Development Ends

People have taken massive dumps on every idea I’ve had to come up with a new version of the Arduboy so I’ve officially given up. Everyone wants something a little different and there is no way to make everyone happy. It’s clear to me now that the original Arduboy success was a fluke due to the media attention it received. There is no clear way to sell 10,000 units of a new product, which is the minimum number required to start production.

A majority of the customers did not want to use it as development tool, most people thought it was just a cute thing to have. Only about 20% of customers even visit the forums.

As many have noted there are a handful of other game development platforms, so I’m just not going to compete.

I’ll work on the Arduboy mini, the FX, and the kit but otherwise I’m done doing development.

3 Likes

I can say with complete confidence that I never would’ve finished making a game if it wasn’t for the Arduboy. It’s an accessible and affordable device that shrinks everything down enough for inexperienced programmers to mess around with but also has no limits. I love the thing, and from what I can tell with my relatively limited time around the forums, so do tons of other people.

5 Likes

I’m really new to this community and dev with the Arduboy. So far I love it. I haven’t done C++ in a while and it’s the perfect excuse for me. Working on my first mini-game has been helpful throughout this pandemic, you really wouldn’t know how much. When I can finally visit some of my friends and family again, we’ll have more Arduboy gamers and developers in the Caribbean :beach_umbrella:

20% visiting the community forums is nothing to scoff. And if people are using it to game, then the game development side has been a success!

Sometimes people clearly want something or have common pain points and you guide the product that way. Other times it might be better to lead, guide us to a better place.

I never knew about the Arduboy until late last year. I got hyped over play.date because the idea of making games directly for a console is pretty amazing. I then discovered 32blit which reminds me of the GBA, my favourite console. As I searched about these hackable handhelds, I came across your site and got hooked.

There’s a lot happening in this space you helped create. Follow your heart (and whatever data you get lol)

3 Likes

The Arduboy is a victim of it’s own success. Nothing can be greater than the Arduboy

Also, you are all awesome. As a project, the Arduboy remains to be one of the most positive and creative areas of the internet. It’s spawned dozens of other little open source game systems.

It doesn’t need a sequel, it just… is. Just as we are. “Everything is. Full-stop.”

5 Likes

Yeah, I’m sorry.

Arduboy went below the gameboy spec-wise and that was a market that wasn’t served yet.

Any market above that spec-wise is already flooded worse than the 80’s 8-bits home computer era. :confused:

2 Likes

Kevin, opinions are like … everyone’s got one.

You nailed the Arduboy in my opinion for ease of use, ease of development, and great packaging.

If you want to change up the design then just do it. Do what makes you happy. I, for one, are looking forward to the next iteration of this little device whether it is a mini, an FX or something different.

An many of these look the same as each other. Focus on what makes the Arduboy great and any new product will be successful.

5 Likes

Oof.

I think it’s plentiful. We can always build our own, after all.

I was going to reply sooner, but I wanted some time to mull things over before replying…

In fairness, I think you may have interpreted a few cases of “the idea is good/alright, but it could be better by doing X” as being “this is a terrible idea”.

People will always sit around discussing potential improvements and comparing the Arduboy to other consoles, that’s just human nature, it doesn’t mean that they like the Arduboy any less.

Similarly different people will always have different visions for the Arduboy’s future.
Compromising those different ideas into something the majority of people would be happy with is never going to be easy.

Ultimately making a product is about creating something people will buy,
not making something perfect.

From what I little know of other consoles of a similar nature,
that’s actually much better than most.

The majority of customers are going to be people who just want to play games and don’t care about learning how to program or getting involved in forum life, that’s the nature of the beast.

That doesn’t mean an Arduboy is wasted on them though.
If you only sold to people who wanted to program,
you’d probably have never have got off the ground in the first place.

You’ll even get programmers who just want to keep to themselves and don’t want to share their code.

Then there’s the people who just won’t join the forum for whatever reason, they’ll only use Twitter or Reddit.

And then there’s the few where the language barrier is probably the main issue.
(I’m thinking in particular of Cobinee, who has created several Arduboy games and published them on their Japanese blog.)

Most of which have stupidly high-power CPUs (ESP, Cortex M7, anything with an FPU), abandoned or disorganised forums, poor APIs, poor documentation, et cetera…
Basically lots of things that make them unappealing.

The Arduboy isn’t perfect, but it does a good job on the things that matter, and it fills a niche.

10 Likes

Too many gloomy messages from Kevin lately…

4 Likes

@eried, I expect you probably meant well in your own strange way,
but implying someone is an emo and defacing pictures of them is neither helpful nor supportive.
I could be wrong, but it most probably isn’t going to reflect well on you as a person or earn you any respect either.

Have you considered that perhaps Kevin has a very good reason to be disheartened?

@eried and @pharap can pretty much do and say whatever they want on the forum for the most part because they have contributed a bunch.

I know he is joking, and it’s a bit true. But I also don’t care I’ve got much thicker skin than that. Not being able to make a company work is the frustration, that’s what keeps me up at night. (No actually, I’m trying to make raised garden beds for my mom and that’s what I think about now)

People making silly pictures of me is nothing new and the number of times I do it to others, I really do deserve it.

But please don’t do it to others in the forum unless they said it is ok first.

The reason I am sharing all of this here is 1) I’ve always considered the Arduboy project to be as open as possible including the operations 2) I do consider you all my friends (to some degree or another) and in these tough times it helps to have someone to share my thoughts with.

Especially now that I’m stuck at home, going to go get a beer with other startup founders once or twice a month was always something that helped me keep my sanity.

Also, I don’t want to surprise anyone when the Arduboy isn’t for sale any more and isn’t able to be supported but there should be at least a year left before that point. Still got a thousand units left.

3 Likes

haha yes ofc I mean it in the best of ways, just to lighten the mood, not wanting to offend @bateske or anyone. I have a slightly drifted sense of reality because I base the world on what I see on Southpark.

Anyhow, I hope everything goes well and I would be scared shit if I had to come up with something after Arduboy. I think all of us can help brainstorm ideas but you have to consider that we are already a non representative of the population.

2 Likes

Have you considered something like those “Coop” supermarkets? where the customers own a piece of it. I have no idea how much effort, money and time you use keeping arduboy alive, and my senses for business are extremely off, but could it be possible to find a solution between us members of the forum?

1 Like

Fair enough.

This is precisely why I stepped in.
It’s usually better to assume someone might not be happy about being satirised than to assume they’ll be fine with it.

“First, do no harm” as it were.

No worries, I never doubted it was well-intentioned,
but I try to be the voice of caution because I’ve seen many well-intentioned jokes be taken in bad spirits before now.

If I thought it had been intended maliciously I’d have written you a strongly worded letter. :P

I’m assuming you mean a cooperative business model (and/or worker cooperative) rather than selling to co-op supermarkets. :P

In which case, I don’t know if @bateske has thought about it much (or at all),
but I’ve thought about it a fair bit.
I just don’t know enough about the ins and outs of the business (e.g. how manufacturing is managed, how much everything actually costs) to determine which options would be viable.

(I’d like to watch the video but my internet is genuinely too terrible at the moment.)


By the way, as well intentioned as this is, I don’t believe anyone should be beyond reproach.

If I’m ever doing a bad job, please let me know. (In a civilised way of course.)

1 Like

it’s hard to build a business only selling gadgets itself. let’s see the stable and growing smartphones, business model:

  1. hardware(main device+additional modules and accessories)
  2. software(not only games but other useful or fun apps)
  3. services(support, community, online hall of fame from the games + games with commercial ingame stuff, mass player games with subscription, programming lessons, inapp embedded advertising)

all of this is available online with easy access and strong marketing (that’s why wifi onboard the main gadget is so important).

so you’ll have multiple incomes from all of this infrastructure with numerous elements, supporting each other.

i think that the arduboys future is not only about the device hardware. it’s could be an ecosystem, retro-style outside but extremely modern inside, fun and opened for play, experiments and learning for enthusiasts, newbies hackers, children and so on…

I’ve always felt the only thing the Arduboy could really use is the ram expansion. Not necessarily so games can have more content (that’s just icing on the cake), but so that all the games can be loaded on the device at the same time and easily switched between rather than going through a phone or PC (it does get a bit cumbersome after some time).

One thing I’ve always thought of with these open software / open hardware communities is if it would be possible to do some kind of opt-in donate to the devs system (think like MyMiniFactory or Thingiverse in the 3D printing community). The idea is that developers put a lot of time and effort into these games all for the fun of making them, but if we had an avenue for people (including non-dev gamers) to help support the individual devs and the overall ecosystem (Arduboy would take a cut off the top of each donation) then we could possibly see a boost in revenue and it would be entirely optional. This would also help boost developer’s engagement with the community because even though they would probably never make enough on a single niche system to make it a full-time job any amount they would get would be motivation to keep making awesome games. Since Arduboy would take a small amount off the top of each donation it would also provide a steady source of revenue to help keep the ecosystem alive and well.

And here I thought I was the only one.

2 Likes

like this probably

More or less yes. Services like Patreon are always an option for developers, but it’s less likely to be used in this context. If there were a dedicated games page that separated the games from their forum discussions then the page could have a “Tip the developer” type button as well (or like itch.io uses a “pay what you want” system).

Another additional option is merchandising (things like coffee mugs, buttons, sew-able badges, or even shirts) can also be utilized to increase revenue to a somewhat sustainable level.

2 Likes

Well, i only can say i am sad that all the small platforms seem to die slowly…
They are great and i like them, but it always feels like most developers just pull the cord and move on. Yes, they have the right to do so and have to earn money after all, but it feels like being left alone in an online fame no one likes to play anymore somehow

1 Like

It’s not really dying, it’s just not having any kids.

1 Like