ArkX Extended!

There it is! The first (and probably last) patch for ArkX is published on the MarketPlace.

If you already bought the game, just remove and re-download it. Many things have been improved, and the game became way funnier. Check the site to see the vidéo of the extension.

And here below the first review on ArkX!

(The review is based on ArkX 1.0 (Without the patch))

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Community Games & disappointed developpers.

Last sunday, XBLA-Community Games creators could see for the very first time their long-awaited sales figures, and many of them were quite disappointed by such a gap between the facts and their expectations.

As for ArkX, I must say it was a pretty good surprise for me. I didn’t know what to expect, because ArkX was my first game on XBox360, but I feel it sold much better than many of my fellow developpers games.

Community games is a very young system, but it is true many things could (and hopefully will) be improved:

There is no ranking on CG.

This was, from my point of view, the biggest complain. Now, any player who wants to get a game from the community has to browse 200+ games. Of course, there are categories, but yet, it’s hard to get tempted unless you already know what you are looking for. I read on the forum this will be implemented soon.

Not enough communication about Community Games.

That’s a fact, MS didn’t light up CG. Only developpers (or dev friends) know about this service. From my point of view, I think MS WILL communicate when they will think the system is more mature. It is only a mater of time. (Well, why on earth would they organise contests like DBP if they planned to keep this service hidden?)

Achievements are not available

that’s true achievements are a big incentive for sales, many gamers buying games to get an higher score. I understand Microsoft wants to keep achievements for retail/XBLA games. However it would really be good to have something CG players can compete on. Some people suggested to allow up to 100 achievement points to CG, or to make a distinct points category (for instance, a gamer could have 15000 Point and 1220 CG points). I don’t know which solution is the best, and I hope Microsoft will do something about it. However, nothing has been announced in this direction.

The quality of entries has to be improved

It is also clearly the responsability to creators to improve the quality of their productions. It is not easy (we didn’t expect this at all, but I think I spend as much time  on fixing/polishing than on coding for ArkX).There are many very cool titles, with a lot of polish, and really fun to play, but there is also a lot of entries that could be improved.

I think that’s globally what I could read on creators club forum. As a conclusion, I think there is a big opportunity now : MS will probably do their best to make this service an “appstore-like”. No need to be a genius to know it’s easier to get noticed when only 200 games are available on the service. And whenever MS will start to communicate about CG, the best games will definately start to sell a lot more.

To sum up, I tried this service with ArkX for fun, now I make some money out of it, and even there are drawbacks due to the youth of the system, I’m definitely in for the DBP2009!

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