Archives vs. Installers

I made a post over at Reddit concerning distribution of software (my Ignition Impulse beta to be precise) in Archive and Installer form. Basically I had gone to game forums to ask for feedback on my game, and someone told me that he preferred archives to installers for random games off the internet. His reasons were good: ease of install, uninstall, and no adware surprises.

It also seemed to solve a portion of a problem that had perplexed me for the last few days, namely that about 25% of the people who made it to my Ignition Impulse beta forum post, which contains a direct link to my beta installer, never downloaded it!

Since then, about 18 hours ago at the time of this posting, I’ve put up three flavors of archive (rar, zip, and 7z) and taken a look at the download numbers:

57 of the exe installer (60%)

20 of the rar archive (21.1%)

10 of the 7z archive (10.5%)

8 of the zip archive (8.4%)

Note that there was some overlaps – that is, some IP addresses downloaded multiple versions of the beta. I removed those numbers from the above but have appended them at the bottom of this post. I should further note that the order of the links provided, from top to bottom, was exe, rar, zip, then 7z. That may have influenced some people – I don’t honestly know.

The other thing to mention is that I didn’t post the file sizes (which I should have – oops), so people apparently downloaded purely based on file format/install preference/blind shaky mouse hand syndrome.

Using the above numbers, only about 15.8% of people who visit my forum post end up walking away without downloading my game.



Multiple download numbers:

– Three people downloaded all four versions.

– Four people downloaded the exe and rar versions.

– One person downloaded the rar, zip, and 7z versions.

– One person downloaded the rar and 7z versions.


Including these numbers, about 13.8% of people who went to my forum post left empty handed. It’s entirely possible that at this point 13.8% of people look at my YouTube teaser, screenshots, and game description, and decide that they’re just not interested in my game at all. Bummer, but my game can’t appeal to everyone.

Good News, Everyone!

Hello, everyone.

Since closed beta started I’ve made two important decisions:

– Ignition Impulse will be released in late 2011 instead of early 2012 (for both Windows and Mac).

– Ignition Impulse will be released under a Pay-What-You-Want model. The demo will be the full version of the game, and the minimum donation accepted for the game will be $1 (to account for PayPal’s transaction costs).

That’s all.

Beta is coming

After over a year in development my first game will soon be moving from alpha to beta testing, with a schedule to release in late 2011 or early 2012. I missed old school two dimensional graphics and mechanics so straightforward tutorials were unnecessary. I missed blasting through a game and knowing that there was a huge universe out there I could discover, something few big name games have accomplished in recent memory.

And so I started working on my game. It started as a top-down, star ship captain style of play in the vein of space trading and shooters of yore. And it was fun, so it stayed that way.

I wish my friends and family a fond thank you for putting up with my odd hours and cantankerous debugging nature. I also wish to thank my alpha testers who killed an endless amount of space pirates just to see if I fixed that one, teeny tiny, bug.

And to that very special someone who actually collected over 10,000 upgrade nodes just to show that I needed more room on my interface to display them.