Firstly, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that posted a question on Twitter. Engagement with fans is so important to me and every question you post really helps with that. As always when answering questions I will be open and honest often with a few spelling mistakes.
To start with I just wanted to touch on some of the additions which Cerberus brought to the early design of the game, two key features, chat and VR gym... I'd not seen either of these features used inside a sports management app before so I was initially a bit sceptical but once Beau and Sami begun to show me some art work for how things would work I was blown away, hopefully you agree that these two features although not fundamental for the way the game plays are very eye catching fun additions. One of the things which was great about working with these guys rather than a larger company is they really took this project on as their own child, none of the team really follow boxing which makes their additions and achievements even more remarkable.
In the upcoming blogs I will continue to discuss some changes from the initial design including some parts which were sadly cut from the game design due to budgets.
Onward to the questions, starting with two questions I can answer together.
Rob Morris - Is the plan long term to make a pc game? Like Motorsport Manager, have a successful app, then make a pc game?
Paul Oltai - How far do you think this game can be taken?
So, how far the game can go really depends on the initial success of this version, I will define success not by pound coins but by user engagement. My hope is that I can get a few thousand downloads of The Boxing Promoter with hopefully a rating of 4* or over. For me that would be enough to realise that this concept has a lot of potential and people will back it. As for what the future holds and whether or not I would design a PC version, the answer is probably. Hypothetically if The Boxing Promoter is a success I have 3 future versions already drafted;
1) Upgrade on current format including multi-player and fluid World (Could be released as large update or as BoxingPromoter2)
2) MMO version, if anyone has played the app Top Eleven that should give you an idea of what I'm looking to create, it would still be in an app format but for me has the potential to engage the largest audience.
3) PC version, this would require the addition of a few extra features. Rob points out MotorSport manager which is a great example of success, free app which has been converted to a £20 PC game. Both versions are highly rated by audiences and very popular. For a boxing version I think I would generally avoid online play and try and produce a strong storyline full of decision making and dilemmas, a example would be Age of Gladiators which although a simplistic design has lots of depth and story within the game.
Hopefully that's helped give some direct examples of my ambition for The Boxing Promoter as a brand, I don't believe anything mentioned is unachievable but a lot will depend on the initial version and feedback.
Next question is from Boxing Sim Wishlist, if you don't follow this account I would advise it! Lots of campaigning for a new boxing sim, of the fight night ilk.
What are you trying to accomplish by investing so much time and effort into a game and then give it away for free?
This is a great question, one that I always enjoy answering. The first part is simply that data shows paid app's do not work, you have to be incredibly good or already have a dedicated audience (Football Manager/Mario Run). Free apps make their money through in-game purchases and advertisements both of which players hate, my aim is to have maybe 1 annoying advert in the game and regarding in-game purchases it's vital for a company to differentiate what a player NEEDS & WANTS because you should never have to pay for something you need but I will try and charge if there is something you want, hopefully that makes sense. But onto the next part why invest so much time and money into a game which probably won't make me money, when I designed this game I was in a stage in my life where I didn't have anything concrete to show for years of dedication and graft, this is part and parcel of working for a large organisation, your just a small cog in a very large machine nothing you do or don't do really has a massive effect. So that's why I decided to design an app, all I'm trying to accomplish from a personal point of view is to have created something I can be very proud of. From a boxing fan point of view our community is really ignored by gaming companies, no disrespect to MMA but 3 UFC games before 1 boxing game is just ludicrous when boxing IS a larger sport globally. Hopefully the boxing community will get behind my work here and appreciate it. Please let me know if I haven't answered that well.
Final question in today's blog, again from Rob Morris;
Will we ever see real boxer names in The Boxing Promoter? What are the possible complications with this?
Interestingly I spoke with Isaac Chamberlain yesterday regarding this, he mentioned everyone he knows within his gym and stable would be more than happy to appear within a game. When I used to dream I could be a pro-footballer the thought of appearing in a FIFA game was unbelievable. So in hindsight I maybe jumped the gun with this by assuming I wouldn't be able to use real boxers within the game, my understanding of the complications is a boxer owns the rights to their own image, image consists of they way they look, act and are portrayed within a game including their associated skills. I heard years ago when EA created one of their Fight Night games Floyd Mayweather demanded a ludicrous amount of money for his image to appear in the game, they continued to create the game without the "Poster Boy" of boxing. Fair to say this could have put EA off continuing the Fight Night franchise whereas UFC is easier because UFC own the image rights to all fighters. Hearing about this and rumours of other legal challenges by boxers against EA made my decision not to include any fighters names. However since the game has grown some traction on Twitter it seems clear that up and coming boxers would be very keen on appearing within a video game and demand nothing in reply. Another alternative for me would be to use fake boxer names like Tyson Furry and Floyd Moneyweather Jnr... Right now I'm not so keen on that idea, also future versions involving multi-player would be best with randomly generated fighters I believe.
That brings us to the end of today's blog, please let me know if I failed to answer questions well enough. Also on Wednesday I already have a few questions to answer about influential games including Title Bout Boxing and my own background.