Cinders – A Beautiful Upcoming Game Maker Game

Described by MoaCube as “our take on a classic fairytale in a genre that we haven’t tried before” Cinders is an upcoming visual novel beautifully illustrated in incredible detail.

Writing on TIGsource artist Gracjana Zielinska explained that the game will give players many choices and have different outcomes so that you can choose to deviate away from the traditional Cinderella story upon which the game is based.

“You can do there everything that wouldn’t normally happen (show some attitude, ignore the prince and find money to start your own business for example). We hope replayability and different scenarios will be fun.”

Cinders, created using GameMaker, is available to pre-order now at $19.95 in both PC and Mac versions. Once you pre-order you will immediately be able to access a preview build of the game.

Full release, at $22.95, is due “Summer 2011”. A 3rd development milestone passed earlier this month and you can follow development at the detailed and well-illustrated MoaCube blog.

What do you think?

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  1. $20 is nothing these days. A cup of coffee, a sandwich and a donut are likely to set you back the same, for only about 10 minutes of ‘fun’.

    Fact is, niche products can command huge price tags compared to mass market stuff. If you’re making a niche product you’d be dumb not to take advantage of this.

    P.s Game looks great, nice job!

  2. Well good for you guys….even an empty hook catches a fish from time to time. Then again, I’m the type of person who can never understand the fascination people have over fiction books in general. I get to about the third or fourth chapter and I already know what’s going to happen by the end, and it’s not like my decisions will change that fact….but even if I could change things, I can see all the possible outcomes from those too. Don’t let my temporal pathology and cynicism keep you from eating your fish.

  3. You may think what you want “personally”, I don’t mind that at all. If you hate the game and would never pay for it, that’s fine by me. Though, trying to neglect the existence of a pretty established market and genre is kind of silly.

    As for my assumption that the game will fit the niche I’m targeting — well, the game is out there for a while now. VN audience seems to love it, other established developers seem to love it and want to carry it as affiliates (in fact, the suggestion to price it at above $20 came from them), and pre-orders are coming in.
    I think that it counts for more than just an assumption. Unless of course, you want to tell me that all these people are just “stupid” and bought on impulse. I find it rather depressing that you’re more willing to assume everyone’s an impulsive idiot, than acknowledge that they may be people out there who want to support something they like.

  4. You assume too much….the biggest being your assumption that your game has more quality than any other game on the market at the same price range. The second being that your game will even fit into the niche you target at that range as well.

    But hey…people are stupid and a lot of them buy impulsively (I know several people who have purchased angry birds for their cell phones, when I can play it free in my chrome browser — also free).

    As for your bakery analogy, that’s flawed. Software is copy-able, bread is not…therefore setting the price “the same as mass market portals” is not a misconception, it’s called competitive pricing. If you think that your stuff is better, by all means, have at it. Personally, I think “graphic novels” are just another way of saying “comic books,” and should stay in the $4-$10 range on a shelf in a book store (and they are only priced that high to pay for the printing).

  5. Sabriath, BigFish sells games for $6.99, because it’s a huge portal, aimed more at keeping a loyal customer to itself, than making any single developer profit. It’s like a supermarket that can put a damping price on bread, and sell it at a loss, because they count on you to buy more things while you are there. If you would have your own bakery, and tried to offer the same price, you would just go bankrupt.

    BigFish works well for mass market games. Profit per sale is very small (and BigFish takes around 70% of each sale), but the sheer volume of their audience can bring you good profit if you manage to hit the top-10. That’s why you see a ton of samey (samey = safe), cheaply made games there (cheap = safe).

    Cinders and other Visual Novels are a niche. They don’t have that mass market appeal. But they do have a loyal fanbase, willing to support the developers who provide them with quality entertainment. It’s not like 20 bucks is a lot of money, too.

    This is coming from someone who worked for three years in the casual games industry. And my last game actually was #1 at BigFish. I remember when our company tried to compete with portals by cutting our prices in half. The games started being less and less profitable, even though technically they were “hits”. We just spent too much time on them, wanting to make them actually good. Eventually, it was too risky to even try to make quality games instead of quick clones, so the company changed focus.

    And that’s the thing. If you want games to be cheap, be ready to get clones and cash-ins — that’s what’s safe at this price. If you want quality and something more original, you have to pay a bit more to make it a sensible choice for the developer.

    I’m not trying to convince you to get the game or anything, of course. If the price is too high for you, that’s okay. I just wanted to give you some perspective. Especially as “developers should offer the same price as mass market portals” is a common misconception.

  6. I’ve actually been really interested in this game since I first heard about it, having played a lot of games like this as a kid it’d be pretty fun to play something new in this genre. But $20? Eh…

  7. Goes to show that throwing enough gasoline on a fire does actually put it out eventually, from lack of oxygen. I’m glad that someone out there in the world is going to make a living off of something that is selling for 4x its value, and yes…4x. Bigfish games sell for about $6 each for all their games at the cheapest and they have a lot of mystery “novel” things which looks like this. On top of that, $3 is all you are saving the customers for a pre-purchase? Minecraft at least gave 50%, but regardless, guess it just shows that waiting long enough will yield some idiots who like to throw their money away.

  8. Hi, Tom from MoaCube here. Thanks for the feature :).

    YellowAfterlife, yes, there’s a market for visual novels, and the average price is around $20. It’s a niche genre, so it wasn’t affected by the price decay of indie games that much. The pre-orders are selling pretty well, and if predictions of other VN makers we contacted are accurate, we should be able to make a living out of it.

    I’m probably going to post some sales data on how it goes so far on our blog this Friday.

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