Java-Gaming.org    
Featured games (79)
games approved by the League of Dukes
Games in Showcase (477)
Games in Android Showcase (107)
games submitted by our members
Games in WIP (535)
games currently in development
News: Read the Java Gaming Resources, or peek at the official Java tutorials
 
    Home     Help   Search   Login   Register   
Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
  E-Commerce and Digital Delivery - I Need Some Help  (Read 4394 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Posted 2003-04-05 15:29:30 »

Gradually Alien Flux edges towards release. Apart from having to cram another 26-odd aliens in it (although I might reduce this to a more manageable number) and another 7 bosses, I've got to start thinking good and hard about the biz side of things, and believe it or not, this part is beginning to feel more exciting than it first appears. It's my game! I'm publishing it! Much a-flutter.

The catch is, of course, I have no idea what to do about it next.

Step one - get a proper hosted website - is done. We are now http://www.puppygames.net, and you'll be able to download everything from there over FTP. HTTP will be in there too but not right now, it's only alphas.

This server is hosted by ]http://theplanet.com who seem to be a decent bunch of chaps - all sorted very quickly and nicely. It's costing me $149/month and I get 500GB/month of bandwidth. The machine I've got is a brand spanking new 2.4GHz Win2k server with IIS on it. I can install what the hell I like on there, including ditching IIS if necessary.

Now, I need some Things setting up.

Firstly, I need a complete e-commerce digital delivery package that drops into my website. This means I want a set of customisable pages etc, a list of products for sale, shopping cart and all that crap, and I want to be able to take Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Delta, Solo, and Amex online and charge people's accounts. Most importantly I want this credit card stuff running in a separate process and communicated with via some nice easy protocol over TCP/IP. Perhaps JRun or something has this all sorted out?

It would be of great benefit if it ran in Java. I can set up Tomcat on the machine, and maybe even Apache if need be, and I'm quite happy to write Java NT services.

I explicitly don't want to have anything whatsoever to do with ASP, Perl, or CGI because I don't understand them and haven't got the time to learn. It's JSP and beans for me.

Now, who's done this sort of thing before?

Or... shall I just outsource the whole digital delivery thing to someone like digitalriver.com?

Your thoughts appreciated,
Cas Smiley

Offline zparticle

Senior Member




Thick As A Brick


« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-04-05 18:10:45 »

Writting a J2EE app for shopping carts ect is a trival matter (I've written 3 or 4 now). You can use Apache and Tomcat for the web server and servlet engine (or how about Jetty and JBOSS for a reall J2EE solution). Then maybe MySQL for the database if you really need one.

I would suggest you leave ALL of the credit card processing up to a company like PayPal (I am NOT endorsing PayPal, just using it as an example).

Most of those services don't require any up front money they simply keep a percentage of what comes in. This is really worth it if you find a good one because they will handle all the crap with people claiming they were over charged or wanting to cancle and order, ect.

The connection between your site and the CC service is usually trivial, some htaccess files and a CGI script they usually provide and set up for you.

I'm speaking from the experience of a paid membership site I built and ran some time ago. I'm assuming the order processing side of things is very similar.

Offline jbanes

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-04-05 19:28:36 »

Hi Cas,

My webserver host is a simple PHP/Apache host with a MySQL backend. I let PayPal handle credit card transactions, both because it removes me from the liability of having a merchant account (which has some pretty hefty fines if things go wrong) and because they charge very little when processing transactions. The down side to using them is that customers basically need to sign up for a PayPal account. They try to make it as painless as possible, but it still turns some people off. I "learn" about transactions via a PHP page PayPal calls. (See your account settings for more info.)

Advertising is a biggy. I'm sure you can get everyone here to advertise by word of mouth (my wife says we *have* to buy AlienFlux when it comes out), but it will only carry you so far. Some of the best ways to advertise online are:

1. Software websites. There are a lot of websites out there that you can list your software on. These will tend to bring you a lot of traffic, but not necessarily a lot of buys.

2. Overture.com. Overture was the first "pay-per-click" search engine that made the practice feasable. Very simply, you use their tools (http://inventory.overture.com) to find popular search terms, and then bid on those terms. The higher you bid, the higher you will be on their search results. If you're in the top 3, your search will show up on many other search engines (such as AltaVista) in *their* top 3 results. The trick here is to find commonly used terms, but ones that haven't been too highly bid on. Make sure you calculate your ROI! If you're paying 30 cents per click, but not making enough sales, you're paying too much!!!

3. Google Adwords. Google adwords is a system similar to paypal, execpt that the results are to the side of Google's (and their partner's) search results. You can tell Google the maximum you're willing to pay for a link, and Google will rank you according to popularity, relavance, and of course, money. This particular way of advertising is really helpful because you get real-time stats and can adjust the links fairly quickly. Great for learning about what your customers are looking for and what is effective. Make sure you set a fairly low cap for the day (such as $1.50) until your ROI looks good.

4. Search engines of course. Search engines are easy, free, and a great way to get cusomters. They also take forever to update their listings. Use the previous methods to begin generating interest in your product and the search engines will begin picking up on it. Search engine optimization can help some, but until you already have some popularity (or a corner on the market), you're just not going to show very high.


A great resource for you is:

http://www.sitepronews.com

They send you an e-zine about once a week on great ways to improve your online presence. They pack a lot of great info for online commerce newbies. While the signal to noise ratio is pretty high, just be warned that there is still some noise. For example, they may publish an article saying that you should pack keywords into comment tags when in reality most search engines today will *decrease* your rating for stunts like that and may actually refuse to list you. Be honest yet verbose with the search engines, and they'll be honest with you.

Good luck Cas!

Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline coilcore

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-04-09 04:52:33 »

Paypal like services, where the purchaser has to make an account with the third party first are certainly easy to use.  But I tend to shy away from them because it turns a fair number of people away, lets people know you are a very tiny shop, and can seem very amaturish for selling software.

Handling the credit cards yourself is the most time consuming and has a ton of headaches waiting in the wings. Most have monthly fee and eat about 2.5% of the transaction.  I've dealt with Cardservice International (http://www.cardservice.com) for this in the past and they're nothing special but not bad either, but there are a ton of these vendors to choose from.  Almost all of these have a Java API that you can integrate with.

For a happy medium between the time and the most professional looking there are third party companies that handle the order and transaction - basically you link or frame to their ssl site and they handle the shopping cart, processing transactions, et al.  Most of the credit card machine vendors above will do this, but there are comapnies that only do this -Verisign, Verotel, etc.  They will often absorb a hefty percent (5-15%), but usually have no monthly fees and offer addtional methods of payment - not just credit card or debit, but check, cash, and most can do recurring payments.  Again there are a number of these kinds of companies out there, but I tend to prefer Share*It ( http://www.shareit.com ) or Element5 (http://www.element5.com )  because they are all about handling software  (I think Share*It and Element5 are the same company with a different face - but I could be wrong).  If my memory serves they not only handle the transaction and order, but they handle the download itself using a unique-key based path.  Since its their bandwidth and they have the headaches involved with managing the order, transaction, and fulfillment the 5-15% seems like not that bad.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-04-14 17:31:08 »

Thanks guys, that was very helpful.
And Share*It it is! I've been through a tour of their site and looked at their services, and checked out the advocacy and heard good things. Nice advantage they're in Europe too so I can deal in Euros easily. And they do boxed CDs as well for customers that request them, and handle the returns process, and they take all manner of payments. All in all they sound great.

If I'd had half a brain four years ago I'd have started Share*It myself Smiley Never mind.

Next best thing: get some other people to write some games for you and publish them through Puppy Games. Get writing! I need AAA Java titles to sell.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-04-15 21:42:44 »

Quote
Hi Cas,

3. Google Adwords. Google adwords is a system similar to paypal, execpt that the results are to the side of Google's (and their partner's) search


As a general rule, I'd suggest steering away from adwords (but note: I have no experiences of using them; organizations I've seen internal advertising figures for before either never used the adwords, or had too little effect to register on their summaries).

Straw polls I've conducted before suggest that too many people learn to automatically ignore the adwords, because 90% of the time they come up when they are completely irrelevant to your search (even if they are the same subject area, if I'm looking for e.g. an add-on for my [paid for] IDE, I have no interest at all in someone trying to sell me a new IDE).

At least banners give you a chance to include pictures...

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

JGO Coder


Projects: 1


"Java Games? Incredible! Mr. Incredible, that is!"


« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-04-15 22:08:02 »

People *do* ignore Adwords, but in the great scheme of the internet I have gotten a pretty good return on them. I actually have had better success with them than I have with Overture. Overture sends tons of people my way, but I see very few sales. So, I have suspended my service with them and use only Google. Other people tho, have had great success with Overture, so I guess it really depends on what works for you. Google at least gives me all kinds of realtime stats that help me track the pulse of my customers.

Java Game Console Project
Last Journal Entry: 12/17/04
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-04-15 23:17:07 »

Quote
Google at least gives me all kinds of realtime stats that help me track the pulse of my customers.


Sorry, that phrase is too "new media" for me!  Unless you sell to many of the Undead? Grin

I do admire the AdWords system.  It does a pretty good job of tying the cost of advertising to the potential revenue you may receive, if you're intelligent in your choice of words.  If you develop office software for Windows or sell real-estate in New York, expect to pay a hefty whack.  If you run a Manchester-based Yugo-owners club, you'll be paying a lot less.


Cas, are you expecting any kind of cult-following for AF?  If you suspect any fanatics might appear, get a Café Press shop up and running NOW, so you can start pumping out mouse mats, t-shirts and coffee mugs from the first day of release.

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-04-23 13:51:05 »

Quote
[...]
Next best thing: get some other people to write some games for you and publish them through Puppy Games. Get writing! I need AAA Java titles to sell.


actually i like the idea to have u as publisher as long as it isnt exclusive and u dont wanna too much % Smiley

u r nice n trustworthy... i'd benifit from your work therefore it would be a nice thingy if u'll benefit a bit by mine (i'm a fan of balance Wink)

well... no need for decisions right now. i guess the first (really) playable demo will be finished in 2-3 month. then we can discuss that for real Smiley

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline larry

Junior Member




.. son of jor-el, kneel before zod ...


« Reply #9 - Posted 2003-05-27 12:56:51 »

Thanks Princec and contributors...really intersting and useful thread!!

Larry
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline JasonB

Junior Member





« Reply #10 - Posted 2003-05-27 20:23:05 »

Hey Cas

Just a thought, but have you considered getting someone to design a DVD case sleeve for Alien Flux?  Because one way you can get a bit of 'free' advertising is to target some of the games review magazines -- once you've got everything else covered.  And sending an email with a download link is probably just going to end up on the slush pile, but a professional looking DVD case with a CD, proper installation, etc might have a better chance of getting noticed.

Could be worthwhile investment.

J

PS.  I'm not talking about a typical games box.  Too expensive to do properly... and yerk, so 80s.  Save the trees!!
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #11 - Posted 2003-05-28 00:22:41 »

Yes, we've thought of doing that. Charlotte has got the next six months to ruthlessly bombard the world with Alien Flux announcements and CDs etc. We're going to get some Puppy Games merchandise printed up too Smiley

First off - the websites. Next will be the glossies. Then maybe we'll gatecrash EGDC in London in September. (I think that's where/when it is)

Cas Smiley

Offline JasonB

Junior Member





« Reply #12 - Posted 2003-05-28 00:49:07 »

Not that I -really- care, since I won't be going, but I hope they're still holding it at Earl's Court or Olympia, because it reeeeally sucked when it was out at Docklands.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #13 - Posted 2003-05-28 10:52:14 »

Sadly I think it's Docklands again Sad

Cas Smiley

Offline bedelf

Junior Member




Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?


« Reply #14 - Posted 2003-05-28 12:49:17 »

Quote
Next best thing: get some other people to write some games for you and publish them through Puppy Games. Get writing! I need AAA Java titles to sell.


haha, trying. Wink
Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
 
 
You cannot reply to this message, because it is very, very old.

 

Add your game by posting it in the WIP section,
or publish it in Showcase.

The first screenshot will be displayed as a thumbnail.

Riven (11 views)
2014-07-29 18:09:19

Riven (8 views)
2014-07-29 18:08:52

Dwinin (9 views)
2014-07-29 10:59:34

E.R. Fleming (25 views)
2014-07-29 03:07:13

E.R. Fleming (10 views)
2014-07-29 03:06:25

pw (39 views)
2014-07-24 01:59:36

Riven (39 views)
2014-07-23 21:16:32

Riven (27 views)
2014-07-23 21:07:15

Riven (28 views)
2014-07-23 20:56:16

ctomni231 (59 views)
2014-07-18 06:55:21
HotSpot Options
by dleskov
2014-07-08 03:59:08

Java and Game Development Tutorials
by SwordsMiner
2014-06-14 00:58:24

Java and Game Development Tutorials
by SwordsMiner
2014-06-14 00:47:22

How do I start Java Game Development?
by ra4king
2014-05-17 11:13:37

HotSpot Options
by Roquen
2014-05-15 09:59:54

HotSpot Options
by Roquen
2014-05-06 15:03:10

Escape Analysis
by Roquen
2014-04-29 22:16:43

Experimental Toys
by Roquen
2014-04-28 13:24:22
java-gaming.org is not responsible for the content posted by its members, including references to external websites, and other references that may or may not have a relation with our primarily gaming and game production oriented community. inquiries and complaints can be sent via email to the info‑account of the company managing the website of java‑gaming.org
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Managed by Enhanced Four Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!