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Ali_Games

My Steam Greenlight Experience For An Indie Space Shooter Game

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Hi guys, 

 

I just came into GameDev and thrilled to see the awesomeness here at the moment. I would love to be a part of this community and would like to share my experiences related to what I know and are going through with respect to games and more games. As my first post to this section, I would like to share my hands-on experience with my indie game project which ran a journey to makes its place into the Steam Greenlight process and eventually got the green signal from the games community there. 

 

Being the first timers on steam greenlight process I felt that it was an amazing learning curve for so I really want to share what our team went through and how we went through this process.

 

We are a small team and we developed a multiplayer space shooter game, a game which is different and excited us as gamers. We showed up to some friends in our community and based on the potential and belief, decided to put that on steam. We went through a lot of research material on the web, i.e. study the past experiences from developers, The Steam FAQ as well as other articles. But it is as they say that the greenlight process carries many secrets inside that every length of information seems small and little to help towards achieving goal.

 

To start off, We were taken aback by studying the different statistics that you need a whooping amount of Yes votes if you want to get the green signal. Like 15,000 to be in Top 100 and then further 15,000 to be in Top 50. We were like OMG!!!! This will take years as the game had no sound community before whatsoever, How this would be possible in limited time we are targeting? We got some relief when we read on steam FAQ as well as on some other blogs that the greenlight team doesn't only see Yes votes rather it sees the overall package that includes your project, the updates, the community feedback and of course the Yes votes.  Even then, There will be no guarantee when you will get greenlit :P

 

We decided right there that Okay, "We aren't gonna do super promises in our talk. We are an indie studio and we have an exciting game to show so take the responsibility, Believe in your game and accept what it is" We went with this frame of mind & launched the steam page on March 17th, 2016. Despite knowing nothing much about process, we follow our decision and set the release date as Q2 2016. It was Thursday night and very next day we saw a bombshell on us with the figures as 70% No and 30% Yes votes with just three to four okay or fair work comments as a first day response. We went expressionless and kind of hid our embarrassment by self-talk "O so that's what greenlight thing is Kind of expected." We did a quick meeting trying to figure out what went wrong as far as the greenlight page content is concerned. We noticed that we had some low quality screenshots and low-rez Greenlight trailer. We decided let's replace all screenshots and greenlight trailer, In-short let's recreate the main page content. We had to work on the weekend to do what was required, we didn't hesitate to work. Ran the game and took all the brand new quality screenshots once again and virtually recreated the greenlight page.

 

Even though The Yes No ratio was 30:70 and ranking was 26% towards top 100. It was kind of alarming but we had atleast something to have a sigh of relief or cheer about in that situation and those were fair words by gamers on the first day to give us a little smile. We had our twitter and facebook pages setups. We were eyeing towards the Top 100 spot in phases and for that we needed to shorten the Yes No gap. Once the page setup We decided that the No:Yes ratio should go to 50:50 and to achieve that we needed more Yes votes than No. The good feedback on the page would be a bonus. So we took on twitter aggressively and posted the content daily in the form of development updates, screenshots, Gifs and trailer. Twitter is a cool thing when you have an empty pocket and you want to say about your product out-loud. I'd say the best medium for instant talk and that too on organic basis. 

 

We realized that updating the steam announcements section on regular basis is important, We tried to kept the community engaged with every small noticeable update in the game throughout the development process in the form of dev blogs in blogger, announcements on steam after every 15 to 20 days and quick dev updates on twitter and the fun game original artwork and dev screenshots. For example, We worked a lot in the UI of the game so we decided let's announce that and present the improved UI in the actual gameplay footage, so we recorded the video, uploaded on Steam, made the announcement and tried to viral it on twitter as much as we can and eventually we noticed that words are starting to have a go!  :)

 

The efforts of getting Yes votes were on full swing majorly through Twitter, Meanwhile we prepared the media kit for the game and a playable demo to get some previews of the game. It is always helpful when you receive feedback from the press so we thought let's try to capture that. We made a demo version, a balanced media kit with screenshots, promos and game document and sent to some websites on their contact addresses.

 

Through twitter, we managed to get a YouTube Let's play as well which got good exposure, furthermore we got one preview as well so we added their punchlines on our steam page and to keep the page updated and alive regularly.

 

All above experience is kind of on way communication, one key factor for spreading the word about your game is the Most Important i believe and that is the Conversation with people. Use #steamgreenlight & #indieDevhour Lots of dev are there showcasing their games and asking for feedback. Request them for votes and give them votes for their good games, they will be ready to help you usually but beware from the funny people, sometimes they vote No so choose your friend wisely :)

 

In a nut-shell, we were knocking at all doors of communication as much as we could. We spent some money from a limited budget to do a couple of press releases as well. There was still a missing link and that was the game itself. We always wanted to release the game demo publicly, we were just waiting for the right time. After getting a couple of previews and managed to develop the core features of the game, we were then in the position to release the demo to public. We released it on Friday night so that people can play it through over the weekend. The greenlight stats were at that time:

 

Final%20Stats.jpg

 

8 Announcements (The last one was of Demo), 99 Comments out of which 97 were positive. We released the demo and the very next fine Saturday morning Bang!!! We got Greenlit :) We are not sure what really clicked it to be exact Was it the Demo or was the regular updates. We believed that the entire contributions played a part and most importantly whosoever saw the game he/she liked it particularly the art-style, colors and unique gameplay of the game.

 

I would love to share some tips in bullets form which may useful for devs and for overall gamers community excitement:

 

  • Make sure to upload good quality screenshots and gameplay videos on your Greenlight page. This always makes a difference.

 

  • Keep your twitter page active & take the audience through the development updates process in the form of tweets on daily basis.

 

  • Get Engage in conversations on #SteamGreenlight #IndieDevHour for Yes votes.

 

  • Make friendship with hashtags #SteamGreenlight #IndieDevHour #Screenshotsaturday #ThrowbackThursday

 

  • Don't you ever forget the hashtag #screenshotsaturday trust me it brings a lot of exposure if you have posted a good quality shot along with exciting lines.

 

  • Keep your steam page alive by adding quality screenshots, updates, announcements and gameplay videos as and when necessary. Make sure you do a couple of announcements a month but those should be meaningful and not forced.

 

  • Do prepare a media kit and a game demo to show to some of the preview websites and Let's play gamers. It is so helpful for getting hundreds of eye-balls to your game content.

 

  • Make sure that you have built up enough community before releasing the demo. There should be people who should be happy about the demo news if they are not ready to play it :P

 

  • Be original, Accept what you have. If you are excited about your game then this excitement will surely spread among the other audience as you will be speaking your heart out in your communications. I think this is the KEY and nucleus upon which all other game communication revolves.

 

I hope that I have added some value to the already much available information and experiences of Game devs regarding steam greenlight. Our space shooter game is still in development post-greenlight and we are crunching at the moment to release the game this quarter. The real work starts after the greenlit let me assure you. For those who want to see the game and try a playable demo can visit http://galaxycombatwargames.com/

 

 

Cheers,

Rog

Edited by Rog Games

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Hi Rog, welcome to the GameDev.net community! This would actually be a great blog post in your own Developer Journal (it's free) and likely featured on the front page.

 

The GDNet Comments, Suggestions, and Ideas forum is actually specifically for the GameDev.net platform itself. I'm going to move your post to a different forum once I can figure out which forum it should be in. :)

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Maybe this would be best in Announcements? However, [b]@[member='Khawk'][/b], is right.

This would actually be a great blog post in your own Developer Journal (it's free) and likely featured on the front page.

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Hi Rog, welcome to the GameDev.net community! This would actually be a great blog post in your own Developer Journal (it's free) and likely featured on the front page.

 

The GDNet Comments, Suggestions, and Ideas forum is actually specifically for the GameDev.net platform itself. I'm going to move your post to a different forum once I can figure out which forum it should be in. :)

 

Hi Khawk, Thanks for the warm welcome and guidance. I am happy to shift it in the Developer Journal as well  :)

 

 

Edited by Rog Games

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