GDC Austin kicked off today with an information packed talk from Randy Smith and David Kalina from Tiger Style Games discussing the evolution of their first iPhone game, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [App Store]. Much of their origin story was previously covered in our interview with the duo.
Randy and David discussed that prior to the App Store, there never was any good way for indie titles to reach a mass market. The iPhone brought together a great hardware platform and the possibility for an indie developer with no financial backing to publish their titles to a large audience. (And they don't deny trying to follow the App Store gold rush.)
The original vision of the game includes things like it being "unique and inspired" and "not about orcs." David and Randy then went on to explain the business side of Tiger Style, discussing an amazingly flexible and transparent development team. An interesting aspect of the talk was their conscious decision to price the game at $2.99. They looked at the market, the competition and decided to carve out a high quality niche:
While they've been thrilled with their initial success of nearly 100,000 sales of Spider, with 12 distributed team members and an 8 month long development cycle, they put an enormous amount of resources into the project. Still, they recommend that indie developers shoot for this "quality alternative" of high quality titles priced above $0.99 that exceed expectations and to engage the community (slide).
They also revealed that they are working on more levels, new features, a Lite version, as well as "Game 2".