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I'm working on a game platform that turns your iPhone, android or iPad into a steering wheel, for racing games (like need for speed and dirt 3) and flight simulators for example.

I'd love to figure out smart ways to figure out whether gamers would like something like this.

I originally asked this question over on the gaming SE and it was for getflypad.com. A lot of the tech is built and most of it is doable - the question here is how to test demand and know whether gamers actually want this.

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migrated from gaming.stackexchange.com Nov 25 '11 at 10:15

This question came from our site for passionate videogamers on all platforms.

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I think we need a bit more information on what you mean by "game platform". Apple generally dislikes meta-platforms and kills any app that hosts other apps, if that's what you meant. –  Jari Komppa Nov 25 '11 at 10:32
    
If you intend to have users use their [smartphone of choice] with their PC/Console/Whatever, you need to provide output in a usable format and allow mapping to keyboard/gamepad buttons and/or mouse movement. Also, a driver and/or additional hardware might be needed. –  sarahm Nov 27 '11 at 6:53

2 Answers 2

Well, your total potential market is a cross section of:

  • Racing Game Fans (with current PC racing games)
  • iPad+iPod Owners

If I was you, I'd try and dig up some sales figures from some modern or recent racing games. Those might be hard to come by, but you might be able to scrape some data from the number of active TrackMania 2 players (or similar such online games). Actually, "active" players might be a more realistic market for your product than mere owners of racing games.

You also need to keep in mind you're competing in the racing wheel market, which may generally have better responsiveness and offer a better overall experience for the player (it's car racing after all, not hand waving). But for a couple dollars as an iOS app, you may still be able to drive a decent amount of impulse "lets give this a try" purchases.

As for ascertaining actual demand for something, you Google it. Look for people asking for the exact app you're asking for "let me play my PC racing games with my iPad as the controller". Now yes, you stand a very good chance of finding nothing, which may actually mean there is no demand. However, that's not to say nobody will want it once they know it exists. It could be something they don't yet know they want.

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You could create a website that advertises your theoretical product and pay for some advertising on Google, etc. to generate some traffic to it. Explain that the product is coming soon, and provide a way to sign up for a newsletter.

You can watch trends in traffic (repeat hits, how many first time visitors stick around to read your content, etc.), which should give you some idea of whether there is any interest. Your newsletter subscriptions will not only give you an idea of what kind of interest there is, but also help you have a stronger release.

Rob Walling talks a bit more about this in his book, Start Small, Stay Small.

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