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  The GameSpy SDK  (Read 3716 times)
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Offline BugBear

Senior Newbie




Ground FX Racing


« Posted 2004-04-01 14:59:40 »

I'm not very familiar with the GameSpy SDK prize for this contest. I found this link (http://www.gamespy.net/toolkits.asp), although it doesn't say a whole lot. I was wondering if anyone is familiar with it and had any thoughts as to its usefulness.

With a prize valued at $45,000, the taxes (around $13,500 here in the US) make it a little hard to justify trying to win, especially if the game is not internet enabled. While publicity from winning the contest would help generate sales, I'm not sure it would compensate for this amount. My team is currently working on its first game, although we have a lot of modding experience. We have no idea how much money might be generated by an indie game, and we are just starting to learn about financial side of things.

I guess what I'm getting at is, if (and that is a big IF) we were to actually win the contest, would it be worth it? Lets assume that A) the game did have internet support, making the SDK useful, and B) $13,500 for taxes would be challenging to raise.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 435
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-04-01 19:56:04 »

I myself am entirely disinterested in the Gamespy SDK, which is designed to make life easy for C++ programmers, who don't understand that we get all that stuff built-in to Java more or less.

I'd quite like to win a new dev computer. A Mac would be nice...

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-04-01 20:14:25 »

I can confirm that GS's product has a lot of cachet with some of the mainstream dev studios (it's been mentioned quite a lot of times in talks with them), and I got the impression it was largely because of GS's history.

I believe it would be attractive to a lot of them, and it could be particularly effective at attracting in developers who might otherwise not participate. Although I think there's a lot to be said for having a less niche grand-prize (it makes it sound a lot like the Microsoft competitions, for which the "prize" is usually whatever technology they're trying to sell next, and desperately need some showcase deployments for. It's often said they're software is "so good they have to give it away" Wink Grin ).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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Offline BugBear

Senior Newbie




Ground FX Racing


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-04-02 12:10:38 »

Thanks for the insight. I really appreciate it.
Offline Stanky

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-04-03 14:48:37 »

I worked on a commercial game that used Gamespy's online matchmaking service about a year ago. I must say, I think the service is WAY overpriced and overrated. We were forced to include the GameSpy Arcade installer with our game and to allow players to get into the game through a browser (in addition to the in-game system). I'm pretty sure we didn't pay $45k then, but maybe GameSpy has "platinum" features now that we didn't use.

If your game is expected to sell enough copies (hundreds of thousands) and have enough simultaneous multiplayer users that you don't want the risk of running your own servers, then yes, Gamespy is a very good choice.

In developing an independent game, which could have only a small number of players for the first months or years, I think I would opt to spend a few thousand on a nice dedicated server, use J2EE to build my own matchmaking system, and just watch the numbers of players and scale up the server when and if appropriate.

Just an opinion, and as I mentioned, Gamespy may have some new added value that I'm unfamiliar with. I just think they are mainly interested in getting your customers into their community and charging you big money for the "honor" of being associated with them.

All that to say, if I enter the contest, it would be for publicity. The SDK isn't a big draw for me, and the workstation is nice but a small prize.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-04-03 15:16:54 »

Quote
I worked on a commercial game that used Gamespy's online matchmaking service about a year ago. I must say, I think the service is WAY overpriced and overrated.


I didn't say it was good, just that it had a good rep Wink.

Quote

We were forced to include the GameSpy Arcade installer with our


Can you give a more detailed analysis without breaching confidentiality? I'm sure it would be interesting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the grand prize *before* trying to win it Smiley.

Quote

All that to say, if I enter the contest, it would be for publicity. The SDK isn't a big draw for me, and the workstation is nice but a small
prize.


Here's a suggestion, if you win: accept the PC but refuse the GS SDK. *That* will get you publicity Grin.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-04-03 16:41:24 »

Quote
Here's a suggestion, if you win: accept the PC but refuse the GS SDK. *That* will get you publicity Grin.


Naaa, eBay it! Grin

I personally hope the grand prize winner will be a good-sized development house - an individual really wouldn't get the full value out of it, and I wouldn't want such a cool prize to go to waste!

However, giving away 64-bit Athlons and copies of the Java Desktop System is exactly right - everyone can benefit from those!  Good job there, Sun! Smiley

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline Stanky

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-04-03 20:58:08 »

Quote


Can you give a more detailed analysis without breaching confidentiality? I'm sure it would be interesting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the grand prize *before* trying to win it Smiley.



We really just wanted it for matchmaking in-game. So, you click a button to play online multiplayer and get a big list of everybody playing right now, which games are open, what game level is being played, etc. To that end it worked perfectly and easily. We didn't care about other stuff, but--at least according to our contract, I was told--we had to allow players to join the game from the Gamespy Arcade lobby where they might already have a Gamespy login identity and do whatever it is Gamespy's community does. I really don't know: Read game reviews, I guess, and look at all of Gamespy's advertisements or something? It just seemed pointless to me. Maybe there's something to gain from getting your game in Gamespy's list, getting promotion that it might not otherwise, but I think our game was so small that it would never get the same attention as the AAA titles. So for us, the matchmaking service was it, and I think that could be built fairly easily--especially with Java.

Anyone else know of other benefits of Gamespy?
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-04-03 21:12:25 »

Quote


We didn't care about other stuff, but--at least according to our contract, I was told--we had to allow players to join the game from the Gamespy Arcade lobby where they might already have a Gamespy login identity and do whatever it is Gamespy's community does. I really don't know: Read game reviews, I guess, and look at all of Gamespy's advertisements or something? It just seemed pointless to me. Maybe there's something to gain from getting your


There is potentially a point to this, and it's a huge advantage, but not to the game developer! I'm not saying GS are necessarily doing it, but there are some mainstream games companies who know exactly what they're doing in this vein, and it is subtle and evil. It's all about making sure that in the long run *they* have the names and addresses of all the customers, and you don't. Making sure that the customer sees *their* name on everything (in particular on the game and on any bill), and never sees yours.

In short, it's all about "owning the customer relationship" because, as any MBA student will tell you, if you own that then you've already stolen the customer away from whoever wrote the game, whether or not the developer and customer realise it. This is the biggest thing about .NET that had corporates scared - they knew MS was going to steal the customer relationship. Equally, it's something that people like Vodafone are desperately trying to do to Nokia: at the moment, most people have a stronger loyalty to their mobile manufacturer than to their network provider. This is unusual for a consumer industry, since the day-to-day relationship (the person who bills you, who gives you service, etc) is the network provider (although it's far from unique). People like Voda are really unhappy about this, and know that if they can get the customer relationship off Nokia, then Nokia will die quickly, and will stop dictating to network providers, and will stop making lots of money that they reckon they should be making instead.

So, be very careful when someone wants to do your customer support for you; I won't name names but there really are some out there who's only concern is getting those customer relationships - even if they lose money on every game to do so! In the long run, the relationships are worth a lot more than short-term profits.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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