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Onwards in 2020

MF

The Boar Studio
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Anyway, I believe you can still boost sales as you didn't really have a launch, more like sneak-release, but it will take some work. The good news is that you ironed out the bugs and the reviews are mostly positive. Don't give up and don't feel discouraged.

Thanks a lot for the pointers and the words of support. Your criteria for effective screenshots make me I realise I picked the ones I picked for all the wrong reasons. I'll rework the store presence as soon as I get the chance and start reaching out more.

I worry that "energy crisis" is just needlessly inviting a boycott from players who think that the game will be shoving one-sided politics down their throats.
Good point. It's a minefield out there and that's not a hill I want to be anywhere near, let alone die on.

I didn't think you were quibbling, by the way. Sorry if I came across as overly defensive. Really appreciate the input.

Well, it's not selling. For the game to avoid going into a death spiral, it needs people to buy it, review it, etc. You might drop to $19.99 as the sticker price and then have a 25% off sale or something. My sense is that $25 is a weird price point.

I'm not used to seeing games at that price, though I realize adventure games of Primordia's type made a jump from $10 to $15, so maybe these mid-decile prices are feasible. I'd never take the plunge on an indie game for more than $20. Pretty sure I bought AOD at that price on sale, and that was despite being fascinated by it for years and knowing it was a Codex favorite.

I'm not sure where I'll price Fallen Gods -- IMO, the only reason to go higher than $10 is to give myself more room to steeply discount it on sales.

You're right, of course. I did get AoD D1P, but a lot of people seem to wait for sales and the overwhelming majority is price-conscious. I'll give dropping the sticker price some more thought. I'll definitely join the next sale, even though I'm a bit apprehensive about the fairness issue with regards to people who already bought it.

Toss in an OST. I actually wish the computer ai you interact with was an app. This does remind me of some of the stories in the Sci-fi Analog magazine club I was in for the longest time.

Thanks. I'll mull over doing something with the AI. Releasing the soundtrack might be a good idea. Got any good examples of games where that has been properly presented/packaged? I have a direct line to Spotify, but I'm sure that's not what you meant.

I can't give as good advice as the guys above but:

-Send mails to rpg focused sites like: rpgamer, rpgsite, rpgfan. PC focused sites like: RPS, PC Gamer and so on.
-Sign up to some sites and promote your game, even if you're not super active on any forum.
-Make a twitter account, try to connect with indie groups. They give each other shoutouts every now and then. Even I get them and I don't even develop games, I just regularly tweet/retweet about rpgs. (Don't know how effective Instagram and Facebook are.)

Thanks, that's in line with some of VD's advice and you provided a few good places to start. It's funny, I've always felt at home here at the Codex and never had the urge to discuss games online anywhere else.

I've always avoided Twitter like the plague, but I guess having a 'The Boar Studio' account is fine.

MF, are you responsible for the "popular user-defined tags for this product" section? I read "Adventure, Indie, RPG, Simulation". It should include "Survival, Isometric, Story Rich, cRPG".
Nope. Devs can list a bunch of keywords for the Steam search database, but I don't think those are even related to the popular tags.
 

Deleted Member 22431

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Nope. Devs can list a bunch of keywords for the Steam search database, but I don't think those are even related to the popular tags.
"Isometric", "Story Rich", "cRPG" are the words related to PoE.
 

Plane Escapee

Your friend
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Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Went ahead and voted for it on Gog's community wishlist (only 15 votes at the moment). All Codex-grown projects ought to be available for purchase on Gog.
 
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kony

Formely known as Konjad
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Strap Yourselves In Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
Well, this game does look somewhat interesting and I added it to Steam wishlist not knowing it's a 'dexian game, expecting to buy it during recent winter sale, but it did not drop the price, so I've got other games instead. I just realized it is a 'dex game yesterday. Honestly, the store page looks like it might be something like I would enjoy or another trash indie three-hours-long walking sim story.

Which is it? From the description I have no idea, reviews told me a little bit more, but they are MIXED. I'd write a few paragraphs ABOUT GAMEPLAY, because that's what games ultimately are.

Also I'm a cheap fag and won't get it until it's on a sale, at least with how much about the game I know now. Maybe make a DEMO version so people like me can find out whether it's a game they want or not? If your game is good then DEMO will help a lot. Unless you're not sure if it's good, then don't.

I wish you all the best if the game is good, but I really don't know whether it is or could be or it's garbage, and I don't want to spend money just because you posted it on 'dex and say it's RPG.

Just because you have released the game it is definitely not too late. Fix bugs, especially crashes I read about in reviews, make a shiny NEW UPDATE 2.0 NEW THINGIES (even if it's just two new costumes and a weapon or whatever) and make a sale (do not lower current price, it will make the game look cheap,make a sale instead, even -33% should do - this way people will feel like they got a bargain), then see what happens. POST ABOUT IT IN MAINSTREAM PLACES, like Reddit or something. They might have worse taste, but there are way more users than here.

I'm not a dev, but that's some ideas from a fellow Steam user who buys lots of garbage just because they are cheap and some less garbage RPGs just because they are fairly cheap and I like the genre.

Others already gave you even better advice, please listen to it. I wish you the best.
 
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agentorange

Arcane
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Codex 2012
I've been interested in your game for a while, since before release but have not gotten around to trying it yet.

As far as commenting on why the game might not have sold much, I've never made a game or sold one so I know nothing, but I do buy a lot of games on steam, so commenting from that perspective I'd say that one thing that stands out is your banner, which I'd say is the equivalent of a digital box art.

Taking a look at some other small indie games that have been mentioned in here:

Distinctive logo, most of the banner is made of up of screenshots that give you an immediate idea of the basic gameplay as well as a glimpse at the setting and mood of the game.

header.jpg


Very professional illustration that immediately gives you a sense of the historical-fantasy setting that AoD has. Tells you the game is SERIOUS.

header.jpg


Again, very professional and distinctive illustration that immediately draws the eye in. Gives a good sense of all the elements of the setting.

header.jpg


and then this

dxW6HID.jpg



The difference in quality is quite glaring. When I see this banner art the kind of game that immediately comes to mind is this:
CNXqBat.png

Now days on steam I think that almost equally as important as signalling the good points of your game is simply assuring people as quickly as possible that your game is not unity asset flip bundle fodder mobile trash, and the banner art can be the best way to do that. While I've never necessarily purchased a game based soley on the store page illustrations, I am definitely more likely to go to a games store page and spend more time looking into the game if I see an attractive illustration that hints at what sort of atmosphere the game may have, or stirs some feeling of curiosity about the game. (it may seem like the screenshots are enough, but remember that people actually need to click through onto the store page and take the time to look through the screenshots, whereas banner and store page art are immediate)

Your game is hard sci-fi with what seems like a somber tone to it, but your logo looks very cartoonish. You said that you are trying to evoke a retro 70s science fiction aesthetic, but nothing else on the store page points towards that, so I wouldn't bother trying to push it with the banner image, far better to push the hard science fiction angle, that more people would recognize anyway, while simultaneously giving some indication of tone. Your banner image also gives no indication to the type of game this is, which while not always necessary or even possible, at least in this case when combined with the cartoony logo immediately makes me assume this is some sort of puzzle game, or as someone else already mentioned a mobile shovelware.

Since you probably don't have the money to hire someone who knows what they are doing, you'd probably be better off using a screenshot from your game rather than trying to design a fancy logo, since some of the screens are quite evocative and would certainly set the game apart when browsing through the endless list of games on the steam store all with fancy logos.

kUEizXE.png


To give an idea of what I mean. A less cartoonish but still distinctly sci-fi font. The 3D character model lets you know its not a puzzle game or some mobile trash. And the noxious yellow atmosphere and industrial equipment in the background clues you into the somber, hard sci-fi tone of the game.

Anyway I wrote too much about what is a very minor thing, and I really don't want to give an impression that I am trying to tell you what to do with your game. This is just my opinion as someone who makes a lot of choices based on book covers, and who has experience browsing through long lists of steam games and clicking onto the store page based solely on banner image. (you can think about it like this: people who only care about gameplay won't give a shit about visual details either way, but people who are more superficial may end up exploring a game they otherwise would not if it has some better presentation, so you lose nothing.)
 
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MF

The Boar Studio
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Your game is hard sci-fi with what seems like a somber tone to it, but your logo looks very cartoonish.

Yeah, the banner looks out of place when you juxtapose them like that, no doubt about it.

The insight into your purchasing routine and the suggestion of using a screenshot collage are helpful, thanks. I'll give myself a couple of days to come up with something better than the current 'capsule', as Steam calls it, and if I'm not satisfied by then I'll go the screenshot route or I'll commission something. I originally wanted a Syd Mead (RIP) style painting but couldn't find anyone who was confident in doing that.
 

MF

The Boar Studio
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I've updated the store and created a new thread with some Steam capsule options I'm kicking around.

Konjad, I forgot to respond to your post. Thanks for the advice. I've thought long and hard about doing a demo but figured it's not feasible. AoD had an excellent demo with just Teron, and a lot of game demos restrict you to an island or something, but I can't do that. It's an open world that is almost impossible to cordon off, the gameplay is so diverse that I would have to include the entire game but impose arbitrary limitations, and the story is non-linear enough that a demo would only confuse people. The only demo approach I can think of that would work is Fallout 1, but they made Junktown into a standalone experience specifically for that purpose and I don't have the resources for that.

PS I'm on Twitter now, I feel dirty: https://twitter.com/StudioBoar
 
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zwanzig_zwoelf

Graverobber Foundation
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Toss in an OST.
This. Not releasing the soundtrack as DLC is a wasted opportunity.

Offering a bundle (game + soundtrack) with a small discount (~10%) is also a good idea.

I've been following this game on and off, but for some reason I missed the release, so congratulations on that. Going to pick it up sooner or later to support a fellow creative Codexer.
 

Prehistorik

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header.jpg


Very professional illustration that immediately gives you a sense of the historical-fantasy setting that AoD has. Tells you the game is SERIOUS.

header.jpg


Again, very professional and distinctive illustration that immediately draws the eye in. Gives a good sense of all the elements of the setting.

header.jpg


and then this

header.jpg



The difference in quality is quite glaring.

Maybe I'm weird, but I like the last one most. Gives some old sci-fi movies vibe.
Kinda like TOW logo in a fifties movies twist.
In-game Primordia is the best though.
 

AdolfSatan

Arcane
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Dec 27, 2017
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1,646
It's because he linked it straight to the steam image for the store which now got updated. Before it showed the older version which wasn't as appealing.

MF perhaps offer a demo with a time limit? Or invest in getting more gameplay videos
 

MF

The Boar Studio
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This. Not releasing the soundtrack as DLC is a wasted opportunity.

Offering a bundle (game + soundtrack) with a small discount (~10%) is also a good idea.

I've been following this game on and off, but for some reason I missed the release, so congratulations on that. Going to pick it up sooner or later to support a fellow creative Codexer.

Thanks. I started looking into it, but I would want to remaster some of the tracks first. Right now I cut off a lot of high end for it to be ambient enough to blend in. But perhaps I suffer from occupational deformation and I shouldn't overthink it. Your music kicks ass, by the way.

Maybe I'm weird, but I like the last one most. Gives some old sci-fi movies vibe.
Thanks a lot. AdolfSatan is right, that is the new banner. Which, funnily enough, was my very first idea. Just goes to show...

Perhaps offer a demo with a time limit? Or invest in getting more gameplay videos
With the dodgy torrent, I have been rethinking a demo. A time limit based on in-game time could work. I hadn't considered that even though it makes a lot of sense. Maybe after four shipments or something. What a brilliant suggestion. It wouldn't cull much content and the download size would be just as large, but on the other hand a couple of gigabytes doesn't faze people anymore. I'll give it some more thought.

As for getting gameplay videos, I'm hopelessly out of the loop there. I started reaching out based on what I can search for, but I don't have a clue who's who. I like Matt Chat, who does mostly interviews these days, and that's about it. Any suggestions?
 

Deadass

Savant
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322
As for getting gameplay videos, I'm hopelessly out of the loop there. I started reaching out based on what I can search for, but I don't have a clue who's who. I like Matt Chat, who does mostly interviews these days, and that's about it. Any suggestions?
Just contact this dude bro
21f.jpg
 

zwanzig_zwoelf

Graverobber Foundation
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Thanks. I started looking into it, but I would want to remaster some of the tracks first. Right now I cut off a lot of high end for it to be ambient enough to blend in. But perhaps I suffer from occupational deformation and I shouldn't overthink it. Your music kicks ass, by the way.
Thanks. While I'm not sure if that's the case for every game out there, but a small yet noticeable chunk of my revenue (~10%) came from soundtracks.

For the future projects, I'd suggest releasing the soundtrack along with the game -- at worst it'll throw extra coins into your war chest, which may help cover the bottom of it.
 

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
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Disco Elysium
As for getting gameplay videos, I'm hopelessly out of the loop there. I started reaching out based on what I can search for, but I don't have a clue who's who. I like Matt Chat, who does mostly interviews these days, and that's about it. Any suggestions?
Just contact this dude bro
21f.jpg
He is trying to sell a game not start a war.

i know the joke. Chillax
 

MF

The Boar Studio
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813
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Just contact this dude bro.

Ah, he did the hilarious Underrail video. Seems like the kind of guy who's allergic to people trying to suggest what kind of games to show, but worth a shot.
 
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Just contact this dude bro.

Ah, he did the hilarious Underrail video. Seems like the kind of guy who's allergic to people trying to suggest what kind of games to show, but worth a shot.
A game about being stuck on a space station with commie asians sounds like it would be perfect for him tbh
 
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