reasonable one. "Bone 1" was overpriced - everyone knows it, but "Al Emmo" is really worth this. Or lets put it it in another way - 15-25$ concernig what Himalaya will prefer: to sell more copies or to get more from oldschool fans.

The other thing is if they would really sell it as a box version (and include a fresh issue of "Mail Order Monthly" with GameDevBrit's photo and valid e-mail ;-)) - see http://www.adventure-eu.com/forum/index.php?topic=599.0
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coroloro

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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2006, 07:04:25 AM »

I cannot speak for Himalaya or those behind it either, but I will say these things.

It is a guess of mine that Himalaya is in debt after this, and has money to pay off. It is also a guess that with these requirements, and the time and effort a game like this takes to put out- especially for the first time- that there is a minimum they have to aquire and they will not be capable of starting low.

Finally, it is also a guess that the 'middle range' of 15-20 would get a negative head shake from people in hima- just a guess.

Of course, my own price ideas would be slightly similar, but, new games on the shelves these days aren't THAT low. Here's my price idea.


$50 and above- Most new games in the shelves these days that are NOT collectors items NEVER go above this unless there is something unique coming with them. So, not a good cap to go above, and if you do, I doubt it will receive much. Nooow- a good way to get extra funds and 'donations' is to have a version of higher cost that has some bonus things. Like hand painted backgrounds, or an instruction booklet signed by the team and designers- that'd be REALLY worth it! As a player, without having been a beta tester, if I loved the game I'd see it as a good deal to support the designers AND get a collectors piece for that price.

$40-49- The price of most new games on the market, and what they start at. You might get a lot of hard core gaming fans willing to start at this. Also, with your FREE demo that plays the COMPLETE game all the way up to Act 1, you have a HUGE advantage of letting curious gamers TRY the actual game before they buy it. It increases your chances of gamers who really really love it buying at this level. BUT, it's a high bracket these days, and you'll limit your initial buys. If you need a lot of purchases fast- this is a high price area. If you want to get dedicated gamers to pay the price that is worth your high investment in to the game- then start here. There are a lot of non-hardcore fans, I will warn, who might even play the demo but just be unwilling to invest this much. Personally- I would wait until it went down.

$30-39- Honestly, high is a good upper middle ground for starting if you absolutely need to pay back debts and have invested a lot into this game but want people who are not just "hard core old-style fans" to jump onto the initial bandwagon. You'll still get people unwilling to pay this price, but less often.

25-29  This is a sweet spot. I think it is a good price to even out at, whatever players say. You've invested a LOT into this game, and it really is a full, complete game that people who haven't played it cannot really comment on. If it weren't for my personal dislike of the Western genre, this would be a price I'd pay right off.

around $19- After playing the demo, if it were this price, I'd buy it. If it were more, I might not, honestly. But again, I'm a western-hater (sorry... heck, my wife LOVES John Wayne and I have only watched an entire movie with her maybe twice in our entire five year relationship!!!! That's how much I HATE Western :P But I LOVE Sierra-style adventure games) Before playing the demo? Hmmmm... not sure.

below $19- Not wise to dip here until it is much older, I think.


Of course, these are all just my humble opinions. I have a hunch that we're going to see it start out at the higher end, though.

-Patrick
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aspid

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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2006, 07:44:51 AM »

At least "scratches" can be found at amazon.com for 20$.
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2006, 01:39:33 PM »

Hey guys!

We are currently discussing pricing and packaging options, and soon, a final decision will have been made.

I don't want to say anything publically yet, until we have a more definite answer.  But many of the concerns you've brought up have been considered and discussed behind the scenes.  I'm confident we'll find a price that is reasonable for both the gamer and developer alike, making certain you get a good deal, and that we are able to pay off our debts.

I'll keep you updated as we come closer to a decision!

And this mail order magazine option.  Hmm, I wonder how much I could auction myself off for? Oh wait, no, bad idea...:hehe:
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aspid

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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2006, 12:05:04 AM »

Just remebered the box cover of first Larry game (or to be more preciese - "Softporn" text adventure on which "Larry 1" was based on) ;-)
http://www.mobygames.com/game/apple2/softporn-adventure/cover-art/gameCoverId,57123
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2006, 12:47:08 AM »

I'm not getting in a hot tub and appearing on the cover of Al Emmo.  But, Eriq Chang has created an awesomely brilliant box design as a consellation! ;)
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Morte

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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2006, 02:12:51 AM »

Quote from: "aspid"
Just remebered the box cover of first Larry game (or to be more preciese - "Softporn" text adventure on which "Larry 1" was based on) ;-)
http://www.mobygames.com/game/apple2/softporn-adventure/cover-art/gameCoverId,57123


I had my suspicions, but according to the trivia section:

On the game cover, the woman on the far right is none other than ex-Sierra employee, Roberta Williams, who also posed for print ads in magazines such as Softalk.

 :O  :D

I guess you really do learn something new every day.
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2006, 02:55:44 AM »

Employee lol Roberta Williams other than writing all the Kings Quest games owned the company along with her husband Ken.
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rugged

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Hmmm
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2006, 10:47:57 PM »

You may not wish to give this information out but how many copies of Al would you be aiming to sell for it to be a success?
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2006, 02:48:20 AM »

Hey Rugged! I would say, a bit over 1,500 copies, and we'd break even.  If we made it into the 10,000 and up territory, we'd be an all out success and able to continue making original adventures.  Please wish us luck! :D
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rugged

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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2006, 03:59:03 AM »

Well that is good new as I would expect you to reach the break even point for sure. In terms of how far past that I guess a lot of it will depend on marketing.

One aspect of the marketing that I have been surprised about is the lack of newsletters that you have sent out. Don't get me wrong I didn't expect to receive something monthly or even quarterly. But I am surprised that at least a couple of newsletter haven't been sent out ( I am really hoping that I am not going to come away with egg on my face and find out you have sent out newsletters and they were blocked by my spam control!!). I was of the thought that the casual adventure gamer may have popped past this site and decided to sign up for the newsletter but the lack of updates may have caused this release to be pushed to the back of their mind. I am sure that something will be sent out upon the release of Al. But wonder whether the odd email at crucial times could have aided the marketing?
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GameDevChris

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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2006, 06:30:54 AM »

The thing about newsletters is that we can really only release them if there's something worth reporting. Hyping the game too early could be a huge marketing flaw, particularly since we really had no idea when Al Emmo would be finished and released. We wanted to avoid a situation where a release date was set and then missed.

Also,  fans can generally tell the difference when you're rehashing the same old news using new words, and when you have something genuinely exciting to report. We took the 'unannounced' approach when releasing KQ1VGA, and this worked out well.  By not announcing the game until it was ready for release, it came as a nice surprise to fans and it also allowed us to finish the game without causing further delays by having to write up reassurance newsletters and so forth. Remember, it's not just this game that's been occupying our time -- we've also been working on QFG2VGA simultaneously and this leaves very little time for anything other than development of the games. That might seem a silly thing to say, but once you release a newsletter, you've set a precedent and updates will then be expected and there's only so much a small development team is able to focus on at once.

I'm a  firm believer that the newsletter feature is simply an efficient means to communicate news to fans when there's something important to report.  However, it shouldn't be abused. Sending stuff out too often runs the risk of being associated with spam. Sending out scheduled newsletters, means that you have to scrape together information (even if there's nothing of interest or importance to say) and then the newsletter loses its informative value and thus its "grandeur" effect. So it's typically best to reserve newsletters for when we want to get important messages out, and have the info spread further than just the news page on the website. A newsletter should generate excitement because it means something big is approaching. Due to this, we also have to be mindful of releasing newsletters at the most appropriate times.

Since we have a limited amount of money to allocate to marketing, most of our advertising will be via word of mouth,  the demo, and through AGDI.
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rugged

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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2006, 11:05:59 PM »

Agreed that newsletter should not be released too often and that giving updates early on in a project only creates an appetite for more information when their may not be any worth giving. I thought something like the fact that the game was going into beta testing would have been the ideal time to put out a release though. BY then the game is soon to completion and you want those who may have forgotton about it to start thinking about it again, after all some people need to plan a bit in advance to have the desposable cash to spend on games.

I was stoked to see that you are going to release a demo, as long as it is catchy I am sure this will help sell the game. I will buy the game regardless, when people work hard and give you two free projects you should support them on their first commercial game.
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2006, 08:35:09 PM »

Thanks so much for your support, Rugged!  That actually would have been a great idea, sending out a newsletter to announce the beta testing process.  That deadline has come and gone though, so perhaps a good idea, would be to announce the demo's release as well as the end of the beta process drawing near.  Thanks for the suggestion!
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trudysgarden

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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2006, 09:53:45 PM »

Getting the word out on the various gaming forums, especially with a playable demo will probably sell most of the first 1500.  A lot of energy involved there but a minimum of cash outlay.  I also think a few contests or some kind of special item included with the first batch of games will make it somewhat collectible.  Many collectors will end up buying 2 copies - one to stay sealed for the collection and one to play.

It sounds like the price will be reasonable, lately a good sales point.  

Maybe a few interviews - I know our forum would love to do one.  We enjoy the inside scoop about how it all comes together.

happy trails,

Carolyn
www.spyglassguides.com

GameDevBrit

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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2006, 11:59:31 PM »

Hey Carolyn!

All great ideas.  We'd love to do an interview with you, by the way.  Drop me a line at brit@himalayastudios.com or send me a PM whenever you would like to start working on that :)
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trudysgarden

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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2006, 04:04:12 AM »

Huzzah, we'd love an interview.  I'll be back at my regular digs later on tonight and we'll set something up then.

The poll on the home page here is a good idea.  I could run a poll for you in conjunction with the interview as well at Spyglass.

happy (Easter) trails,

Carolyn

maggie59

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Price-
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2006, 12:55:17 AM »

Hello- :rolleyes:

I am new here and would like to know if this game will come on a cd or just a download or both? I am really looking forward to playing this game.

Thanks and I know this question has probably been asked.

Maggie  :D
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Erpy

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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2006, 03:51:31 AM »

Initially, the game will be only available on a CD that gets shipped to our customers. At some point in the future, we'll probably add a downloadable version as well.

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maggie59

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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2006, 01:59:12 PM »

Hello-

Thanks for answering my question. I am glad it will be a cd, as I prefer that. Thanks so much

Maggie   :D
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