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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)
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Author Topic: MASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)  (Read 46218 times)
marcgfx
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« Reply #440 on: October 26, 2015, 03:08:51 PM »

he was very, very detailed about everything he did, but you will have to dig it out of this devlog... it's worth it!
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@falkenbrew
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« Reply #441 on: October 26, 2015, 04:20:44 PM »

Hey, I was wondering if you would mind sharing what exactly you did to get press coverage. Did you just send out press reports, or did you do other stuff like actually calling press places?

he was very, very detailed about everything he did, but you will have to dig it out of this devlog... it's worth it!

Basically what marcgfx said. It's all in the devlog. But to speed up your search, after getting feedback from users on TIG, here was the press release I sent:

http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45372.msg1185567#msg1185567

I sent around 350-400 emails (about half to press sites that include a focus on PC) and the rest to YouTubers that I thought may have an interest.

Over the whole game I sent 1 press release for the trailer & release date (almost no coverage), 1 press release announcing with the keys and review details (almost no coverage) and 1 press release almost a week after the game was out where I leveraged the positive initial user reviews and a couple reviews I had received to help encourage them to cover it. That seemed to work and led to the press from Polygon, Rockpapershotgun and others.  

So the challenge is you need coverage to get coverage... Catch 22 at its finest. Im sure if the game wasnt getting the positive early reviews from users then the follow-up press release would have gotten no response.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 04:53:05 AM by oldblood » Logged

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« Reply #442 on: October 27, 2015, 07:21:07 AM »

All in all, are you happy as to how things turned out?

Do you have any ideas as to what your next game will be?
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« Reply #443 on: October 28, 2015, 01:08:18 PM »


Sorry, I figured you might have, but I didn't want to dig through the devlog to find it :/.
Thanks for the link!
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #444 on: October 30, 2015, 02:47:07 AM »

I'm terribly interested in how the Steam Halloween Sale is affecting your numbers. Very positively, I hope! Have many of your wishlisters 'converted'?

My game was released in August, and hasn't had a chance to partake of any sale, the Halloween one requiring some level of spooky that I have assumed The Cat Machine does not possess, so I'll be very interested in hearing what you have learnt.
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oldblood
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« Reply #445 on: October 30, 2015, 04:49:18 AM »

Do you have any ideas as to what your next game will be?

Yeah I've got some ideas but nothing concrete. I know whatever I work on next will be more "commercial" (whatever that means) or at least have a broader audience but I will definitely try to keep the gritty atmosphere to whatever I do next. I'm also tempted to try and do something with a bigger scope but that's always risky... I likely won't dive too far into anything during the end of the year (holidays, travel, still recovering etc). So maybe launch on the 1 year anniversary of starting this devlog? We'll see...

I'm terribly interested in how the Steam Halloween Sale is affecting your numbers. Very positively, I hope! Have many of your wishlisters 'converted'?

My game was released in August, and hasn't had a chance to partake of any sale, the Halloween one requiring some level of spooky that I have assumed The Cat Machine does not possess, so I'll be very interested in hearing what you have learnt.

Well, Steam had a lot of issues with the Halloween sale launch. The sales were applied to all the games but only like 50 games (of the probably 500+) that are on sale were included in the list of games that are being promoted when you click on the big Halloween Sale banner. While this was probably great coverage for that small group-- it sucked for everyone else. Valve was apparently manually adding everyone back in and Masochisia didn't appear in the list of Halloween games till either super late last night or early this morning so Day 1 of the sale didn't see a big spike in views although we did see some sales.

I'm also not doing a huge discount (15%) cause its been less than a month since the game came out so that may also keep the overall sales down a bit. I will be (hopefully) doing a post-mortem in November around a month after launch so I will eventually share the Halloween sale stats.

As far as your game and sales: (Based on other games I've been involved with on Steam) I would definitely expect boosts for the Thanksgiving & Christmas sales. Those typically do really well and a lot of patient people wait for those two sales to buy games for the whole year so you can definitely expect some traction.
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« Reply #446 on: October 30, 2015, 06:39:58 AM »

Wow, it's released, congrats! Trailer is really creepy, it made me feel kinda uncomfortable. Music fits perfectly.
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blekdar
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« Reply #447 on: October 30, 2015, 07:48:03 AM »

Quote
As far as your game and sales: (Based on other games I've been involved with on Steam) I would definitely expect boosts for the Thanksgiving & Christmas sales. Those typically do really well and a lot of patient people wait for those two sales to buy games for the whole year so you can definitely expect some traction.

Funny you mention this, at the rate I'm going it looks like Blitz is going to be an early December release. Now, I guess this could be a really good thing or make no difference at all, but I may be able to just ride the initial discount through the winter sale.

I hope you see some decent results from the halloween sale, it's such a neat project and deserves more attention.
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« Reply #448 on: October 30, 2015, 08:59:26 AM »

Well, Steam had a lot of issues with the Halloween sale launch. The sales were applied to all the games but only like 50 games (of the probably 500+) that are on sale were included in the list of games that are being promoted when you click on the big Halloween Sale banner.

I noticed that actually and got very confused when I didn't see Masochisia anywhere when I first browsed through the horror tag in the Halloween Sale. Silly Steam.
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Zizka
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« Reply #449 on: November 02, 2015, 06:47:26 AM »

Looking back, it'd be interesting if you could write a follow-up about the whole experience. What you learned, what you thought worked, what could have been done differently.

I'm talking about the game here, not the marketing.

I check steam every day or so to read the reviews and I think there's a lot of content there. I'm wondering what's your position about the comments made there.

Did you like your experience through steam and its community?
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oldblood
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« Reply #450 on: November 02, 2015, 12:12:31 PM »

DEVLOG 84.

I will try to keep this pretty short, but just wanted to share some quick glances at sales data & thoughts on October sales and how things went with the Halloween sale on Steam.

For those wondering, I will be planning on doing a post-mortem of the game as a final devlog, hope to do that this week. So don't expect these devlogs to keep coming for Masochisia, it's about time for this devlog to die but I wanted to be sure to include some "post-launch" devlogs to help give everyone some insight into how the game is doing now that it's been out for awhile.

***

First things first, the Steam Halloween Sale...

As mentioned above, there was a glitch with the Halloween sale at launch where hardly any games were actually tagged for Halloween sale promotion (even though the sales discount worked) so this resulted in almost no real exposure on the first day of the sale for most participating games. The game still sold, but it was overall the slowest sales day of the event. Overall, the game sold just a hair under 150 copies over the course of the sale. I was expecting the game would sell something in the range of 200 but hoped it would be closer to 300+ copies. So it was pretty close to my expectations but came in just a bit short (perhaps some attributed to the muted launch).

Interestingly, of the 150 or so copies sold during the sale, only about 65 were from Wishlists and my number of Wishlisted users actually increased by almost 200. Wishlist data continues to be a giant cock-tease that provides almost no illumination... The total number of wishlists (not including those who purchased the game) is 4,635 users.

Overall, that pushes the October sales to almost exactly 700 copies and I'm sitting at just 750 copies at this moment overall. If you reference my previous posts, that's fairly close to what I alluded to. I suggested I may hit 750-1,000 copies in October but I came up a tad light there. I can't complain about the numbers those, my projections were based on how the game was doing at the time and I hoped we'd do a little bit better at the Halloween Sale than the game ended up achieving (see above comments which would have put us pretty squarely where I anticipated I'd be).

Worth noting the Halloween sale was 15% which was generally pretty light compared to most Steam Halloween sales. I expect the fact I wont be aggressively discounting Masochisia during the major sales the rest of this year may generally keep my sales numbers a bit on the conservative side.

There were returns too. About 2% return rate on the game with 16 returns for refunds thus far. I've shown the break-down below with a few comments from users who refunded:


No comment regarding these comments...

Refunds are a part of Steam data now so its important to include them for reference. I get the feeling that 2-3% return rate on games is pretty common and if you're selling a game on Steam, you should probably expect to see that percentage bounce back...

Worth noting that last comment means he played the whole game, didn't like how it ended and got his money back. Does that suck? Yup.

You can't please everyone. Just know that.

For those interested in country-specific data (for localization purposes), here is a breakdown of the top 5 countries who've purchased Masochisia:

1. United States (About 50% of all sales)
2. United Kingdom
3. Russian Federation
4. Germany
5. Canada

The difference between #2 United Kingdom and #5 Canada is 9 copies so its a pretty even spread across the major countries outside of the United States.

Let me know if you have questions...
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« Reply #451 on: November 02, 2015, 01:06:47 PM »

Just wanted to stop by and say I really appreciate all these breakdowns you've been doing. This kind of transparency is super interesting and very valuable to see, so really, thanks so much for being open about it.

Also, it's really too bad to hear about that day 1 sale glitch. Hopefully the promotion you did get will keep your numbers up for a bit in the sale's wake.
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Xonatron
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« Reply #452 on: November 02, 2015, 01:07:33 PM »

Does the game create random files on the user's computer to scare them?
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Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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« Reply #453 on: November 02, 2015, 01:40:57 PM »

Just wanted to stop by and say I really appreciate all these breakdowns you've been doing. This kind of transparency is super interesting and very valuable to see, so really, thanks so much for being open about it.

Thanks, hoping it encourages other devs to be open. It helps everyone the more open we all are with what we're doing and how its being received.

Does the game create random files on the user's computer to scare them?

To respond to a few of those refund comments:
1. There is plenty of warning. You're warned before you visit the steam page, then again when youre on the steam page and again before you play the game. I'd call that "sufficient warning" its dark. Not sure what else they need...
2. There are no "satanic themes", ritualistic Christian themes? Yes.
3. Yes, the game does leave letters (text files) on your computer desktop as you play. Most users love it, but some make a big stink about it. You can't please everyone, I assume people like that are just wanting an excuse to get a refund... There's nothing "random" to it, its same files types in the same location and calling it "files" is semi-misleading as its just .txt notes. Not an application or executable.

I think some people do get legit scared the game is malicious because of the game's ending (which is semi-intentional). I wont spoil the ending but basically the game goes rogue on the player and then fucks with the player so I can see why some people assume the game may actually be malicious... but 98% of them realize its a game...

...It's a good thing I didn't implement a lot of the stuff I wanted to. Get the feeling people would have broken their computers.
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alvarop
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« Reply #454 on: November 02, 2015, 01:51:48 PM »

There's nothing you can do about people being idiots, not even warn them.
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« Reply #455 on: November 02, 2015, 01:55:53 PM »

I can understand some getting upset over random files, depending on the location.

Where do you place them? (EDIT: You said you leave them on the desktop.)

The idea from their defense would be it is THEIR computer, not yours. (Have you heard "It's MY computer!"? I think Steve Gibson coined that, the first person to catch spyware and write an anti-spyware utility.)

The idea again is software does not have the right to mess with our computers, only a restricted privilege where we remain in control. Certain software breaks this privilege.

In this light, I would consider some of the negative feedback as being legit. This is assuming the files you leave are harmless, which I am positive they are.

All in all, it is an interesting idea. I could see it working a lot better in years past on old DOS machines, before these moral guidelines were set.
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Matthew Doucette, Xona Games
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« Reply #456 on: November 03, 2015, 02:08:21 AM »

I would be really bummed out if I got refunds where people played it through and didn't like it, that feels like abuse of the system. Not going to hop onto the alarmist bandwagon that the new refund system will harm short games overall, but it's sad to see that the arbitrary time limit can easily be exploited for shorter games.

Though, regarding the file, or rather the .txt documents I think it has more to do with the magic circle, the area of play where the player is in that mindset. The player might trust you that you will only take them to a trip inside of the executable. Sort of like that you don't expect to get visited at home by dressed up ghosts after you've returned from a haunted house in an amusement park. My point being that this is probably not a rational response that it's a virus but an emotional response to a break in trust, and using virus/malware as a way to illustrate that.

As far as I know you don't mention that you will get messages outside of the game at the store page. When I first tried your beta I already knew about this feature and I felt a pleasant chilling effect when I found them. I'm not so sure I'd appreciate them as much if I didn't know that the game would somehow break the fourth wall outside of the game. But then, if you mention it perhaps the effect would be limited for some. Can't comment on the ending since I haven't played it all through yet.

I think this has more to do with setting expectations rather than the feature itself. I would advise that you give some kind of foreshadowing on the store page.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #457 on: November 03, 2015, 02:21:17 AM »


I think this has more to do with setting expectations rather than the feature itself. I would advise that you give some kind of foreshadowing on the store page.

I think that's a very tough line to balance on. You don't want to say "oh, by the way, at the end of the game there's this thing where the game sorta overflows onto your desktop" because by warning people you also take away from the effect that it's meant to produce, which would undermine the whole thing.

Which is why I personally wouldn't add that sort of feature to a game, were I working on a horror title. It feels like it steps 'outside' the accepted restraints of any piece of software.

Very interesting to hear the numbers on the Halloween sale. I've got similar thoughts on wishlists, I'm not sure it means much until the game is 90% or more off.
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« Reply #458 on: November 03, 2015, 02:43:13 AM »


I think this has more to do with setting expectations rather than the feature itself. I would advise that you give some kind of foreshadowing on the store page.

I think that's a very tough line to balance on. You don't want to say "oh, by the way, at the end of the game there's this thing where the game sorta overflows onto your desktop" because by warning people you also take away from the effect that it's meant to produce, which would undermine the whole thing.

Which is why I personally wouldn't add that sort of feature to a game, were I working on a horror title. It feels like it steps 'outside' the accepted restraints of any piece of software.


Yes, I agree there's hardly any precedent in commercial games, and not only horror but games as a cultural phenomenon at large imo. Games like Eternal Darkness pulled your leg like deleting your save files (and then showing that it was just an illusion) but nothing ever happened on the GameCube itself.

And you might be right, perhaps you can't really solve it. Though I had something in mind like this:

"Masochisia is an unsettling game that will take you on a dark trip inside and outside of the game."

It doesn't say what or when, but gives the player some kind of warning.

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« Reply #459 on: November 03, 2015, 03:37:19 AM »

I'd hazard a guess and say that if the text files were generated in a more "game-specific" path (like Documents\My Games\Masochisia or the Steam game file path) it will be perceived as less intrusive, but that would require the game to pop-up the folder window when it closes or something like that, so it might not work as well/spook people to the same extent.

For some it's also very easy to overlook new files on desktop due to it being crowded and disorganized. I sometimes have trouble finding my own files on it...
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