I just released Pixel Session Vol.1!
If you follow me on Twitter and go on Twitter at all, you probably heard of it but otherwise...
Pixel Session Vol.1 is a collection of 5 extra-polished eye-candy arcadey jam-style games, exploring experimental and minimalist gameplay and graphics!
They're also 5 Pico-8 games and I am selling them!
I think this is the first time someone attempts to sell Pico-8 games and I can assure you this is pretty scary for me too. But the way I see it, Pico-8 is a game engine like any othe... wait no, Pico-8 is a game engine LIKE NO OTHER and I think it really deserves to have premium products. I also hope this will encourage people to make Pico-8 games of higher quality and also put them for sale.
I'm pretty sure not everyone here will agree with me so I'd like to open this thread to the discussion. Please do tell me how you think I'm wrong or right! :)
Looking forward to reading what you think of it all!
haven't bought them...yet.
I have a few remarks, since you're addressing people at large, out of the pico8 customers microcosm:
- those title screens look very polished and professional, however I think gameplay vids or gifs could be an even better incentive to buy.
- why 3 zips?
- referring to z/x isn't easy on people with azerty or qwertz keyboard. x/c or c/v would be way smoother.
- I guess you're selling html exports, do they have gamepad support? I gather they don't, since you're referring to z/x. that would be a great addition.
I've been thinking of doing the same, but the html export doesn't look serious enough to me. so I'm merely prototyping and kinda waiting for a binary export or player. that's still scheduled for 1.0 in 2016, so I'm not holding my breath...
wish you the best, hope more people follow suit, as it could raise pico8 upwards. let us know how it goes! :)
Are these not P8 carts then but standalone games? If so, how'd you do that...some sort of converter/exporter?
I commend you for being the canary in the cave for this one. I think we'll all be interested in stats after the first month or so.
Thank you babyjeans and burakcan! I will, burakcan, I promise! :)
Ultrabrite, thank you for all the remarks!
- I designed the title screens in such a way that they would translate the feelings of the game. tbh I would have added gameplay gifs but the space an itch.io page is precious and adding more gifs would have looked weird. So instead I chose to use only the title screens.
- The 3 zips are actually a simple joke on the fact that most games have different versions for the different platforms. It's actually three times the same file. I can see how that's a bit confusing, but I like it. :)
- Agreed on the z/x problem! This is actually something that I would like to think about and change for Pixel Session Vol.2 if it happens or maybe for a future update.
- Same thing for the gamepads! I did consider adding gamepad support as you point out, I'm saying z/x everywhere, so I thought it would end up confusing.
I had worries about the html exports not looking professional but I think I managed to make it ok. First of all they are of course modified exports with better looking buttons and everything. And second, apart from the first game, each game is locked up with a password in a zip file. On each game you have to get a B rank or higher (by getting high scores) to get the password for the next game. If you don't want to have to go through all the games, a cheatcodes text file is in the main folder. While this is all pretty quirky, it works great and justifies the download.
Definitely could do with binary exports though!
Morningtoast, they are html exports! Please read the paragraph just above for more info. :)
I'll gladly share some stats at the end of the first month! Although I have to say the release has been rather chaotic with various services being affected by a massive DDoS attack at the time of the release and also, mostly because of poor planning, I have yet to mail video game news websites and blogs about the pack. I'm still going to do this last task over the next few days though.
Well, it is Pico, TVD, which can be described in one word.
breaks an octave singing a high note "Small ♪" :)
But that's fine. I've got toys and tools I've written in Blitzmax I don't share the source to with others either. I do see that Itchy allows for monetization of stuff.
I have yet to get really smooth gameplay in ANY Pico app Online, that is why I would want offline to play your stuff - especially in SPLORE.
Which - brings up the ability still for me to write a program to convert a .P8 or .P8.PNG to a single offlline .EXE. This would help you so you can distribute your game minus source.
I can write the code for this, I'm just not sure it's ethical.
If I ever get off my duff and actually finish something substantial in Blitz, I may take a crack at the Shareware world, will see.
Pico-8 sadly doesn't have any way to lock it its code in p8 "carts" which would be useful for this purpose.
Hopefully a way to package games officially and have them compatible with the pico-8 "console" will come along after full release of Pico-8.
You should consider putting these on thumb drives one day, with a manual and art perhaps. In the future once more methods for professional distribution come along.
Best of luck selling your games, good to see someone attempting it and hope it can catch on.
Purchased! And wow, I'm so bad at Descent. I either need to get my gamepad working with the web players, or hope we get binary exports sooner rather than later. I'm telling myself I'm not going to cheat and unlock the next game without beating Descent.
Good luck with this.
edit Oh, and, perfect pricing on this. Two bucks is squarely in the impulse purchase zone. Packaged pico-8 games may be an unknown quantity, but no reasonable person is going to be mad about being out $2 if it's not what they expect.
Fweez, can you post a video of your game play ? I just don't want to purchase a game if I can't even see a Youtube or some video of it in play.
And - I know I mentioned this. I can take a .p8 or .p8.png and make it an EXE. I would just want to check with ZEP to see if this is something he wants.
Hey thanks to everyone that wished me luck and the best and all that! I appreciate it! :D
@shadow1w2, putting the games an thumb drives with manual and art would be amazing, I sincerely hope I get to do that at some point!
@fweez, thank you for the purchase, I'm sure you'll get better at Descent, even with a keyboard, everyone I talked to about it did! Also I'm very glad you agree on the pricing! :)
@dw817, gameplay gifs have been added to the game's page since you posted your comment on there! Also, you can play the games offline, you only need a web browser, but not internet. I'm not gonna release the source codes just for you though, I hope you understand. It is very likely that I will release the source codes eventually but not now.
Also, I don't actually mind about the format of the games. Sure it does seem unprofessional but how is that relevant to the quality of the games?? Besides, I am taking advantage of the format! I'm having a discreet background for those who don't want to play fullscreen, I'm making sure the games have clear and concise instructions right below them for those who feel confused, you can mute, pause and reset the game using the buttons under the game. And I also feel like it's adapted to the quirky way I separated the games, using zip files with passwords to serve your progression through the pack.
All-in-all, I do think this is a pretty good format for the games! :)
I haven't gotten around to getting/playing the Pixel Sessions yet but saw someone mention needing a gamepad for their browser.
I've been using this JS library with my Pico8 web exports and so far it has worked wonderfully. No additional hacking needed by me or anything...just drop them into your HTML export and bam, gamepad support without any extra work.
Not sure what rules there around including this type stuff within a "retail" game but might be worth looking at and adding if its possible - then you can hype gamepad support too.
It's been a crazy day. Life is short, isn't it ? Oh for that amount of money, how can I go wrong ? :)
Hey ... why do you have three ?
PixelSessionVol1 - All Platforms.zip (4 MB)
PixelSessionVol1 - Also All Platforms.zip (4 MB)
PixelSessionVol1 - Still All Platforms.zip (4 MB)
You'll get there ultrabrite, I know you will!
Thanks morningtoast! I actually did know about that file but I need to take a look and find away to include it cleanly into the games. Surely it's easy enough but I actually did not have the time to do it before the release because of the tight deadline I had set myself. The rules are stated on the GitHub page of the file actually, I can use it as I want but if I modify it I just have to say it somewhere! :)
Thanks jihem, I will!
Thanks for the purchase dw817! The three files are exactly the same, it's just a joke on the fact that most game have different versions for the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms but not this one. :)
I just started playing and it's an interesting concept. I will have to get better if I dont want to cheat too much ...
I also though about making a premium game using Pico 8. I was thinking about putting a small minimum to get the android version of Combo Pool on Itch.io. But I was afraid I would only sell a few anyway so I put it completely free with just the Itch.io incentive to donate. And to my surprise I did get some donations, maybe even more than if I was selling it.
For the release, I went the PicoLove way, and it mostly works. But it require a lot of tweaking, and subtle effects will be hard to match exactly with PicoLove. To go further, I think we will need a proper .exe distribution pipeline by Zep.
I'm very curious to see if a premium Pico 8 game can be successful on Itch.io
Yes those are great ideas, I'll look into them really soon! :)
The sales were not great. There were only 32 purchases on the first week after launch and since then I had about one purchase for every two days. I have to say I did a very poor job of advertising the game. Most of the buyers came from Twitter where I was tweeting wip gifs of the games along the development and from here. But I barely did any marketing outside of Twitter. I did send a few mails to video game news websites after the release but no-one covered it.
I had set myself a really tight deadline for this project and because of that I didn't take the time to market the games right. I did learn a good lesson from all of this though.
Look forward to the update, I might change a few things in the games too! It should be coming next week I think! ;)
great! looking forward!
well, let's say that was a soft-launch. maybe try making it free with donations, like nusan said, for a week or two before the update ? that could be two discoverability bumps in a row... maybe make one of the games freely playable right on the page, with a turnover every other week or something. once you have vol.2, bundle both for 3 bucks etc. shake things up to stay listed on top or featured. nowadays it's hard to finish a project and call it a day.
best of luck anyway :)
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