Visit our sponsors! (or click here and disable ads)
Serpent in the Staglands Kickstarter Update #23: Post-Release Thoughts
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 19 June 2015, 23:52:23Tags: Serpent in the Staglands; Whalenought Studios
Three weeks following the release of Serpent in the Staglands, Joe and Hannah of Whalenought Studios have released a new Kickstarter update discussing their thoughts about the game's reception, the upcoming expansion pack, and the future of Whalenought, in both video and text format. Here's the video, and some of the text:
Marketing without an easy button
While we've had and cherished a modest amount of user reviews, marketing continues to be a bit tough — it’s a game without an easy mode, and journalists can’t just jump in and make quick impressions, and we think that makes it difficult to get those early impressions reviews. We hear of a few folks that attempted that and got whiplashed with a learning curve like they haven't seen in years, which though kind of humorous to hear about, does filter the reviewers down to gamers that have patience, which is of course an incredibly slimming population. But learning to play and learning the world is part of the game, and a part we're really proud of.
Try to sit me in front of an Ultima again and I’m going to need an hour just to learn the ins and outs of controls and how to interact with the world in all the various ways — but that’s part of it — it’s a game with learning, not just consumption like television — learning the game world is kind of lost in a lot of RPGs today, and it’s something that makes it so much more engaging. Hearing people's accomplishments of navigating the Hallowed Doors to traversing the death-bog is as much an accomplishment for us, and we're thrilled when we hear about people enjoying them. Games are certainly much easier to consume if you’re just jumping to conversation to quest with knowing exactly what to do, but we think that can get a little tired and misses something we love so much, which is the exploration of the world and how to win it.
There’s a few wonderful reviewers that have contacted us saying they are really taking their time to finish the game prior to reviewing, and their initial playtime just wasn’t enough, they needed to actually finish it. Beyond exceptional journalism, we think that’s a testament to our open ended story and player explored world — it’s really about the whole experience, your whole adventure, and a couple hours getting stomped by foxes and wolves and learning how spells work isn’t really scratching the surface.
While our next project will refine this, and maybe present this in a more sophisticated way, the ‘learning the world’ design is a philosophy and foundation we'll continue to use for all our games. It’s a concept we've heard a wonderful response for, and we'd love to fill that demand in new and fun ways in future games — we'll never take our p&p-inspired RPG roots and cater them to a modern audience for as long as we have an audience to continue.
A lot of you have asked about the expansion, and while we can’t give you concrete details on a release and of course don’t want to spoil anything (for those of you who haven’t guessed who the antagonist is), we can assure you it will be available to anyone who purchased the game, and will be automatically added with a (big) update. You’ll be able to jump right into it with that final save, so if you’ve beaten the game you can just continue on right there. The expansion update will feature a few new systems, and include Grade 4 Skills and Spells along with any rebalancing needed for the core game.
The expansion content is in the works, but we’ve been listening to players on what they like and want more of, and have already begun adjusting some things to fit that. We love hearing these ideas and building this game’s world mechanics, and the expansion will likely be the last time we visit Vol for a while so we want to end it on a wonderful note.
We’ll have more announcements and blog posts on that in the coming months while we’re in full-development of it!