Merchandise?

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Solvus
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Merchandise?

Post by Solvus » Tue May 22, 2018 2:18 am

So I've been looking into passive income and internet marketing for reasons that I haven't done much because I don't implement them myself, still scared/lazy?
I really want to pass on this knowledge to help, I hope?

I've always wanted to help support WinterWolves more via Patreon etc, I wanted to get better at the internet marketing to help promote your game, I only have a base knowledge. I know you're very busy focusing on making games and research. I'm hoping passive income help you more in between games.

Passive income I think could help you Jack
The short of it:
Digital Music sold on Apple, Google, Amazon, or etc.
Digital Art books sold on Apple, Google, Amazon, or etc.
Physical Art books, Amazon has this print on demand books stuff
General Merch, print on demand

In-depth
For digital stuff, I know you give them away as a bonus in getting that game. You can sell at any price point, platforms(apple, google, Amazon) will take a cut but you get some profit anyways. Cause if the people really want to support you, they will buy it, there are a few stories of some making a book free in pdf format on their website and also sold the book on Amazon, both with the same content, nothing was taken out of the free book. They were surprised why people choose to buy it and not just download it for free cause they stated clearly that it's free and the customers responded that they did get the book for free and want to pay for it anyways cause they like it that much. So having it free and to be paid for options are good either way. The thing about Amazon you can format the book to your liking unlike PDF, I can change font, spacing, margins, background color, and look up words I don't know on the spot. Also, I wish some game companies sell their game music, major ones do but the others don't, I think because they don't think of it, also vinyl is making a comeback oddly enough.

Digital art is good, but something about physical format makes it feel great, like Dragon Age or Zelda books, they're wonderful and stuffed with so many goodies, with Amazon print in demand for books is just that, it only prints when it is ordered, no need to buy already printed books and waiting for a sale. That is the old way of making art books, the new way is better for logistics and the environment. Also, you can add your creator's thoughts and touches in there, more in-depth map, history, lore, tidbits of info. And if you go to conventions, we have books for you to sign in! :D If you want, since the art is made by others, you can give some of the money as a bonus to the artist?

Digital in general is good to sell, make it once and just sell on sites and BAM, get money whenever someone buys, no fees that I know of for upkeep, only taking a cut when a sale is made.

There is another print on demand stuff like some artists do for shirts, prints, mugs, pillows, etc. There are many print on demand websites, you don't have to do inventory, ship, or store products in your house. They take care of that, so all you have to is design and make sure of the margin and budget. You have a notable brand, I came across the idea since Lovestruck started selling their merch, I thought, why now WinterWolves as well? The convenient thing of print on demand is just that, it only prints/bills you for what is ordered only, so you don't have to buy bulk product and wait for a sale to happen, just wait for an order and one is made as many as ordered, again. So you can have many designs up and don't have to take down the "less popular" one down cause it won't cost you a thing. Some take care of customer service if product is lost or damaged, they fix it since it's on their end. The thing about Japanese Otome merch is it's so limited and sold out so fast, an experience from a friend who enjoys and buys them. I want Mystic Messenger merch but they're always sold out, I don't think they know about print on demand *sigh*. Current Otome merch is very lacking and not structured well on that business side. Games good, merch selling is so limited.

I'm glad your games are selling well in itch.io, honestly, though I thought you were already on there since it's indie hub and yuri jams have been on there. So I was surprised when you did mention getting on there.

I hope I made passive income clear. Btw your games are considered passive income since it digital, passive means make once and can be resold over and over, unlike a physical t-shirt that needs to be made old fashion in bulk at warehouse and ship to the store's thing, hence why so many clothing stores are going out of business. Print on demand is better and are produced more ethically. Clothing business is not good for profit margins, same with restaurants. Active income is the like the 9 to 5 go to work thing. Passive is making it once and it can be sold whenever even when you're sleeping, selling products digitally is the best way of passive to work.

I've learned a lot over a year, meaning to do for me, but I don't have much of a brand and I'm lazy/nervous/scared/overwhelmed. (Not as a game maker, something else)
I'm sure I overwhelmed you with all this info, it would be great if you already have the gist of it or looked into it.
I've learned so much about business as a whole, game business and some of their scammy microtransactions. Games doing the right or wrong thing in a business sense *cough* EA horrors.
__Most games and indie games only focus on the game, some needs to go into marketing and other means of income like merch. Bioware had to go to EA because they were almost bankrupt despite good ratings and sales. Focus too much on the game, profit suffers, if the game focuses too much on profit *cough* EA, the game suffers. There needs to be a balance. Need more income sources, not just game alone. Back then it was fine, didn't cost as much or taxing, but now it costs more to make quality games. People's expectations are higher, some good and bad reasons.
__Game companies of Pillers of Eternity and Divine Divinity are the rare games that are propped by Kickstarters. They did right by gamers but it's not sustainable if they keep going to Kickstarter. I love both of them but business side needs help. (Remeber I only learned this recently like a year about business stuff and how other game companies work, I was surprised)
I want Winterwolves to survive and not have too much trouble on the indie front.
__Also, google ads for visual games have like no competition. I'm really surprised that there are not ads for games in whole, other than the mobile apps they advertise just fine but in the general search on google website, nothing. Like if you search for stamps, so many ads pop up on the top and sides. But for visuals novel or indie games, nothing.
I've also worked on my own website, learned about SEO and such website ranking.
I would love to help you with ads or some SEO for free.
I find working with someone with learned skills is better to apply than trying to motivate myself to do it.

Cause you sir are amazing, getting a team together all over the world without needing to be in the same space/building to make a game is very taxing and astounding. It would worry me to no end, but you have learned how to manage that and I would like to help. If not, that's okay, I really hope my suggestions help.

Super very sorry for long text. :shock:

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jack1974
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Re: Merchandise?

Post by jack1974 » Tue May 22, 2018 7:11 am

So about your points:
- for music/tracks I have an agreement with the various musicians that I can resell the mp3 in the "bonus content" version, but in exchange I allow them to sell on their own on itunes/bandcamp/etc. Anyway judging from what they tell me, it wouldn't be even worth spending 1 minute on it :oops:
- merchandise has a lot of problems because shipping physical stuff is a pain, and most of the cost is to produce the item. I looked into it, back in 2008-09 I had some copies of games printed on CD etc but I gave up. I had Ayu of Sakevisual and some other friends go at USA anime conventions, but even then, the money made was so small that they stopped doing it. Even without shipping costs. This says all :)
- Google ads are super expensive. I tried a bit, and also Facebook, but it's impossible to get any money out of it. When you have to pay $1-2 each click, and you need 100 clicks on average to convert to a purchase, you realize that spending $100 to have a $20 sale is not a great idea :lol:

In summary I already checked all the options you mention (I've been doing this for over 10 years after all!) but sadly they're not worth it. I find just using social media to promote my games + word of mouth works well and is not expensive. Also I'm lucky enough to be friend with some top indies who started around same time as me. I remember well Andy Schatz words (the guy behind Monaco, Tooth & Tail, etc) when he said "it's all about the game. If you make a game good enough you won't need to do any marketing/promotion". Considering he made millions with his games I think he was right :)

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Solvus
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Re: Merchandise?

Post by Solvus » Tue May 22, 2018 6:55 pm

Music: Aw that's too bad :( just setting it up wouldn't cost anything

Merch: Selling merch has changed is the last couple of years, with print on demand you don't have to do the inventory or shipping, it's handled on their end, they really simplified the process due to helping artists. Thing is there are many websites offering this type of service, so I wouldn't know which would be a good fit for you. There a plenty of examples and reviews on each print on demand services if you want to get in-depth which service would work for you. How they ship, brand on the shipping box, merch quality, etc. Since you have WordPress, you could use Woocomerce as a selling platform?
Here is one explaining better than I, there are others you can read for variety and more perspectives.
https://blog.placeit.net/definitive-gui ... -websites/

Google ads: they are expensive if you don't know what you're doing, many small businesses lost money cause they didn't know how to use it properly. I've seen poor search parameters, the broad search is like the sinking sand pit to losing money. Since there is no competition for words like Indie game or visual novel, you can literally set clicks to 0.01 cent and rank first since no one is occupying any ad space. Learning google ads was long but I figured most of it out, even bought a book. Google constantly adds new ways to simplify and complicate using ad words, it "improve it" they say. They say they're user-friendly but it takes a few and intense readings to figure it out. I mean I can try for literally a dollar and you can tell me if the traffic has increased then. Just tell me when so you can note traffic, I can use my own dollar, I don't mind, more excited to see if this works.

10 years indie veteran :) , I know but many things have also have changed as well, digital stuff on websites exploded with so many companies. Yep, social media is free marketing :) I was wondering if you would do Instagram? Use many hashtags, not too different from Twitter. That's so cool you know someone like him, I'm sorry I haven't heard of him before now. :/ I'm not sure about not any marketing, people have to be told to know it's even out. If you're already established brand, yes that works the gamers will spread the news. Your blogs, twitter, and youtube is part of marketing.

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jack1974
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Re: Merchandise?

Post by jack1974 » Tue May 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Of course I don't think to know everything :) But to be honest I have already a lot of things to do, and while I like doing the game I don't think would like those other things. Besides, I should ask artists if I wanted to print stuff using their art (since that's different from using it in a game) etc etc.
Will think about it and thank you for the explanation of course!

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Solvus
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Re: Merchandise?

Post by Solvus » Wed May 23, 2018 12:04 am

Same I don't know everything either, literally just learn some of this in a few months, new stuff keeps coming out, and just throwing ideas out there. Yeah I know you're very busy in general, didn't mean to overwhelm you. And that is completely understandable. I thought so too for the artists work.
No thank you for your time, I'll always want Winterwolves to succeed :)

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