Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1371699 Posts in 64648 Topics- by 56776 Members - Latest Member: PixelsThePixel

January 17, 2020, 01:51:01 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessLessons Learned From Two Game Launches
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Lessons Learned From Two Game Launches  (Read 1335 times)
ryansumo
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« on: December 08, 2017, 11:40:17 PM »

Hey folks, I wrote a blog recently comparing our experiences launching Political Animals and Academia.  Political Animals was featured on the front page of Steam when it launched, but did poorly. Academia : School Simulator did not get a similar feature, yet got almost 3x as many launch sales.  I go into detail about what we did differently, and I why I think we were more successful the second time around.

http://www.squeakywheel.ph/blog/2017/12/7/lessons-learned-from-two-game-launches

Happy to answer any follow-up questions here.
Logged

Grhyll
Level 2
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 01:42:03 AM »

Interesting write-up! There are a few lessons there I never suspected but now seem obvious ^^'

There's one point however you don't speak about: the game's genre. If I had to take a guess, I'd say the school simulator could be a very important factor for its success, it seems to me that's the type of game with a graphical style that people fancy a lot currently (well, since Prison Architect at least), probably more than a political simulation. Not saying that you can just ignore marketing when you do such a game, but I have the feeling that even with equivalent marketing, Academia would have done better than Political Animals anyway. Thoughts about that?

(And as always, thanks for the article, it's not the first I read from you, and they are always honest and interesting Smiley )
Logged

Programmer at The Game Bakers
3-50.net
Current project: oQo
zizulot
Level 0
***

ZIZ


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 04:50:52 AM »

Nice write up mate Wink , I agree with ^^^^^^ I think that genre made all that difference
Logged
ryansumo
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 08:12:09 AM »

Interesting write-up! There are a few lessons there I never suspected but now seem obvious ^^'

There's one point however you don't speak about: the game's genre. If I had to take a guess, I'd say the school simulator could be a very important factor for its success, it seems to me that's the type of game with a graphical style that people fancy a lot currently (well, since Prison Architect at least), probably more than a political simulation. Not saying that you can just ignore marketing when you do such a game, but I have the feeling that even with equivalent marketing, Academia would have done better than Political Animals anyway. Thoughts about that?

(And as always, thanks for the article, it's not the first I read from you, and they are always honest and interesting Smiley )

Hey yeah, all things being equal, its probably possible that Academia would have done better than Political Animals anyway.  There are so many factors that we could adjust though that it's almost moot.

Like, if Political Animals had launched in February as the US election campaign was heating up, I suspect it would have done much better.  The Political Machine 2016 essentially had that market all to itself for those months, and they've done pretty well for themselves.

For Academia, I would also argue that one of our worries is that this strategy simulation genre market is already being satisfied by games like SimAirport, Another Brick in the Mall, etc. so it's not as if it was a slam dunk idea to launch a School Sim 2 years after Prison Architect launched.  In fact one of our worries was that there might be "genre fatigue".

Regardless, if one were to take "Steam front page" and pit it against "Genre that is currently popular" I suspect most devs would choose "Steam front page".  I would go so far as to say it's rather spectacular how poorly we did despite getting front page status.  I would love to compare notes with any dev that also got on the front page of Steam and did just as poorly or worse.  Perhaps we deserve an award of some sort!
Logged

Grhyll
Level 2
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 01:37:48 PM »

You've got some points! It's always skewed to judged after the results are here ^^'
Logged

Programmer at The Game Bakers
3-50.net
Current project: oQo
doghouse
Level 0
**

VR dev


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 11:11:56 PM »

Interesting blog, thanks for sharing.

I guess I should pull my finger out and start that devlog I keep putting off -- aaah, for the love of more time!
Logged
bateleur
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 04:51:18 AM »

Interesting to see the conventions made no difference.

I'd been told be a few people in the past that conventions are the only way to get press attention... so if that doesn't really work, is press basically just dead as a marketing route? Effectively only covering things which have already got an audience?
Logged

Aleid Cross
Level 0
*


Hey! :D


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 04:14:56 PM »

Great read, thank you for sharing your experience. I really love the conclusion in each section, it gives a summarized version of the section :3

Keep on the good work :D
Logged

POSTWORLD
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 06:06:55 AM »

Thanks for postmortems!
Logged

Silvervale
Level 0
*


Silvervale


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2018, 08:47:07 PM »

What an interesting read, thanks for sharing! I'm surprised to hear that the conventions really didn't change anything. I've always heard that those can be huge factors in marketing.
Logged

playmindmtl
Level 0
*


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 11:45:06 AM »

Great read ! Thank you for all that valuable info.

I'd say that events are usually a good way to build a community, but they can get very expensive. The ROI is often too low for indie studios compared to the costs.

Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic