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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 47727 times)
Xonatron
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« Reply #460 on: November 03, 2015, 04:45:23 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.

My games are short-length shmups with long replayability. I wonder how such games do on this new system, assuming the game is great (to take that out of the equation).
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« Reply #461 on: November 03, 2015, 05:19:44 AM »

I think Masochisia has partly been about exploring new territory beyond the usual boundaries. It would have been naive to think that this would go without any resistance from more conservative people.

With so many crapware around, it's not surprising that people are very suspicious when something shows up out of the blue (especially a text file!). So I can understand people being upset about this. It's not a completely random reaction.

The question is, is it worth it? Does it add enough to the game to warrant having this feature? If commercially speaking this leads to problems, it's a tough decision to make, you can't have your cake and eat it too. I guess it depends on your priorities.

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oldblood
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« Reply #462 on: November 03, 2015, 06:11:31 AM »

You guys have a lot of great feedback. For me at the moment, I'm not sure warning about the game breaking barriers with the player will benefit the game much. The store page does say that it is an "experimental" horror game but that's as much as it says. I think saying much else will spoil it for whoever may enjoy it.

Should I have done it? Maybe. Maybe not. But this game (from day 1) was about bending the rules of what a horror game does. I also didn't originally plan on selling it. It was a big experiment game as the game tries to push the player with the content the entire time to force you into feeling on edge before the ending kinda just spins out of control... I do think anyone planning on getting really experimental with features should take note though that it can cause some back-lash.

I think the issue with the text files on the desktop is confounded by the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) the game breaks the 4th wall throughout but begins addressing the player directly before the end AND once the game ends, the game continues to talk to you when you're back on your desktop (or anywhere on your computer for that matter). I think the game appearing to have "Quit" but still actually talking to you is messing with people and then add onto that: (1.) the game insinuating it knows you and will be watching you as it talks to you over your computer (2.) letters from the game on your desktop = a small minority of players getting thrown off their proverbial rockers...

In Summary:

I wouldn't say its a "huge" issue, as I said- its 2% return rate which I'm assuming is probably fairly normal. I would also counter-act that a LOT of the very positive reviews I've had one Steam came from people who thought the game's ending was one of the coolest things they'd ever experienced in a horror game so... While a small percentage seems to freak out, most of them "get it" and thought it was something unique and cool.

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.

Yeah, that's more disappointing but nothing I can do (and I knew going into it that it could be exploited due to its length). But only 16 refunds out of 750 sales, so I can't complain too loudly. I think if your game doesn't connect with the audience though, that number could be a lot higher...
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« Reply #463 on: November 03, 2015, 06:15:03 AM »

a small minority of players getting thrown off their proverbial rockers...

There's always going to be those conspiracy theorists haha.
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« Reply #464 on: November 03, 2015, 02:02:46 PM »

Everyone knew that this would happen sooner or later, people getting refunds after beating the game, but it's still disheartening to see it actually happening.

Way too many people on Steam already equate length of time spent = value for your money, which is a mindset I could never get behind, and it really doesn't help that Steam's refund system only seems to reenforce that.
I really wish Steam had a system where when you complete a game that it bars anyone from getting a refund regardless of how long you've played it. It's even feasible to implement because Steam already has a tracker for how many games who've finished. Though, then we face the problem that some devs will try to exploit it (bugs that trigger the ending way sooner, making super, super short games on purpose, etc.), not to mention that some games that are very short but have a high replayability might need special treatment and we're already sliding down a slippery slope before the discussion can get off the ground. Not to mention, regardless of what conclusion we or anyone else might come to, the ball's in Steam's court.

Steam being Steam, any statistics about refunds is hard to come by, but 2% does seem like a good refund rate. But there's really no point in dwelling on it. Ah well, I'm probably only beating a dead horse by lenghtening the discussion at this point.

Anyway, I hope you can get (or have gotten) some well-deserved rest from all this. If we just sum up every critique the game has gotten and gloss over the details, the universal complaint about the game, seems to be "it wasn't to my taste", which is just par for the course in my opinion, and all things considered, that's probably the best outcome for a universal complaint to get.
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« Reply #465 on: November 04, 2015, 02:08:32 AM »

I like the idea of the Steam refund system. I never used it, but i could use it if i purchased a game which does not run on my machine properly. So it's good to have the system. There will always be idiots, which use it for the wrong reasons. I don't know what's going on in their mind. It's like buying food, eating a big part (or all) of it and saying "it did not taste good, i won't pay for this"... It's a waste of time to think about it. Maybe they would not have bought the game without the refund system at all. Who knows.
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oldblood
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« Reply #466 on: November 11, 2015, 06:42:43 AM »

DEVLOG 85.

This is the end...

My last devlog post for Masochisia. In some ways, feels like I just started the devlog a few weeks ago. Other parts of me feel like it's been going for years. Thank you to everyone whose chimed in over the last 10+ months of the development. I appreciate all the support and encouragement I've received from everyone.

I had a really long post-mortem that I was working on putting onto the forums here but (you know me) it was getting pretty verbose so I figured I'd just put it up into a Gamasutra blog to make it easier to share and to not fill up 5 screens on the devlog.

You can check out my post-mortem of Masochisia here:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JonOldblood/20151110/258164/PostMortem_Masochisia_2D_Narrative_Horror.php

If you've followed the devlog, you probably won't be too surprised or shocked about anything in the post-mortem.

I think overall, the game's development cycle went pretty smooth. There was hiccups and delays throughout the development, but overall- things moved pretty quickly and nothing really sidelined me enough to ever stop development. In fact, I think it will be hard to replicate the success I had in moving through a games development so quickly. It was pretty draining to move through a game that quickly while still working outside of the game.

If you're particularly bored, there is an hour long (yes 1 hour long) audio interview I had with OPNoobs...

You can watch/listen to that here:



They ask a LOT of questions about Masochisia so if you're curious about some of my more personal thoughts about the game, you can give it a listen. I was a bit skeptical about doing any interviews on the game cause I'd rather not answer questions about it (let people make up there own minds) and I can be a bit awkward but... They asked a lot of good (and personal) questions and I ended up enjoying the experience.

Fair warning... I talk a lot (but they ask a lot of questions).

So what happens next?

I've been throwing around ideas for a new game that may be slightly more "commercially focused" and probably larger in scope than what I did with Masochisia. I find both of those aspects to be a bit intimidating but I like to push myself and that seems like that could be a logical next step.

I've been asked if I was going to make more games in the same vein and style as Masochisia and while I may revisit the style and themes in the future, it's challenging to sustain yourself on niche' games. I may want to revisit it all at some point, but I definitely would like to take a "step back" from the darker content for a bit as it can be a bit depressing to work on for an extended period of time.

Small note, I will probably also be working with other people on whatever I do next. With the scope increasing, I will probably need to partner up with a few other developers.

Currently I'm just sort of documenting notes on what I'd like to accomplish or do in my next game but it's very, very early in so I likely won't get too far into development until we're past the holidays and into the new year (as I don't want to get deep into things during some of the busiest times of the year). Once I've got notes figured out, I will definitely start a new devlog sometime in 2016 so I will be around...
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #467 on: November 11, 2015, 07:00:07 AM »

Looking forward to seeing what you cook up next! But yes, do rest for now.
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Zizka
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« Reply #468 on: November 11, 2015, 08:12:15 AM »

As mentioned on twitter, I could, if you're interested, mention that I thought went wrong with the game. That is the not to say the game itself went wrong but elements of it that I think might have been done differently for a better end result. I'm asking for your permission here because now that the game is finished, I'm not sure if you can still be bothered with it.

Also, as it's critcism, I don't want to come across as being negative or bringing down your work or nothing like that. If you think that getting criticism might trigger this reaction, I'll keep my opinions to myself an leave it at that.

Just being upfront about this before I proceed and asking for your permission as well.
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #469 on: November 11, 2015, 08:18:11 AM »

Your next one should have pink unicorns and rainbows! Wink I am sure you'll keep hanging around here.

Best.
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oldblood
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« Reply #470 on: November 11, 2015, 08:20:47 AM »

Looking forward to seeing what you cook up next! But yes, do rest for now.

Thanks so much!

Just being upfront about this before I proceed and asking for your permission as well.

You don't have to ask my permission to give feedback haha. Even if the game is done, its always good to hear for future reference...

Your next one should have pink unicorns and rainbows! Wink I am sure you'll keep hanging around here.

Have you been reading my notes for the new game?!
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« Reply #471 on: November 11, 2015, 08:41:15 AM »

Both the article on Gamasutra and the interview you did were very interesting! I did wonder whether "Oldblood" was your actual name or just a pseudonym and now I have my answer, haha.

Good luck with your next game! I'll be looking forward to the devlog.
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« Reply #472 on: November 11, 2015, 08:54:06 AM »

Looking forward to your next devlog !
I hope that in 2016 i'll be able to make a great devlog and game as you did this year!
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« Reply #473 on: November 11, 2015, 09:18:29 AM »

I'm glad you're satisfied with how it has done. I wonder if once a developer encounters some success, it's far easier to build on that the next-time around. I hope so!

You mention in your post-mortem that you wish you had done more marketing. For your next game, what might that look like? After all, you uploaded the trailer, and emailed literally hundreds of websites for the release, is there anything specific you'll do for the next project?

I'm going to miss this devlog! Looking forward to your next project.
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« Reply #474 on: November 11, 2015, 11:21:13 AM »

On second thought, I'll keep my criticism for myself, there'd be no point anyway.

I'll miss this devlog but I know you'll work on something next so I'll just follow you on the next log anyway.

It sure was informative around here.
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oldblood
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« Reply #475 on: November 11, 2015, 12:14:06 PM »

I'm glad you're satisfied with how it has done. I wonder if once a developer encounters some success, it's far easier to build on that the next-time around. I hope so!

You mention in your post-mortem that you wish you had done more marketing. For your next game, what might that look like? After all, you uploaded the trailer, and emailed literally hundreds of websites for the release, is there anything specific you'll do for the next project?

I'm going to miss this devlog! Looking forward to your next project.

Regarding that first point you made, I agree and hope that is the case. Masochisia hasn't exactly developed a big following, but I think it definitely helps to have a small crowd who've played and enjoyed your previous work. Definitely can't hurt...

As far as what other marketing I should be using, that I need to figure out haha. I know that I really didn't put any focus on it for a long time during Masochisia's development which made it hard to push at the end- but figuring out what I could have done earlier is the challenge.

I'm actually inspired by your video logs, could be an interesting new thing to try with the devlog. I don't think streaming would work for me as my schedule for when I work is just too weird to know how to schedule that. I do think I definitely need more promotional videos and trailers that allow me to contact press much sooner. Announcement trailer, greenlight trailer, release trailer etc. Perhaps lets play videos later in the development. Will need to get creative and just generally be more active in that from an earlier stage.

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« Reply #476 on: November 11, 2015, 02:08:33 PM »

More gifs, gif is the new video, and it's incredibly easy to record (GifCam). Smiley

It was a very cool devlog, even if the game is not the kind of game i would play, personally.

Thanks for sharing!
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« Reply #477 on: November 12, 2015, 03:27:22 AM »

Congrats again on finishing this, it was a pleasure to follow along and still impressed with your organisation in finishing something you set out to do in such a short time. The gamasutra article was a nice final piece on the whole process so was nice to read what you think went right and wrong.

I still have the game waiting to play on my steam account but just haven't had anytime with work and other crazy life things happening in the last month that haven't put me in the right mood to play this type of game. Still looking forward to getting the chance to play it soon though and when I do I'll definitely be letting you know on twitter.

Looking forward to your next project.
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« Reply #478 on: November 12, 2015, 06:50:21 AM »

DEVLOG 85.Small note, I will probably also be working with other people on whatever I do next. With the scope increasing, I will probably need to partner up with a few other developers.

I think that's a good idea. I've seen that some indie devs manage on their own for bigger projects that takes years but, I prefer to create with others. It's as the animation director Fyodor Khitruk said in a documentary:

"You don't have to create by yourself, fortunately, because to make a film by yourself is to be prey to doubts."


Though, when working with others you've to find a theme that resonates with everyone, that can be trickier to be "true to self" but very rewarding when your ideas finally gel! Looking forward to see what you're going for next.
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oldblood
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« Reply #479 on: November 12, 2015, 08:17:39 AM »

More gifs, gif is the new video, and it's incredibly easy to record (GifCam). Smiley

Thanks for all the feedback you've shared btw even though it wasn't a game you were really interested in. And I agree, GIF's are a big part of promotion these days. For Masochisia, gifs don't really help too much but yeah- excellent point.

Congrats again on finishing this, it was a pleasure to follow along and still impressed with your organisation in finishing something you set out to do in such a short time. The gamasutra article was a nice final piece on the whole process so was nice to read what you think went right and wrong.

Thanks again for all the support man!

I think that's a good idea. I've seen that some indie devs manage on their own for bigger projects that takes years but, I prefer to create with others.

Yeah I will be the first to admit that I can dabble in a lot of things, but there are lots of things I'm simply not that great at and I need to surround myself with a few other people who can fill some of those gaps (technical, artistic, animation etc.). Especially if I work on something bigger in scope next. I can't work on the same project for 2-3 years, just not hard-wired for that.

I've worked in other teams before, very different than working on a personal project but it wont be anything too "new" for me. I feel like I'm pretty decent at naturally taking that sort of Producer role, I'm pretty organized and focused on details, schedules and being that liaison between art & technical perspectives.

Right now I'm just kinda taking notes on what I'd like to do next and will probably eventually pitch the idea to a few dev friends and see what sticks.
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