Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Amazon, Google checkout, and the letter T.

Something great has happened in the world of online payment providers. OK, it’s not up there with the discovery of fire, but BMTMicro, who handle the majority of my direct sales, have added amazon payments and google checkout to the payment options at last. I’m not too excited by google checkout (who here actually has an account?) but amazon is a different story.

Here in the UK, at least, amazon is VERY popular (although their tax-dodging behavior irritates me no-end) so a LOT of people already have an amazon account. What this means is that:

a) People who are lazy, and can’t be bothered to find their credit/debit card can buy my games just by remembering their amazon password. yay for frictionless selling!

b) People who are terrified of buying online can buy my games without ever trusting any payment data at all to a third party (even an established, safe one like BMTMicro).

I see both of these developments as steps along the road to easier sales, and encouraging people to buy direct now and then. Hurrah. AFAIK only BMT Micro support this option right now.

In other news…. I am having name-change thoughts AGAIN. Originally game 4 was called LB, then I changed it to OTT, then GTB. Now I might change it from GTB to GTB, where the letter T means something else. It means registering yet another domain, and getting a logo re-done, but I suspect it might be worth it. Oh the nail-biting angst….

Not long until I actually show some footage / screens/ etc


18 thoughts on Amazon, Google checkout, and the letter T.

  1. “who here actually has a [Google Checkout] account?”

    Pretty much anyone with an Android phone, it’s the default payment choice for their market place. It’s also the only current payment option for project zomboid.

  2. I have a Google-checkout account, generally prefer it to pay-pal due to some (no doubt silly) notion that Google are more trustworthy than PayPal (or at-least less useful)

  3. Between those two names, Tank will sell better.

    People associate tanks with fun, and trenches with boredom.

    I have a Google Checkout account, and my one gripe with Gamersgate is that they don’t have it.

  4. I’ve got Google, Amazon, Steam and Paypal accounts all primed with my CC numbers – I prefer Steam, and then Google myself, I must admit. Paypal I find too… obtuse. Amazon I’ve only ever used through Amazon, and I have to admit I wouldn’t use to purchase from anywhere else.

  5. While I think Tank is better than Trench, I kinda don’t really like either. As someone who played quite a lot of GSB and thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part, it makes it sound like the same game again but with tanks and WWI units instead of space ships, which is not excessively exciting. However, by the sounds of what you’ve said before this isn’t really the case and there will be significant differences (not least a story, which seems to fly in the face of the ‘gratuitous’ label) and I was kind of hoping for something a little more different. I remember at least one of your presentations talking about how the name of an indie game is quite important, and I guess I’m a bit worried that either of those names suggest to fans of GSB that this is more of a reskin of the old game than an actual new one.

    Of course, this is just my opinion and I may be completely wrong by the judgments of the majority.

  6. Damn, I was hoping so hard it would be “Gratuitous Tower Battles”, and some kind of tower defence game (done right, the Cliffski way). Despite the fact that the name I quote makes no bloody sense at all, and it was clearly Tank all along! I still had some hope… :(

  7. Anything with ‘gratuitous’ in it, is a double edged sword. There is the implication it’s GSB again (it isn’t), but the plus-side is that LOTs of people bought GSB, and they will hopefully immediately realise its from the same developer, and hopefully as good.
    Nobody really knows who me, or positech is, but they remember ‘gratuitous space battles’.

    I changed the name SO many times on this one. it is so important. The most damaging thing for an indie is obscurity, and I think I’d be a fool not to leverage the popularity of Gratuitous in the title.

    Not confirming anything else though… :D

  8. Certainly, I can see the advantages in terms of a kind of brand recognition. OTT I’m assuming is Over The Top given the assumed WWI-ish setting, which I admit to kind of liking because of dark dual meaning to the phrase anyway (the WWI connotations and the more modern usage as meaning ‘zany’ or ‘excessive’). LB, and this I’m a lot less certain on, I’m guessing is Light Brigade, as in ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’? That’s interesting in itself, in that it might suggest this is not tied to WWI specifically, given that was the Crimean War. Given everything that’s been said so far, my person guess at the moment is a turn of the 20th Century strategy game against some kind of fantastical foe (probably time traveling from the future but the PvZ zombie threw me on that one a bit?).

    Perhaps there’s a middle ground, using ‘gratuitous’ without it being a single slight word different from the original? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing the screens/footage either way. As I said, I really enjoyed GSB and bought all the expansions, and I’ve enjoyed your previous games too so I’m fairly confident I’ll like whatever it is you come up with this time.

    Even if all of this is entirely to throw us off the scent and GTB is actually Gratuitous Taxation Bureaucracy (this is my new guess, but if it isn’t right it should be your next game; if there are 2 things that people love it’s taxation and bureaucracy, and it’d make 2 words in the title that no-one can spell :P).

  9. Gratuitous Thermonuclear Battles?

    Fight with the full range of modern day military, including nuclear weapons! A fast paced, highly explosive, action RTS. Design a variety of different yield warheads with various delivery systems, and even anti-anti-ballistic countermeasures!

  10. I used to joke with friends that we should make of mod of Half-Life (these were the days of Counter-Strike) that had a WWI theme. There would be an hour-long loading screen and then everyone would die in 90 seconds.

    If anyone can do it right, it’s Positech.

    Also, after seeing “Watsong’s” handle, I have pagoda music stuck in my head.

  11. It’s not always easy to find the proper title for a game, I changed the title of one of my projects three times so far and even today I’m still not sure about it, I may come back to the original one.

    I’m currently using Plimus, I should try BMTMicro too. Have you tried Plimus Cliffski?
    .
    P.S: I love your profile picture you remind me of Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee!

  12. Cliff,

    Here’s the way to find that name:

    – Take your experience with Google Ads.
    – Craft a good piece of clickworthy copy
    – Spend £100 on 4 ads, each of which are identical except for the name of the game
    – direct clicks to a landing page which says words to the effect of “Thanks for voting for that name. I’m busy beavering away on xxxx (or yyyy, or zzzz if they win the voting). It will be ready later this year. If you want to be the first to know when it’s released, just enter your email address below.”

    That way you’ve spent £100 on real market research, potentially got some future sales leads, and can stop agonising over your game.

    Nicholas

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