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Read January 03, 2006, 01:47:40 AM #0
2dguy

Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

This is only for those attempting to make money with their games...

Who is your target user?

What computer system do they have?

I know who my target market is, but I'm curious if others do?
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Read January 03, 2006, 03:13:55 AM #1
caseyd

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

This is an excellent question as I don't think that a lot of people stop to ask themselves this. When making games to learn, doing whatever you want is fine. When you start making a game that you can hopefully sell, either through an online medium or possibly in a bundle at the store, it is important to stop and think about the people who the online portals are gearing their marketing towards. Also, if you want to make money on your game than the game should be geared towards those people. This all may sound like a no brainer but I've met a lot of people that think that their idea or game, is good enough to sell to anyone. If you are entering the game industry to make money, than you need to create games that are going to sell.

Of course there are many instances where a game that goes against the norm does sell. This is why I believe the Indy market is the greatest. There is more room for creativity without some big publisher looming over your shoulder. This doesn't mean it's going to make as much money as something that everyone is already buying.

Just something to think about.
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Read January 03, 2006, 07:07:25 AM #2
joe

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Most of our customers have rather good pc systems with around 2-3 GHZ, a good quality graphic cards and Windows XP. About 80% are male - Age is unknown, but I think a lot of them are between 20 and 30.

But of course there are also some users who have old pcs with only 500-700 Mhz CPUs and very low-end graphiccards (only 16 or 32 MB Video Ram).


Jochen Heizmann, Germany
Absolute Blue - Side-Scrolling Shoot'em'up-Game
www.intermediaware.com
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Read January 12, 2006, 06:59:03 PM #3
princec

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Er, "me".

Now I know it sounds like a strange target (hahaha), but the fact is, the only really genuinely accurate bit of market research I have is about me. What I like, what my status is, what my background is, etc. which pretty much means part-time PC gamer, 30-something-credit-card holder, no time any more these days, grew up in the golden age of the 80s playing tons of C64/ST/Amiga games.

There were millions of us around then so I expect there's a fairly large number of people around today who fit the bill to one degree or another. So I write games for me, with a nod to various influences but taming down some of my crazier ideas, and hope that some of it sticks.

Cas Smiley
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Read January 13, 2006, 12:31:14 AM #4
oddbob

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

So I write games for me, with a nod to various influences but taming down some of my crazier ideas, and hope that some of it sticks.

Cas Smiley

Super Dudester was tamed down? You scare me  Grin

Great game btw.


Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
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Read January 13, 2006, 06:51:22 AM #5
Polycount Productions

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

I'm not sure how much into details you should go with your "target market" and what are the defining attributes there. Some people say "RPG players" some say "women" some say "age < 16". I try to define my market as:
- Those who play online (no matter sex or age)
- Those who like to have *fun* while playing
- Those who like to get easily into games  & play small (or long) sessions

I don't care anything about genre.

I guess this is bit similar to Cas's answer - I find those qualities in me.


Owner of Polycount Productions - independent multiplayer games company
Game Producer Blog for beginner game developers
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Read January 13, 2006, 07:39:45 AM #6
Nexic

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Quote
- Those who play online (no matter sex or age)
- Those who like to have *fun* while playing
- Those who like to get easily into games  & play small (or long) sessions

Well that just about sums up the entire casual market, and I can say with 100% certainty that most of them don't like shooters. The importance of knowing your target market is so you know, how, where and when to advertise for it to have the greatest effect. If you have too broad a market, or don't but think you market is broad, then you are going to lose out.

For example, if you have a game which about baseball, then you can bet advertising to baseball game sites will work better than advertising on a general games site. Or if you make shooters, you should try to advertise on sites that have mainly male traffic, as unless it's a 'cute' shooter then you aren't likely to attract many women. If you make a dating game then you need to advertise on sites with mainly female traffic, and so on.

Knowing what your potential users system spec helps too. If you know for a fact that all you users have high end PC's (retail FPS market) then you can get away with using lots of stunning CPU draining effects. In general men tend to have higher spec PC's, so most shooters can get away with higher system specs than a puzzle game.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 07:42:31 AM by Nexic »

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Read January 13, 2006, 12:26:00 PM #7
RedKnight

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

- Those who play online (no matter sex or age)


These days Kids don't played shooters anymore.

 Embarrassed
Yeah Most kids I know Don't even know what Gradius, R-Type and even Ikaruga is!!


Be Attitude for Gains
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Read January 16, 2006, 05:29:53 AM #8
Polycount Productions

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Quote
Well that just about sums up the entire casual market, and I can say with 100% certainty that most of them don't like shooters. The importance of knowing your target market is so you know, how, where and when to advertise for it to have the greatest effect. If you have too broad a market, or don't but think you market is broad, then you are going to lose out.
I don't think so - casual market don't necessarily want to play online (many of them don't play online nor multiplayer games). I agree that a too broad market is a too broad market. You gotta decide where you are going.

Quote
For example, if you have a game which about baseball, then you can bet advertising to baseball game sites will work better than advertising on a general games site. Or if you make shooters, you should try to advertise on sites that have mainly male traffic, as unless it's a 'cute' shooter then you aren't likely to attract many women. If you make a dating game then you need to advertise on sites with mainly female traffic, and so on.
I don't think it's (always) wise to choose your target market by "only baseball games" or "only shooters". I can play baseball games (if they are fun, online, multiplayer even) and I can play shooters too. I can play pretty much any genre, as long as it's fun. Don't care if it's FPS... RTS or other... for me it's more important to *play together* with friends.

Quote
Knowing what your potential users system spec helps too. If you know for a fact that all you users have high end PC's (retail FPS market) then you can get away with using lots of stunning CPU draining effects. In general men tend to have higher spec PC's, so most shooters can get away with higher system specs than a puzzle game.
Agree.


Owner of Polycount Productions - independent multiplayer games company
Game Producer Blog for beginner game developers
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Read January 16, 2006, 05:47:26 AM #9
Edge

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

I think if you are making shoot'em ups it may be not so wise to develop  them only for high end PCs.

I agree that most people addicted to this genre are male and many are over 20 years old. But there are some of them who are not so interested in high end PC games. Many are more into console games and retro stuff, that's why they don't have so much graphic power in their machines. And since shoot'em up fans are used to play games with resolutions like 230x320 they might be not that much interested in high end graphics and resolutions, anyway.

That's why I would suggest to make the system requirements for shoot'em up not too high.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2006, 05:50:07 AM by Edge »
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Read January 23, 2006, 12:34:05 PM #10
Nexic

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Quote
I don't think it's (always) wise to choose your target market by "only baseball games" or "only shooters". I can play baseball games (if they are fun, online, multiplayer even) and I can play shooters too. I can play pretty much any genre, as long as it's fun. Don't care if it's FPS... RTS or other... for me it's more important to *play together* with friends.

Yes, there are lots of people like yourself who like lots of things, infact I'd be suprised if there was anyone who exclusively liked only one genre. However the idea is not to try and reach everyone who might like your game but reach those who you can really count on liking your game.

For example, if you advertise a golf game on a sports gaming site, you could guess that say 10% of them would be interested. If you advertise on a golf game site then you would probably have more like 50% interested (these percentages would almost certainly be a hell of a lot lower, just making a point). Now, if the sports game site has more traffic then you have probably reached many more people than you did on the golf site, perhaps even the final sales count will be higher from the sports game site, but you can bet that your advertising costs would be one hell of a lot higher for the general sports gaming site, and thus your ROI (return on investment) will probably be lower.

The idea of target markets is to get the highest ROI percentage possible.



Quote
I agree that most people addicted to this genre are male and many are over 20 years old. But there are some of them who are not so interested in high end PC games. Many are more into console games and retro stuff, that's why they don't have so much graphic power in their machines. And since shoot'em up fans are used to play games with resolutions like 230x320 they might be not that much interested in high end graphics and resolutions, anyway.


You are right that you shouldn't make your requirements too high, I always keep them as low as I possibly can, and target 3-5 year old PCs. But I think you will find that a lot of the shoot em up target market (the online one anyway) is actually made up of a fair number of people who aren't retro gamers. Infact I'd guess that less than 20% of my sales go to those who remember the glory days of shooters. I think a lot of these people try my games, but not many actually buy them, simply because my games are junk compared to the old masterpieces. Not to mention they are probably way too easy for their liking.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2006, 12:38:47 PM by Nexic »

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Read January 28, 2006, 06:42:06 PM #11
gamesmad

Re: Do you REALLY know who your target market is?

Er, "me".

Now I know it sounds like a strange target (hahaha), but the fact is, the only really genuinely accurate bit of market research I have is about me. What I like, what my status is, what my background is, etc. which pretty much means part-time PC gamer, 30-something-credit-card holder, no time any more these days, grew up in the golden age of the 80s playing tons of C64/ST/Amiga games.

There were millions of us around then so I expect there's a fairly large number of people around today who fit the bill to one degree or another. So I write games for me, with a nod to various influences but taming down some of my crazier ideas, and hope that some of it sticks.

Cas Smiley

I think I have to agree with you Cas, as if I like the game I make, then I find it a lot easier to convince others how good it is, so more people will buy it.  I havent been involved in making any shmups yet, so maybe things will change, you never know.

Will
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