Q: How can a game developer make money on P2P / torrents?
A: By not paying for traffic generated by customers downloading his game installer and patches.
We have been hosting our installer and updater files on different hosting services – at the beginning we used one non-name hosting company, then Amazon S3, and then CDN77.
In the world of file hosting, you usually pay for traffics (downloaded and uploaded Gigabytes).
Price ranges from $0.049 to $0.1 per Gb.
We used to pay few hundreds of dollars per month – that’s not brutal, but I didn’t like it for two reasons:
1) we could use that money for something else (drugs, alcohol…)
2) if the traffic grows up, we could end up paying thousands per month!
For this reason I was always playing with an idea of exploiting torrent protocol. In this case the files won’t be streamed from our server, but from other people (peers):
1) people who are actually downloading and installing the game
2) people who volunteered to seed our files
The result is great. If you look on following stats you can easily spot the day when we switched to P2P 🙂
It wasn’t easy to find a programmer who can integrate P2P into our distribution method – but luckily we made it.
Other thing is that once we get on Steam, we wouldn’t need to distribute files from our location (Steam would do that)…
Steam just changed the way they present stats of games on Greenligh.
Actual stats for Miner Wars 2081 (visible only for us / authors):
Everything looks great except that Miner Wars 2081 is only #21. One would expect to be #1 🙂
Whose fault is that? Our fans? Ha?
I am assuming they are going to greenlight 10 games per month, so with this speed we get on Steam in December. That’s not acceptable!
In the last few weeks of development of Miner Wars 2081, we have collected a couple of funny bugs.
1) when you lock doors on your mother ship and then travel to another sector, you respawn outside of your mother ship – but since the doors are still locked, you can’t get back into your mother ship 🙂
2) if you meet a neutral bot and trade with him (e.g. buy all his weapons) – and then he becomes your enemy (due to story reasons) — he can’t fight you, he has no weapons 🙂
3) there’s huge nuclear explosion at the end of second mission (Laika). If you are fast enough you can see this explosion from the next mission (Barth’s moon). These locations are on the opposite sides of the Solar System 🙂
4) when you die in a co-op game and then you respawn — you are still dead 🙂
5) and then there’s this screenshot — I would add just one more red notification “No Money, Bitch”