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Uprising III

Last post 8/17/2012 9:46 PM by MichaelArts. 227 replies.
  • 5/22/2012 2:12 PM

    Uprising III

    Update: July, 22nd

    Hey everyone. The games have been selected and everything will be formally announced soon. Follow the Uprising on Twitter or like us on Facebook for more information as it comes.



    Original Post


    Hey everyone,

    I know some of the guys from the Summer Uprising are sour about doing another one.... but as a developer from the outside, I feel like it was pretty successful. Even though the game I submitted wasn't in the actual promotion, I received several emails and promotional opportunities from people who had found out about my game through the Uprising. Also, you guys got some awesome press coverage!

    I know the common complaint is, "it wasn't a financial success." But I'd argue that the games in the promotion wouldn't be quite as well known if it wasn't for the Uprising. I'm now going to university at a "gaming oriented college", and I've constantly brought up XBLIGs. I've been surprised at how many people around school followed the Summer Uprising and its games... actually, those are usually the only games they are aware of!

    Microsoft has done some nice things for us lately (the 7 day price change, size limit increase). Shouldn't we let them know we're still thriving as a community? I know there are a couple of exciting XBLIGs coming out in the next few months that would help make an amazing lineup... Rainslick 3 and Windhaven. I also have a game that I would like to release within the next few months, and I'm sure there are others as well.

    I've been thinking about this a lot, and have actually wanted to help organize one myself since a lot of people from the last one don't seem interested. My last game did fairly ok, and I have contacts at a lot of the major gaming blogs and sites... Not the most exciting resume, but it's better than there not being another promotion. I'd personally like it if Dave stepped back in again, he has experience with the last one and has been a great voice for the community; but I know he is busy with his own projects and whatnot. =-( What I'm trying to say is, let's try and make this happen guys!! It's not really all about the money. Financially the last promotion didn't do as well as we would have liked... but you guys really got the word out about the platform and did some really great things! I'd personally like to try and keep it going.

    Sometimes I think a lot of us take this platform for granted, it is really amazing that we have the opportunity to put out games on the Xbox like this. Several people have made careers out of games because of XBLIG, and I'd like to help ensure that this continues by keeping awareness of the platform as high as possible while also showcasing some good games. =-D
  • 5/22/2012 3:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I'm sure my team would be interested in submitting Eternity Fragments. We're using DBP as our "technical completion" deadline, but an Uprising would be great motivation to get it really polished for public release.

    Microsoft has mentioned the Uprisings as positive things they've noticed in the community, so I would make an effort to do something of that sort every year, even if it's not the same individuals organizing it. As long as it gets the community involved, it's good for the platform.
  • 5/22/2012 3:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I'm up and down about it.

    A bunch of us were going back and forth in an e-mail thread for a few weeks, a while back, and if we did do another, it would be far to close to do it in the summer. It's just a lot more work than most of us think it is. Therefore, something like a winter uprising would work much better as it gives EVERYONE time to really polish up what they're working on.

    Another benefit to this is the ability to port it to PC. I suggest to everyone making an XBLIG to also make it for the PC and launch simultaneously. This way we not only have promotion from us internally, but also from the third party markets (desura, indievania, etc) who can carry the games.

    I spoke to some friends at MS during GDC and they would love to get something like this going for the new Metro store when it arrives, and there is also the possibility that they could support us there. It's nice being the first to a market, especially when every PC has that marketplace involved..... just something to ponder. 
  • 5/22/2012 3:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Dave Voyles:
    I'm up and down about it.

    A bunch of us were going back and forth in an e-mail thread for a few weeks, a while back, and if we did do another, it would be far to close to do it in the summer. It's just a lot more work than most of us think it is. Therefore, something like a winter uprising would work much better as it gives EVERYONE time to really polish up what they're working on.

    Another benefit to this is the ability to port it to PC. I suggest to everyone making an XBLIG to also make it for the PC and launch simultaneously. This way we not only have promotion from us internally, but also from the third party markets (desura, indievania, etc) who can carry the games.

    I spoke to some friends at MS during GDC and they would love to get something like this going for the new Metro store when it arrives, and there is also the possibility that they could support us there. It's nice being the first to a market, especially when every PC has that marketplace involved..... just something to ponder. 


    Awesome! =-D My last game is on Indievania, and I can definitely say some great things about it. The unlimited promo codes are quite nice, and you can make bundles whenever you please. I'm sure Lee would be more than willing to give us some kind of promotion on there if we did end up doing the whole XBLIG/PC launch. Capsized was written in XNA, so I'm sure he would support the movement. I haven't had any experience with Desura, so I can't speak for it.

    I'm down for whatever really, I was just worried there wouldn't be much interest!

  • 5/22/2012 4:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Before we all jump in, it would be a good idea to define the guidelines and intentions of the Uprising. I've got a few ideas I'd like to put out there for consideration...

    • The MonoGame team is working on a Metro port. If possible, every submission should be ported to Metro and added to the Windows Marketplace. This might get Microsoft's attention in regard to the demand for XNA API in Metro apps.
    • Every entry should be ported to Windows Phone. Even if you're not writing a "phone-style" game, at least make it playable on WP.
    • Winter deadline means the Uprising could coincide with the Windows 8 launch.
  • 5/22/2012 4:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I would definitely be down it if I can submit Mystic Mayhem. Just like Factory Eight, I am aiming to submit to as much as I can to DBP and would be great to have the polished version ready on time. I am also currently looking into submitting to Desura.

    Dave Voyles:

    I spoke to some friends at MS during GDC and they would love to get something like this going for the new Metro store when it arrives, and there is also the possibility that they could support us there. It's nice being the first to a market, especially when every PC has that marketplace involved..... just something to ponder.


    Side question to Dave Voyles (or anyone who knows), will the Metro store will run the games natively or will there be any conversion required? Any diff requirements than XBLIG submission?
  • 5/22/2012 4:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Like I said, another benefit would be to get on Metro early, which Microsoft may be able to help us do a promotion with.

    The problem with that however, is that the Metro store does not support XNA. Therefore it would have to be re-written in some form or another. :/

    They can all still be written in C# (or anything .Net, really), but sans XNA. So I'm not really sure of how that works out, but I wrote about it in a bit more detail here.

    Someone who may know more however, are the guys from 17bit, who are making Skulls of the Shogun. It's in XNA, and will be release on XBLA, Win8 (Metro) and WP8 simultaneously when it launches late summer / early fall. So I'll ask them about that. 
  • 5/22/2012 5:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Thanks Dave for the heads up and nice article.
  • 5/22/2012 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I spoke to one of their developers, and he says that they used sharpDX and MonoGame to do it.
  • 5/22/2012 5:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I think this is a cool idea, but I think we should primarily focus on XBLIG. With an announcement for the next Xbox inevitably around the corner, I'd really like to try and do something to help ensure we keep a platform like this on the next console. We've already seen attempts to try and branch off from Xbox (like this year's DBP allowing Windows Phone games), so I think it might be more beneficial to focus on one platform. The goal of the promotions have always been to raise awareness of the platform as a whole, I feel like that message will become somewhat diluted if we try to market PC games and whatnot. Considering we're trying to convert the people who think XBLIG is full of garbage apps, if they see the games are also on PC I doubt they'd even bother going to the XBLIG Marketplace, which kind of defeats the purpose. That's just my two cents anyway.

    Also, I know the last Uprising had some problems regarding selecting titles. If I remember right, Dave, you said you wanted to do that differently this time?
  • 5/22/2012 6:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I'd like to add, in general, I support this and would consider submitting Captain Dubstep.

    Winter is a better target.  Anything planning before July is out - first we have DBP and then I have a few other things that black out the month of June for us.

    Platforms - XBLIG should be the focus, and if the devs have a PC port a link from the uprising site would be nice but not a requirement.  I don't care about WP7 and a console game is not going to port well to mobile anyway.  I also don't care about Win8/Metro.  I care about porting to Android more, and I don't care at all about porting to Android. 

    Once June passes I'm available to assist if needed.  
  • 5/22/2012 9:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I'd be up for this also and would submit Cockroaches Vs Cleaners. Like many above us, we're also aiming for a solid beta for DBP and hoping to get a first release out shortly after: late June, early July. Look out for it in playtest soon ;)

    Would also prefer an autumn/winter promotion, so the game can get some serious polish ahead of submitting for this. Sure the competition will be stiff.

    CvsC is already in development for PC and WP7, but keeping the focus on XBLIG sounds great - as mentioned, making a big noise about why MS needs to support indies on the next Xbox and Windows 8 should be the primary focus, not how flexible/great XNA is in porting/cross-platform.

    I/we'd be happy to help late-July onwards (seems like a pattern is forming in everyone's answers already ;) )


    Dan

    www.obskewer.co.uk
    @ObSkewerGames / @DanielCleaton
  • 5/22/2012 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Alright so it seems like we're generating some interest.

    The PC ports could always be optional. If we can get a few developers on board then it won't be too much of a problem, and we've certainly learned quite a  few lessons from the last one.

    The selection process was a big or a project last time. I don't know if I would do it the same way again. Perhaps we could consider another voting thing, where it is done somewhat democratically, but our best bet may be just to have 8 games / developers and put them in one package without making too much of a fuss about it, and then having the community vote on the last 2.  Just throwing ideas around.

    I'll also forward this onto the guys who were involved in the e-mail chain some time ago.
  • 5/22/2012 10:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    My thoughts on selection:

    Keep it to a small few to choose the games, like 3 people max.  Ideally they would not be seeking a game in the uprising.  Maybe they can be known names to the community, like a successful past XBLIG dev, MVP, XNA team member (if they are allowed).  Let them argue behind closed doors who should and should not be in the promotion.

    Set a deadline for demos, and then only consider games with the demos.

    I don't think there is much value in public voting since it's not easy for people to play the demos.  It becomes an art and popularity contest.

    Games should not already be released, or be updates to existing games.

  • 5/23/2012 2:00 AM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I agree with all of those points.
  • 5/23/2012 2:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Dave Voyles:
    I agree with all of those points.
    Ditto
  • 5/23/2012 5:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Yeah, I agree with all of that too. I think we should try and keep the whole voting thing as quick as possible; I know a lot of devs last time put their game's release on hold and then had hard feelings after the cut and didn't vote. So yeah, maybe just have all playable games judged by a small group.
  • 5/23/2012 10:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    What do we do from here? Should I start writing up another press release to send out to sites, asking for a response from developers? We could try to gauge interest that way and direct them towards this thread.
  • 5/23/2012 11:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Probably the best way to go. Is that how it worked last time? Can't remember.
  • 5/23/2012 12:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Yeah, that sounds like a plan!
  • 5/23/2012 4:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    Yes, that's what I did last time. Just sent out a PR asking for developers to get in touch with us if they would like to be considered for an uprising.
  • 5/23/2012 5:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I'd say stick to one platform at a time. If you wanted to do multiple Uprising events on different platforms, then go for it, but multiple platforms for one event would be a lot more work for everyone and could be confusing to consumers. Not to mention if you're adding mobile platforms, some games just aren't suited for mobile. And honestly after my sales experiences on WP7, I can't really see a reason to bother with that platform.
  • 5/23/2012 6:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    I disagree with Kris, I think any future Uprising should have mandatory XBLIG and PC versions of each game. I don't think mobile is necessarily a good idea, but definitely PC and XBLIG.

    Why? Because being an Uprising participant will net you an okay amount of attention but practically no sales if you release on XBLIG only. If Microsoft deigns to support the Uprising with a Dash promo, upgrade that to "a mediocre amount of sales." XBLIG as a market is only getting grimmer and grimmer as the months tick by, and it's foolish to put all your money on just that horse.

    But if it's a dual promo with PC? Suddenly, you've got a lot more options:

    • You're getting the attention of a much wider swath of the gaming press that traditionally ignores XBLIG
    • You can push for a higher price point thanks to a much more discerning PC customer base
    • You can secure multiple additional distros (Desura, Indievania, IndieCity, maybe even Steam) to further spread your market penetration
    • You can use the magic word "Bundle"

    If you shoot for another Winter Uprising (call it the Solstice Uprising, maybe?), you should have plenty of time to do a PC port. Remember, #if WINDOWS and #if XBOX are your friends.

    You guys seem ambitious, and obviously want the extra cache that comes with an Uprising's coattails. I recommend being a bit more ambitious than that and shooting for PC as well.
  • 5/23/2012 6:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    ApathyWorks:
    I disagree with Kris, I think any future Uprising should have mandatory XBLIG and PC versions of each game. I don't think mobile is necessarily a good idea, but definitely PC and XBLIG.


    And how long have you been working on your PC port now? :P

    It was hard enough getting people ready with 1 version of their games. Well all the reasons you stated would be nice, I don't think it's realistic for devs to finish a game and a port to their highest level of quality under a strict deadline that an Uprising event would require.
  • 5/23/2012 6:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Uprising III

    PC should be developer's choice.

    It's not as simple as #if WINDOWS - for Captain Dubstep we can load up 100's of audio clips playing at once without performance issues because of the Xbox's dedicated sound hardware.  How many people even have a dedicated sound card anymore?

    There is also the PC install requirements (i.e. making an installer that checks for .Net and XNA), and game controls to port - I don't think a game should assume everyone has an Xbox style controller.  Mouse and keyboard should be an option in addition to controller and both should have configurable game controls.  There are profile issues to consider - Live Services are not available to XNA PC games.  This includes networking and matchmaking, which is no small feat to get right on a single platform!

    I agree there are more potential sales, but it's not a simple "right click - build" process to have a PC version.
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