I remember a long time ago this man named Lenny. His job was selling a multi-level marketing health product. I actually worked under Lenny, but I sold very little. What helped Lenny was that he was a Jehovah Witness so he went to people’s houses all the time. I kinda, didn’t have a reason to go to people’s houses. I circulated flyers on cars once, but it was very embarrassing. So, I kind of gave up.
I’m not good at marketing. Everything I do online, except for my job, kinda falls dead in the water most of the time. Maus says it’s because I don’t market any of it and just expect things to happen. He’s, of course, right.
I work on client’s sites though, and I see how they are making a passive income from their respective sites, and honestly it makes me wish I could do that too. A passive income, as my mother puts it, is making money doing nothing. That’s not really the whole story, usually there’s a lot of work in the beginning and then there’s royalties. I first came across the concept of passive income when I was friends with Lenny. He had made quite a bit with the people that worked under him. And it’s not like there’s anything keeping me from doing something like that other than my own lack of connections and seeming inability to market myself.
I went to a meet up this week where a presenter talked about being a freelance copy writer. He talked about how he came to do what he does, and his journey from novice to professional. It was the early days of the internet, but he had an anecdote of a man who wrote some brilliant copy and it made a million dollars in 27 hours. Now, this man wasn’t trying to sell me anything, just explaining what he does and what you can do. I realize the results are one in a million, but it gets me thinking. He did profess though that as a professional copy writer he makes six figures a year. Impressive.
I guess I kind of have my invention that I’m working on that could possibly make money, but its such a crap shoot and its taken a long time to start making some really good progress in the last year. About thirteen years of hard contemplation. But, like I said, I’ve had some amazing advancements in the last year.
Maus says we can get rich off our game designs, but that again is such a competitive market. Everything is vying for your attention, and the indie scene has exploded so much that now there’s as much competition for indies as there are for triple A titles. We also run into the problems of resources, which has plagued me my whole life. I have some pretty potentially lucrative ideas for games, but the resources required to make them at minimum are a little out of reach. I’m not speaking of a massive 3D first person crazy title, just things like servers and content management.
However, we look at games like AngryBird, FlappyBird, Fez, and such, and think we could make something better. Fez sold one title and made a million dollars off it (collectively, meaning publishers and everyone). I heard that the creators of AngryBird said once, nobody sees the hundreds of things we tried before AngryBirds.
So, I guess it’s like my invention, you have to keep trying despite all the set backs and things that don’t work. I’ve worked against things that don’t work for thirteen years.
I told Maus if we were going to sell games, what we’re really delivering is an information product. Something we promise will entertain others. I told him that game designers make two mistakes: they assume they’re their audience. Everybody says it, “Make a game you’d play.” Well, that’s half of the story. You also want to make a game OTHERS want to play too. Sometimes that’s not always the same vision you have for your game.
I think Maus and I have fallen into this trap before even in terms of our initial concepts. And we have a lot of concepts. We get so invested in making what we like, we get too caught up and don’t necessarily think of what others would want. Most of the time, what others would want is much simpler than what we’d create.
So I proposed to Maus that we try to do something simpler than we’ve ever done first. I suggested we make a basic visual novel. Just a choose your own adventure style game with music, text, and graphics. Maus was like, “That’s so boring!” but I was like, “No, really, you want to prove we can make something, then let’s make something!”
So, Maus and I are going to start working on our first visual novel. We’ll see how that goes.