Guess How Long Ultratron Took To Make?

I was idly warbling away to fans on the Steam Community forums today when I had a little think about some of the facts and figures involved in making games. When I read it back to myself I realised it was actually pretty fascinating reading for people outside of the industry (that is, the players of our games). There were some amusing estimates of how much effort goes into making games from the fans, so here are the facts and figures for you all to see, and hopefully, tweet, reblog, and comment about, until all children are suitably scared in their beds and night and vow never to want to becomes games developers ever again, and some sort of massive JUST SAY NO style meme floods the internets and makes it to the very top of Reddit’s wonderfully insular and self-referential news pages.

Ultratron took 24 man months to develop, or if you want to put a financial figure on it, about $120k at ordinary salary rates. Ultratron has so far made a loss of $100k.

Titan Attacks took approximately the same amount of time. Titan Attacks has just broken even after 7 years, so that’s cause for a can of lager in celebration.

Droid Assault took quite a bit longer – about 36 man months, or $180k ish. Droid Assault has so far made a loss of about $120k.

Revenge of the Titans took about 7 man-years to develop, or about $420k. It’s only just broken even. Sandbox mode took 12 man-months and has so far cost us $56k. It is unlikely to ever break even.

For most of the last 10 years, I subsidised all the development of the games by working as a menial contractor in the IT industry and effectively putting every spare hour of my life into them. We started seriously in 2002. It wasn’t until 2010 that we actually made enough money to buy anything more than a celebratory curry!

So now you know why a) you don’t really want to be an indie game developer if you can help it and b) why we’re not making any more arcade games 🙂

* probably. Unless a genius can think of some way we can make them for about a tenth the cost that’s palateable.

70 thoughts on 'Guess How Long Ultratron Took To Make?'

    1. Hell no! Apart from being a total bloodbath on the App Store (most developers don’t make their money back), the only one of our games that is even vaguely suitable for touch screen is Titan Attacks. The games are also far bigger and more complicated than most people realise – they won’t fit on iOS devices and they are pretty heavy on fillrate.

  1. Are there specific parts of the development process that require proportionally higher workload than others?

    1. The development process is basically “code! graphics! iterate until it’s perfect!” When we’re in the zone both Chaz and I are flat out, me coding, him spriting, and we back-and-forth constantly over Dropbox and Subversion. We’ve got two more people on the team now and a much greater percentage of time is taken up communicating over Skype than any other activity most days but the more we know what each of us is doing the less we need to directly interact.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I think people tend to get romantic about life as an indie but when presented with facts and numbers and occasionally a few more mouths to feed and stuck in a race to be accepted by society…it’s quite sobering. I thought that this is what I’ll be doing with my life when I managed to create a piece of code that acted as a game. Oh boy was I wrong…

    I love your work, your ideas, attitude and I wish for the best with your games. They’re great.
    You have contributed a lot to many things which are immeasurable in $.

    Battledroids sounds great and I hope the loss turns into a big win financially too.

  3. Have you guys considered a Kickstarter-esque funding? Would that help with the costs at all or just take away from future sales?

    I know a bunch of games have tiers that go waay high (sometimes $1000) and act as ways for dedicated (rich) fans to show support – maybe that could balance the costs of development?

    1. We are going to do a Kickstarter to help fund Battledroid, I think. We’re probably going to need something like about $80k to get it to beta.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your financial losses. For what is worth I consider your games great. I’ve enjoyed especially Revange of the Titans and IMO you can be proud of the smile you put on the faces of many players. Hope you will have better luck with Battledroids.

    1. It’s not so much losses really as just presenting the facts for most indie games development. Most people making games will see similar numbers and eventually give up, I expect; it takes a very long time to turn a profit.

  5. Hey there! Sad to hear. I watched the trailer, searched for ultratron in the app store on my ipad and iphone, but there was nothing. Would it be very hard to port?

    1. Impossible, because a) it has something like 200mb of graphics b) it will be shit on touchscreen, like every other twin stick shooter, and c) it will most likely make barely 10% of its porting development costs back.

    1. Well, I don’t know that we do deserve better, to be perfectly honest. I wasn’t expecting Ultratron to do well in the first place – in the last 8 years or so I think it’s made less than $2000 anyway, so the fact it’s grossed $20k on Steam so far is a pleasant surprise. But the fact is… if people don’t want stuff, they won’t buy it.

      In some ways it’s a bit of a shame that commodity pricing of games means that we can’t sell at a realistic price to our niche audience. You want arcade games? Nobody else does; so your eclectic tastes are going to cost money. But nobody buys arcade games for $20 any more.

      1. hm I am afeared that this blog post may even be taken as whining or whinging; it’s not meant to be. I just thought I should share some of the numbers for people who don’t know anything about the industry after I asked some fans how long they thought Ultratron took to make and got some answers like “3 months” etc. I realised that there was probably some disconnect between the perception of the value of video games and the actual work that goes into making them.

  6. I always thought you had quite a fast turnaround on your game development. I guess I didn’t really think that they were being developed full-time.

    Also contributing to this perception was the idea that your engine and graphics were mostly re-used with different game mechanics.

    1. <--- hehe. This. Our problem is maybe that we make it look simple. The only common thing in our games is the sprite engine; everything else is basically unique. There's not a shared sprite between any of the games (I just watched a review of Ultratron where some guy who repeatedly got our name wrong said that we'd just copied all the sprites out of Droid Assault!). We do pinch a few sound effects between games. The reality is that every single pixel is lovingly hand crafted from scratch each time by Chaz, and that I'm a pretty rubbish game designer and programmer with not a lot of actual talent. This is why it takes me so long to make games - if I were actually good at it I'd get the design right in a third the time, and if I were a better programmer I'd have it coded in half the time too. As it is I'm just an ordinary run-of-the mill sort of dude who just tries very very hard and keeps going no matter what. I wish we could knock out these games in 3 months flat - because then we'd be making a proper living, but we don't seem to be able to. Another reason we're not on mobile.

      1. I think you just need to write better tools to build games 🙂

        Loved your games – the attention to details, the polish, the wonderful retro look and sounds etc. I played the demos and I’m going to buy all of them today to give my support 🙂

        1. This. Absolutely this. If you keep reinventing the wheel, then you’re going to pay a penalty in time. If you could develop a toolchain to the point where you could re-use code modules between games, your time cost would drop significantly.

          1. Maybe you need to look at how our games are made… the bit that takes the time is not the tech, but the game itself. The bit that cannot be “reused”.

      2. Just a quick question. Do you guys get more money if I buy the games direct or through steam?

      3. Oh, that is unfortunate. I had always assumed you were re-using most, if not all, of your graphics, as well as using an entity (component) system on top of LWJGL with a swappable game module.

        Many game developers seem to build everything from scratch and I can’t see how developers, especially indie developers, can really afford to do this.

        I’ve also found it odd that more indie games aren’t built on, and contribute to, existing open source game engines and libraries. Similar to the Steel Storm games (DarkPlaces and now Doom 3).

        Your games are beautiful and fun to play (even though I’m not that into arcade games) so I hope you can work out a way to make it profitable.

  7. I think people think that the graphics in your games are simple. But they really are quite good. Plus there is adding all the effects on top of that. It’s the same thing that happens with Minecraft. As a programmer I can appreciate how complex the graphics are in Minecraft despite the simplistic look. But everyone I know that has seen or played but are not technically oriented think the graphics simple and maybe even crappy.

    Kudos to you Cas, I wish I had your tenacity for working on games.

  8. Bought all your games in the Steam sale. Ultratron is by FAR my favorite in the bunch, Titan Attacks being my least. Not really sure where to rank Droid Assault or Revenge of the Titans. Actually if they all had a demo i’d only have purchased Ultratron. But had little issue doing so knowing that I’m supporting a small developer.

  9. I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve enjoyed revenge of the titans a lot, which I bought through humble indie bundle.

    Thanks for the honest realism, tho. I have been thinking about whether to go into indie or mobile games for a long time, but the more I hear it sounds like a bloodbath. It sounds like a lot of fun but the only way to make a decent buck doing it seems to be to hit it big. And the chances of that are so small. I’m sure it gets frustrating to lose on every title in the hope of some day making an “overnight” hit.

    I have a lot of respect for you continuing for so long.

    Good luck on your future endavours whatever they may be!

  10. Thanks for posting this! The numbers aren’t terribly different from what I’d expect. I’m (supposed to be) working on a game myself, with a group, contributing about 4 hours a week of coding and design. And even with that small amount, I’ve had trouble putting in the time! (It’d help if I were capable of coding in less-than-three-hour blocks.) In the end, it will probably be multiple man-months of my life, along with the same from several other people, amounting to maybe three man-years of work for what many people will assume took a couple kids a weekend in a basement to make. I kind of have to tell myself, “The first game will suck and sell poorly. The second will suck less and still sell poorly. Maybe after five or so, you can switch to a part-time job.”

    I’m not sure why I’m ok with that. Maybe I’m deranged.

  11. Why don’t you guys get in on an exclusive humble bundle? Kind of like what the amanita (botanicula, machinarium) guys did and some other devs that I can’t think off the top of my head. You definitely have enough quality games to pull it off, and I think if it was pay what you want with an extra incentive (artwork, music, early prototypes, etc.) for paying above the average plus having some other devs chip in a couple of games you could sell pretty well I would imagine. The above average incentives are also good because I’m sure you have fans that would pay extra but already have all the games.

    1. Hm along with the disconnect in people’s perceptions of how long it takes to make games, how much money one needs to live on, and how much money even “successful” games make, there appears also to be a huge gulf in understanding about how the rest of the industry works from the fan side as well.

      “One does not simply… get in a Humble Bundle.” as Boromir might be paraphrased. They come to us; we don’t go to them. Same goes for everyone else.

      Even Valve pick and choose who gets on Valve. Make no mistake, if we weren’t on Steam, we’d have stopped 2 years ago, because of those figures you see up there, less than 5% of the money came from direct sales.

      1. I’ve seen so many people complain to indie devs that they won’t buy their game if they’re not on Steam, why won’t they just put their game on Steam, they’re missing such an opportunity by not being on Steam, etc. My soul weeps for you all.

        1. Haha, we can’t get on steam! Everyone would love to be on steam except for the really big hitters (minecraft).

          1. Who’s “we” in this case? Have you got a finished title languishing unloved on the lonely seas of the internets?

    1. Mostly me and Chaz. Then for the last 2 months, Alli as well, and Riven, our secret programming weapon, has been assisting in infrastructure work like the auto-updater/downloader.

  12. Years 2000, people are not looking to play game created before Jesus Christ. Perhaps it’s time to stop to copy old game and create your own game.

    1. Apart from the fact that none of our games are copies of any other games, I should point out that though the figures I present above may be quite a surprise to some people, we are actually eventually going to break even one day on them all. I should probably also point out we’re, like, in the top 10% of indie games “studios” when it comes to making money. Which just goes to show how successful most indies are.

    2. That is not a fair comment. It doesn’t sound like you’ve even played _the_ games. Graphic style or a 3D engine won’t make a game good. Fun and playability do. That (and panache!) is where Puppygames succeeds.

  13. “Perhaps it’s time to stop to copy old game and create your own game.”

    What games would you consider as good examples for these indie devs? I’m asking just to get some context for your question.

  14. You should perhaps take into account that the people saying 3 months might be under the impression it’s your day job.

    I liked Ultratron and Droid Assault better than the other two, so I guess I’m in the minority? Oh well. I picked up the first three when you were having a bundle sale, and got RotT in HIB, so I’m curious – how did those pan out for you?

    1. Well, it is my day job now, and has been for 2 years! (And Chaz, Alli and Riven are all full-time now too).

      The Ultrabundle sale made about $20k. Humble Bundle made something like $220k I think.

  15. I’ve never worked on any project the size of yours, so I’m very curious: how were all these man-months split up? For example, how much time was spent on engine development? If you started with something like Unity and tried to use existing code as much as possible (commercial or otherwise), what would the remaining work look like and how long would it take?

    Really enjoyed your recent interview with Keep up the great work!

    1. We don’t really keep accurate logs of what time goes where but the general gist of it is, Chaz does graphics/website/video stuff, I do engine/game/design/business stuff, so the general work is split 50/50 between us. Since we’ve hired Alli and Riven, some of the stuff is now shared out amongst them – Riven does all the clever technical stuff now, and Alli takes care of most of the support and some bugfixing and new development.

      Historically, I’d say about 50% of my programming time had been spent on engine and framework coding, and 50% of it on actually coding gameplay. About half my time was spent coding, and the other half was split between businessy stuff, answering support emails, doing interviews, trawling the internet for things about Puppygames, doing builds, managing the server, etc. I can’t speak for Chaz except that he is basically flat out all the time 🙂

      About 50% of our game code is “engine and framework” and reused through all four of these games. The rest is a mix of bits of pinched code and pure game. Unity would give us just the “engine”, which is about 25% of our code, so we’d still have “framework” and “game” to make, which accounts for about 75% of the effort.

      As for how long it would take… we’re getting faster at things all the time. The only thing that really takes time now is game design.

      1. Hey, thanks for the reply! I remember Jonathan Blow saying something about how engine and other technical work was a relatively small part of Braid’s development, compared to game design. I see that bears out in your case as well.

        1. That’s because Braid’s puzzles are CRAZY consistent.

          Those ones where you walk, and time progresses based on your direction? I started that, and whilst I didn’t EXPECT it to f*** up, I was pretty surprised when no matter HOW I went at it, those events still progressed EXACTLY the same.

          Bounce off a ledge? The game still moved the same way.
          Fell off a ladder? Still moved the same way.

          I understand how it’s done, but still, it takes pretty excellent coding/testing to get EVERYTHING SO damn consistent.

          Not to mention that his puzzles are insanely fiendish at times, and the very end bit? I was really impressed by how well the game translated your motions.
          Also, the time rewind system is pretty amazingly robust AND varied.
          I just want to throw money at him, to get him to work on Prince of Persia’s rewind system.
          It’s like “Okay, it’s ALRIGHT now, but, let this guy make it AMAZUBLOUS.”

          I imagine a LOT of his time went into play testing his puzzles, and tweaking them.
          Which, incidentally, is why I devolve into a spluttering/hissing mess when people comment on how the game was so short: Have you TRIED making Braid puzzles? No? Then GTFO. D:<
          (Not saying you're one of those people, just FYI.)

  16. I wouldn’t have guessed in my wildest dreams that these games took so long to produce. (I don’t mean any offense, I own all of them and they’re wonderful, I just tended to think of them as relatively “simple”.)
    It saddens me that they aren’t doing as well as you’d like just yet, but I hope they and subsequent releases eventually prove fruitful. I’ll be sure to recommend them.

    1. Hey, they’re doing fine; they just took too long to make. If you want to make games that look and play as well as Puppygames, that’s just about how long they’re going to take to make, if you’re about as good as we are at making them…

      … which is not to say that we’re particularly good at it, which is our main problem, though we have greatly mitigated many of the pain points that afflict other developers. For example, we make our games exclusively in Java with OpenGL and OpenAL; this means we get our stuff running on the three major desktop systems with almost no effort, whereas other developers have to pull their hair out recompiling stuff. We also don’t suffer from a lot of things that plague traditional developers, like memory corruption/leaks. And we get extremely detailed bug reports.

      So many other developers are now switching to next-generation tools to build games now because of these reasons, hence the rise of Unity and C# in games development.

    1. Don’t really have a lot of choice 🙂 But it’s a rewarding job. Everything ultimately is going to break even (possibly not Sandbox mode but that’s our fault I suppose) so it’s all successful; just not as successful as it needs to be.

      What we need to do is a) figure out how to make games faster and b) keep homing in on things people will pay for and talk about rather than things people… won’t.

  17. I have to say, you should either make games because you love it or find something else to do. Worrying about making your development cost to port to a different platform only hurts your chances of getting a game out there that people will consider purchasing. The fact that you so quickly dismiss the concept of porting your games to iOS because you won’t make back even 1-% of the development costs to do the port is the biggest reason you won’t make any money. So you won’t earn back the money you spent making a game. If you made the game and people heard about your games and then went and bought the full better PC version based on a simplified version they played on their iOS device of choice you would be making more money than just sitting on your high horse saying that you won’t port to iOS because it is not financially worth it. Sometimes it should be more about what the fans want that what is better for your wallet. My company ported a game to Windows 8 in a rush before Christmas and it has hardly sold anything, yet we are getting some rewards and benefits from it months after the fact that are worth more than we ever could have imagined. In some cases you make a game and it’s a flop and there is no good reason for why, other times you make a game and it blows up like Angry Birds and you make so much you afford to do other things. But if you are never willing to try because it won’t pay you back, you will never see the big sales numbers.

    1. This is entirely wrong on many counts; allow me to refute.

      Clearly, we do love what we’re doing, as we’ve been doing it for 10 years. So enough about that.

      Secondly, we’re not porting our games to iOS because they are not designed for touch, and they’re too big, and we’d have to rewrite them from scratch. The exception is Titan Attacks, which we are rewriting from scratch (in Monkey), because it’s the only game that would be fun on a touch interface. The others are entirely inappropriate for either touch screen, being twin-stick shooters (they are all shit on touchscreen), or far too complicated for casual play (Revenge of the Titans). We’re going to make some games especially for touchscreen and especially for phones; we’re not going to throw money at porting products nobody will enjoy. We make a careful analysis of the market, the technical requirements, and the money involved. It’s not “so quickly dismissed”.

      And no, it should never be just about what the fans want and never mind our wallets. You port the other games for us for free, then, please. Which you can’t do, because they’re too big anyway. And then they won’t make any money anyway, because the market is terrible match for our games.

      Business is about risk management as much as anything else. We can’t afford to take huge risks because a single failure will wipe us out. As it is we’re taking a big risk with Battledroid – it’s a complex game with a lengthy development and its failure will mean the end of Puppygames in its current form. We don’t need or want to take on additional risks, especially as we know the actual reality of the numbers (maybe you don’t?)

  18. After I’ve seen ‘Indie Game – the movie’ (thanks HumbleBundle for this !) I was really sad about what the Indie scene is experiencing.
    It is a lot of work and without a successful game and/or support from the players it must be a terrific experience.

    But still, when I remember what games I enjoyed the most on my computer they were mainly done by indies.
    Introversion Software and Puppy are in the list, of course. And for the work of faith they do I’ll keep supporting all of them.

    1. There isn’t anything to be sad about… this is just business. The world doesn’t beat a path to your door. Nobody owes us a living! From our perspective the only slightly miffing thing is that arcade games are too hard to make a decent profit from, for us.

      Battledroid will be interesting.

      1. There is plenty to be sad about, Cas. When you love something and it isn’t doing as well as it should be, you fear for its sustainability. Fear then turns into sadness. It is the natural order of things, for me anyways.

        1. one of my other favorite arena shooters is Nation Red (on Steam). one dude made that game (with some outsourcing) and he seems happy with the money he’s making. it’s a game that flies under the radar but seems to do well in Steam sales.

          he said he’s funding the next (super secret) game with the money he’s made from Nation Red. that might be a disaster waiting to happen but it seems like there is hope for arcade games if you figure out what people find compelling

          i wonder how well pom pom games (mutant storm) have done on steam? probably not too well I guess (the forums on Steam are empty)

          it seems like it’s a big struggle to find a market with some of these games even when they get critical acclaim. Introversion was on the verge of death for years until prison architect just recently

  19. Thank you for writing this post. I’m a web developer and even knowing indie devs these numbers are quite shocking for what I think of as one of the highest quality indie studios around. I applaud you for your transparency and honesty, I’m sure it’s not easy. When I was in school, I sent you an e-mail inquiring about a possible internship or job opportunity, in retrospect that seems very silly. Your friendly response at the time was greatly appreciated. Best of luck on your next projects, I’ll be buying them.

  20. As much as I hate to tell you guys, this industry is tough, and sometimes the indie games are not just good enough…
    For example, the only game on your catalog I really like is Revenge of the Titans. Did I say “like” ? I’m sorry I meant “LOVE”.

    Revenge of the Titans is by far my favourite tower defense ever, and I’m not surprised when you say it has broken even of its budget of about 420k.

    Just make a great game, do a little bit of marketing, and watch it sell !

  21. I can appreciate the cold hard reality of the situation… but it’s a pity. Ultratron 3 is brilliant–it’s the game I always wanted Ultratron to be, and I’m telling everyone I know to buy it. It breathes new life into the twin-stick shooter (speed boost! quantum shift! pets!), and it’s staggeringly well-polished. I look forward to many happy hours exploring its depths. What a shame it’s to be the last of its kind.

    I wish you the best, of course, but the reason I got into Puppygames was because you do (did *sob*) such fabulous arcade games. I’ve put more time into defending Earth from the Titans than I care to remember, and I anticipate doing the same with Ultratron 3.

  22. I wish to purchase PuppyGames t-shirts, posters, and bumper stickers please. =D We can help spread the word better… *throws cash*

    I have never seen a team that has so much “pride-in-ownership” of their products. It shows, very much so. Ultratron freaking rocks now, thank you very much. I collect/rebuild old coin-op arcade games/pinball machines and Robotron has always been a favorite.

    Thanks for all the smiles to date, there have been many; please keep them coming… *hugs*

  23. I purchased Ultratron the 23rd of March. When I was unable to validate the purchase in game, I submitted a support request. I’ve yet to receive a response. I just tried again, and again, it failed to register my game. I attempted to send another support request, and I received this error on the contact page:

    Warning: include_once(../dbconfig.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www/includes/smtp.php on line 9 Warning: include_once(): Failed opening ‘../dbconfig.php’ for inclusion (include_path=’.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear’) in /var/www/includes/smtp.php on line 9 Notice: Use of undefined constant email – assumed ’email’ in /var/www/support/supportInfo.php on line 135 Notice: Undefined variable: sentInfo in /var/www/support/supportInfo.php on line 141 Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /var/www/includes/smtp.php on line 250

    I’d really just like to play the game.

  24. I have a deep appreciation for when people in any industry reveal the truth about the work it is that they do. A big salut to Cas for giving the actual numbers, but that shouldn’t be a discouragement to anyone thinking about being an indy game developer for the following reason:

    You’ve only got one life, use it for whatever you want, and be grateful when people appreciate who you are and what you do.

    I packed up from the States and moved to Japan eight years ago because I thought I could create a better educational experience than the ones I saw in the schools. I’ve learned a lot in those eight years and it’s been an extremely challenging experience that I wouldn’t give up for anything.

    And as a teacher, when my students reach a certain level of success (like reading Green Eggs and Ham or Curious George all on their own) I am very, very pleased that I can give them an experience such as a Titan Attacks Party to reward them for their hard work.

    An even bigger bonus is that I can do so legally without having to buy an arcade machine or pay through the nose for an antiquated gaming console. The real benefit comes from those small improvements made to the game that bring it into the 21st century, however, as my students never comment that the game looks “old” or “outdated” compared to their consoles and handhelds.

    Keep it up. I’d be proud if any of my students grew up to do what you are doing now.

  25. I think what you posted is very relevant. Thank you for sharing this information.

    I am in business too and let me tell you, everyone is hurting. There is little money in the streets and because of that businesses of across every industry are failing every day. Even the big name game studios and publishers are having trouble staying afloat. There are no savegames or do-overs in business.

    Hopefully, we’ll survive to see better times and your loyal clients will remember you when they have lots of money again. I am sure I will.

    Battle on.

  26. Here is from a customers perspective. I purchased Ultratron way back in 2006/2007. Recently, I say it on Steam, and I bought it, but I wasn’t sure if this was an updated version of the original. From the screenshots I could tell there were differences but I had no idea just how much had changed.

    Putting this on Steam was a good move. Interestingly, I think the price is correct, only so you can put on sales in which you’ll probably see the bulk of your game purchases. I jumped at the 50% off, and now wish I had picked up some of your other games.

    Ultratron is in a different league compared to the casuals people are used to playing, and I think this also is part of the problem. People do not know what to expect.

    You guys have a story to tell/sell. The fact that you have been going on and pouring yourselves into this for so long shows passion, but it needs to be captured onto video. Games would love to learn about the development of this game, the music and the intense Robotron-esque vibe created around it. Are the original Robotron devs around? Maybe a joint video/interview. This is more than a homage in my eyes. Really outstanding arcade game.

    I too was thinking, wow, I’d love this on iPad, but after playing it I’m not sure how the controls would work. And then there is the porting costs.

    How about the Ouya? Unlike the App store, it won’t be as saturated yet, and it seems like Puppygames will translate well using a controller. You definitely need more exposure, and the excitement surrounding a new platform could reignite interest in arcade type games vs. mobile casuals, and put you guys in the spotlight as experienced devs.

  27. Enjoyed reading this and I feel I should actually go buy a game off steam (one of yours of course).

    I have been a developer for many years and recently started making a game, I first thought it would take me a year to make a simple shoot-um-up but my ideas keep growing, I am enjoying the learning process and not in it for the money.

    I applaud what you are doing and the games you have produced look great, but to make some money have you considered a simple game (cut down version of what you already have) for Android or I-phone or Facebook, that is where the money is?

    I have seen Indie Game Movie and read all about Minecraft, people think if you make a cool indie game you will be rich, obviously it much tougher than that!

    Ive joined the mailing list and look forward to future games, articles and news!

    1. We have indeed thought about making “simple” games for phones but you’d be surprised at the amount of effort and polish that needs to go into them, especially if you’re like us and do everything as perfect as possible. We’ve so far thought of only one idea that could probably be done in under 6 months! :S

      1. All of this makes me a little sad, though I know that wasn’t your intention with the blog post. I understand the difficulties of indie game development, but I would like to see you guys better rewarded for your hard work. I’ve been a fan for years, you have a great style to your games and those extra bits of polish to gameplay make all the difference! So I’d at least like to thank you for the effort that went into the games, they truly are great.

        One thing I wanted to mention as a fellow gamedev: keep an eye on Android for handheld gaming. The PSP/DS markets have been crushed by the growth of the smartphone industry, but there is a lot of opportunity if someone can find a way to bridge the controller scheme to smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S4 (expected to be the worlds best selling phone) is shipping a controller accessory, which at least presents an effort on the part of hardware manufacturers. Ouya provides a little more incentive for porting, I could see the effort of porting something like Ultratron being worth the cost. Maybe not worth the immediate investment, but perhaps hope for the future?

        Anyhow, I’m loving the games, thanks for making them!

    1. Not at all – you just need to be aware of what you’re getting in to and how long it takes to make your money back. Though it could be argued that there are better ways of making your money back than the route we’ve gone down. We’ve filled a niche but it’s a very small one – my advice is to pick a bigger niche 🙂

  28. ahojte v prvom rade sa vam chcem podakovat za skvele hry ktora robite akoze klobuk dolu, ti sasovia co sa oznacuju za AAA by sa mohli od vas priucat ako sa robia hratelnostne zabavne a neokukane hry, tot na uvod. Chcel by som sa vas vazeni kamarati opytat, ze ci neplanujete nejaku vaznejsiu TD nieco na styl “Ultimul”, to bola celkom podarena Tower Defense a dokonca freeware co sa pri takych kvalitach akymi disponuje casto nevidi, tak ma napadlo, ze by ste to mohli skusit, so svojimi skusenostami na poli indie a osobitym stylom by to podla mna mohla byt hra, ktora by dokazala zaujat si myslim. Revenge of the titans je fakt podareny mix TD RTS, ale chcelo by to aj nieco serioznejsie v tomto smere, dakujem za zvazenie!

    We ♥ puppygames !!!
    Keep up the good work !!!

    PS: i used slovak language because my english is pure…. so.. sorry 🙂

  29. I’m sad to see you guys (and gals?) have not gotten the monetary love you totally deserve.
    everything I’ve seen from you shows incredible attention to detail, fantastic art style (in every regard, from visuals to music to writing), and immense love for what you’ve wrought.

    Droid Assault and Ultratron are two of the best arcade-style games I’ve ever played, and I’m pretty fond of Titan Attacks!, too.
    (I also bought Revenge of the Titans, but RTS isn’t as much a Thing for me, though it IS fun, even for that genre.)

    I’ve got a lot of gaming-love for you folks of Puppygames.
    I’ve made sure to spread it as much as I can through my blog.
    thank you for pouring your everything into these wonderful games you make.
    I know that adoration doesn’t exactly pay bills, but I hope it will at least offer a meagre solace for this situation.

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