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Soul of Mask released and announcements

lilington

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Now that Soul of Mask is released, I will focus on bug reports if any and I announce that I am already working 

on the next game, I will make blog entry to show progressions. This time I 'll not wait to the end of project.



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Today is the first day after the release. Let some time past and I'll tell you the details. As for the marketing, it is not very easy to do for a developer. However, I did what  I could: Tweeter, Keymailer, etc. 

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One big tip I can give you is that you should link to the game on all your content. I went to a few blog posts, no link, YouTube videos, no link. You will lose a sale every time you don't have a call to action listed on your content. I eventually located the game on Steam, but the average person isn't going to do this.

As someone that markets product and services, you need a landing page for your game online, and links that bring people to that page on all the content you post.

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Thank you, I thought i put the link to steamstore everywhere but ... Let me be more carefull

 

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23 hours ago, lilington said:

Thank you, I thought i put the link to steamstore everywhere but ... Let me be more carefull

 

No problem. I'll be buying a copy on steam soon! Looks like a lot of fun!

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Oh that is very nice,

when you play keep in mind that is is a die and retry, some people died and do try to do the same thing because they think it is about skill. FIND the best path.

good luck

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On 11/25/2017 at 5:28 PM, lilington said:

Oh that is very nice,

when you play keep in mind that is is a die and retry, some people died and do try to do the same thing because they think it is about skill. FIND the best path.

good luck

The game plays very well, reminds me of pac-man but with more features due to the masks. I'm a handful of levels in so far. Very good game!

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nice to hear that you like it, after level 10 of each world you will have a new enemy every 5 or 7 level. I would like to ask you something if you don't mind.

- What do you think about price? is it too expensive or cheap or just good?

- Do you mind post a review, I heard that is important.

 

Thanks again for your purchase.

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I would reduce the price only because it's an indie title, and you have not made a track record for yourself yet. The biggest issue when you're pushing any indie title out, you have a lot of competing games. I wont get into the marketing and the pre-release side because I don't have that much time, but you should always release a game based on a strategic plan.

Once you become well known, and generate a following (even a niche), you can work more with prices in future releases. Even with a big following you can still generate a lot of money without high prices due to quantity and low overhead as this is a single player game.

I have no problem paying the ticket price for the game because as a developer I understand the time and effort required, however your basic consumer doesn't pay based on what time you put in, but what they will get out of it. In my opinion I would lower the price to the $4.99 range. If you can generate a good following, make a Soul of Mask 2, or some form of a content pack for additional sales.

Once I hit a couple more hours I'll post a review.

Great job on the game!

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From the opposite perspective, don't make the price too low either.  Gamers assume a dirt cheap game is dirt cheap because it isn't any good and nobody wants to buy it.

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On 11/28/2017 at 1:15 AM, Rutin said:

* I would reduce the price only because it's an indie title, and you have not made a track record for yourself yet. ..

** generate a good following, make a Soul of Mask 2, or some form of a content pack for additional sales.

*** Once I hit a couple more hours I'll post a review.

**** Great job on the game!

1

* This was probably a mistake of mine, I put the price according to the job and now reducing too much the price may be seen by players as a prove that it is not good at all.

** working on it.

*** thank you, it will be great

**** Thanks it is very pleasant to hear that from another dev.

14 hours ago, Kavik Kang said:

From the opposite perspective, don't make the price too low either.  Gamers assume a dirt cheap game is dirt cheap because it isn't any good and nobody wants to buy it.

I agree, but I still don't know what to call too low?

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Nobody can answer the price question because you need to release games strategically and with marketing research; I was just offering my opinion at first glace. I wont get into too much because it's a very time consuming thing, but you need to test the market. Do you get more sales on your game at price a or price b? What are other games selling for in the same category that do well, why do other games in that category sell poorly or well?

Yes, a low price can devalue your product, and a high price can turn people away from buying, this is why you need to test the market to get your sweet spot. There is no substitute for proper marketing, and market testing, this comes with time and experience.

Edited by Rutin

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Actually you are right. Anyways, let me learn from this game. Important is to not make same mistakes.

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On 12/4/2017 at 7:53 PM, lilington said:

Actually you are right. Anyways, let me learn from this game. Important is to not make same mistakes.

I wanted to give you some feedback following your steam release. I noticed you received a review that was not positive, I did respond to it with my Steam account, but again I cannot post a full review without enough time to be fair. This individual appears to have only played for 10 minutes and already posted a bad review.

The same principle applies in business as does releasing a game. If you ever receive negative feedback you need to look at it constructively, not fire back like you did in the reply stating the reviewer wasn't being honest and spreading lies.

To break down the issues he/she presented:

1. Issues with controls.

2. Menus are not user friendly.

3. Fonts are not clear, sometimes jagged, and no AA.

4. Didn't like the Graphics.

5. Didn't like the Game Play.

 

I'm going to break these down for you as this is a learning process.

1. Issues with controls - > You need to address this issue by asking what problem they're having with the control, what are they expecting? Are they finding issues with smoothness, or ability to navigate around turns?

2. Menus are not user friendly - > Why is the menu not user friendly? Are people expecting mouse input? I know the menu itself is all keyboard based, and highlights upon selection, but it appears it wasn't working for one user.

3. Fonts are not clear, sometimes jagged, and no AA. - > You either need to justify the Font Style as part of the classic feel, or address it by stating you will smooth out all fonts in the next patch. Having unclear fonts is a big no on, and sometimes this happens when you display fonts on an x or y cord that has a decimal. Keep fonts as whole numbers, not real numbers if possible, otherwise you may be able to use a vector image to solve this.

4. Didn't like the Graphics. - > This can be very subjective, and I honestly like the graphics in the game (Menus could use a bit of work). This again goes back to either justify the style of graphics matches the game, or possibly improve, but you need feed back. Don't change the look of the game because people don't like it and expect 3D AAA graphics for a game that is clearly designed as a 2D PacMan spin off.

5. Didn't like the Game Play. - > It's very important to find out why a person didn't like the game play, and even more important to know why when its coming from a person that actively plays PacMan style games. Your customer's feedback and help grow your product beyond what you could normally do by keeping everything as is.

 

At the end of the day you need to learn to respond, not react to such reviews. Not all reviews are going to be out there because people are being 100% honest, some people are just trolls and post negativity for whatever reason. You should break down the review, and find out what you can learn to grow, but if you slash down a review for being negative you will never grow your following. You also cannot please everyone, so once your game grows in following you will run into scenarios that you cannot change because 10% of the user base doesn't like A, but 90% is okay.

You can find many AAA games that had horrid releases, and developers listened to the feedback, released a new patch and brought back the player base, plus increased sales. If they shot the reviews down as fake, and didn't care the games would've flopped and never resurfaced.

Keep learning from this. Many people out there don't understand that making a game goes a lot further than just being able to code. You have a lot of moving components to deal with in business as well.

This is coming from someone who has successfully started companies and retained revenue streams by providing services and products people need, then changing as demand requires. I also use the same business sense in the gaming industry, after all, your player base generates you revenue on current releases, and future releases, you need to appeal to the majority to make this an income related venture. Otherwise you can just make games you want and release for free.

I wish you the best on moving forward! Let me know what you think.

Edited by Rutin

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Thanks for your comment.

I've been a little bit emotional on this one, I agree. After I read this review I use my wife computer downloaded the game from steam and try this 'back' menu issue and it doesn't exist at all. Plus the reviewer play 0.1hour = 6 minutes. So I just made the conclusion that it is a review based on nothing ( no time played + imaginary issue), then I reacted.

After a night, I realized it could just be a troll and not someone who really dislike the game. An I regretted my reaction. What you said is again right, I should just have to ask questions about what he doesn't like and promise to solve it even if I am sure he cannot as he didn't  play but not my task to judge it.

Now I put myself in a bad situation as I realize my reaction was too emotional and going back maybe misinterpreted. I will try to go smoothly to what you said and try to have a discussion with this man(or woman).

I didn't want to explain on steam but I personally know the guy who made the review, he plays games (illegal downloading) all the time but for the first time of his life bought a game and played it a lot you can see his time in a game. Steam could easily demonstrate the review is not fake, I asked him how he paid and he used his bank card I suppose at least it could be possible to demonstrate that it is not me + IP.  This is the second reason that made me furious, I claim to be an honest dude and accusing me of lies, thief or anything like this could make me go to hand easily (hopefully we cannot use and behind keyboard/screen/mouse).

So I will follow your advice, and try to solve those issue with the pacifical way, without talking about this fake review accusation.

 

And once again thanks for all your support.

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The guy that posted the review has a big review history log of only playing games for a few minutes and posting reviews, good and bad. Just learn from the experience and remember you will only improve with feedback, and not all feedback should be taken with the same value because of assholes that like to troll and spread negativity.

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I just saw your questions to the reviewer, so far no answers, I am curious to see how he will answer those questions. Obviously, he decided to not play again.

So you said you have an issue with the control when turning? I am trying and I see what you are talking about, I will examine how to remove it. my problem is I can't reproduce this issue on purpose as I know exactly how to avoid it. (difficult to be programmer and tester at the same time)

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3 minutes ago, lilington said:

I just saw your questions to the reviewer, so far no answers, I am curious to see how he will answer those questions. Obviously, he decided to not play again.

So you said you have an issue with the control when turning? I am trying and I see what you are talking about, I will examine how to remove it. my problem is I can't reproduce this issue on purpose as I know exactly how to avoid it. (difficult to be programmer and tester at the same time)

Try this, when you're moving up, and you're one tile away from being able to go left, hold UP + LEFT on the keyboard, and you'll either stop, before the turn, or move up then stop. I might be able to record a video later.

Edited by Rutin

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Got it, ok I can reproduce it and I guess it kind of annoying. As I said I avoid it all the time but I didn't know all others will play. A naive approach will be to continue up while pressing left until the next left opening then turn left. This should solve it and I should be able to do it quite fast.

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You can try it again when you have time, this issue is corrected now.

when you press a direction while going one way you keep going the same way until the next possible turn.

ex: if you go up and press left, you will continue going up until it is possible to turn left or until it finds an obstacle.

And indeed it feels better like this thank you!

Edited by lilington

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2 hours ago, lilington said:

You can try it again when you have time, this issue is corrected now.

when you press a direction while going one way you keep going the same way until the next possible turn.

ex: if you go up and press left, you will continue going up until it is possible to turn left or until it finds an obstacle.

And indeed it feels better like this thank you!

I just gave it a try, and I believe steam updated the game but only going down - left, or down - right works for me. If I go up while holding left or right it will not still freeze me in the same spot. I'll make a video later on and show you. I was playing on Frozen Soul 2.

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Now you talk about something else, and yes what happens is logical because I never thought about 2 directions at the same time. looks like I have to take in consideration people pressing 2 directions in the same time.

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1 minute ago, lilington said:

Now you talk about something else, and yes what happens is logical because I never thought about 2 directions at the same time. looks like I have to take in consideration people pressing 2 directions in the same time.

This is standard in any 2D maze style game I've ever worked on. I've never programmed a game where input wasn't fluid on directional movement unless it was single press movement that moved one tile per keystroke.

It's up to you if you want to change it or not, it's your game. :) 

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I see, actually, the character moves one tile by one tile, but is it is more comfortable for users why not change it?

let me see if I can change it quickly without destroying anything or produce a spaghetti code.

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28 minutes ago, lilington said:

I see, actually, the character moves one tile by one tile, but is it is more comfortable for users why not change it?

let me see if I can change it quickly without destroying anything or produce a spaghetti code.

I think you mis-read my post. Let me explain how fluid movement should work in this case.

If your press UP + LEFT, your sprite would move at a diagonal direction top left, this means if there is no possibility to move left, it will glide across the wall and continue to move up, once an opening is present on the left side the sprite will move left while gliding on the top wall. The same principle applies to all directions. It has nothing to do with moving 1 space at a time, which would be horrible for this type of game. I was giving you an example of two types of movements aside from moving like in PacMan which is non-stop per directional change.

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