- Which genres and sub-genres are really popular now? What about in a year? Which genres are already losing traction?
- Are there new games coming out that will revitalise a less popular genre?
- Which genres are oversupplied by developers? Is there any point in still entering these? Can I stand out there?
- Which genres have a lot of games, but they’re mostly hobby projects and easy to ‘beat’?
- Which genres make the most money? Is it driven by a few hits or are even the average games making a decent sum in that genre?
- Can I merge some sub-genres to provide a fresh approach?
- Who is my target player?
- How old are they? Am I targeting nostalgic millenials or the sociable gen Z?
- Should I target males, females or both? What does that mean in practice?
- What type of gamer are they? Casual? Hard-core?
- Why are they playing games? Socialising? Stress-relief? Competitiveness? Escape?
- What other games do they like to play? Why?
- How many potential people fit the criteria above? Is it a niche or wide appeal game?
- What other games target the same audiences? How are they doing it?
- How many other games like this are there? How similar are they?
- If there are none, how many games are in the same sub-genre?
- What are other similar games doing that I’m not?
- What are other similar games doing better than I am?
- What are other similar games doing wrong? How can I avoid this?
- What should I price my game?
- What do other games in my genre cost?
- If I charged 50% more for my game, would I lose >50% of the potential buyers? If not, why wouldn’t I charge more?
- Does the low price for my game indicate that it might not be of good quality?
In game purchases
- Is there scope to add in game purchases?
- What type of in game purchases would I consider?
- Would they provide negative user experience and drive away some players? How many?
- Should I discount my game? By how much? How often?
- Do other games like that offer discounts? How big are their discounts? How many more games do they sell when they discount?
- How much can my game earn?
- What are the optimistic and pessimistic cases? What’s that dependent on?
- How much do other similar games earn?
- What makes the top earners stand out?
- What makes the bottom earners stand out?
- How long will it take me to develop this game?
- How much will it cost me to make this game?
- Do I need to hire help? How much will this cost?
- How many copies do I need to sell to break even?
- What is the pessimistic case for developing this game – how long will this take?
- How long can I afford to spend developing this game with existing funds?
- How complex will my graphics be? Is this achievable? Does it need to be complex?
- Who’s making the art for the game? How long will this take? Can I buy assets? How much will that cost?
- What art style am I going for? How does it fit with my genre and target audience?
- How do other games in that art style perform? Are there other art styles in this genre that typically do better?
- Are ther art styles that have recently become more popular? What’s driven that? Other games? Do I expect that to last?
Releasing the game
- When do other games tend to release? Why?
- What are the important events dates that I should consider when releasing my game?
- When do other games similar to mine release? Are there any upcoming releases?
- Are there any major AAA games being release ata similar time to my game?
Porting and Localisation
- Which platforms should I release my game on to maximise revenue?
- How many more potential buyers will an additional platform give me?
- Should I localise my games to other languages and cultures?
- Should I just translate the game or change some of the content to fit the culture? To what extent?
- How many languages should I translate the game to and what are they?
- How many new players will each localisation give me access to? How many expected sales?
- How much will it cost?
- What is my general approach to marketing?
- How early should I start my marketing campaign?
- What are the key marketing channels that will drive my players?
- How much money should I put in my marketing budget?
- How much can I afford to pay per player acquired?
- What are the expected ratios of impressions to clicks to purchase for each channel?
- How big do I want the community to be pre launch? How many wishlists? What does that mean for expected revenue?
- What are the ‘free’ marketing channels for me? How can I best utilise them?
- Can I do the marketing myself or should I look for a publisher?
- Which publishers would be interested in the type of game I’m making?
- How have the games they’ve published before done?
- What genre do they focus on? Do they typically release indie games at my scale?
- How do I pitch do publishers? What are the best practices?
- What does my pitch have to contain?
- What % of my revenue do they normally take? Is that worth it?
DLCs and sequels
- Should I release free and/or paid DLCs for my game?
- Will that help drive retention, new players to the IP and/or upsell the eisting players?
- How extensive do the DLCs have to be to provide good value for money?
- Was my game popular enough to release more games in the same IP instead of making something new?
- How long should I wait before releasing the next game?
- What can I provide in the new game in the same IP that appeals to the old fans and what can I provide that innovates VS the original game?
- What am I waiting for?