Resources/Developer Info & Forums/Developing for Original Sifteo Cubes

Game Submissions

Sarah Crane Newman
posted this on December 22, 2011 05:03 PM

Please note that this thread is out of date. For the most recent info, visit Sifteo.com/developers.

 

Hi all,

Thank you for being patient while we got our process for game submissions together. We're finally ready to go! Here's some info (also available at http://developer.sifteo.com/store_deployment.html):

Sifteo Store Submissions

Thanks for being inspired to make games to play on Sifteo cubes! Here are the answers to your burning questions about getting your games into our store.

How do I get my game into the Sifteo store?

Send us a note at developer-inquiries@sifteo.com with a description of your game and a playable build, if you have it. We will evaluate your game and let you know if we feel that it is appropriate for inclusion in the store. We will be making these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

If your game is accepted for inclusion in the Sifteo store, we will work with you to get it placed in the store.

Can I charge for my games?

You can distribute games through the Sifteo store, but you cannot charge for them.

Are there restrictions on the types of games I submit?

Above all, we need to think that your game is fun. Games, puzzles, and fun interactive apps are Sifteo’s primary focus and are more likely to be accepted than other kinds of applications. See http://www.sifteo.com/play for more information on the kinds of games that Sifteo is about.

 

Cheers,

Sarah

 

Comments

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person

Hi Sarah,

This is great news. I have a couple of questions:

1. Is there any type of timeline, even a rough one, of when we will be able to charge for our games?

2. Will any rating/comment system be integrated into the store soon?

3. Have there been any changes to the SDK so far for the commercial version? Siftrunner is at version 1.1.4, while the developer version is still 1.1.2.

4. Will any sale statistics be available to third party developers? For me it will be critical to be able to at least see how many times our games are downloaded.

5. How open are you to the size and scope of submissions while the third party market is free? Most of the free games on the store right now are fairly small.

 

Thank you in advance.

December 22, 2011 06:39 PM
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Sarah Crane Newman
Sifteo

Hi Brian,

Good questions! Here are the answers we have at this point:

1. We don't have one yet; it's not looking like it will be soon. We would be fine with you including in your game description in Siftrunner a link to your paypal account or equivalent with a request for users to donate. It's not that we want to prevent you from making money off the apps you build for Sifteo cubes--it's that we don't have the resources to build out a system to handle that at this point. In general, you are encouraged to link back to yourself/your studio so that users who download your game learn about you as well.

2. We would like users to be rate and comment on games, but this isn't planned to happen soon. Again, if you're interested, you could build in a link to a page on your site where users can comment on your game.

3. Not yet--still at 1.1.2.

4. We're not going to be able to provide sales statistics. Again, this is simply a matter of resources--we don't have anyone with the time to dedicate to this.

5. We don't have any hard requirements on how large a submitted game can be, but apps with image bundles larger than 600KB will be pretty slow and annoying for the end user. In general, the more difficult an app is for the end user, the more awesome we'll have to think it is to put it in the store.

I hope this helps! I know that these aren't the answers that you want to hear, but we want to be up-front about what we're able to accomodate at this point.

Cheers,

Sarah

December 30, 2011 02:28 PM
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person

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your responses. I have a couple of comments.

1. I understand. The donation request is a good idea. Here's a thought - since the pages in the store utilize HTML already, would it be possible to add a donation link directly to the page?

4. I think sales statistics is the wrong term. What I mean is simply a way for a third party to see how many times their games have been downloaded from the Sifteo store. I think this feature would be a good compromise if there will be a considerable length of time before selling and commenting are implemented. I believe in this platform enough that I'm willing to create and publish games in my spare time, even on a donation-based system temporarily. It would just be nice to at least see how many people have potentially enjoyed my games.

Don't worry about disappointing - my respect for the truth far outweighs it's occasional disappointments.

December 31, 2011 12:35 PM
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David Gustafsson
Thanks for the updated information and great to get answers on Steg's questions. Best regards, David
January 03, 2012 10:22 AM
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person

I'm actually still waiting on a response to my two follow up comments.

March 05, 2012 10:08 AM
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Sarah Crane Newman
Sifteo

Hi Steg,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I believe that you could have a donation link directly from the game page with no problem. Unfortunately, we won't be able to provide regular download figure, although we understand why you would like them!

Cheers,

Sarah

March 05, 2012 10:54 AM
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person

Well, that is a really simple thing to ask for in my opinion. The way you have the submissions set up right now is "win win" for Sifteo and not much incentive for third parties. I'm going to have to hold off on submitting my games until you have a better experience for third parties.

March 05, 2012 01:50 PM
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Ken Rogers

I was under the impression that there would be a way to monetize games seeing how Sifteo is charging people to download.  Why would I spend time making an application, only to have Sifteo make all the money? Are you saying that you will pay developers for downloads direct off the store? Or that users will have to pay you for a game, then _maybe_ donate to the developer?  There are very inexpensive solutions for tracking and paying affiliates.  I cannot believe that this is a resource issue..

Anyways, if all the above is true, I will be selling my cubes ASAP.

April 09, 2012 02:39 PM
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Sarah Crane Newman
Sifteo

Hi Ken,

ATM, any third party games that we offer in our store will be downloadable for free: Sifteo will not be making any money off of them. We don't have an affiliate payment system set up yet, and we understand that this will be a barrier for some people, but we didn't want to prevent people who were developing great Sifteo games anyway (like Five Sided Square, http://www.etc.cmu.edu/projects/five-sided-square/) from being able to distribute them. We support the inclusion of a paypal link (or similar) in the descriptions of third-party games in our store, and as I mentioned above, we won't make any money off of these games until we do have an affiliate payment system established. 

Cheers,

Sarah

April 09, 2012 03:29 PM
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person

Sarah, despite the fact that you guys aren't making any money directly off of the games, Sifteo clearly has a shortage in consistent releases right now. I saw how you guys promoted Miami Heist heavily when it first came out, which is fantastic for Five Sided Square, but the reality is that is also excellent marketing material for SIfteo. Marketing, which, ultimately makes people aware of Sifteo which leads to purchases of systems and store points. So I disagree with the statement that you guys won't make any money off of the free games, because free or not, they are still content for your store.

I'm still fully behind Sifteo, but I want a fair return for the amount of effort I'm putting into my games. Hence, I gave my .02 and started to wait patiently.

April 09, 2012 03:45 PM
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person

BTW, I do think it is great that you guys have taken the first steps towards creating what will hopefully be a fantastic market and game library!

April 09, 2012 03:52 PM
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Ken Rogers

With a constantly changing timeline that is starting to give me a lot of doubt. I bought my cubes with an understand there would be a portal by Jan 01 and we still do not have a solid promise..  This is NOT how you build a dev community. To me it is jsut a ploy to string people along and sell units.

April 09, 2012 09:49 PM
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Cesar Gil

I feel that Sifteo is offering too little support for developers. To say you won't be able to provide features like charging for the games, or sales statistics for the time being due to little resources is understandable, but sales statistics are easy to provide, even a filter on the web log should be possible to implement. To say that 'we won't be able to provide them *period*', besides all the other limitations, is too little hope. A developer has to know at least how his game interests the community in order to develop more games, even if he cannot charge for them now or has to work based on donations.
For the Sifteo platform to be successfull it needs a rich collection of good software and you are providing too little for the developers.

May 31, 2012 01:16 AM
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Xin Jing Client 1a

I'm a role-playing game developer, currently working on an original 3rd party published product for Dungeons & Dragons under WotC's Game System License and an original-concept Wristband RPG product under the Creative Commons License. As you undoubtedly know, creating original games with creator-owned Product Identity takes considerable effort and a commitment of resources. Simply put, Sifteo not offering a for-profit licensing agreement is a deal-breaker for me. In my opinion the agreement that Sifteo Cube developers must abide by to publish their original content for this platform is no different than an industry-standard software game End User License Agreement that prohibits the sale of User Created Content made using the proprietary software that top-selling game developers release to the general public. Personally, I see no reason why any user would spend dozens (or hundreds) of hours developing Product Identity and content for a proprietary platform, retain ownership of that content, but be excluded from generating revenue for their effort.

As an original game developer who is regarding the current developer support for Sifteo Cubes, I can only arrive at a single conclusion: without a for-profit licensing scheme - ie a way for developers to realize per-transaction revenue from a point-of sale storefront like Google Play - I see no reason to invest in the product. With this awareness, as a consumer seeking to enjoy compelling electronic games for learning or entertainment, I would be concerned about investing in this game platform solely based on the logic that any developer who would invest sufficient time and resources creating Product Identity and Intellectual Property for a game platform would choose a platform that offered them a developer supported for-profit licensing agreement. 

Current AAA top-selling electronic game platforms encourage developer partnerships that detail a for-profit licensing agreement. Anyone with an inexpensive Android device can develop a game and sell it for profit. Numerous pen-and-paper game system publishers include for-profit licensing agreements that reward developer partners with an opportunity to generate revenue by selling their content and Product Identity. I see none of that developer support here.

Until Sifteo has revised its position regarding the support of its developer base with a for-profit licensing agreement, I cannot recommend this product as a worthwhile development platform. As a consumer seeking a platform for learning or entertainment, I would be extremely cautious in investing in a platform that promotes development without point-of-sale compensation for developer efforts - which will reduce the number of developers wanting to invest quality time and resources for free (or a donation), when there are other more mainstream game platforms that offer developer support.

 

-Xin
@xinjingclient1a

June 05, 2012 03:01 PM
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Trevor Gordon

I'd be happy to be paid in sifteo's to start with. :)

June 06, 2012 05:40 AM
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Trevor Gordon

Or is it Sifti?

June 06, 2012 05:41 AM
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Sarah Crane Newman
Sifteo

Hi Xin,

We completely understand! We're working on creating a better system for you.

(Trevor: I like it!)

Cheers,

Sarah

June 06, 2012 10:04 AM
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person

Sarah,


Thanks for the update. I'm glad that you guys are continuing to work on the store. I'm also very excited to see what games your in-house guys have been cooking up so far this year. Please please please keep us up to date on the developer kit and if there are any substantial changes or enhancements to the API.

June 08, 2012 11:53 AM
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Pascal Franck

Dear Sarah,

We are a company dedicated to development of applications in the fields of robotics, smart objects, etc. If we can not make make revenues on your store, does your tools and docs could allow us to create an other independant store for third parties (with another executable which, once installed, drives the user to another PC-based interface) ? (but please note that we would prefer making revenues on your store if it was possible)

Thanks

Pascal

August 29, 2012 05:47 AM
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Sarah Crane Newman
Sifteo

Hi Pascal,

We're actually announcing a whole bunch of changes later this week; keep an eye on our site!

Cheers,

Sarah

August 29, 2012 10:32 AM
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