New Dreamcast releases - How to make more professional?

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New Dreamcast releases - How to make more professional?

Post by goatdan » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:46 pm

Please read through this, I would greatly appreciate it... and there is a deal at the end ;)

As many people on here know, the GOAT Store has so far published three games for the Sega Dreamcast since the system has no longer been supported in the United States. As I've mentioned in some posts, most recently the "developers pissed off" thread, these releases have drawn interest from industry insiders as a possible 'new idea' about how to publish small, niche titles and possibly make money.

A few facts about our releases:

- They are playable on any system no matter the region encoding -- PAL or NTSC. In fact, to date over 60% of each release has been sold in Asia and over 75% of each release has been sold outside of the US.
- They are professionally pressed discs in a professional jewel case. They are silk screened. Everything about them is done with the utmost care to details. There is no burning and no self-printing done here. In fact, I have a hunch that we are using the same factory that Sega used for their releases.
- They are developed independantly by developers that are developing as a side job or to do concepts that they couldn't otherwise do.
- They are developed in the KallistiOS environment, which means that we do not have to pay Sega licensing fees and gives the same functionality as the actual development system, if not more because people are still developing for it.

Now, we want everyone to take these releases as serious as a real release. We have taken some steps to do so. For starters, every release from here on out will get its own bar code.

Some industry insiders are trying to convince me to get the games ESRB rated, which I really can't afford at this time, although we are keeping the option open (and have had paperwork sent to us from the ESRB about the possibility of doing so). What I am wondering is what else could we do to make the games releases even better?

I would really like to hear what serious game collectors think that we could do to improve the look and feel of the games. I won't name here what we have come up with, because I want everyone to come up with their own opinions. I will be paying very close attention, and you can expect at least some of the opinions to happen as soon as possible.

Now, for the deal. Please only take advantage of this if you reply in the thread, but to thank you for giving me / us your opinion, we have put a limited number of our Dreamcast releases up for sale exclusively through this thread and one other I'll write later tonight. You can get all three releases for $36.00, which is a savings of $8.70 from their usual price. To take advantage of this deal, the link is - http://goatstore.com/info.php?id=372032

Thanks a ton in advance!
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Post by curt_grymala » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:00 pm

Dan - I don't know if you've taken any steps toward anything like this, but I think that it would be really cool to see the GOAT games released in game stores. I know that Game Crazy (which is apparently affilliated with Hollywood Video) still carries DC games and accessories, as well as some locations of EB Games. It would be really, very cool to see these games sold in some of those stores as new releases.

To go hand-in-hand with that idea, it would also be very cool to see promotional materials made up to go with the releases, so that the releases could have a display of some sort where they're sold. It would be cool to at least see posters and/or small cardboard displays, but it would be even cooler to see full-size cardboard displays (although that would probably be very costly, and most stores probably wouldn't use them).

In addition, and again this would probably be very difficult to carry out, it would be cool to see small publicity tours set up for the releases.
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Post by Untamed » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:09 pm

You posted the ESRB thread on the Retro Gaming Rountable, and a lot of the people there, including myself, never really pay attention to ESRB ratings.

I think it will be the same here.

Although, as curt said, if you can get stores like EBgames, Gamestop and whatnot to sell the games it would be nice. An ESRB rating might help.

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Post by DaMadFiddler » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:21 pm

This has already been discussed in great detail in regard to the freeware homebrew scene, but the same applies to Goat Publishing, I believe:

A unique, uniform case design format for Goat games. DCEvolution seems to have settled on a template for covers of their releases. The original SEGA-published games had a set template as well (the white swoop with red triangle on the side of the case for US, the blue bar with white text & logo at the top of the case for Europe, etc.). Something sleek and flashy to denote GOAT games would really help give this more of a professional feel, as well as a unified "umbrella" feeling for the postmortem release lineup under GOAT itself...and I'm sure there are plenty of artists here who would be willing to submit design proposals.

Also--and I'm not sure if you already do this or not--a custom, disclaimer'ed and GOAT-centric IP.bin (the file that determines the boot logo) might also be a good thing to standardize for GOAT releases. Again, I'm sure it won't be hard finding an artist here willing to do this. I'd even take a shot at it myself, if I weren't in the middle of switching computers.

You might also talk to the DCEvolution folks about some of these issues. They seem to have gotten pretty good at putting slick releases together.



...On a completely unrelated issue: I notice that the GOAT Store has a SEGA Sports Dreamcast in stock. What kind of cosmetic condition is this in? ;-)
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Post by Prophet][ » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:39 pm

I don't know bout the US, but you need a rating to sell games in stores here.

I know this has been talked bout before and I think impletemented so don't flame me from bringing it up again, but have the theme to all the cases so that when I look at games I can tell which ones are the homebrew ones.

Another thing I dont' know if you have (cos I haven't bought a game yet, but I probably will take up your offer) have instructions in the cases with thank yous and all. like a little booklet, maybe some history of the game etc. Maybe Box's too. put the games in a professionally made box like PC games, but I can see this would cost a bit to do.

Maybe do work in your website (I'm not bagging it, just an idea) make it look heaps proffessional and get some big companies to put in their support so more people know they can trust you.
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Post by S. Thompson » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:04 pm

I agree with some of the other guys here: retail sales would be EXTREMELY helpful. This, however, would be difficult since many vendors no longer carry DC and since the games are not Sega supported.

EDIT: The website is not bad at all. I think some people here might be suggesting it be more flashy or something though.

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Post by Prophet][ » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:15 pm

additional: MetaFox's magazine. Getting reviews in and ads. Thats if this mag ever goes ahead. Maybe GoatStore could help the mag??
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Post by Strapping Scherzo » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:43 pm

I think you have to get the attention of people who have long considered DC dead. First, you need a game that can compete with the current generation of games. Game play shouldn't be that difficult; I haven't seen much in terms of drastically different game play in a long time. You'll have to really put some extra into the graphics to catch people's eye. I think the key point is to be unique. But that's hard, I know.

Once you're convinced that you have something that is unlike any other game on any system, then you've not only hit the current DC following, but try to get exposure through the mainstream media. If the product is good enough, I think you could convince a mag like EGM to do a small piece on it. THAT would help.

It's one thing to have a killer game to market, but if hardly anybody knows it exists then what's the point. Gotta get some mainstream exposure.
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Post by Hilltopper » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:52 pm

What the DC needs to become a blip (a VERY small blip, but a blip none the less) on the console gaming radar is a good unique, exclusive game. Graphics have to be good but not great. If the DC could get a unique game like Katamari Damacy for the PS2. The graphics aren't that great, but the game is, and it is very original and fun. The DC needs a game along those lines: Nice graphics, original, and above all fun.

It is the "Field of Dreams" theory: If you make the game, people will come back to the DC.

Just a rambling thought. :D

EDIT: It also needs to be a game that anyone can play. You sell more games when your audience is everyone, not just a select group.
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:27 am

The covers were something I had forgot about. We had a discussion about cover templates a while ago at DCEmu UK, and some really cool ideas came out of it. Here is one that I thought up and VampiricS implemented. I think it could easily be turned into a really cool template for GOAT to use for future releases:

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Post by gnomes » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:44 pm

I think a way to try and get the word out (and make more money, by extension) is to try and get the games listed on major game websites. For example, getting the game information and release data listed on a site like GameFAQs (which is 4 million+ hits a day).

I just searched "Feet of Fury" there and didn't find anything :(

I think it'd also be good to give each game it's own professional Flash style website, like game releases today have. It's nice to buy a game and be able to find information for it on the web like that, as well people who think about buying it could go to the website for it first to see if they really like it.
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Post by Sir Savant » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:00 pm

I think that you should set up a booth at Gaming Conventions. And advertise the game. Then when people are hooked, tell them its on the Dreamcast. And get some custom controls so no-one will notice that. But if it was at the bigger conventions, you will garner much interest.

Boxed games like on PC.

Selling in stores. Try to get secondhand stores to carry them, like funcoland and
babbages.

Prof. website just for the game. like feetoffury.com

Listing at Gaming sites like gamefaqs. Perhaps you can hack codes for the games and submit them to Gameshark and other sites. Or codebreaker codes.

Get some people in from Sega to help in the development of Kallisti. Like adding 56k modem support and stuff. Then stuff would really happen. Or if not sega, ask big companies to donate their deving stuff from sega, and"examine" it for improving Kallisti. If we had more support on Kallisti for other things like the modem and whatnot, then that would get some attention.

Try to get it on gaming tv shows. Maybe.
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Post by WaCk0 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:50 pm

Nice cover Curt! I can easily convert this ideia to a HQ PSD or any vector based program if you want. :wink:
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Post by curt_grymala » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:02 pm

WaCk0 wrote:Nice cover Curt! I can easily convert this ideia to a HQ PSD or any vector based program if you want. :wink:
That would be awesome WaCk0. VampiricS posted that cover, but never posted any blank ones or source files. A PSD with the inside of the DC being transparent (or on a lower layer) would be fantastic.
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Post by WaCk0 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:53 pm

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Post by goatdan » Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:58 pm

I'll reply a little more later...

But we do have a template. Orange line, black cover swoop, certain places for developer / publisher logos. We kinda f-ed it up on the last two games (ALL of the orange lines on the side are different SIZES! ARRRRRRRRR... DAMN THE CD PLACE!) but we know with the new manufacturers we'll actually have our designs followed and cared about.

More coming in a bit ;)
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:58 pm

Looks great! Are the logo, image, and ESRB rating placeholders on a different layer from the background? That would probably be best.

Now, if a matching back-cover template could be devised....
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Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:04 pm

I hate to say it, but you might want to consider some kind of brand besides "GOAT Store Publishing". Offbeat names can be endearing, but from a marketing standpoint I'm not sure that has a lot of ring to it. Then agian, if Yahoo, Amazon, and Google taught us anything, it's that it doesn't matter how much sense your name makes as long as people can remember how to spell it. )()(
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Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:56 pm

Well, if you want to stick with the goat theme but go with a different name/logo for original publications, you could call it "Tin Can Publishing." Also gives it kind of an endearing, professional-but-independent-publisher feel.
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Post by kingbuzzo » Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:33 pm

For any kind of publicizing of new games like at conventions, ads in stores, or whatnot; there's a whole community growing just for this purpose. I've been going around putting up glossy flyers for Trizeal all around my city and convincing videogame store owners to put them up in their windows. Myself and others will be doing the same for any new game, especially if it's from goat store since we respect everyone there so much. Check out my sig and see what's happening

We all know the sort of game it would take to make any kind of blip on the radar, and it would require the conjoined efforts of all the best devver's we got here. I'm also 80% that it would require many donations to get kick started (buying bba's, vodka, and hoolahoops).

Maybe it'll happen, maybe it wont. Either way, for anything of moderate size to happen, it will need the help and support of all our resources, from the greatest of coder's, to the noobest of noob who tells his friends about it... :mrgreen:


that being said......see ya!

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