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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSuper Toaster X: Learn Japanese RPG: Devlog 99: Resource Management
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LobsterSundew
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« Reply #780 on: October 21, 2016, 11:45:32 PM »

15 backers are currently pledging $510 (4.25%).

About campaign performance:

Here are updated graphs:
http://i.imgur.com/mDxuFLe.png

There was a new $10 tier backer on Monday October 17th. The campaign has now stalled. It has been 4 days without any backer activity.

On Monday, BackerTracker showed a trend to $972 (8.1%) and Kicktraq showed $2,380 (19%) on Monday. On Wednesday, BackerTracker showed $905 (7.5%) and Kicktraq showed $1,785 (14%). BackerTracker currently shows $722 (6.4%). Kicktraq currently shows $1,298 (10%). The campaign might not raise much over what it currently has. Stalled campaigns often just stop experiencing backer activity.

The number of views in the project creator dashboard is one of the best metrics for how much attention the project received with what little exposure happened before the project was buried.

The general pattern on Kickstarter is that many campaigns fail to gain significant traction or greatly smash their minimum funding goals or barely raise over 100% to 120%. One reason for the lack of a middle-ground BeautifulGlitch mentioned is because once a campaign gets close enough, more people start chipping in. I get to watch pledge upgrades happening through my graphs. Getting close enough to 100% means pledge upgrading can fill in the missing amount. The ones that barely raise over 100% often crossed the 100% funded milestone right near the end of their campaigns. After reaching 100% through pledge upgrading, those backers often don't push much further because they already strained themselves to get the campaign over its minimum funding goal. Campaigns with self-boosting happening actually start losing progress after reaching their minimum funding goals. The self-boosting pledges get rolled back over the time remaining, but not rolled back enough to dip the campaign below 100%.

There is the option to cancel, but there aren't penalties for letting an unsuccessful campaign hit its deadline. The scope of the project updates could be reduced and the campaign allowed to coast. An active campaign can provide value through ways like accumulating feedback or interacting with supporters.

About within Kickstarter:

Super Toaster X was 47th in popularity for the category on Monday. It has dropped to 64th on Wednesay. It is currently ranked 91st out of 154 active projects.

LOST EMBER continues to dominate the category. The creator of Exploding Kittens has returned with Bears vs Babies. An Undertale art book project has done well.

Even if Super Toaster X started to recover, the campaign would be competing with other struggling campaigns. It is approaching the end of October. This means many 30 day campaigns that launched around the end of September are starting to end.

TINY METAL canceled itself.
http://i.imgur.com/6y3hah4.png
Sulphur Nimbus: Hel's Exlixir was funded thanks to large pledges on the final day.
http://i.imgur.com/NcC1bIB.png
SOS Atlas also had large pledges get it over 100%.
http://i.imgur.com/qpEWBYx.png
Court of the Dead: Underworld Rising canceled itself.
http://i.imgur.com/sPh8TiU.png
Astronaut: The Best had too little too late.
http://i.imgur.com/PRpdC6d.png

The "empty pub" problem is real on Kickstarter. There've been many projects I would've pledged to during their final countdowns, but I realize their is little chance of them getting funded.

About outside Kickstarter:

The flagship AAA marketing campaigns for games like Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 are increasing in intensity. PlayStation VR had a good launch. Red Dead Redemption 2 had a teaser trailer.

The big news was the Nintendo Switch reveal.

About the project page:

When I hover my mouse over the Windows version link for the demo, there a dropbox link as the destination. This also happens for the Mac version. Hovering over the Linux build link I see the Kickstarter project URL as the destination. Copy and pasted (instead of clicking) the Linux build link works.

About marketing:

The word "marketing" has become a vague umbrella term. While many people relate marketing with promotion and building relationships as others have mentioned, it also relates to shaping the product to fit a market. Shaping can actually be the more important part of marketing. Hollywood adaptations of books or making Dead Space 3 a co-op game are examples of when shaping can go wrong in corporate settings.

Branding like Beats headphones (as Zizka mentioned) or Monster HDMI cables prey upon uninformed consumers. The shaping of the product can be for the benefit of the consumers. Instead of manipulating or misleading people into purchasing a product forced upon them, a product is created that is demand.

01: There might be message problems. This is communicating what the game is. This is about benefits, emotional hooks and decision-making information. This can drive away press.

02: There might be problems fitting a market. This can be problems with how the game is shaped. This is about consumers' needs, content and demand.

03: There is an awareness problem. This is about people learning the game exists. It also relates to if they will promote the game to others.

Super Toaster X has a mix of those 3 problems above. The awareness problem won't be easily solvable without dealing with the 2 other problems first.

Super Toaster X's market niche would be people wanting to learn Japanese. It is going to drive away people who don't want to learn Japanese as fall_ark's post shows. That is the type of trade-off going very niche results in. People wanting to learn Japanese through a video game would most likely be anime fans. The game does not feel like a game grown from anime fandom like the other similar learn Japanese games. There is less material for an anime fan to relate to.

Another point is how many people simply browsing the category need to learn Japanese? That narrows down the potential number of backers from Kickstarter. The video games category has many regular CRPG and point-and-click game fans, so there is an in-built audience for those games. Another issue is that projects have already come before that offer games to teach reading Japanese. Potential backers may already have one of the other games in this niche.

I've been consuming sci-fi anime since the early 2000s.
http://i.imgur.com/JrjGeiN.jpg
How I would benefit from playing Super Toaster X was finally getting around to learning hirigana. For spoken Japanese I've passively absorbed the language to already good enough to listen to a show in the background while I perform another task. If I did not want to learn hirigana, then I probably wouldn't have pledged.

About being contacted by "marketers":

Since 2013 the marketing "vultures" on Kickstarter has been a growing problem. There is a wide spectrum for what they do. Some take money and run. Others resell submissions to press release distribution. There isn't a wide spectrum for their results as the results are often non-existent. There is little they can really guarantee. Some use bots to inflate the metrics they do promise to hit, including the use of fake backer bots.

Don't expect legit marketers specializing in crowdfunding to approach you. They are busy enough. High-quality projects get referred to them through private networking. The legit ones won't bother once a campaign has launched. Most of what they can do to benefit a campaign has to happen before the campaign launches. I don't know of any that currently do video game projects. There are far easier categories for them to work.

Something to realize is that the pro marketers who are making a 8% to 11% cut off what fancy lamp projects raise have significant involvement in the presentation of a campaign. Often their services involve pitch video production and lots of copywriting. People messaging you through Kickstarter's messaging system aren't going to do 100 hours of work iterating a project page and setting up interviews with cable news networks.

Crowdfunding clients actually tick off many of the checklist items for what defines a poor PR clients to work with, so the best ones seem to eventually quit. They don't have much budget for ads, they don't have past successes, they are desperate and they have a limited amount of time to achieve results. If a PR firm works on a percentage, then only the large $100,000+ projects are worth their time investment. Many will want a minimum guarantee of payment larger than most indie game projects' budgets.

Why do people continue spamming then? Because they keep getting the occasional project creator who will pay. I've failed in the past to convince a project creator from spending $2,000 on what resulted in nothing. I've encountered maybe 2 others that spent a few hundred dollars. Desperate people aren't known for critical thinking.

Another thing is when project creators offer to swap pledges, the campaign with an earlier end-date has a significant advantage in the arrangement. They'll target older campaigns than theirs. They'll offer to pledge $10 to you if you pledge $10 to them and then they pull out if the old campaign is about to succeed.

About a lack of backers from TIGSource:

Many indie developers are depending too much on their devblogs as a means of generating followers, when this can be a very long process. Interacting with the public is a skill. It can improve with practice. Maintaining a devblog is great practice for eventually making posts like changelogs in patches, announcements or Kickstarter project updates. Developers learn how to accept criticism and praise. It can also be like a journal. TIGSource does not have the traffic like the large gaming news blogs or big Let's Players like PewDiePie can provide. Even with a great conversion rate of readers into backers, a fair-sized Kickstarter project would still need to seek out press.

Project creators are also surprised often by the lack of backers from /r/gamedev. Many indie developers do support other indie game developers, but something to realize is there are many indie developers in existence. There also is the scenario of struggling indie musicians trying to sell their CDs to other struggling musicians at the same event. An ecosystem like that isn't very sustainable.

What really surprises some project creators is the lack of pledges from close friends and family. That point has been raised in many post-mortems.

While a TIGSource devblog might not result in many backers, what can be more important is these can be backers in the early hours of a campaign. An early backer can be more beneficial than a backer later in the campaign for helping with project visibility.
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Zizka
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« Reply #781 on: October 22, 2016, 03:15:11 AM »

@bakkusa:
Quote
The part where you said that you don't understand that people don't have 99 cents to support your project(regarding oldblood 3rd paragraph), i just stopped listening because in your kickstarter page, you backed 0 projects.

With all due respect, if anything, you should've listened again Smiley. I don't mind you confronting (in fact, I like this about your interventions) but I do think you should be accurate when quoting things I've said, if only to make sure we're talking about the same thing.

So, to set things straight for other people involved:

1. It's at 5:09 that I talk about this in the audio, for reference..

2. At no point do I say "I don't understand people don't have 99 cents."

3. What I said is that "I don't have money for this" is an excuse, not the truth. One Canadian dollar is: 0,749906 US dollar. This is 75 cents (not 99).

The truth is that if a person doesn't back a project for 75 cents, it's not because they don't have the money, it's because they don't want to and should therefore own up to it. Note that it's also totally fine. Nobody owes me anything and people are free to invest their money how they want to.

Long story short, I'd much rather being told: "I don't want to invest about your project because I don't care about it" (which is objectively fine) than "oh yeah, I care about it but... [insert bullshit here]". Excuses are just insulting to me. They're essentially lies.

That was the point of the comment really.

We could of course then deconstruct the rationale of: "You need to back other projects in order to be backed" but that's for another day.
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« Reply #782 on: October 22, 2016, 03:38:05 AM »

(just realized David beat me to it).

@HOFFY:
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It's an insult to my intelligence when I get spam from these people, thinking I'm so desperate for success that I'll toss my savings at them without questioning the veracity of their claims. (real talk: I actually don't have savings, I'm a broke-ass musician lol.)

I'm so glad you're bringing this up because I felt the same way. Kickstarter has its share of desperation to put things mildly.

On one note: Always reply to genuine messages about your game people. That's how I got the 300$ pledge.

Quote
What has worked for me so far is just building your fanbase on top of honest relationships that you already have with other devs, creators etc.

I do strive to take care of my fanbase. I meticulously cater for people who support the game in one way or another.

Quote
Compliment them or offer constructive criticism often, repost their tweets if they deserve a shoutout, tell your own fans about new games coming out from other devs that you've been following. It is slow, it is brutish, and it is not that fun. But sooner or later, they're going to feel guilty for getting all that attention from you and not paying it forward.

Ok, you're bringing up something I actually wanted to address later down the road so this is good.

Some people have tried this approach with STX with clear expectations on their part.

The part in bold is actually a persuasion/marketing tactic I read about in a book on the subject. According to the book, the idea is to offer someone something they didn't ask for and keep doing this. Eventually, the receiver feels more and more pressure to return the favor.

Now, I don't know how I feel about that. "Oh shut up and stop making things complicated and just do it" right? Does that look right to you guys?

The temptation is there to expect something in return. Without going too deep in psychology, it's certainly something which appeals to our beliefs.

I honestly follow/comment on projects I find interesting. I don't expect them to invest themselves in STX in return. I mean, I could start spamming on every thread: "Hey this looks cool! I love it!" but it's not true (see a pattern here with my relationship with truth?).

I mean, it probably does work as a marketing technique. But I think your point is: "Make sure to invest yourself in others as much as possible in a genuine fashion." It is a good suggestion. Maybe I'm too self-centered and I don't support other projects enough, I don't know.

Quote
Some other people have noted that you haven't backed other projects as well, and that is also shooting yourself in the foot from a professional and karmic standpoint. You have to be willing to support other people's things before they'll even think about doing anything for you.

That would be an interesting conversation to have. Do I? If I'm not interested in other projects, should I mechanically back them so they back me up in return?

Suppose for a minute I'm not interested in other projects on KS (hypothesis here). Does it automatically disqualifies me as a Kickstarter project?

There is evidence of popular, funded projects who never backed anyone else. They were funded based on their own merit. What does this suggest?

I'm not sure myself, I'm just putting those questions out there for conversation sake.

Quote
On a helpful note though, maybe you could approach Kotaku with this. They do seem to publish a lot of articles about indie games and kickstarter projects ... and I think the educational aspect of this game would blow over very well with their readership. They would be wrong not to look into this.

Will give it a shot!

I've tweeted to some writers from Kotaku:

@BrianAshcraft

@BunnySpatial

@Patriciahernandez



They all wrote articles about Japanese related things on Kotaku.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 03:59:51 AM by Zizka » Logged

b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #783 on: October 22, 2016, 05:31:09 AM »

@bakkusa:
Quote
The part where you said that you don't understand that people don't have 99 cents to support your project(regarding oldblood 3rd paragraph), i just stopped listening because in your kickstarter page, you backed 0 projects.
With all due respect, if anything, you should've listened again Smiley. I don't mind you confronting (in fact, I like this about your interventions) but I do think you should be accurate when quoting things I've said, if only to make sure we're talking about the same thing.
So, to set things straight for other people involved:
1. It's at 5:09 that I talk about this in the audio, for reference..
2. At no point do I say "I don't understand people don't have 99 cents."
3. What I said is that "I don't have money for this" is an excuse, not the truth. One Canadian dollar is: 0,749906 US dollar. This is 75 cents (not 99).
The truth is that if a person doesn't back a project for 75 cents, it's not because they don't have the money, it's because they don't want to and should therefore own up to it. Note that it's also totally fine. Nobody owes me anything and people are free to invest their money how they want to.
Long story short, I'd much rather being told: "I don't want to invest about your project because I don't care about it" (which is objectively fine) than "oh yeah, I care about it but... [insert bullshit here]". Excuses are just insulting to me. They're essentially lies.
That was the point of the comment really.
We could of course then deconstruct the rationale of: "You need to back other projects in order to be backed" but that's for another day.

.66 cents 75 cents 99 cent or 1 dollar, i don't think that really matter. it's still 1 buck in most people mind.
Technically everyone has money to spare, even though i know some people who really couldn't spend that little money.

The thing is that you said: "i would'nt believe anyone have 70 cents for this, i don't buy it" and ok you said that it's just an excuse and it's because people aren't interested by your project.
But if someone is interested by your project , why would he spend the 1$ pledge? especially in this community where most are devs struggling as clearely said:

Most developers don't have money to go towards a KS. They're working off shoe-string budgets and funds that they do have for games are only going towards games they know they will play. Promoting a KS to TIG is promoting sales to the worst possible group of people, because its mostly people who cant afford to donate to anything.
wouldn't the 1$ pledge be the worst thing to do when you're struggling? you don't even get to play the game in the end.
IT's basically charity , or helping a fellow developper, but that's not something everyone can do.
And that's where i pointed out that you backed 0 projects. Why would people be willing to help you if you're not even able to help others?


you said that excuses are just insulting to you because they are lies. but your reaction is pretty much insulting too if you don't agree with this part.

How many Tigsource members told you that they'll support your kickstarter project by giving money?
People who comment on your devlog are already giving you their time and support by bumping your devlog.


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Zizka
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« Reply #784 on: October 22, 2016, 06:06:16 AM »

@bakkusa:

Quote
even though i know some people who really couldn't spend that little money.

Whenever you make an assertion, there are generally exceptions present. For practical reasons, we don't say: "This is what I think but there are exceptions" to every sentence for practical issues and for the general flow of conversation. It's something people, consciously or unconsciously, take for granted in any given social interaction. The fact you know people that don't have that money to spend is not really important in this context since it's a given. For instance, there are plenty of people who make a dollar a week working in impoverished countries. There are certain aspects that are generally left to interpretation when you're talking to someone; context usually fills in the gap so to speak.

You're missing the point I'm making Bakkusa, so let me reiterate because I don't think you're willingly ignoring what's been said so far:

Quote
But if someone is interested by your project , why would he spend the 1$ pledge? especially in this community where most are devs struggling as clearely said:

Here is the quote, unchanged from the original:

Quote
The truth is that if a person doesn't back a project for 75 cents, it's not because they don't have the money, it's because they don't want to and should therefore own up to it. Note that it's also totally fine. Nobody owes me anything and people are free to invest their money how they want to.

I've already stated that no one owes me anything before your previous message so I'm puzzled as to why you would ask why they should spend the pledge?

Quote
wouldn't the 1$ pledge be the worst thing to do when you're struggling? you don't even get to play the game in the end.

Neither you nor I have statistical evidence about the income/financial status of other indie developer. That's the first observable fact. This can't be argued, it can only be speculated upon. I'm speculating that people who don't back the project do it because they chose not to, not because they can't afford it. We're talking about the 0.75 cents pledge here. You are speculating otherwise. Both assumptions are viable given that they're assumptions.

Quote
And that's where i pointed out that you backed 0 projects. Why would people be willing to help you if you're not even able to help others?

You don't know whether or not I'm not able to help others, you're assuming I'm not. The only thing you know is that I haven't supported any KS project, the rest is your interpretation of it. The underlying idea being: "You have to support other KS projects in order to be supported." to which I disagree. Not for me specifically, but I just don't think that's a requirement.

Here's an example: Shenmue 3, by Ys Net. Close to 7 and a half million dollars, 0 project backed. Does supporting other projects encourages other people to support yours? Possibly. Is it a requirement? Evidently not.

Reference: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ysnet/shenmue-3?ref=most_funded

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you said that excuses are just insulting to you because they are lies. but your reaction is pretty much insulting too if you don't agree with this part.

Excuses are insulting to me because they're essentially lies. That's the way I feel about them generally speaking, it's a pet peeve of mine. I could be a serial killer, excuses would still rub me the wrong way, it doesn't change anything.

Quote
How many Tigsource members told you that they'll support your kickstarter project by giving money?

STX doesn't end at TIG. Suffice to say that I've had people say that they would help when the time would come but they didn't. I don't care that they didn't, I care about them not keeping their word, I'm neurotic that way.

Quote
People who comment on your devlog are already giving you their time and support by bumping your devlog.

Example 1:

A. -"Hey guys, I'm looking for help to build a house".
B. -Oh that's awesome! I like the plans so much!
C. -Yeah that's great.

This is support and this is indeed giving your time. I appreciate that.

Example 2:
A. -"Hey guys, I'm looking for help to build a house".
B. -"I'll be there to help you at 8:00 am tomorrow first thing."
C. -"Yeah, me too for sure!"

B shows up, keeps his word. I appreciate that.
C doesn't. The next day he says: "Yeah, sorry about that, I forgot/my grandmother ate my homework/I was busy/etc..." I don't like that.

That's all there is to it to understand really. Example 1 doesn't contradict example 2. They both refer to two different things. Just because I don't like what happens in example 2 doesn't mean that I don't appreciate what happens in example 1.

I think this sums up my position fairly clearly. If you're not going to do something, don't say it.
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« Reply #785 on: October 23, 2016, 04:20:49 AM »

Hey guys, just to let you know I've officially cancelled the kickstarter. A big thanks to those of you who supported the project.

I won't be continuing the devlog here at TIG, I don't think the interest is there. Future updates will take place on the game's steam page:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=750878319

Again, a major thanks to everyone who supported and commented on the project. Quite a few of you have already been "immortalized" in the game as cameos and other appearances.

Yours,

Zizka
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« Reply #786 on: October 23, 2016, 06:04:44 AM »

Quote
I won't be continuing the devlog here at TIG, I don't think the interest is there.
Hey, about that: sorry for being so silent the last few.. weeks I think? I just didn't have anything to add to the conversation, really. But I still support the game and hope it will take off Coffee

You have an uphill battle given the niche, but I hope you'll manage to carve out your unique little space and enrich the game design space with it!
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« Reply #787 on: October 24, 2016, 11:28:25 AM »

I'll just add my thoughts in case someone looks for Kickstarter tips.

Looks like other point I was going to respond have been already covered by others.
Here's an example: Shenmue 3, by Ys Net. Close to 7 and a half million dollars, 0 project backed. Does supporting other projects encourages other people to support yours? Possibly. Is it a requirement? Evidently not.
You're comparing apples to oranges.  The questions here isn't whether "0 project backed" is a requirement for successful funding but can you afford to lose backers because of that issue.   It's similar to the "I won't pledge if it doesn't look like the project is going to get funded" KS thinking and the point is you are missing out backers.   The number of people thinking like that might be small, but Shenmue 3 had 69,320 backers and could easily afford to "miss out" on a few dozens or even hundreds.  Could STX afford that?

Anyways, hopefully on Steam there'll be people who fit the target audience to provide useful feedback to shape the game and things will work out in the end.
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« Reply #788 on: October 24, 2016, 11:51:10 AM »

Alright, I'll go back to typing because uploading to youtube is time consuming:

I'll just reply to the first paragraph for the moment as I have to do the dishes:
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Please don't say this. Marketing is a reputable field that's plenty useful. I don't like when people go by "marketing is like selling your soul to the Devil". It's not that like that. Everything you do, if you expect it to be viable, needs to cater to a market. It's always like this. I'm not talking specifically about Super Toaster X, but about this sentece you said.
It is not playing games nor deceiving people, it is understanding that everything you do it impacts the world and the people in a way, and shaping it having this in mind. Some of the most creative indie successes do this cleverly. And yeah, it's fucking hard and it's fucking mysterious and it's sometimes frustrating.

Marketing is what is preventing my game from "lifting off" so I might be misdirecting my frustration here. There are certain things which I find unethical about marketing namely:
-Shock value
-Misleading terms
-Unfulfilled promises

I'll give you an example. You know the "Beats" headphones? In the documentary they were saying that they're essentially cheap headphones but that the company gets away with selling them at a high price because they're endorsed by athletes.

You could sell the headphone, say, 20$ for 5$ profit since they cost you 15$ for example. Considering the quality, it's a fair approach. But the marketing here is quite simply deceitful. They play on people's need to mimic famous people to make them pay a lot more for a cheap product. It's emotional manipulation. In the end, people end up paying more than they should for a cheap headphone because marketing finds a way to tap into their emotions.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll develop a more nuanced opinion about this topic with time.

By the way, when you launch your campaign, you'd better prepare yourself mentally. I was assaulted by messages of people asking for money to promote my game, door-to-door salesman style:

I've removed the names of people.

Yuck, spam.


Notice the part in yellow,  Cheesy. Yeah, a hugely successful campaign with 15 backers. I think he should have removed that part of his automatic message. I think it's at that point that I thought: "I'd rather live on the streets than have to beg people through PM to back my project."


See that part in yellow? That's the marketing speech which makes me puke. Everyone is the best. Everyone. Every single dude that gets in touch with you says he's better than the next guy. It's just so empty and unconvincing. I don't care if you think you're the best.

Anyways, I've got tons more but yeah, be prepared, they're coming. They're circling the sky as we speak. The thing is with these marketing guilds, is that they can never make any promises.

When you pay an artist, he's going to deliver you with art. When you pay a mechanic, he's going to deliver you with a reparation. But if I'm going to invest in those guys (not that I would deal with someone I know nothing about  mind you), I want guarantees. Now, I'm aware they can't control what's going to happen but here's the thing: they won't shoulder the risks. At all.

Suppose you pay them a certain amount to promote your game and in the end you get no backers, there was no point at all in this investment. If I don't have any returns on my investment, then I just threw money out of the window. They should have "money back" guarantees. I think they should tailor their prices based on these guarantees.

For example, you pay 100$ for advertisement but in return you want a backers return of a minimum of x amount. Marketing firms would then think twice before spamming people. They would take the time to carefully select which project they wish to back and believe in. Then they would take a risk and do their best in order to make sure that they get paid.

I said to one guy: "Go ahead and promote my project for free once and then we'll see how much of an impact it'll have." He replied: "Sorry, we just accept payments." I replied: "Yeah, I feel the same way."

I'd be more than happy to pay someone in marketing if I could get guarantees that they can deliver. At the moment their rationale is:"Hi, I don't know why, I don't know about your project, I'm just copy/pasting this word document. I'm the best though. I have thousands of followers. Just pay me please and then that's it."

I guess people bite if they keep doing it but like. The worst part is that if the campaign doesn't get funded, you actually end up... worse off than you started!

So yeah, in short, I don't have a lot of love for our marketing friends.







Woah, dude, so right now you're being kinda salty because of reasons :/

Let's remember I've created 2 KS projects so far. I know all about this kind of spammers. But defining marketing's value or morale because of these messages you received is a bit childish.

So yeah, let's go back to saying games make kids violent because of a couple of deranged people that decided to kill some people after playing videogames. Marketing is a tool, mate. If some people want to deconstruct that tool, get the more "cheap" tactics and avoid any sense of effort, is entirely up to them. Not excusing them. I consider myself about collaborating with this kind of marketers. But instead of raging or being salty because their overly stupid messages (they mostly are, I know), I just take a look just in case one of the makes sense. So far it hasn't been the case.

But once again, if a stupid person makes a stupid use of marketing, that doesn't make marketing stupid. Please have some respect, because it sounds like the kind of bigotry that would be highly punished here if someone used it but talking about videogames. Marketing is necessary and a respectful field. And diminishing it is the worst you can do, because you -and everyone- will need it if trying to bring a product to the market. Instead of harvesting saltiness towards those spammers, try to understand what you did wrong regarding marketing, learn from it and get better at it (or just hire/partner someone who's good at it). Marketing, as lobster have said, is a core part of game design itself. Create your product having the market in mind if you pretend to make it profitable (which is not a bad thing, since it's the best shortcut to being able of creating a 2nd project).

Sorry if I get intense, but I come from advertising and marketing and I'm absolutely grateful of that, because it have given me a really good point of view on the indie industry so far. But I constantly see how indie devs treat marketing as a "needed evil" at best and as "pure malicious shit" if not at best. I have tried to help devteams here in Spain sometimes and a marketing point of view is too often tied to a "sell out" vision. Like if you actually make something to the game so it improves its chances of making money you will become "less indie". So I have to excuse myself if at some points I sound kind of blunt, this also comes from a personal place.

And I'm a bit dissappointed that I carefully crafted a complex and constructive message for you and your anger towards these salesmen blinded you from the rest of my message .

So... tomorrow we're launching our Kickstarter. Wish us luck! Tongue
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« Reply #789 on: October 24, 2016, 12:21:59 PM »

Marketing is a tool
I agree. Let's look at a knife. Knives are being used millions of times daily for food preparation ... and also can be used for point at someone to take their money or stabbing and killing people.  Does that make the knives (i.e. the tool) "evil" or "manipulative"?  If you can't figure out the answer, then ...
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« Reply #790 on: February 20, 2017, 04:22:36 AM »

Hey guys, it's been a while.

Quote
Woah, dude, so right now you're being kinda salty because of reasons :/

I was. I was upset that the KS didn't work and I needed to blame everyone and everything in my frustration. I was (and still am) emotionally invested in STX and was upset that things didn't turn out the way I wanted to. That's honestly how I felt.

A lot has been going since then. We've made it to Early Access and added pronunciation to the game as well. We've also received our first negative review which I am grateful for as it as feedback to improve on.

Early Access
http://store.steampowered.com/app/530080/

Negative Review:
I'm struggling actually understanding how to play the game, it needs more explanation, also the controls are aweful and hard to understand, and gamepad support is terrible, one problem is the menu opened when I pressed up on the control stick. Gonna refund it now, I'll probably buy it once it's done, because it's got a beautiful art style and it's really fun learning something when you play a game.

The part that I enjoyed was the sensei, because that teaches you hiragana, which i'm trying to learn at the moment. But the other mode, I did not understand.


Thank for reading!

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« Reply #791 on: February 20, 2017, 04:34:30 AM »

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Woah, dude, so right now you're being kinda salty because of reasons :/
I was.
Eh, I think you raised very valid concerns. /:

Nice to see you back, anyhow!
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« Reply #792 on: February 20, 2017, 04:59:19 AM »

Learning to deal with critique is a painful growing process, good on you that you've gotten over the defensive reactionary emotions Smiley
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« Reply #793 on: February 20, 2017, 05:08:55 AM »

Nice to see you back, Zizka!

I wish I could contribute more, but $9.99 looks too much for an EA game, especially considering you seem to have a lot to improve on.
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« Reply #794 on: February 20, 2017, 05:46:39 AM »

good to see you back, wish your game to push more copies than your average unethical kickstarter dunce
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« Reply #795 on: February 20, 2017, 02:14:02 PM »

Welcome back!

Sadly I only started following this topic not long before you stop updated it so it's good to hear what's been going on. Since that time I have been taking Japanese lessons. I find it difficult to motivate myself to learn unless I can find some way of turning things into a game which is why I've been using WaniKani in the last week, which is the closest thing I've found to learning Kanji in a fun way.

I hope the project is going well and hopefully I'd be able to recommend this game to other learners.

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“We plan to gradually raise the price as we ship new content and features.”

If I buy it now, will I have access to future content for the price it is currently available at or will I need to pay extra?
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« Reply #796 on: February 20, 2017, 08:38:58 PM »

Thanks guys!

@ambo100: If you buy it now, you won't have to pay more in the future regardless of how much it ends up costing.
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« Reply #797 on: February 22, 2017, 04:11:36 AM »

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I wish I could contribute more, (1)but $9.99 looks too much for an EA game, especially considering you (2)seem to have a lot to improve on.

(1) Regarding the price I understand your hesitation, money is hard to come by.

(2) My approach to EA is to improve on everything. I've struggled to get any feedback at all while the game was free (before EA). I offered video reviews to people who would do some of the game and we regularly encouraged getting comments and criticism about the state of the game. Some did trickle through but they were far and few in-between.

The psychology of thing is that people are more reactive to things they've paid for as it's an investment of some kind. Their expectations become higher and they're more likely to take the time to voice their opinions.

This has been beneficial for us as it has triggered the silent majority into an critically active minority. We've had comments on the discussion forum on the steam page which has allowed us to fix things.

This negative review is way better than radio silence. It finally gives us things to improve upon. Since his comment, we've fixed all the control issues and have started on clarifying the tutorial. The author has said that he would reverse his review to positive once we've made the adjustments.

To sum things up, being told what's wrong with the game and then fixing said issues than make the game... better. As long as you don't ignore feedback from your community base of course.

As for being part of EA, one major advantage is having as a say in the final product. If you do purchase the game and wish things were a certain way, you become an investor and therefore have a say in the development of the game. This can cover many things including features. Pronunciation for one thing was a suggestion from one of EA players and quickly implemented.

So it's not only about money, it's about people's attachment with money and how this attachment influences the game positively by spurring players to do the transition from passive observers to active implication in the development of STX.
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« Reply #798 on: February 22, 2017, 04:12:48 AM »

Hot fixes:

As the title says, we've just uploaded a new version to the Latest Version Branch. We will set it to the default branch once we've gone over it again in a final round of testing.

If you don't want to wait those couple of days, you can opt into the latest branch through the Betas tab in the Super Toaster X properties menu.

Here's the changelog for 0.056.

New Features:
10 New Kanji cards. These cards should appear at the top of the card pool within the move menu.
Card mastery system, which is the beginning of the character progression system.
Items are now lootable from chests, and can be used in game. So far it's only cheese, but we'll be adding more.
First pass of word pronounciation system.
Faster Exploration run speed (200% of previous).
Added lights to draw attention to side doors.

Fixes:
The card timer is no longer hidden by the card name background.
Moved the 4 previous Kanji cards up in the card pool, they are just below the new Kanji cards instead of at the bottom.
Fixed move menu to properly update card image and play SFX while scrolling.
Reworked dungeon loading to prevent the map showing up while making or loading a dungeon.
Fixed Xbox controller start and back button.
Fixed a bug where cancelling a move would leave the card sprites in place.
Uncovered and fixed a bug with Vocab Card Lists that was giving potentially game breaking errors.
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« Reply #799 on: February 27, 2017, 07:32:20 AM »

Devlog 94:Steam We Go!

Hello guys!

So it’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been on Early Access so now is as good a time as any for an development log regarding the game. I’ll simply include the upcoming changes for the next build.

Upcoming changes:

*Sax_7 requested a way to make side doors more visible. We’ve added a light to indicate the presence of doors on the side of the screen.

*Behind the scene: Jeff, the programmer, has coded a tool to quickly import art to the game. I have quite a lot of stuff which is done and waiting to be implemented: new foes, items and other animations. This will make us faster and more proficient to add things to the game engine.

*Behind the scene: Jeff is working on another tool to quickly add vocabulary cards to the database. I have a list of 10 new words I want to include to test out the new tool and add more diversity to the current list which is very limited.

The new words; all part of JLPT 4.

あが 上、る る、上がる、 to rise (v.)
あか 赤、ん ん、ぼう 坊、赤ん坊、baby (n.)
い 意、けん 見、意見、opinion (n.)
いし 石、石、stone (n.)
うで 腕、腕、arm (n.)
えだ 枝、枝、branch, twig (n.)
かべ 壁、壁、wall (n.)
かみ 髪、髪、hair (n.)
くも 雲、雲、cloud (n.)
こ 子、子、child (n.) 

This might not seem like much but having those tools will certainly streamline the already finished content which is just waiting to be coded in.

Keep the feedback coming! As you can see, everything is read and at the very least considered.

Thank you for reading,

Z.
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