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The Secret History of Mac Gaming


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#141 Matt Diamond

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 12:51 PM

Backed.

View Postmossy_11, on 03 September 2018 - 09:53 PM, said:

The interesting thing with shareware games is that pretty much nobody was making more than "pizza and beer" money until Apogee came up with the episodic model in the late 80s, whereas developing shareware utilities was always a viable way to earn a living.
Yeah, that was my experience. Money dribbled in slowly over time.

The one big payday was from a PC games publisher (SofSource). Their business model was to license select shareware and publish it commercially. The published games were displayed on racks in stores like Sears, positioned as impulse buys.

To kick off their Mac line SofSource licensed both my games, plus two others (Diamonds 3D was one I think). Unfortunately Sears and maybe others decided not to carry the Mac line. SofSource lost money and got out but I got to keep the advance. I still have some boxed copies the publisher sent me, plus a couple I bought at CompUSA as a lark.

I was contacted by other publishers too but most seemed very shady. SofSource seemed to go out of their way to treat developers fairly (we kept the rights to our games and could even keep selling them as shareware.) I was sad the Mac line didn't work out for them.
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#142 Cougar

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:38 AM

I now have a job, so backed.

Richard, have you pinged Gruber yet? I remember that boosting the project by quite a bit. I forget how funding worked. Is it just on Unbound until it gets funded, with no time limit? Otherwise I am nervous.

#143 mossy_11

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 12:05 AM

I haven't. But I will be reaching out to him soon to see if he can give us a shoutout.

Yeah, it's pretty much on there until funded. Technically the deal is three months, then however long past that until either it gets funded or author and Unbound mutually agree that it's not going to make it.

We're making steady progress at the moment. If the trend of the past three weeks continues, we'll hit the goal around about the end of that initial 90-day period. I am of course hoping to inject some extra momentum to get us there much sooner, but it's always hard to know exactly where the spikes will come from. (Kotaku's tiny mention, for instance, appears to have only triggered a small funding spike of an extra 1-2% over a few days, despite the large number of eyes on their article and the big impact I've heard they made to the momentum of various other campaigns.)

Crowdfunding is basically just blindly throwing a whole lot of darts at multiple dart boards and hoping that their combined score adds up to more than 100. You can plan and prepare all you like, but you never know exactly where each dart will land.
Author of The Secret History of Mac Gaming - https://secrethistoryofmacgaming.com/ - out March 22 2018 in the UK and online

#144 Matt Diamond

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 07:11 AM

Coincidentally enough, a good article about the history of shareware just appeared in an unlikely place: https://www.hpe.com/...orrow-1809.html

The article draws the parallel between shareware and the current app stores, among other things.
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#145 mossy_11

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 08:34 PM

That's an excellent piece. Thanks for sharing it — I'll use that to help me with the big-picture view of shareware's significance, and also to help prepare for my interviews with Nelson Ford and Joel Diamond (both quoted in the article), assuming they're still willing to talk to me after I went silent on them for a few weeks of intense freelancing.

(On that note, go to Polygon about 14 hours after this post is made to see one of the things that made my September super hectic.)
Author of The Secret History of Mac Gaming - https://secrethistoryofmacgaming.com/ - out March 22 2018 in the UK and online

#146 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:03 AM

Richard, I've not read it yet, but your Assassin's Creed story looks interesting! That's one of the rare game series I instantly fell in love with when playing the first game.