Monday, December 11, 2006

Casual Game Market and Pricing

In his Gamezebo article The Sky is Falling . . . NOT!, Joel Brodie talks about the higher priced PopCap Bookworm Adventures which sells for $30. But in the article he also talks about the expanding demographic of the casual games market and how many young adults and teenagers don't have credit cards or may not necessarily be able to afford the price of these games.

So how do we make it easier for this demographic to buy games? Some of Joel's suggested solutions include iTunes style gift cards, or a system to allow parents to top up online game accounts, or even selling games at a more kid friendly price.

These are all good ideas. And I believe it's an issue that will need addressing as more and more people are turned onto the idea of playing casual games - especially as games break out of the straight match-3 puzzle genre.

Check out Joel's article here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sound Advice

Work on the new casual game is progressing smoothly.
Here's a sneak peak from the game courtesy of artist Pete Mullins...

Recently I've been adding in sound effects to give the game some oomph and I thought it would be cool to talk about some of the resources that I use for sound.

The major sound tool I use is Audacity - a very nice and very free audio editing tool. I use it to capture my own samples recorded from my laptop, convert .wavs to .ogg file format, and to edit any freeware or purchased samples that need to be touched up.

Speaking of freeware - here are some great sites for free samples. And if you can't find a free sample to suit your needs you have the option of buying royalty free samples for bargain prices.

Flash Kit - is a flash developer site and has a selection of freeware, shareware and linkware samples.
Sound Dogs - has a lot of sound packs covering all sorts of samples starting from $9.95.

If anyone has any other great sites for music and audio samples please let me know!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

GCAP Weekend

This weekend I spoke on a panel at Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) entitled "Letting Designers Design". It was a fun panel that I shared with Chris Avellone, Matt Ford and Ed Orman and was hosted by Tony Reed.

But the real highlight was the Awards Night. The game I worked on, Destroy All Humans! 2, picked up three awards - Best Audio, Best Console Game and the biggie of the night, Best Game. The team should be extremely proud of themselves as they created an awesome game. Congratulations guys!