GP2X New Indie And Home Brew Games Publisher


Cromwell Game Studios

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Cromwell Game Studios is a new company with a mission to assist independent and home brew developers to bring their titles to market. The company has been set up by a games industry veteran who has worked for several major publishers of entertainment software.

We're currently exploring methods for publishing GP2X titles for a reasonable price. We're very much developer orientated and would like to support this alternative platform without making it appear commercially exploited but help some of you developers get rewarded for your efforts.

The ethos of our company is to ensure that independent developers get treated correctly right from the start. We have a "Reverse NDA" available on our website designed to protect your ideas and give you peace of mind. If you decide to publish with us you will also get treated with the same respect, a 50% of net profit royalty payout and an open publishing agreement that means you can still publish/sell your games elsewhere. You retain 100% of the intellectual property and publishing rights for your games. We're here to assist developers as we have all been there ourselves and to provide e-commerce, marketing advice and anything else you need.

We are mainly interested in unusual games, alternative titles that wouldn't necessarily make it to market through a standard publisher. Games with a twist and some creativity will catch our attention.

We will be pushing titles through direct sales and advertising campaigns, we are also currently partnering with many other sites and distributors. We can publish your games as downloads or as boxed products complete with manuals and have a deal in place with a CD mastering outlet to produce "on demand" publishing of our products, keeping our investment and production costs low and allowing us to get your games on sale.

If any of this sounds interesting then please feel free to take a look at our website at:

www.cromwellgames.co.uk
 

Angel

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sounds like a great deal, and would help the scene tremendously, however, it probably won't take long to see how "cheap" this scene is, i'd say 95% of us expect everything for free, or will not pay for whatever is being developed. You can find it mostly in the other consoles, nobody with a psp on this board that doesn't have v2.0 firmware will pay for a game.

But back on topic, does it matter what language the game is written in? For example, a Fenix coder may be interested but unless the run time for Fenix is installed, it won't work. Unless the GP2x will be able to play these without the runtime but i guess we won't know that until its released. This is something i'd definetely be interested if the Fenix language would be supported.
 

Cromwell Game Studios

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Yeah, I'm fully aware of this, been there myself. ;) I think there is a difference between paying £45 for a game from SONY and helping to support and encourage an indie developer by paying £5 for a well made alternative title. I'm hoping this difference is enough :blink:

As for Fenix, isn't the runtime freely distributable, could you not just include it with the game?
 

iignotus

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If they produce genuinely interesting games for our beloved handheld, I would be more than glad to pay for their offerings. An 'underground' handheld like the GP2X needs all of the publicity and support it can get in order to garner even more attention and even better games.
 

prodo

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GPH didn't make a rule for publishing software on gp2x yet.

Cause they've been very busy launching gp2x around the corner.

If you have a plan to publish something on gp2x, cantact GPH first.
 

Cromwell Game Studios

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Well we don't have anything to publish yet and when we do we shall respect any licensing issues that arise with GPH.

GBAX are fairly in touch with what GPH intend to do with the GP2X and they say...

The GP2X is totally open to development from anyone, commercial or amateur. Yes really. We're heading back to the classic Amiga days of development.

While I'm not reading too much into this it does seem that it would make sense to keep the licensing to a minimum on such a machine.

Just to re-iterate, we're not trying to tread on anyone's toes or take business away from anyone, quite the opposite, we're attempting to work with others and create interest in support for developers through commercial opportunities. We shall always operate in accordance with the law and if GPH impose a licensing model that stops us or makes it commercially unfeasible to publish titles for the GP2X then we simply won't publish for that platform. I personally think that would be an unfortunate direction for the product to take.

All we are doing at the moment is asking if there are any developers here that are interested in discussing the possibility of publishing through us to get in touch.

Thanks

Phil.
 

Aimless_E

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The More Distibutors we have the better. Gbax once this first rush is over will surely be a great place to buy published games. But lets face it if you haven't heard of the gp2x or the gp32 then you haven't heard of gbax.com. Cormwellgames publishes games for the PC as well so theres a better chance someone will happen by their site and see our games. Just a thought

Welcome aboard cromwellgames!
 

Hwrd

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Although I do like the homebrew app's for the GP32, I would definitely bought more software if it were easily available. (I did buy Pinball Dreams, MoviePark and GPCinema).

Bring on the goodies, Cromwellgames!!!
 

digitaljez

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I don't understand how a licensing model works. Can anyone enlighten me? Any restriction on devs sounds like a perfect recipe for forcing the GP2X into obscurity.
 

DJWillis

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digitaljez posted on Oct 28 2005 at 04:11 PM said:
I don't understand how a licensing model works. Can anyone enlighten me? Any restriction on devs sounds like a perfect recipe for forcing the GP2X into obscurity.

Licensing your game via GPH would only be necessary if you wanted to use there online store, marketing, DRM tools to protect your game (much like the GP32 commercial signing) etc. etc. – supporting GPH is a very good idea but has little baring on commercial rites for the platform.

Sony, BigN etc. control there platforms with signing and DRM like technologies,
TapWave and Tiger Telematics also do/did this and I did not help them embrace the homebrew and bedroom coder in any great way (Zodiac deving is arguably more active not Tapwave have gone bust and the DRM has been cracked despite there being no more hardware).

GPH has not gone anywhere near any of this and are only offering DRM services to protect commercial apps (not to lock code from running) and that is VERY cool and reasonable.

There is sets of free (lGPL/GPL with commercial use clauses etc.) libraries (SDL, libMAD, Tremor etc.) and tool-chains available for the Linux environment the GP2X runs and environments for using the raw hardware and skipping Linux (a’la GP32) are being feverishly worked on to make them good quality for release ;).

All of this is being built and maintained by the community (GPH’s current tools-chains are a little on the old and slow side ;)). Just pop onto IRC to see the sort of stuff that people are working on and all this will be well publicised before the console gets a bulk release I am sure. It good for the developers, trust me.

If you use those tools then you need to respect the licences of the tools, resources etc. you use, if there ok for commercial use then you can do so.

It would be up to you who published your game or if you even wanted a publisher rather then go it alone.

There is a lot to be said for a bit of an old PC style shareware revival with demos and full games and people like Cromwell Game Studios, GBAX, GPH etc. could help make a nice little microcosm around this.

The biggest issue around commercial use on such an open platform is taking some steps to protect your software from being ripped off, GPH hold the hardware DRM solution as an ace card in that area (and make them a very appealing partner) but alternatives to this are very possible and worked well on the GP32 (look at Gloop deluxe for a good example).

If the quality is high and the price reasonable most people will go for the legit option :D. As long as it is enough to people to make financial sense then all is good.
 
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MiniMoose

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I think that the best thing that small publishers can do is really push to get GP2X units and their games on the shelves in game stores. Internet stores are great but I think the younger gamers tend to be mall-store shoppers more than online shoppers.

I'd also like to see us as a community, organize meetups at the various coding/gaming conferences (e.g. E3, PAX, GDC, etc...) If we want to sell more games, then we need visibility.

I'd love to see a GPH booth at E3 with units running both the best homebrew and commercial games. We should also be sure to get GP2X games into the independent game contest at GDC.
 

MiniMoose

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On another thread someone suggested that we organize freeware/shareware distros. I think we should go one step further and form a co-op publishing organization. We could hunt down the best solution for getting games on SD-cards with printed manuals and boxes. For payware games, it is likely that publishing through GPH will be the only way to go since they have the DRM encryption software that the GP2X will understand.

The co-op would be a great way to organize our community building, advertising, and getting on the floor at different conventions.
 

Angel

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well i don't know about Fenix yet how it would work on the gp2x, but as long as the runtime is in the SYS folder on a SMC it would be ok for the GP32, I don't know if you were planning to distribute as pay per download or actual SD games. But yes if a runtime is needed i guess it could be included without a problem.
 

GiG

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I think this idea is damn cool: if we manage to complete Tanda we would like to sell it online, and a publisher like you would be a good chance.
 
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First off there's a lot of scam publishers out there are who knows if you are one. I don't say you are I'm just saying that everyone should be cautious.

GPH will be offering online sales themselves with DRM protection. This will probably be the best solution for any GP2X dev because it's the most official site and we know that they are not in the buissines to scam anyone. Nobody knows how much royalties they will charge for this. Personally I think 50% is a bit much for downloadable games.

You mention distribution on CD. Now that's something I didn't think about before. There's no point to sell GP2X games on SD cards since you should be able to put DRM protected games on a CD that will only run on a specific unit. For the more advanced games a boxed solution with manuals etc is a good option.

And if you don't get any support from GPH and if you don't use DRM then I don't think you will get any games to sell.
 

Cromwell Game Studios

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Yes, there are scammers out there and I would recommend that you stay away from anyone asking "you" for money up front to publish your game. We are not scammers, we don't ask you for anything, in fact we take the risks and we make the initial investment if we believe your game is going to be a success.

GPH may well be the best option to publish GP2X titles and I hope that they will give developers all the support they need. We're just registering an interest. I personally think it will be sad if publishing through GPH is the only option for selling a GP2X game. That would seem a little too monopolistic for my tastes, especially for a home brew games console built on Linux.

As for the royalties 50% is our flat rate, it is negotiable, but we offer more than just a download service, we have a professional marketing service behind us. That said, if you publish "with" us then you still own all the intellectual rights and are free to sell / publish your game elsewhere. You retain ownership of the product so we only take a cut of the copies "we" sell.

Cheers,

Phil
 

Tobriand

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I'm afraid I'm definitely not in position to try and get anything published (my own attempts at programming have always been fairly inane - definitely not worth buying), I'd just like to mention that, as with many people here, I would most assuredly be up for buying decent games over the net for a fiver (or slightly more for a very good one).

Boxed with manuals, for me, are less attractive, but downloaded legitimately is always good :)
 

skeezix

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Remember, anyone can sell their software anytime, withotu any help. Course, avoiding piracy will be tough without some signing or numbering or identifier scheme.

A publisher can be handy in this context for advertising and distribution (they're not funding development like some pubs do). So you're paying 50% of commision for the assistance in getting the word out.. this can work crazy well, or it can flop.. I've seen both :)

I'd like to know if theres a serial number in each device than can be queried, or other identifier; that would make a registration/unlock scheme a cakewalk.

I'll check out the website, but its too early to tell.. if theres nothing being worked now, its just another website without legs to stand on :/

jeff

(sorry for being terse; working too much right now)
 
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Cromwell Game Studios posted on Oct 29 2005 at 08:38 AM said:
Yes at there are scammers out there and I would recommend that you stay away from anyone asking "you" for money up front to publish your game. We are not scammers, we don't ask you for anything, in fact we take the risks and we make the initial investment if we believe your game is going to be a success.

GPH may well be the best option to publish GP2X titles and I hope that they will give developers all the support they need. We're just registering an interest. I personally think it will be sad if publishing through GPH is the only option for selling a GP2X game. That would seem a little too monopolistic for my tastes, especially for a home brew games console built on Linux.

As for the royalties 50% is our flat rate, it is negotiable, but we offer more than just a download service, we have a professional marketing service behind us. That said, if you publish "with" us then you still own all the intellectual rights and are free to sell / publish your game elsewhere. You retain ownership of the product so we only take a cut of the copies "we" sell.

Cheers,

Phil

Well, you can always scam by not paying the dev after you have sold the game but yeah, never trust a publisher that is asking for money. There is another poblem with using you as a publisher. Some publishers don't like it when there are other publishers already working with a dev, they want to be the sole publisher. Not that this should be much of a worry for most devs as I'm sure big publisher won't have any interst in GP2X, at least not for a while.

If you are doing a good job marketing games then 50% is a fair price, if the game cost $5-$10 but for larger games where more time and effort and maybe even money is invested then 50% can be quite a lot, say if the game costs $15-$20. It all depends on what GPH are asking. BTW, most games are probably not worth marketing. I don't think I would like to pay anyone to market my $5 game.
 
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