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Magogan

Two weeks until "release" and almost no one knows my game...

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On 7/15/2019 at 7:47 AM, Magogan said:

I know that my system could be easier but you cannot expect that much from a game that is in development. And it's literally the third tutorial message that tells you to equip your weapon. Do you expect me to add a video for every sentence of tutorial so you know what to do without having to read?

I could make it so using the weapon automatically equips it, apart from that I have no idea what you expect.

Here's the problem - you're expecting to have the game sales pay for developing compelling features, when in reality it is compelling features that drive the sales. And if you're getting frustrated at the people who are willing to dive in at this stage, you're going to be very disappointed when you see how the general public react.

What I'd suggest (and I'm retreading what others have said, but just wanted to reiterate):

  • Fix your tutorials. Ideally test them on a few new people and see how it goes. You can't complain at players for only playing for 10 minutes. You need to make it worth their time.
  • Improve your website - it looks a bit outdated and gives the impression that the game is more amateurish than it really is. At a minimum I'd suggest switching from a non-default font, and putting an eye-catching image front and centre on the landing page. Your Buy Now link is also not that prominent, and once clicked I then have to scroll down 2 pages on the next page to find any sort of button to click. You need to streamline this flow. Ideally you'd also get a native English speaker to go over your text and improve it as well. (Your English is much better than my German, but promotional text needs to be great.)
  • Decide what extra 'polish' you need and work on it. Nobody buys an ugly game on the assumption it will become beautiful later. This goes for features as much as visuals.
  • Effective marketing costs money. Without money you're relying on lucky marketing, and that's not wise. News sites aren't going to be interested unless you have a unique hook to talk about. Streamers want to know that the game will be fun and interesting for their viewers (and not be told "you cannot expect that much from a game that is in development") Top-end streamers aren't going to touch your game without being paid anyway. Really you want to be improving your promotional materials, then spending a bit on targeted advertising, and maybe thinking about finding an indie games PR company that can do something within your budget. If you insist on doing it all for free then you just have to put in the legwork - search for streamers and influencers, and go through one by one until you find the ones that are likely to play your game, and hope for the best.
  • Ditch the idea of launching in 2 weeks. You're not ready, and you only get one launch. Decide on a plan for all the things you think you need to do to be competitive PLUS any extra marketing, schedule that, and launch at the end.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Here's the problem - you're expecting to have the game sales pay for developing compelling features, when in reality it is compelling features that drive the sales.

There are compelling features, the story lines are a unique feature that you won't find in any other voxel game, at least not in an open world. Smaller blocks alone are a feature cool enough to make some people buy the game.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

And if you're getting frustrated at the people who are willing to dive in at this stage, you're going to be very disappointed when you see how the general public react.

I'm not getting that frustrated normally, I'm just really stressed right now. Well, it's better than yesterday now.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Fix your tutorials. Ideally test them on a few new people and see how it goes. You can't complain at players for only playing for 10 minutes. You need to make it worth their time.

My tutorials are good enough. They will be improved later but you already have so many possibilities that it's hard to tell people what they can do without overwhelming them with text.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Improve your website - it looks a bit outdated and gives the impression that the game is more amateurish than it really is. At a minimum I'd suggest switching from a non-default font, and putting an eye-catching image front and centre on the landing page. Your Buy Now link is also not that prominent, and once clicked I then have to scroll down 2 pages on the next page to find any sort of button to click.

Not sure what you mean. To me and other people I've asked, the website looks good. And you have to scroll 1/2 page on the shop page to find they buy button - and that's only because it's an in-development game and I have to inform people about that prominently. For comparison, it's only 1/4 page more to scroll than on Steam.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Decide what extra 'polish' you need and work on it. Nobody buys an ugly game on the assumption it will become beautiful later. This goes for features as much as visuals.

What do I need? I don't think there is anything I can do to improve the looks of it in two weeks.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Effective marketing costs money. Without money you're relying on lucky marketing, and that's not wise. News sites aren't going to be interested unless you have a unique hook to talk about. Streamers want to know that the game will be fun and interesting for their viewers (and not be told "you cannot expect that much from a game that is in development") Top-end streamers aren't going to touch your game without being paid anyway. Really you want to be improving your promotional materials, then spending a bit on targeted advertising, and maybe thinking about finding an indie games PR company that can do something within your budget. If you insist on doing it all for free then you just have to put in the legwork - search for streamers and influencers, and go through one by one until you find the ones that are likely to play your game, and hope for the best. 

That is the tricky part. I do have something really unique, but how do I get people to see the possibilities that such features offer, both now and for the future? I think in the beginning I should focus on saying that I'm a single developer so people think that I've really achieved something and support me instead of the game (or both).

I now have a plan for compensating the big streamers though, they simply get a percentage of the sales. In fact, anyone can get that, not only big streamers.

38 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

Ditch the idea of launching in 2 weeks. You're not ready, and you only get one launch. Decide on a plan for all the things you think you need to do to be competitive PLUS any extra marketing, schedule that, and launch at the end.

No. I need money. Besides that, it's not a launch, it's an "Early Access" launch - and technically not even that because I've already launched it on Steam over a year ago. It is more like an update - but a really large one.

Edited by Magogan

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Just curiosity, how much money do you need from the "Early Access" launch?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, hyyou said:

Just curiosity, how much money do you need from the "Early Access" launch?

Between €100,000 and €10,000,000. Depending on how much I make, I will add more or less content. I still plan to add all the features though, the amount of money I make will just influence the time it takes to implement them.

So I need to get about 5000 players at least. That should not be completely impossible.

I am pretty confident that it will work. The game got good reviews (75% positive) back in 2018 and it was barely anything back then. I have added new planets, villages, storylines and much more in the meantime.

Edited by Magogan

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A typical game on Steam only sells 1000 copies in the first month, and numbers drop significantly after that. Most likely you will need to revise your expectations.

 

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7 minutes ago, Kylotan said:

A typical game on Steam only sells 1000 copies in the first month, and numbers drop significantly after that. Most likely you will need to revise your expectations.

It is neither a Steam game nor typical. What even is a "typical Steam game"?

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1 hour ago, Magogan said:

Between €100,000 and €10,000,000. Depending on how much I make, I will add more or less content. I still plan to add all the features though, the amount of money I make will just influence the time it takes to implement them.

You really need to get a marketing budget together and proper people to promote your game. Polish aside, you're going to have to throw a lot of money into generating exposure if you hope to make that kind of money.

How many people that reviewed your game in 2018 are still playing?

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1 minute ago, Rutin said:

You really need to get a marketing budget together and proper people to promote your game. Polish aside, you're going to have to throw a lot of money into generating exposure if you hope to make that kind of money.

I know. I can invest some of the money I make with the game into marketing.

1 minute ago, Rutin said:

How many people that reviewed your game in 2018 are still playing?

Of the 12 people? Maybe 2-3? I don't know. Keep in mind it looked really bad, so sales were low.

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Hi, i'm interested in playing your game, at the moment i have a few questions

Can i buy the game right now ? or do i need to wait until the 2 August ?

How much will it cost ?

Do you have a forum or Discord/Slack/etc. to find the community ?

 

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