Archive for October, 2009

Scribblenauts Interview

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

scribble2aColin Northway has an interesting interview up on indiegames.com with Scribblenauts’ lead designer, Jeremiah Slaczka.

Reading the interview it occurred to me that sandbox games like Crayon Physics, Fantastic Contraption, Scribblenauts, and to a somewhat lesser degree GTA, have started putting meaning and reward, two extremely important factors of game design, on the other side of the player/designer divide.

I find this interesting because it represents an opportunity for games to reach deeper into human experience.  This is something that naturally happens with music, visual arts, and literary works.  One’s experience of those works is  heavily colored by the listener/beholder/reader, and often takes on completely different meanings for different people.  This versatility allows for the work to feel more personal to an individual as well as appeal to a wider audience.

Pay-What-You-Want Birthday Sale Wrap-up

Monday, October 26th, 2009

13 days of birthday celebrations are now officially over.  It’s been educational.  Thanks again to everyone who bought the game, hope you’re enjoying it. [Update: 83,250 total birthday copies]

Before we never say another word about this ever again, we wanted to share a few more interesting tidbits that came up since our last post about the subject.

Donation Average Over Time

We’ve already posted the daily average for the first 6 days, but something a bit surprising happened after our previous blog post, which was posted late on day 8:  The average donation increased pretty significantly.

dailyavg

We can only assume that it was related to our publicizing that the most common price point chosen was $0.01 and raising people’s awareness to the fact that we don’t see any money for purchases of $0.30 and under.

Breakdown By Platform

We were expecting the average price paid to be highest for Linux users and lowest for Windows users, but the gap was larger than we thought it would be…

dailyavg

Also, the per-platform download breakdown was pretty surprising, with Windows accounting for 65%, and Mac and Linux pretty much splitting the remainder evenly:

dlbyplatform

Donation Average By Country

This measure varied even more widely than by day or by platform, which is to be expected.  Out of curiosity, we normalized the donation amount using the per-capita GDP of the country in question to estimate “generosity”.  This is of course a totally flawed measurement because we’re pretty sure that the people who bought the game don’t represent the socioeconomic fabric of the country they live in.  After all, they do have a computer and an internet connection.  Here’s the data for all countries from which we had at least 100 purchases during the birthday sale:

bycountry

And finally, we wanted to give an honorable mention to Stuart (A.K.A. Sticky) for being extremely generous with his donation of $150.  Thanks Stuart!