[FSFLA] LibreJam - FSF* should host a Libre Game development tournament!

Ismael Luceno ismael at iodev.co.uk
Thu Jan 6 17:22:20 UTC 2022

On 05/Jan/2022 14:48, Dennis Payne wrote:
> On Wed, 2022-01-05 at 16:10 +0100, Ismael Luceno wrote:
> > Making it attractive would mean the prizes and frequency of the
> > contests
> > need to yield an average much higher than what would be possible by
> > selling
> > the game, which sounds unrealistic to me.
> > 
> > A single top game can easily gross tens of millions, I don't think
> > you can
> > compete with the privative models this way; and even the average
> > good-ish
> > games makes 20k-25k USD on their first year.
> > 
> > Making it work would require a different approach.
> I think you are misinformed. According to a 2020 study, over 50% of
> indie games on Steam make less than $4000.
> https://vginsights.com/insights/article/infographic-indie-game-revenues-on-steam

I don't disagree with those numbers. Is your plan to have just mediocre

> $2000 prize pool for weekend or even a week of work isn't bad.

Completely different dynamics from work, it's a competition, you don't
give them money all year around, neither you guarantee it.

If the median game makes about 4k USD, and you don't care about
quality, just the number of games, you would still need to reward above
that if you want everything copylefted.

Also there's the problem of how you partition that, by voting?
everyone gets 4k?

I can't think of any sane option.

> To sell a game you need to do a lot more work. Take Celeste
> for example. It was made for on pico-8 for a game jam. It was a
> "difficult platformer with 30 levels". The commercial game had
> "over 200 rooms spread between eight chapters." That was a lot of
> work to make it a commercial success.

True; but I'm just pointing out we cut out that possibility if we
really want libre games. It isn't about the time invested in the jam,
that's meaningless, the problem is the alternative commercial
exploitation model would need to be better, or at least equivalent.

> A game jam game might lead to a bigger commercial game but the game jam
> itself will not be a huge seller. Game jams require you to be able to
> play the games of others to give ratings and comments. You are going to
> get that if you have to buy them. On itch.io I believe the only thing
> you can do is make it "pay what want".

Unless you do something else, you'll still get privative games in the
end of the chain, and just junk prototypes from the competition itself.

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