Interview with Robert Boyd over email on an Xbox Live Indie Game
With E3 going on it’s easy to forget some of the smaller guys, the indie developers, the ones that make those free or cheap to play games. E3 is always where the bigger guns are shown, where the critics write their guesstimates on which has the power to propel this industry forward. Just recently I’ve interviewed Robert Boyd from Zeboyd Games and he’s confident he knows the three necessary ingredients for a good role-playing game, and he doesn’t have a few mil in the bank.
Zeboyd Games released their title Breath of Death VII on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games platform in April where it’s been met with praise from critics across the board. For only a buck, it’s a steal. For those of you that haven’t given it a try I’d suggest buying it, playing it for an hour, then coming back.
Carlos C Reyes (Myself): First, I believe some congratulations are in order. I’m not sure of the profits you’ve made at this point from your title, but I’ve noticed it being talked about on a number of popular websites. Kotaku being the most recent. The article titled, “Hidden Xbox Games You Need to Know About.” It must be a pretty exciting time for you.
Robert Boyd (Creator of Zeboyd Games): We’re very excited at the game’s reception, both critically and commercially. That Kotaku article was especially nice for us as we’ve seen a very noticeable jump in sales & downloads since then.
C: On your website it says that you've achieved over 11,000 purchases with a trial-to-game conversion rate of almost 60%. Has that number jumped any in these last 2 weeks? And what would you attribute that conversion rate to?
R: We’re at 13,693 purchases with a conversion rate of 61% as of June 1st.
As for the conversion rate, I imagine our high rating combined with the general attractiveness of getting an RPG for such a cheap price has resulted in many people buying the game outright without bothering with the demo. Also, we did our best to make the first few minutes of the game into a good sales pitch which I think has helped as well (far too many XBLIG developers waste their entire trial time period instructing the player when they should be trying to hook them ASAP).
C: Breath of Death VII makes some obvious homages to Dragon Warrior while also making references to Earthbound, Final Fantasy, Lufia and Mega Man, just to name a few. From checking out what others have said about the game, are there any references or homages you wish people out there were noticing more and what was your game’s ultimate goal that helped keep these asides relevant to your title?
R: From reading various threads about the game on the Internet, it looks like most of the references we put in are being noticed. The one reference that I haven’t seen anyone mention, though, is the FFX plot referenced at the end of the game.
C: Your game brought on a lot of nostalgia, but also great memories. You added elements to BoDVII that really make your title relevant to the current age. I remember being in middle school and playing the original Dragon Warrior for the NES, grinding outside of the first city to save up for the Copper Sword. Your game actually streamlines this process without ruining anything, by simply allowing players to open up the main menu and select Fight to speed up the grinding process. What was the thought behind this decision and the decision of limiting random encounters within dungeons?...Check out the rest of the interview at my website http://loadedconsole.com/ or at BitMob