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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> Hi All
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n29
Developer

Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 879

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:49 pm    Post subject: Hi All Reply with quote

Hi Everyone, I haven't been around these parts in a looong time, just lurking every now and then. It's always good to see what you all are up to. Me, I pretty much gave up any pretense at doing game development. I have been busy building a website over the past year or so. That's why I'm here.

I need some straight talk, tell me if this site I built is crap or not [1]. Basically, the core idea is: geocities with a CORS backend. We provide 3 things:

1. a subdomain and hosting for html, css, javascript, whatever, users can create sites (either author online or upload an existing site) and an api to do sql on a database (sqlite). Users can admin the db on the website, or upload an sqlite database.

2. a REST api to a sql database (sqlite). You can make calls to the database (update, insert, delete, whatever) from html, or any other device ie mobile.

3. a user api, so you can have users signup on your site, and we send email validation and email password resets.


The basics to let people signup and update a database. You can build a lot of stuff with this (I wrote simple forum demo for example). So far I've been pimping the site on hacker news and reddit, I've gotten about 2000 hits total over the past 2 months about 20 signups. People signup, login, then never come back. I'm at the point now where I don't know if I should continue or not, maybe I could write more articles and tutorials and do more marketing, but if the basic concept isn't sound, why bother?

[1] https://www.lite-engine.com
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0xDB
Developer

Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1616
Location: Your consciousness.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back. Well... few of us here still develop and release games occasionally. Me I'm still kind of 'out' of any kind of software development... as insane as this may sound, I think software development(done by humans) is a dying concept (except for recreation and fun) and not something I would recommend to anyone to build a career on it.

<straight talk>
Website looks clean and concise. Not sure why people do not want to use it: I think this is where market research could reveal reasons. Conduct surveys? What else do people use and why? What features are they missing from other services that yours provides or could provide if enough people wanted it?

Maybe people are simply already using other long established services(which have big and rich companies like google behind them). Yours is new and people might not feel compelled to use it simply because they already use something else.

Could also be trust issues: your page has no "about us" section where you explain who you(as a company) are, why and what and whatever, no business conditions to be found, no guarantees given. It looks completely anonymous to an outsider and like it's a one-man-show, not at all like a "we this and that" that it pretends to be in the texts. Why would anyone trust an anonymous service with their data(yeah, why do people trust big companies like google and facebook is also a mystery but let's not open this can of worms right now)? What ensures that it will still be accessible tomorrow, next week, next year? And what do you do or not do with the data other than providing the service for users to access and serve it(privacy policy)?

I understand that those ever growing long Terms Of Service agreements are a nuisance and that nobody ever reads them but it still grows suspicion when there are none at all and when people do not know whom they are actually dealing with.

So, in summary, I think if anything it's not that the basic concept isn't sound or that no one would have use for the service, it's more likely that people are simple already using something else and/or that they don't trust you(your company) because it's unknown/anonymous and missing all the usual legalese and actual real world contact information like address and phone number(stuff that real companies/businesses provide).
</straight talk>

Me personally, I do not have use for the service at the moment because as written initially, I'm completely 'out' of all this tech/dev stuff.
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n29
Developer

Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 879

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dennis, I didn't connect your screen name to you until just now! I really hope things are going well for you, I always liked your art. I agree the stie is in kind of a half finished state with respect ot pricing, terms and conditions, and I haven't integrated payments either. My thoughts were, if people signed and started building, then I would finish it up. Only no one is building anything. But if there are trust issues, then that would be a problem too, as you're saying.
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Diablo
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Joined: 19 Nov 2015
Posts: 162
Location: Tristram
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps you are caught between markets, in that your product is too sophisticated for very casual "where's the WYSIWYG" users, but not desirable for advanced users, who are going to use do everything in-house. By promoting on reddit or hackernews, you are probably targeting people in the latter group (or at least, people who think they are in their group :) I'd suggest trying to find more casual audiences and see if you can get better conversion numbers. Perhaps create some fake users, build some simple stuff with them, then go on yahoo answers and ask fake questions about those demonstrations.
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n29
Developer

Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 879

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perhaps you are caught between markets, in that your product is too sophisticated for very casual "where's the WYSIWYG" users, but not desirable for advanced users, who are going to use do everything in-house.


A couple of other people have said that as well. Like what's the advantage over heroku. One differentiator is 'online development', awesome suggetions thanks!
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Sirocco
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Hi Everyone, I haven't been around these parts in a looong time, just lurking every now and then. It's always good to see what you all are up to. Me, I pretty much gave up any pretense at doing game development.


Welcome back! We've been wondering what you were up to ;)

I've given up game development for demoscene stuff with 0xDB. Lotta fun stuff in there, and less market saturation. You can get something done and people actually notice and appreciate it. Plus I finally have an excuse to play around with ancient hardware.

On-topic: The website is clean and I didn't have to search for stuff. But web development isn't my strong suit so I'll let others advise you.
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0xDB
Developer

Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1616
Location: Your consciousness.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

n29 wrote:
Hey Dennis, I didn't connect your screen name to you until just now! I really hope things are going well for you, I always liked your art.
Certainly can't complain, all things considered. Roof, food, weekly local art group, bi-monthly retro-gaming meeting(NES,SNES,C64,Amiga,MAME) with beer. Life's good despite the absence of any mayor kind of "success" or income...

Sirocco wrote:
I've given up game development for demoscene stuff with 0xDB. Lotta fun stuff in there
...ah yeah! And we even won a fancy award for the first(only) demo we made together with the magnificent Bentacle (whom you might know as entheh from allegro.cc). Good times... though currently still slacking like the pros we are.
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PoV
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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy!

My apologies in advance!

- Website is clean, but doesn't particularly stand out.
- Ambiguous future. It's not free, but not paid either. Almost better to say nothing.
- Domain/name is uninspired, long, and has a dash. Nothing trendy or fun about it.
- Who is the market?
- If you know what HTML5, JS, and CSS are, you're a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from using App Engine or a VPS, or whatever other free hosting people use these days (Google Pages, GitHub, etc)
- If you don't, you're going to prefer things like Squarespace that do all the work for you.
- I may know what CORS is, but that's because I run a bunch of servers. Most people have no idea why it's important.
- It's a shitty tactic, but there isn't a comparison with other similar services, to give a reason why you're preferred. Like "we give you double the RAM", or other such nonsense.
- ES6, SASS/LESS, Rust, Go, Ruby, Docker. Again, nothing trendy. Your service may be practical, but trendy-shit gets attention. It doesn't matter that it's fat, slow, and worse than what existed before it. New shit is more exciting than olde shite.
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