Let’s Design a Hit Xbox Live Indie Game

by Darius Kazemi on July 26, 2010

in business,indie,xblig

Okay team. Word’s come on down from high: inexplicably we are realigning our resources and focusing on the, um, burgeoning Xbox Live Indie Games market. Our analysts have determined that XBLIG is a hit-driven business. Well by god then we’re going to need to come up with a hit game.

Market analysis time, you know the drill! Jenkins, load up that PowerPoint deck and give it to me straight.

Yes sir. Top 10 best selling Xbox Live Indie Games at the moment:

  1. I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1
  2. Baby Maker Extreme
  3. The Impossible Game
  4. Avatar Ninja
  5. Try Not to Fart
  6. Avatar Paintball
  7. Super Avatar World
  8. How Smart Are You? IQ Test
  9. Zombie Estate
  10. Avatar Racedrome

Four avatar games (4, 6, 7, 10). Two zombie games (1, 9). Two games whose primary appeal is to a nine-year-old boy’s sense of humor (2, 5). Two games that position themselves as a direct challenge to the talents of the player (3, 8). And those are simply categorized by primary characteristics. Several games share many of the other characteristsics.

Sir, in my opinion, if we want a hit game on XBLIG, it needs to contain avatars, zombies, puerile humor, and some kind of macho posturing.

Thanks Jenkins. Who’s here with the presentation from the research group? Ah, Peabody, excellent. What have you got for us?

Sir, we’ve played through every one of the top 10 XBLIG games. We lost three good researchers, but I believe you will find what we gained in intel is well worth the cost. Sir, it appears that Try Not To Fart is simply masquerading as a game about farting. Our research shows that Try Not To Fart is actually a dating simulator. The game’s story stars a male protagonist and begins at his first date with a young woman, through the first kiss, up through marriage and the couple having their first child. The humor comes from the juxtaposition of important life events with a series of quick time events where you must successfully not fart during these interactions.

However, the the humor appears to be a clever decoy. What actually happens as you play the game, particularly if you play it well, is you are treated to a movie where a gamer geek somewhat successfully navigates a relationship with an attractive woman.

Sir, it is our opinion that the true draw of Try Not To Fart is that it is an instructional video which allows a 12-year-old boy to learn about dating while being able to save face if his peers find it installed on his Xbox. “It’s not a dating game! It’s a game about FARTING, which all of us young whippersnappers know is hilarious and awesome.” Try Not To Fart is made by Silver Dollar Games, who have many dating-related titles on Xbox Live Indie Games, including one called Don’t B Nervous Talking 2 Girls. This game is an overt instructional program which is heavily mocked on the internet, yet is the 2nd-best-selling title in the “role playing” category on XBLIG. We believe that Silver Dollar learned their lesson, and decided to create a covert dating instructor with Try Not To Fart. The strategy appears successful.

Excellent work as always, Peabody. Send flowers to the families of your departed researchers.

Gentlemen, it appears we have our formula for a hit game. We’re going to have to create a stealth dating simulator with avatars, zombies, and poopie humor that positions itself as a direct challenge to the masculinity of the player.

Wait. I’ve got it.

Don’t Poop On Your Zombie Girlfriend Or She’ll Leave Your Avatar For Me Instead!1!

[applause, standing ovation]

Now now. Thank you. Thank you. That’s why they pay me the big bucks.


Alex Schwartz July 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

This is win.

You forgot a part. “It seems after studying this unique ecosystem that unpolished and confusing interfaces seem to help with sales on the XBLIG market. We haven’t quite detailed why that is, but we need to make sure we follow suit to thrive in this neck of the woods”.

Elliott Mitchell July 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

Spot on!

Nina Huntemann July 26, 2010 at 11:48 am

Excellent analysis Darius. Love it!

Caroline July 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

LMFAO. I love it. Let’s get to work on it asap, I’m ready to rake in the dough.

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