Probably every game designer has dreams of their game selling in major retail stores, but unless it has plenty of cut scenes and great music, chances are you will have a hard time. Shareware is a different story, you can make a living right now, with very little money by creating your own shareware. it is hard for you to get your foot in the door at a game development, or publishing company, but you can always do it yourself and work from home selling shareware.
Shareware is simply, trying before buying software. If a player likes the computer game you have created, they have to pay you a fee to unlock the rest of the game. For example, you have a game with 80 levels. People interested in playing the game can only play 25 levels, and then it stops. If they want the rest of the 55 levels, they have to pay you first.
You won’t get rich selling shareware games, but you can make a pretty good living. How does up to six figures a year sound to you? Some shareware creators have already achieved this. Shareware games don’t need to have the best graphics or sound to be popular and sell. All you have to do is make sure that your games are extremely fun. If people play your game and really like it, they will tell their family and friends. Word-of-mouth is really the best free advertising that you can have.
Some people give away the entire game for free-I wouldn’t suggest that you do that. It’s best to give at least 1/3 of the game away, the part that’s really easy and fun to play so that you will leave them wanting to pay you money to get the entire game.
How To Get Started
1. Create an extremely fun game
2.Get a website, and domain name
3. Get a merchant account-the easiest being Paypal
4. Promote your website
Before you even start making your game, check out all your competitors. Your game has to have the most features at the lowest possible price. Taking care to make sure that your game is the best that it can be will get even more people to buy your game. it’s important to be really objective about the games you make. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean everybody else will. If you are promoting a game and it isn’t selling, it most likely means that it isn’t good, or it’s too hard for people to figure out how to play.
It’s important to get your software as widely known as you possibly can. Don’t just sell your shareware online, as everyone does not have a computer, make sure you set up a page in your website for offline ordering also.
Getting People To Pay
This is the worst part of shareware. Everyone like to get something for free, and most times don’t want to pay for anything. To get your money, the game has to be addicting for them to really want to shell out the dollars. There are a couple things that you can do. You can put nag screens in the game for reminders, or make your games unplayable after 30 days.
Going With A Publisher
The fact is, a publisher controls everything. The only upside is that you don’t have to do non-programming tasks as much, but you will have to deal with an often ruined retail distribution system. Do you want to deal with your customers and be your own boss? Would you be happy to give up all rights to a publisher? I think the former is the best choice. It’s the same with the music industry: sign the contract, get $3 or less per album, do your own album, get $6 per album.
Here is a link to an article that gives you a list of free web hosting for your games.
Here is a shareware organization link
Association Of Shareware Professionals (ASP)
To promote your games