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Game Publishers – RA Games

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
Hi Guys,

Recently, my lead modeler in Europe was attending a game convention over there and he asked me if he could show THE NEW GAME PROJECT in development to some publishers there. I told him to "Go ahead" and show it.

Interesting enough, these publishers liked the game, but did NOT like the religious content of it.

Here was his e-mail to me below:

quote:
From 3/29/07
Today I had one publisher laughing out loud once he saw the
dancing animals. it was very unexpected and the people like the
surreal feeling of the scene quite a bit. but more soon


From 4/12/07
I got quite a few positive feedback. One major issue though was the
religious theme of the game. Most publishers generally reject anything
about this right now. No matter how the game is. So itís quite hard to
present it right.


Now, the "laughing out loud" scene was probably the one at the link below.

http://www.noahsadventures.com/images/dance7.jpg


But, did you read what he says?
He says --> Most game publishers generally reject anything about this now, no matter how the game is !

Okay, so MY CONCLUSION!

Conclusion:
I conclude that no matter how FUN you make a game and even if you make them "LAUGH OUT LOUD", then when they see JOHN 3:16 in your game, then they will run for the hills!

Okay, call it "prejudice" or a "distaste for religion", or whatever, but whatever it is, then it smells to me. Sorry, but it stinks real bad.

One thing though. The old Noah 1 from 2004 still has consistent big downloads from "Turkey" and also now "Indonesia", so that really drives me to complete the new one.

Agggh, forget them... I'll just publish it myself. Haha!

Anyways, this is my recent experiences.
What do you guys think of publishers? are they good or bad? I don't know, but I'm thinking the latter. lol

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
I would strongly urge talking to God about it--I believe you can be a Christian and an artist at the same time and that the world wouldn't mind games that have Christianity in them---but what they do mind is when it gets to the point that it feels like somehting is being crammed down their throat---not saying that is your project but I am saying when people here 'religous game' they imemdiately think that---and flops like Left Behind don't help to make the situation any better---but God can help you get your product to a point where it meets his criteria and he will move the neccessary mountains--just trust in him and it will work out

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Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
Can't really help you on your publishers, all I can say is pray about it, and get a group together to pray about it.

I do have a bit of Constructive critism though. Firstly I'm right within your target range, I'm just by about a month 12. Keep in mind you 8-13 age range may not seem like a lot being 5 years, but the person goes through a lot of maturing and such during the time. I only played the hide and seek, but it seem way younger kiddish in concept, while having typical 9 yr old in difficulty. A 13 year old would get bored fast. An exception kid could do it before even 8.

The water could use some work, as would the model of Noah. The animals are really good, and so are some of the cute pictures like the wolf. The problem with Noah is his animation, when he walks he looks like he's either waddling, or limping, his running isn't too terrible but not exceptional. The voice also needs some work.

Another small thing would to have in Hide-and seek would not have any animals repeat.

However, the model of the boat was incredible, and an awesome size for a kid. Not so big that it gets boring travelling, but impressive in size, and look. For an Indie devoloper the models were exceptionally good. A ultra minor criticism would be the texture on the floor was a bit odd, but not bad.

Again, I'm nitpicking this apart to be the best game, a young kid won't necessarily notice. This is a great game, and awesome Idea.

An Idea for the 11+ Range would be to have a puzzle, and timing thrown into the mix.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
Oh no wait.

Not the first Noah 1, from 2004 at

www.noahsadventures.com

but the new one in development.


The new one is a different game and has improved graphics with shaders.
The new one is a "creature racing" game with lots of obstacles on the race track.

Hmmmnn, I'll post a link to it and try to find BETA testers for it later this year on this site. I was just posting my experiences with publishers, but actually I heard there are 3 other labels still interested in it.

Right now, it's about 80% done, but we are adding "MULTIPLAY" to it, so that might stretch it into next year, but not sure yet.

A screenshot from the new game is below.
http://www.noahsadventures.com/images/l7arches3.jpg


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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Not bad one idea to try could be digital distribution----like in Xbox Live Arcade or the Playstation Network Store---a lot of people are getting into buying games from those two locations and just playing them off of a hard drive worth a shot!

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steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by RA Games:
Okay, call it "prejudice" or a "distaste for religion", or whatever, but whatever it is, then it smells to me. Sorry, but it stinks real bad.

Smells like business as usual to me. I honestly wouldn't think myself that religious themed games would be big sellers. These guys have businesses to run, and they can't burn a lot of money on games that will not be profitable. They aren't prejudiced, seeing as they actually looked at your game. They are discriminating and have to make wise business decisions regardless of content. Billing that as anti-Christian prejudice is unfair.

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zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
Smells like business as usual to me. I honestly wouldn't think myself that religious themed games would be big sellers. These guys have businesses to run, and they can't burn a lot of money on games that will not be profitable. They aren't prejudiced, seeing as they actually looked at your game. They are discriminating and have to make wise business decisions regardless of content. Billing that as anti-Christian prejudice is unfair.


I kind of agree with you---ok I fully agree hehe----I think more people need to look at things like Narnia and Lord of the Rings--both have Christian symbolism but don't cram it down people's throats---thus both christian and non-christian can enjoy them---if you make a game that is very heavily religous it immediately limits the audience which will scare publishers because they want as wide of an audience base as possible.

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RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
I agree, but I think it's a business decision based upon the "sterotypical and prejudicial" idea that "Christian Games don't sell". , which is historically the case.

But, the film distributors also made the same exact mistake with "The Passion of the Christ" movie and they assumed that religion can not and does not sell.

This game IS fun, however, but cannot show it to you yet, but will do that in a 6 months or so. Although, David L. did see a version with no shaders. lol

The "trailor movie" should be a outrageous comedy riot, if it turns out as planned. HAHA! It should be the funniest game ever made!

GOD HELP ME DO IT FOR YOU!!!

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
@ Mene-Mene

Hi,

quote:
A 13 year old would get bored fast. An exception kid could do it before even 8.

So, should I change the "Noah 1" site to say ages 5-9 ?
Is that more accurate? or ages 7-9 ?

Hmmmm...

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

Mene-Mene

Member

Posts: 1398
From: Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Registered: 10-23-2006
It'd be safer to say 7-9, as most kids weren't weaned on computers.

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MM out-
Thought travels much faster than sound, it is better to think something twice, and say it once, than to think something once, and have to say it twice.
"Frogs and Fauns! The tournament!" - Professor Winneynoodle/HanClinto

I reserve the full right to change my views/theories at any time.

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
Okay, thanks for the tip.

I changed and updated the old game site.

http://www.noahsadventures.com/


Noah 1 ages are from 7 to 10

Noah 2 ages are from 10 to 100.
<For Kids ages 10 - 100>

Well, that about covers all age groups. Haha!
After this, then it's time to retire!

Nice talking with you guys.

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

[This message has been edited by RA Games (edited May 02, 2007).]

JeTSpice
Member

Posts: 433
From: La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Registered: 06-10-2006
Christian gaming has every indication of becoming an exploding market. To say that it won't make money is a mis-informed statement. Very misinformed. There is no guarantee, but there is plenty to be excited about.

Consider for a moment the development of secular entertainment. Books were first, then radio, then film and television, followed by video games. (Not an exhaustive list)

Now follow the success of Christian entertainment. First came books, then music, then film. In each industry that Christianity has been advancing through, about 10% of the market has been cornered. That's huge.

Currently, the video gaming industry is a 7-billion-dollar industry (they make 7 billion every year) 10% of that is 700 million.

Even if these statistics are off by a factor of 10, which would be a good conservative estimate, that would put the number at 70 million.

To be cautious is good--not to be overwise and destroy yourself, as Ecclesiastes puts it. We Christians should not be motivated by money. But to say that Christian games won't make money sounds a lot like "there's giants in the valley."

Have faith, guys! Read the Word, because faith comes by hearing the Word! Be brave and courageous because the Lord is with you.

evdude

Member

Posts: 135
From: Earth Orbit
Registered: 03-14-2007
good point!

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"trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your way's, acknowledge him and he will direct your path" proverbs 3:5-6

dartsman

Member

Posts: 484
From: Queensland, Australia
Registered: 03-16-2006
jetspice... nice points, however, 'exploding market', more like exploitable market..

I would strongly doubt that the money would be going to Christians to fund future projects.. but rather be going to secular who are tapping into another money revenue..

I would prefer to see some current investment go to those who are struggling to produce high quality Christian games today.

One day Christian games will be on the shelves right along side the secular ones. There is no doubt. I just wonder if the money will be going to the right people...

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Junior Programmer www.auran.com
Quality Assurance Lead www.rebelplanetcreations.com

[This message has been edited by dartsman (edited May 05, 2007).]

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by RA Games:
I conclude that no matter how FUN you make a game and even if you make them "LAUGH OUT LOUD", then when they see JOHN 3:16 in your game, then they will run for the hills!

I think you need to gradually introduce them to your games. For instance release 2 or 3 games before you mention John 3:16. I'm thinking subtle references, but no outright quoting of scripture. I think they're more afraid of scripture than they are of Christian morals or the mention of "God" or "Jesus".

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All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
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My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by JeTSpice:
Christian gaming has every indication of becoming an exploding market. To say that it won't make money is a mis-informed statement. Very misinformed. There is no guarantee, but there is plenty to be excited about.

<snip>

Now follow the success of Christian entertainment. First came books, then music, then film. In each industry that Christianity has been advancing through, about 10% of the market has been cornered. That's huge.


Yes, I've been to the CGDC (three times) and I've heard all the hype about "Christian games" before and I don't believe it any more. Christian games have been around for nearly 20 years and I see no real evidence that it is going to explode. Comparing it to music, books, and film comes with a host of problems. It doesn't translate well. Left Behind books: gigantic success. Left Behind games: gigantic failure. I don't know where you get your 10% statistic, but it sounds made up to me, especially regarding films. Here's a real statistic: "Hollywood currently releases 11,000 adult movies per year Ė more than 20 times the mainstream movie production." Christian music hit a peak in the 90's and has since been nearly completely co-opted by greed and mediocrity. I've talked to numerous Christian musicians who all tell of how the Christian music labels consistently screw over the artists just the same way that secular labels do, or worse. It is not an industry that is worth emulating.

Every medium has its own set of rules, and video games are very unique. You mentioned the $7 billion figure. That's for the US, and $6 billion of it is console games, $1 billion is PC games. Console game content has to be approved by the console manufacturer, and the only Christian games that have been approved are lame Bible trivia games and the occasional Veggie Tales or similar kids game. Even the $1 billion PC market is dominated by a few publishers that are just as picky as the console companies. It is a very different system than books, films, or music and it is one that will not foster a Christian games explosion.

Now, in order to have an explosion, you have to have a large potential market. That doesn't exist for Christian games. LBG had a big enough marketing budget and enough negative press (the best kind) that people knew about the game, but who is buying it? For a period of time, Wisdom Tree had every Bible book store in the country stocked up with a decent variety of Christian video games. They did alright for a period of time, but that trend faded away. Now, you can hardly get Christian stores to sell Christian video games, not to mention other chains.

There is no Christian video game explosion. Only a faint popping sound.

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zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Well put. With the music industry, one of my fav cross-over bands (Christian bands that pretty much went secular to have a better success and effect rate) is Skillet---and, on their new CD Comatose, they recorded a song basically for Christian radio called Rebirthing, some lyrics:

Rebirth in you, I want to live for love live for you and me, for the first time now I can relax somehow (1 or 2 words may be incorrect)

And guess what? Christian radio stations refused to play it because 'It sounds new-age'---when you try to work with the 'Christian' industry all you are working with is Pharasees and Saducees. And, for the record, Rebirthing is one heck of a song--although a better song is Comatose (which is a person screaming out for God) and The Last Night (a conversation between a suicidal person and God) and Whispers in the Dark (a letter from God to humanity) are awesome too!

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HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Phew -- the line about the faint popping sound was brutal.
Steveth, your post has been a topic of conversation in the car for Jennifer and I since we read it yesterday.

I agree about the sad state of other "Christian" industries, particularly the literature industry (Zondervan, anyone?). Also, noone I've read in Game Developer magazine seems to even like the "secular" video game industry. It seems to be in the midst of rebirth and redefinition as to what it means to be a small game development house, and how one gets published. This reformation has been badly needed, but it's not done yet, and things are just so up in the air. I really don't see a whole lot there that I would want to emulate for "Christian" games.

So in many ways Steve, I agree -- the idea of a "Christian" games "industry" is a little off.

But I only agree with you so far -- what you wrote seems to ignore the large leaps and bounds that Digital Praise has made in creating family-friendly games. In doing so, they have opened up new avenues of marketing, similar to how the Nintendo Wii has.

Not by any technical genius, but purely by carefully choosing the audience, and intentionally making the games welcoming to a non-gamer family. This little tidbit seems so simple, but Microsoft and Sony seem to have missed it so completely, while Nintendo (and to a lesser extent, Digital Praise) have hit the nail completely on the head.

Not that I would call Digital Praise an "industry" -- far from it. But they've done so many things right, that I would rather follow in their footsteps as opposed to the big-budget "classic" game dev model that LB Games has done. I dunno' though.

--clint

[This message has been edited by HanClinto (edited May 07, 2007).]

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
quote:
when you try to work with the 'Christian' industry all you are working with is Pharasees and Saducees.[/B]

Unfortunately, I agree.
If you guys go over to soundclick.com and listen to the Christian music there in the right genre,

www.soundclick.com

you will notice lots of talented "Christian" music artists there. Some of them even helped me make my game music soundtrack.

But, will their songs ever be played on the radio? No and why? Because they are not APPROVED by the "Pharisee" Christian music industry. Oh, but they have lots of talent.

Now, the same goes with the game industry.
It takes mega-bucks to get something on XBOX and other consoles. Only a few "chosen" corporations can even do that. In this case, the few "chosen" Pharisee's of the secular game industry, will NOT approve of many titles, unless it conforms to their RELIGION OF SECULARISM.

The Christian game industry forces authors to make "almost boring" game titles. Christian book stores don't wanna sell any games.

Oh well, I'm just going to publish it myself. And try to do the best I can with the limited resources available, And try to blow them ALL away with the product!

And then re-tire from it all. <sigh> Too much work. lol

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Yep All the power to ya man!!! Self publishing can turn huge results---look at stuff like Alien Hominid that started as a net game

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steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
RA,
I heartily encourage you to self-publish. Some indie games have found success this way, forcing larger publishers to take notice. For example, the Counter Strike fan-made mod was so popular that it was re-released as a full commercial game. Alien Hominid was just a Flash game that got so popular that the creators were able to remake it and release it on the PS2 and GameCube. Grass-roots indie-style development is a reasonable route for developers of Christian games.
There are many outlets for indie PC games, like Garage Games and Manifesto Games. The business model for selling game downloads is so simple that the sites that do it, don't lose money if the game doesn't sell well. So, they don't have to be quite as picky as the big publishers. The other upshot is that the developer gets more money per unit sold than traditional retail sales, even if the shrink-wrapped version has a much higher price tag.

Clint,
I agree that Digital Praise has been very wise in their approach to the market. They take well-worn and popular Christian IP, and make games targeting the same audience as the IP: children. Christian parents are generally more than happy to buy their kids Christian-themed games. Breaking into the mainstream gaming market is a different story altogether, especially when the people buying the games are the same people who will be playing them.

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Matt Langley
Member

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
Great advice Steveth... there are a lot of portals out there that can get your game some notice, marketing, and sales without losing the IP or a huge chunk of the profit (obviously a little self-promotion here lol). In the end you can pump out a lot more games like this rather than one huge game that needs to find a retail publisher and could bomb and cause you to lose a lot of money (or even if it does well only get a fraction of it).


As for the mainstream market and Christian gaming... keep in mind the games industry is still fairly young and even over the past 5 years it has changed quite a bit. There are new opportunities and changes around the bend for Indies (which can include Christian devs)

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Matthew Langley
Lead Documentation Engineer
GarageGames

Ereon

Member

Posts: 1018
From: Ohio, United States
Registered: 04-12-2005
My philosophy is that if you work hard, make good stuff, and keep your priorities straight then success will find you on its own. At this point in my life I'm actually against finding a publisher. I think lack of resources and learning how to "make things work" are two of the biggest blessings God can give you in a creative medium. If you learn how to make something that looks like it's worth a $100,000 budget with no money, then you'll know how to make something that looks worth a $1,000,000 budget when you finally have the $100,000 to work with.

So, I suppose my point of view is publishers are nice, and if God sends one your way and it's part of his plan then go with it, because God isn't going to give you anything that won't help you in the long run. However, I also think the key is to stay focused on your work, publisher or not, do things to the best of your ability, and let God take care of all the unexpected eventualities.

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The time for speaking comes rarely, the time for being never departs.
George Macdonald

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
quote:
Originally posted by Ereon:
My philosophy is that if you work hard, make good stuff, and keep your priorities straight then success will find you on its own. At this point in my life I'm actually against finding a publisher. I think lack of resources and learning how to "make things work" are two of the biggest blessings God can give you in a creative medium. If you learn how to make something that looks like it's worth a $100,000 budget with no money, then you'll know how to make something that looks worth a $1,000,000 budget when you finally have the $100,000 to work with.

So, I suppose my point of view is publishers are nice, and if God sends one your way and it's part of his plan then go with it, because God isn't going to give you anything that won't help you in the long run. However, I also think the key is to stay focused on your work, publisher or not, do things to the best of your ability, and let God take care of all the unexpected eventualities.


HALLELUJIA my man I have seen it first hand with my company---let God take care of the details and you will be blown away---actually, my company started doing techno raves last year for our community and that took off for a while (we suspended them temporarily until we can get a better venue) so I prayed to God and said, "Man, you know my heart is to design games, but I think you put this in our path to focus on right now, so I will do that and let you handle the game design thing, thanks in advanced"----within 2 weeks, Fortitude Entertainment Company (www.fortitudeentertainment.com) called me and said they were looking to create/fund a game studio and were wondering if I was interested---within 21 days they said they thought our company was blessed by God and wanted to be a part of it---so I am dead serious God works! Most people don't want to trust him for fear of
A) what if he doesn't want me to succeed?
B) What if he isn't real?
C) what if blah blah
and those fears stop God from being able to work the miracles needed---I think people need to have him as the priority and realize he can work everything out far better than us--then it is always scary to see it come together---not bad scary, but you always end up looking up and saying 'I know I asked dude, but I didn't expect this massive of a response!"---so yeah I highly recoomend God's services hehe!

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Matt Langley
Member

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
I agree with allowing God to direct you down the proper path to a publisher (or not having one at all)...

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

Though keep in mind God gave us our brain for a reason, the lessons quoted from Matthew are not telling you to be passive. You must ask before you will receive, you must seek before you will find, and you must knock before the door is open. Making a game and getting people to know it is not an easy task. The Lord's lessons are not of laziness either. I often see Christians who sit idly by saying they have faith that God will move them in the right direction when they instead are embracing laziness. Remember that God's lessons are active ones, you must actually be trying, seeking, asking, and knocking for God to fully direct you... this stands even more true in game development since this it is not an idle task. You are always moving in a direction, either forward or backwards in game dev (in many things in fact). So you should always be asking yourself if your moving forward and if you are actively seeking God's will and path for you (by knocking on those doors and seeking)... I don't think thats what either of you were inferring though just wanted to reassure people not to sit back and wait for God to hand feed a direction to you, if anything scripture says the exact opposite. I personally believe faith in God is not sitting back and waiting for him to shove you down a path and manipulate your direction like a puppeteer, but for you to give it all you have and let God fill in the gap (while realizing if a door doesn't open then you need to knock on another).

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Matthew Langley
Lead Documentation Engineer
GarageGames

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
true----although those 'lazy' people may not always be trying to be that way---the might be afraid they might screw with God's plan---they need to realize they they should act on the things they can while letting God handle the 'impossible' stuff---God wants to be a partner in your life's work, not the only piece--he could have done that by himself if he didn't want you involved

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graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
quote:
Originally posted by dartsman:
I would prefer to see some current investment go to those who are struggling to produce high quality Christian games today.

One day Christian games will be on the shelves right along side the secular ones. There is no doubt. I just wonder if the money will be going to the right people...


Reinvesting in R&D is important-but if no one is making money, then nothing to share. If God put this on your heart, then make sure you have a good day job to pay the bills and eat off of!

I think I have asked before - how many Christian games have "you" bought? How many secular games have "you" bought? If someone is bored, start a poll or something. (Yes, the "you" means all of us should answer these questions.)

You can get Christian Games at many retail outlets ... they are called Christian Bookstores or Retailers. Some of you may not have one close by, but when you drive by one, I encourage you to stop and see what they have. If they don't have any, ask them about them - explain the titles that you enjoy playing, etc.

If you have developed a decent title, I will consider publishing it for you. You won't get rich, but we (by God's grace) have been able to get into Christian Retail and online space. If you already published it, I will consider distributing it for you.

No matter where you are at - do you have Christian Game Developers on your prayer list?

Now for some controversy ... let's say Christian Game "generic" only grosses $100. But it SAVES one soul, was it worth it? I'm sure you know my answer already.

God bless you all,
Tim

PS to Steve S. - I agree that "hype" isn't going to make an industry, but it might get something out there that touches a heart. So, I challenge you - how are you going to "hype" about it in the coming weeks? VeggieTales started small - but thanks to grass roots/word of mouth/"hype" - it has been a blessing to millions of kids (they even have hit the silver screen and the TV screen!). Brother, we are counting on your help and prayers. Thank you for both. Get tall Steve praying too!

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
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zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
One thing to remember though, only Christians will play overtly Christian games---so it would be kind of hard to save a soul if it is only marketed to already-saved people, which is what most Christian publishers do----how many unsaved people shop at Family Book Store? Not to be a downer--but people think cramming the gospel down others throats will work but history has shown millions of times it doesn't.

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Ereon

Member

Posts: 1018
From: Ohio, United States
Registered: 04-12-2005
Which in turn raises the question of whether overtly Christian material belongs in a game targeted at a secular audience. Frankly I don't think it does, at least not in the sense of the developer trying to "sneak" their message in. It ruins the quality and harms the authenticity because you're not just coming out at saying it, you're trying to mix the message in, hope noone notices, and someone expect that it's going to have some kind of effect of them, even if it's so hidden they don't see it. Recently I submitted several artworks to the art show at the college I'm attending. My teacher took one of my fractal artworks (which I'd constructed just for fun) and promptly placed it next to a picture that portrayed a remake of the shroud of Jesus (not sure what the actual name is, it's that shroud that's supposed to have the image of his face from his burial before the ressurection or something like that) saying that they belonged together because my image had "a very spiritual quality". I expect it may have just been the atmosphere of my image or some such thing, but the way she worded her reply started me thinking. I want to be so close to God, and have so much of His Spirit all over and in my life that everything I do, games included, has "a very spiritual quality", a feeling of genuiness and spirituality that so many people are searching for. I don't want to force a message or try to use my intellect to "weave" Jesus "propaganda" into my works, I want them to be filled with God's presence whether I'm writing a hymn or just drawing a simple sketch in the sand on the beach. I have alot of junk still in my life, and I'm a long way from close to God, but I want him, I desire him to be my everything, to take over absolutely everything, because once that place is reached there's no need to hide your candle under a bush and just let little glimmers go through in the hope that someone will want to sneak a peak, you can live a life of victory, full of faith unfeigned, confidant in everything that God is, was, and will be in your life and through the works of your hands, words, and mind. That's my vision, that's where I want to go, and with God's grace that where I'm going to be.

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The time for speaking comes rarely, the time for being never departs.
George Macdonald

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
quote:
Originally posted by graceworks:
PS to Steve S. - I agree that "hype" isn't going to make an industry,

Tim, just want to clarify to whom you are writing. I did not participate in this thread and don't want you thinking I said things I never stated.

Now, I guess I participated...and to not make it completely off-topic...

Ereon, that was a good post. I agree with the "God's presence" you stated. Neat to hear your artwork has had that effect. I have certainly felt it in music, too. Musicians like Justo Almario and Phil Driscoll allow their instruments to be praises to God.

graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
quote:
Originally posted by ssquared:
Tim, just want to clarify to whom you are writing. I did not participate in this thread and don't want you thinking I said things I never stated.

Ack, I'm having a Steve Crisis - it was Tall Steve! Sorry. Same things hold except tall Steve needs to get shorter Steve involved! (Sorry about the height comment - but if I remember there is at least 6 inches in difference).

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
quote:
Originally posted by zookey:
One thing to remember though, only Christians will play overtly Christian games---so it would be kind of hard to save a soul if it is only marketed to already-saved people, which is what most Christian publishers do----how many unsaved people shop at Family Book Store? Not to be a downer--but people think cramming the gospel down others throats will work but history has shown millions of times it doesn't.

Josh (is this Josh?),

The "cramming the gospel down throats" is getting a bit old. If you think that is what I'm suggesting, then you are wrong.

And not everyone that goes to church or shop at Christian Retailers are saved - true, they may be in a better position to be. So, if one of our titles gets a family member to commit to Christ - is that valuable?

-Tim

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Hey Tim--yep this is Josh---sorry man I have a hard time believing that unsaved people shop at Family Book Store--especially when I have met several Christians who don't like shopping there due to the atmosphere of 'Corporate Christianity'---kind of the pharisee feeling---I can see people sometimes going into a church if they aren't saved--usually if they hit dead rock bottom---but Family Book Store is a different animal all together---I would much rather have secular art like Narnia or LOTR that is inspired by faith rather than something aimed at pre-existing Christians---because when unsaved people find out that a Christian made such and such game or that it has faith-inspired elements, it breaks the ice--they realized they had fun without the cramming down the throat thing and it inspires them to look deeper into the issue, which God can lead that into them finding him---I am not suggesting you were intending to cram stuff down people's throats, but people do that both intentionally and un-intentionally--you need to look at your game or product or whatever and A) be unashamed of your faith and art but also B) think how the public will be interested/uninterested by it--you can't have an impact if people won't play it---as far as the topic getting old I think it should always be in the back of your mind as a safety valve so you don't cause people undue harm instead of showing them a true relationship with God. As far as the 'if one get saved question'---of course the answer is yes but what if you have a faith inspired product in GameStop that gets hundereds interested in Christianity and eventually all of them (or a lot at least) get saved--I know 1 or a million is a celebration to God either way but, if the unsaved person was already playing a Christian game--that tells me they were a centimeter away from being saved and the game didn't raise the questions in their head--they already kind of accepted the answer and just hadn't accepted Jesus yet--which actually is kind of hard for me to imagine in the real world setting but yeah---and don't take this as me sounding mad--I am just stating my POV for interesting discussion or whatever hehe

Ereon---beautiful post my man! Talk to God---you don't have to be 'holy enough' to have a relationship with him--he is more than willing to meet you half way and carry you the rest of the way---but that was well thought out and stated beautifully---and the shroud is called the 'Shroud of Turin' or the 'Shroud of Turino' (the city sometimes has an 'o' on the end of it--when they hosted the Olympics a few years back I think they had the O on it)---actually that would be a good forum topic for another thread--whether or not that is authentic--from what I understand, Jesus might have been smooth shaven (can't remember where I heard that) and definitely a middle-eastern dude---but the dude on the shroud seems to have a caucasian build with a beard--kind of like a middle-ages representation of Jesus since they didn't have a photo to go by--but still a cool piece of art or history depending how you look at it!

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Jari

Member

Posts: 1471
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: 03-11-2005
Ereon, same here, that's how I also want to be that God is glorfied in me and everything I do. So let's fix our eyes on Jesus!
Really can't change my self in here...

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Psa 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

[VoHW] (Help needed) [Blog] - Truedisciple (mp3)

[This message has been edited by jari (edited May 13, 2007).]

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by graceworks:
I think I have asked before - how many Christian games have "you" bought? How many secular games have "you" bought?


The last time I bought a Christian game was probably Exodus for the Gameboy, many, many years ago. Like the vast majority of gamers, I spend most of my game budget on console titles, and I haven't seen anything compelling in the way of Christian games on consoles since Wisdom Tree put out Exodus 16 years ago.

quote:

Now for some controversy ... let's say Christian Game "generic" only grosses $100. But it SAVES one soul, was it worth it? I'm sure you know my answer already.


Now for controversy "extra-spicy edition" ... Christian games don't save souls. Now, having a gospel message in a game could certainly plant a seed, or even be the tipping point for somebody already considering following Jesus. Christian games are like tracts, not particularly effective, but occasionally fruitful. Humans make much better vessels for the gospel of Jesus.

Now, I'm not bashing Christian games, I'm just saying that there are possibly more effective means of touching souls that utilize the same skills and interests.

Here is a hypothetical situation: There are five young people who like to program and like to play video games. They meet up at a conference and start a Christian game studio making Christian games. They are unable to raise enough money to make a console game, or get an idea for a Christian game past the big publishers. So, they decide to self-publish a PC title, and sell maybe 500 units of their first game after one year, and then after two years, they have two games out and have sold 2000 more units. Of those 2500 units, maybe 500 fell into the hands of unbelievers, of those, maybe 1% found the digitized gospel message intriguing, of those 5 guys, only 1 had a trusted friend who was a Christian, so he had someone to talk to about Jesus. He gets saved. Cool.

Now, take the same five guys, and they go separate ways and get jobs at 5 different secular game studios. Each one is able to make some friends at the secular studios, and after 2 years, each of them has lead 1 person to Jesus. That's five people saved. One of those Christians makes a stand when a studio decides to move forward with a really raunchy game title. The studio leads respect this developer because of his diligence and hard work, and are swayed by his opinion. As a result, store shelves all over the country are light 500,000 copies of a morally degrading game. The guy in the previous scenario who had a trusted friend who was a Christian eventually gets saved anyways when his friend shares the gospel with him.

quote:

PS to -steveth45-. - I agree that "hype" isn't going to make an industry, but it might get something out there that touches a heart. So, I challenge you - how are you going to "hype" about it in the coming weeks?

I've always loved and appreciated the CGDC and the people who attend. I think the conference lost its way when the ICGDA turned into ACE, and I'm not the only one. Christian entertainment? It's like trying to hype the Special Olympics. Perhaps the people involved are having fun, but it doesn't have much impact outside of its bubble.

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graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
I've always loved and appreciated the CGDC and the people who attend. I think the conference lost its way when the ICGDA turned into ACE, and I'm not the only one. Christian entertainment? It's like trying to hype the Special Olympics. Perhaps the people involved are having fun, but it doesn't have much impact outside of its bubble.

Hi,

Wow - how many other people feel this way?

My take on it is YOU are the CGDers in CGDC - doesn't matter what association is involved with it (or barely involved).

How would you feel if we renamed it? And what name would you suggest?

God bless,
Tim

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
quote:
I think the conference lost its way when the ICGDA turned into ACE

Huh?? It was a quick name change intended to make the website easier to remember. No other changes were made at all...other than the website being built, of course. Nothing else changed. No people left or were added or changed positions.

HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
The shift of ICGDA to ACE may seem subtle, but I too am worried about the new connotation brought about by ACE.

ICGDA is "Independent Christian Game Developers Association", and it's nicely ambiguous as to which word "Christian" applies. "Christian Game Developer" or "Christian Game Developer". Under the old name (and presumably the old goals -- I wasn't around much during that time, so please feel to correct me), it felt like there was a lot of room for people who didn't feel called to make games to stock the Family Christian Stores shelves, but rather wanted to make good games, and be Christians doing it. Both perspectives and avenues of ministry can coexist under that moniker, and it seemed like one of ICGDA's purposes was to minister to Christians who were in the "secular" game industry (again, I could be wrong about this, and if so, please correct me), in addition to those creating games explicitly labeled as "Christian".

Under the title of the "Association of Christian Entertainment" though, it's much more specifically named, and it seems to really focus on people trying to get published in Family Christian Stores. Maybe it's just my imagination, but my understanding seems to be supported by the ACE goals, which are to: (with emphasis that's mine)

quote:
* Promote a sense of community within the Christian entertainment industry
* Promote the growth of the Christian entertainment industry all over the world
* Represent the interests of ACE members
* Retain talent that exists in our industry
* Attract new talent into our industry
* Attract capital and publishers (presumably, to our industry)

Maybe it's just me (and please correct me if I'm wrong), but it feels like, since the formation of ACE, there has been a huge push to focusing just on the "Christian entertainment industry", and to help games follow in the tracks of the Christian music industry.

While I think that's very needed, it's also hard because ACE doesn't seem to want to put much focus on the "crossover artists" -- Christians who are trying to be Daniels in Babylon -- those who are who are creating material that isn't explicitly labeled as "Christian".

And maybe that's fine -- one association can't be everything to everybody, and it's understandable (albeit dissapointing for some) if secular-industry developers who are Christian are intentionally outside the scope of ACE.

In Christ,
clint

Edit: Reworded a number of things

[This message has been edited by HanClinto (edited May 18, 2007).]

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
I was part of the phone conversation related to the name change. There weren't any focus changes or changes of goals related to it. Bill Bean just thought it sounded better and that's all there was to it. Bill wrote those list of things so perhaps it does reflects his views on things. You'd have to ask him.
steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
What Clint said pretty much sums things up.

I went to a workshop that Bill Bean did at the CGDC, where he explained his theory of making Christian games: get the rights to Christian IP, make a game based on the IP and when people complain about the content of the game, pass the blame over to the IP. "We just made the game."

To me, this approach seemed uncreative and shallow: nothing new or interesting, nothing radical, taking no ownership, and basically "working" the Christian entertainment market in a very impersonal and calculated manner.

On the other hand there are groups like Xrucifix and many others who are pushing the envelope, doing interesting things, putting out games without the "Christian" label, and creating new IP. If you look at what Jesus did as well as the apostles, you'll find a model for Christianity that likes to shake things up, cause a little controversy instead of dodging it, be radical, be creative and address mainstream culture, not just the religious bubble. This is the sort of thing that always excited me about CGDC. Mack's presentation at CGDC 3 years ago was downright inspiring.

When an announcement was made on the ICGDA forum (now gameace.org) about the name change, I very clearly voiced my misgivings about the new direction, and some others on the forum agreed, so it shouldn't be surprising that people are turned off by it.

ACE should be what it is. If it is an association devoted to promoting the Christian entertainment industry, then so be it. A name change can't fix an ingrained philosophical problem, or poor leadership. The conference used to be, and still is to some degree, a gathering of game developers and wannabe game developers who love Jesus and want to be part of a radical movement. ACE is to the CGDC as a cup of cold water is to a kindling fire.

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zookey

Member

Posts: 1902
From: Great Falls, Montana, USA
Registered: 04-28-2002
Steveth---dude the more posts I read of yours the more I like you hehe! I agree whole heartedly! I can't believe that dude flat-outright said that--talk about a shallow loser--I prefer artistic, original IPs anyday!!!!

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SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Interesting perspectives Clint and Steve. I thought the organization has always been meant to be for the "Chrisitan Game Developer". I never thought it was any other way.

I was at CGDC when the idea sort of formed. As I recall, it came about as a need to help developers get their games into the Christian bookstores. To be a single point of reference and representative for the various small players in the industry. A way to help publish and get relative unknown companies into the hands of customers.

There may have been discussion in regards to a broader aspect, but the focus above would already take up quite a bit of time and effort, and there are other outlets for the indie game developer.

Steve, how is Xrucifix not using the "Christian" label? They are fairly forward in speaking and focusing on Christ. Their games seem to be quite Christian-centered. Eternal Wars has definite Christian influence and themes. Many started going to church and others have accepeted Christ with the game being a catalyst. Read part of their blog. The second paragraph essentially states their tie with the "Christian entertainment industry".

What sets them apart is their willingness to discuss and deal with tough subjects.

I hope I'm not putting words into Xrucifix's mouths. I am just trying to point out Xrucifix is fairly vocal and clear about their Christian faith.

I'm still a little confused as to what you guys are looking for. Are you wanting the organization to help support Christian software houses who make games (not necessarily with any Christian theme)? Christians who work in the secular industry? I'm just trying to better understand what it is you want to see.

Also, isn't ACE and CGDC two completely different things serving different purposes? Granted, I haven't been to the last two conferences, so I don't really know what has been going on with all of it. But I have considered them as two separate entities.

I have felt CGDC is somewhat focused on Christian game developers. I don't necessarily see that as bad, but, like you, I also like being a Christian within the secular industry. Actually, CGDC is what people make it. People have opportunities to give talks on essentially any subject. This opens things up to allow for topics which go beyond just Christian games.

The latest discussions on this site have been great. We are getting into some good, deep, and heart-felt issues. I just hope the medium of the web doesn't disrupt our meanings and cause confusion.

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
One thing I've noticed from working with all the people involved is that everyone seems to have their own idea on what ICGDA/ACE and CGDC "is" and/or "should be". Obviously Bill Bean aka Digital Praise's focus is on catering toward a Christian audience. That's not XrucifiX's focus but we'll still work together with Dig Praise and help them in any way we can (and they do the same in return).

Anyway, I'm still surprised that people are seeing the name change as a fundamental change to the organization. At the time my focus was entirely on getting the website functional. There weren't any talks about a "new direction". It's the same ol' people with the same ol' perceptions.

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Ahh, yes. Gump, that was the clincher I was looking for. Xrucifix is not necessarily strictly focused on a Christian audience. I wish I had stated it that way.

I'm just trying to figure out exactly what Steve means so I can gain a better understand on his perspective.

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by ssquared:
Steve, how is Xrucifix not using the "Christian" label? They are fairly forward in speaking and focusing on Christ.

When I said "not using the 'Christian' label," it was just an example of what some may do to get "out of the box" so to speak, not a requirement or something that all Christian developers on the edge may be doing. I believe there is room within the "Christian" label for games to do something interesting and have an impact, as much as I think there is a place for doing it without the label. To give a little props to Digital Praise, 'Dance Praise' was definitely an original concept as far as Christian games go. It could even be considered radical as some Christians are still opposed to any king of dancing.

Zookey, thanks for the support, but don't be too hard on Bill, he's got his own opinions on how to do things. I just think it's too narrow of a vision for all that's going on at CGDC.

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|steveth45|
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SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Thanks for explaining things a bit more. Now I see what you are saying.

quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
I believe there is room within the "Christian" label for games to do something interesting and have an impact

Yes. I agree with you. So you belive it's possible, you are just concerned ACE's focus does not allow for creativity to bring out those interesting games with an impact?

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by ssquared:
So you belive it's possible, you are just concerned ACE's focus does not allow for creativity to bring out those interesting games with an impact?

The great thing about CGDC is that it is open for people with all varieties of vision about how to impact the game industry and the world. There are many that want to see a successful Christian game industry formed and grow. It's not my vision, nor is it the vision of many others, but ACE and its stated goals don't seem to leave much room for anything else. ACE oversees the conference and is the public face of the conference as well, so it is reasonable to expect it to represent the conference accurately.

I think the narrowing vision is responsible for the plateau in attendance at the conference. If the conference goes the direction that ACE seems to be leading it, we're going to see fewer young people as there is less to be excited about. Like any church movement, once you lose the youth, you've lost everything.

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David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
I broke Bill Beans Dance Praise mat... Which I think hanclinto won right? You won the broken mat didn't you Clint? Apparently you're not suppose to wear shoes while using it... :P

What do you think of creating Christian video games that have awesome gameplay, have a real message, and are cool enough to just totally help reverse the bad stereotype on the word 'Christian' out there?

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
quote:
It's not my vision, nor is it the vision of many others, but ACE and its stated goals don't seem to leave much room for anything else. ACE oversees the conference and is the public face of the conference as well, so it is reasonable to expect it to represent the conference accurately.

The goal list reflects an individual's views about ICGDA/ACE. I forget who wrote that list but it was probably either Bill or Tim. If enough people that are part of the community feel it doesn't accurately reflect the community then it could be changed.

David Lancaster

Member

Posts: 276
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 05-22-2006
I'm becoming cynical towards publishers. Christian games don't sell, if they don't believe your game will sell they wont publish it, even if it makes them laugh and they love it to bits.
HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
quote:
Originally posted by David Lancaster:
Christian games don't sell, if they don't believe your game will sell they wont publish it, even if it makes them laugh and they love it to bits.

"Christian games don't sell" -- are you saying that this is how things are? Or are you saying that they don't sell because publishers won't publish them?

--clint

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
Quickie market analysis:

Most publishers aren't interested in Christian games. They will listen to pitches about "Inspirational" games.

All major Christian bookstores have started saying that "video games don't work". The problem, of course, is that they never seriously tried to make them work. All efforts to get corporate to instate any type of major marketing in every store--they usually bury the video games at the back of the store on the bottom of the software shelf without even a sign to mark their location.

The memory of Left Behind Games is still too fresh in most investor's minds. But not all.

The Christian game industry must create their own distribution channel in order to survive...which is what we're working on with several other companies.

RA Games

Member

Posts: 93
From: Sacramento, Ca., USA
Registered: 05-22-2006
quote:
Originally posted by gump:
Quickie market analysis:

Most publishers aren't interested in Christian games.


Yes, I have heard that the major publishers think that religion and politics are divisive subjects, so they are not interested.

The problem with that idea is that religion / aka GOD, has the power to change lives.
And that is what we all live for.

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God said to Noah, "The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth.
Genesis 6:13

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
The possibility of divisiveness isn't so much a factor...it's more about getting a return on investment.
samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
EDIT: @Gump: how eloquently precise.

Good point about the divisiveness of a title. That's true, unless the title is lucrative (consider other taboo subjects like sex and drugs and stealing cars.. or even witchcraft and necromancy). I believe money is the driving factor for publishers.

I have finally been able to read completely through this thread and I was thinking about the correlation between christian games and music. (as mentioned above)

Think about christian music in the seventies and eighties. Even, old school DC Talk. Honestly, it wasn't that great from an artistic standpoint. Not that the message wasn't there.

In fact, in a lot of christian media, there seems to be so much focus on the message that the presentation gets a lot less attention. Maybe this is because we, as christians are more forgiving and less critical than the rest of the world and our passion for the message of Christ is so strong.

I don't play a lot of video games anymore. I was quiet a 2d rpg addict at one time and also owned all the Wisdom Tree rev-eng'd Nintendo titles (my parents bought them for us). And we kids all knew that they stunk and would prefer Zelda or Dragon Warrior any day.

If you have a lot of time to waste, and can put up with all the foul language, you can see a real bible game critic in action here:

WARNING: FOUL MOUTH JERK, BUT AN HONEST OPINION OF BIBLE GAMES
Angry Video Game Nerd

Honestly, I can't critique the current state of christian games as I do not have time to play many games. But if they are following a path similar to christian music when it was budding.. they probably have a great message and yet stink from an artistic, technical(gameplay?) angle.

Now, even if they don't, (I do recall seeing a wild and wicked screenshot of something like Hell in the weekly updates that I thought was impressive), even if they don't currently stink, it may be difficult to convince the publishers that the market stigma is gone and that people are going to buy.

Publishers are just trying to turn a profit. In fact for every christian game they receive I would suspect there are a hundred junk games from would-be-gameshops that are underly-critical of themselves and think their game is God's gift to the industry when its a piece of trash.

And even putting the industry's filthy lucre aside, I think that many christian musicians have gone through a process of maturity. Think of Toby Mckeehan from Hu-hu-heaven-bound to the nice tracks he weaves today. And even though they're not the top of the charts, there's a market. But he, and the other successful artists, had to take some tough criticism to get there.

So, I would say to RA Games, if they won't publish, then by all means self-publish. And to the rest of the community, continue to be critical and welcome criticism constructive or otherwise. If we don't critique ourselves the market will definitely do it later when your game sits on the $1.99 clearance rack.

Just some humble opinions,

God Bless!

Sam Washburn

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Sam Washburn

[This message has been edited by samw3 (edited June 19, 2007).]

Randall
Member

Posts: 44
From: Sacramento, California, USA
Registered: 06-19-2007
lol Sam.

I can't hear the audio, but the video looks itself looks funny.

Yes, the comparison between Wolf 3D and SHOOT THOSE NAZI'S !

And then to the NOAH 3D game and shoot those animals looks interesting.


But, the label that says "Copyright Wisdom Tree 1991" probably says it all. Hehe It's 1991, woo, ha, ha!

GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
quote:
underly-critical of themselves and think their game is God's gift to the industry when its a piece of trash.

I'd hope no one has that attitude. Personally I'd give EW: SOL perhaps a 4 or 5 out of 10. Fun enough but not great. There's a LOT of things we would have liked to do but were incapable of due to time, resources, etc. I wouldn't mind seeing a discussion thread that just listed what we did wrong and how we could do better. More ideas for EW: N.

For a long while it's been the mantra in the industry that "the quality of Christian games is low because we don't have enough money". Which is true for most of the companies in the industry. For example, EW: Shadows of Light was made mostly on hard effort by a devoted few with barely any money. But for EW: Nightmares we've probably already spent over $10,000 USD which, while still not much, is way more than what was spent on EW: SOL. The difference in quality is obvious.

The problem is, as a whole we can't say that any more. Left Behind: Eternal Forces cost around $30 million for total project cost since they self-published (I believe costs related to actual development by their Ukrainian partners were somewhere around 5-7 million, but I could be wrong).

By the way, you're likely to get confronted with something like this:

"LB: EF failed horribly and as such the Christian game industry will fail."

I'd simply respond that while, yes, LB: EF failed one example, although startling and a definite setback, should not be used as an indicator for the long term success of the entire industry. Remember back in the late 80s? The entire video game industry was on the brink of bankruptcy and there were many large failed companies. But that did not mean the entire industry could never succeed.

Faith_Warrior

Member

Posts: 490
From: So.Cal.
Registered: 09-05-2006
quote:
Originally posted by gump:
Quickie market analysis:

All major Christian bookstores have started saying that "video games don't work". The problem, of course, is that they never seriously tried to make them work. All efforts to get corporate to instate any type of major marketing in every store--they usually bury the video games at the back of the store on the bottom of the software shelf without even a sign to mark their location.


Iím going to be utilizing digital distribution, myself, and using GoogleAd to help with promotion. Nice to have a box in a store, really great for promotion, but as you said, and is correct, most/many stores donít really put the games in view. There was one, but it was a very small shop, and he actually had all the games set up in the front of the shop ready to play much like you would see at Best Buy or Ebgames, but for most that operate bible book shops, games are at the back of their mind and usually shelved out of the way. That store I mentioned, Esters, has been long closed, unfortunately.

Randall
Member

Posts: 44
From: Sacramento, California, USA
Registered: 06-19-2007
Wow, heyya Sam, that guy really banged on that old Wisdom tree stuff.

Now that I can hear the audio, Yeah that audio is foul.

It's kinda "unfair" though to get a game from 1991 and expect it to compete with modern games? Ain't it?

Why don't he judge BLIZARD INTERACTIVE, for example, from the Warcraft 1 game? Where all the characters and the mouse cursor all move a hundred miles an hour on a modern computer? Sheesh.

That guy just wants to bang on something "Christian". Can't ya see that? lol

samw3

Member

Posts: 542
From: Toccoa, GA, USA
Registered: 08-15-2006
Good points gump! Why do you think Left Behind failed with all that money behind it? Was it just "not a good game"?

Randall, well, I know what you mean, those games are really old, but I think they and other more modern attempts seem to have created the stigma against christian games in the minds of publishers. And the angry nerd doesn't just bash bible games. That was his "christmas" special, he also uses his debase adjectives to insult other old games. I guess its a tongue-in-cheek reminisce of the kid who smashed his console when he game-overed. But still, I though he had some good points about the knock-offs and poor quality of those games. Can you believe anyone would ship a game with flashing squares in the sky?

Anyways, I don't mean to be a wet blanket. I would really like to see the christian games market grow. And would encourage each of the game development teams here to stick with it and let your creativity flow. I also would like to see the "moral" games market grow. Maybe I'm just old, but I'm sick and tired of all the carnage in games. Maybe that's one of the reasons I quit gaming.

On that note, I am tempted to buy a Nintendo Wii, but I don't think I have the time to play it. But it actually looks fun to play! Hmm.

God Bless!

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Sam Washburn

SSquared

Member

Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
quote:
Personally I'd give EW: SOL perhaps a 4 or 5 out of 10. Fun enough but not great.

You are being a bit hard on yourself. I actually found the game to be quite an enjoyable surprise. It was a FUN and good game. Good length. You get your money's worth.

quote:
I wouldn't mind seeing a discussion thread that just listed what we did wrong and how we could do better.

I think that's a TERRIFIC idea. [soapbox]I wish Christian game developers would spend more time in QA and seeking honest criticsim on design/playability. There are many knowledgable people out there who I'm sure are willing to help for free. Why not take advantage of it rather than finding the criticism later in a review?[/soapbox]

Perhaps I'm being idealistic. I realize the coordination and extra time involved may not be ideal. I do also realize the games are already going through a QA team, as they are typically listed in the game. So I recognize some effort is being done in this area. I guess the questions developers need to ask themselves is "Do we think we have received the necessary input? Have we listened? Have we performed sufficient testing?"

Actually, a good topic for CGDC would be one on gathering requirements, what types of questions to ask, and how you properly QA and test?

Skynes recently asked in another thread "what would you like to see in an arcade pirate game?" Asking for input can be as simple as that. What does the community want to see?

I'm still confused as to why EW:SOL does not come pre-configured with the standard WASD key bindings. I don't recall what the key bindings were, but I don't even think they were the arrow keys.

quote:
On that note, I am tempted to buy a Nintendo Wii, but I don't think I have the time to play it. But it actually looks fun to play! Hmm.

Samw3: Same here. I quit playing games a little more than two years ago but the Wii sure looks tempting with its full body movement and action. I can see my family really having a fun time with it.


EDIT: Please note...I do feel there are several good Christian games out there and many more 'in the works'. I recently fought for this point of view on my own church's website as people see the negative press on LB Games and don't know the good games which are also available.

[This message has been edited by ssquared (edited June 20, 2007).]

Matt Langley
Member

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
Many Indie developers (not necessarily Christian) do quite well via digital distribution and portals. I see no reason Christian developers shouldn't take a page out of the Indie game dev lessons and apply it to Indie Christian Game Dev (not saying that none do, though surprised to see how many don't)

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Matthew Langley
Lead Documentation Engineer
GarageGames

graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
Wow, some good thoughts captured here! We may pull some of these topics for our discussion times or for a panel or two at CGDC 07.

What do you do when other developers that are Christian don't have a group? For instance, we've had some comic book guys attend CGDC. They don't have their own group - so, we welcome them in. If they organize something in the future that is specific to them, that is fine.

FYI, we rolled the conference in under the association so we wouldn't have to get both registered as a non-profit org. If you see something that needs changing, let us know (Email or a phone call - we may miss a post in a forum).

If any of you ever see Youth being turned away from CGDC, let me know right away! We have had attendees as young as 15 attend. We provide scholarships so that their fees are covered. If you can offer some practical suggestions on how to make CGDC more inviting to the youth, let me know.

-Tim

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

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steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by GraceWorks:

If you can offer some practical suggestions on how to make CGDC more inviting to the youth, let me know.

In previous years many of the talks that took place in the main auditorium (key notes, I suppose) were very business-heavy and quite boring. I felt like most of them could have just been put into the business track, so people (especially young people) could go to a more engaging talks on programming or art/design. I recall one speaker, an expert on Christian book store supply chains, boring a good portion of the audience to tears with his lengthy discourse on getting your product into Christian book stores. This is off-putting to the younger crowd.

I would suggest fewer, and more broadly appealing key note speakers. I remember a few years ago when Mack gave a keynote--it was inspirational and entertaining, not a coma-inducing liturgy of staid business advice.

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|steveth45|
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GUMP

Member

Posts: 1335
From: Melbourne, FL USA
Registered: 11-09-2002
heh...just wait. Some day I'll show up and discuss contract negotiations, writing stipulations, and balancing budgets. ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
I would suggest fewer, and more broadly appealing key note speakers. I remember a few years ago when Mack gave a keynote--it was inspirational and entertaining, not a coma-inducing liturgy of staid business advice.

Are you volunteering to be inspirational and entertaining Steve? We need to take advantage of you while you are still young! I'm too old!

Okay - you know how hard it is to get people to volunteer to speak and host workshops? How do I recruit speakers that will be "hip"? Sounds like we need to be praying.

Do you think a separate youth-oriented track would help? Alternatively, I see value with them being with "us old farts"!

Remind me to ask the younger ones that come this year - if you could ping them too, that would be helpful.

Thanks,
Tim

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

GWI 1up | GWI MySpace

steveth45

Member

Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
quote:
Originally posted by graceworks:
Are you volunteering to be inspirational and entertaining Steve? We need to take advantage of you while you are still young! I'm too old!


To be fair, I put some folks to sleep (literally, just ask Clint) at my programming workshop last year.
quote:

Do you think a separate youth-oriented track would help? Alternatively, I see value with them being with "us old farts"!


I wouldn't make a separate track, and I agree the intermingling of young and experience is overall a good thing.

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|steveth45|
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HanClinto

Administrator

Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
quote:
Originally posted by steveth45:
To be fair, I put some folks to sleep (literally, just ask Clint) at my programming workshop last year.


Haha -- I totally forgot about that, Steve. I might remember a head or two nodding, though I don't know if anyone flat-out konked. For the most part though, I seem to remember people being supportive and encouraging, though it's all so fuzzy in my mind right now.

--clint

Randall
Member

Posts: 44
From: Sacramento, California, USA
Registered: 06-19-2007
No Problemo,

If anybody ever falls asleep, then just have everyone stand up and do "jumping jacks". It works every time. lol

graceworks
Member

Posts: 455
From: Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Registered: 03-03-2001
And if you are the person that falls asleep, just say Amen real loud! When people start to look at you, say "I was praying".

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Called by God. The passioned plea of a father. The journey awaits at Jarod's Journey.
Participate in the Parables, The Interactive Parables

GWI 1up | GWI MySpace