Sunday, 25 May, 2003
I'm getting an increasing number of messages from people who've been playing my game TriTryst, but are having difficulty getting it to run on their newer systems. It never ran well (if at all) on Windows NT, but I had very little trouble with it on Windows 95, 98, ME, and 2000. I'm getting reports now that it won't work on Windows XP. Next week I'll be back in the office where I have easy access to XP machines, and I will do some experimentation to get the program running there.
I'm also getting requests for updates or fixes to the game. I have a working prototype clone of the game that I finished over a year ago, but haven't released it because the art is so horrible. That and I need to come up with a new name for the game. The original publisher of the game has been acquired so many times that I doubt the owners of the intellectual property have any idea that they own the game. I'm not at all worried about the legal ramifications of releasing a clone of the game, seeing as how I have no access to the original source code and there were no trade secrets in its operation. My clone is written in a different language using totally different tools and technologies. Still, the name itself probably is copyrighted, so I'll have to come up with something different.
The final hurdle is how to market the darned thing. I could just put it on my web site as freeware, I guess, but I'm going to incur some support costs (mostly time), and will inevitably have to address problems that crop up on other systems. I don't have the resources to test the game on every conceivable platform, and would have to pay somebody to do that if I wanted to market the game. Shareware is an option, I guess, and I could use income from registrations to complete the platform testing and possibly extend the game's capabilities. Finally, there's the idea of kioskware—selling the rights to a company that fills the $10.00 bins in discount computer stores. Do such things still exist?