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December 05, 2022, 12:37:58 PM

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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralGOG Rejection
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b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2022, 03:54:11 AM »

Steam Direct technically isn't a service they offer.
For 100 dollars you get to make a store page for your game. OP already has his game on the steam store with an expected release in 2024 -> 2 years for people to wishlist his game and grow a community.

Regarding the 30% fee, The thing is that you pay for "exposure" (debatable) and for a dedicated service for your following. You pay for convenience when you sell on Steam.  The majority of pc gamers are on steam and won't bother buying your game outside of steam.

Also nothing stops you from selling steam keys from itch.io or other stores where the 30% cut doesn't apply.
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/04/why-valve-actually-gets-less-than-30-percent-of-steam-game-sales/


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michaelplzno
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2022, 04:18:23 AM »

Also:



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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2022, 04:26:54 AM »

Since the store page is created in a completely automated fashion, and is completely ruled by algorithms, $100 is extremely steep for what you get. Especially since Steam owns the email and contact info for all the people who wish list your game on that page.

I would be happy to pay %30 for exposure, IF I HAD ANY. The problem is that there is no requirement for Steam to actually show your game to anyone, and furthermore, they can even put advertisements on *your* page for other people's games.





I'm not really focusing on Steam as a result of their poor policies towards smaller devs. They only like big companies/famous people/already known stuff. (Which is common, it is what it is.)

Also, Steam requires you to tell them why you want keys before they approve them in order to curb reselling. They also prevent linking to external sites and other stuff to keep their customers as their own. Which is reasonable considering all platforms work like that, but its a bad deal for a small outfit like OP who would be better off with a few hundred loyal followers that actually can be contacted directly instead of being pushed to the back on steam where customers there are already bombarded with tons of games and hyper critical of anything that isn't another rougelike.

Edit: Steam is paying lip service to the idea of inclusivity, but in reality they are a competitive monopolistic big corporation that only respects people who are strong enough to push them around. Same thing goes for a lot of people who make noise about how welcoming they are to newcomers and small companies. In every case, the system is set up so that you are better off making your own success completely independently and then acting like Kanye to all the big people if and when you are finally on the up side.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 04:37:18 AM by michaelplzno » Logged

b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2022, 05:52:45 AM »

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michaelplzno
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« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2022, 09:04:12 AM »

b tee dubs

I would love to be on epic store, they won't respond to my emails.

Edit: To reiterate, restate, and rehash, I'm fine with a %40 cut for publishers if they DO SOMETHING.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 09:23:09 AM by michaelplzno » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2022, 07:56:17 AM »

they do somthing, but its usually geared towards the users

the steam platform provides the most conveniences to users (controller bindings, easy install relocation, proton support, refund policies etc etc). i know as a dev having to esentuaially pay for those from the cut is not like desirable but compare the qol the steam client is vs the abysmal epic games client.

not to mention the volumes you can get from either store
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2022, 12:17:37 PM »

If only I could launch games on my own platform with all the user facing perks of steam, like Achievements, Leaderboards and Cloud Save, but also with mobile support, no installing needed, and other social media features. All with human moderators instead of just some algorithm deciding what goes to the top...

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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2022, 12:25:31 AM »

I see a lot of issues in this thread.
1. Steam doesn't provide enough service for the money they ask
No one is forcing you to use Steam though. You've got 100 alternatives. Your own site, forums, using Epic, using Humble widget on your site which they take like 2 percent per sale, etc. "But Steam is where the audience is!", well then they provide value right?
2. GOG rejected me
So what? They are not a big player
3. Publishers don't do enough
Well if you ask them, they will they tell you, developers don't do enough. Same for Steam, no one is forcing you in this day and age. "Publishers should invest more!". Why? So your game can sell 50 copies instead of 10? This game can't make money. Trust me. What is your game different then the others? More popular? Better looking? More fun? Deeper? More marketable? Resounding no on all questions.

We didn't listen. Everyone told us games are extremely hard business. We didn't listen. We reap what we sow. It is a fun ride, but when we are off of the ride, penniless and sad, there is no one else to blame but ourselves. We wanted this, all warnings ignored.

I speak from experience, I had two games that failed miserably, with a higher production value and cost than this. Rejected by all media, streamers, publishers, game stores. I've spent years with only 70 sales to show for all my work. I will just finish two more games and I'm off from the industry for good. Spent 5 years working on my games. But I knew everything from the start. It was a wild ride and I wouldn't have done it any different.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2022, 04:15:08 PM »

It sounds mishe- that you have accepted that your games just don't have that thing, that special thing, that makes the birds sing.

But why? You don't really know how well your games would have done if you hadn't gotten the press coverage and youtubers covering it and all the fanfare and nonsense. And furthermore, if you had more feedback, you likely could improve your games to be even better, right? And if you had more funding and people and resources, you likely could have fixed any real issues your games have. No?

Well then the situation is that some people, who likely are better at schmoozing people, and more in bed with publishers and so on. (Devolver literally did a segment where they filmed themselves in a bed with press people as a joke.)

If you were picked by Devolver do you think you'd have still only sold 70 copies? I'm not saying you should be bitter about it, or defeatist, and to keep fighting takes money and resources and is very difficult and most of the people who made it will tell you to quit, directly or indirectly.

But if you love making games, then there is no reason to quit, right? Make the best games ever and tell everyone that they can suck a lemon if they think they can do better than you, even though you only sold 70 copies.
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2022, 02:22:07 AM »

Hey, I fully get your point. You need to be the complete package. Not just great at programming, design etc but also great with people, publishers, marketing. But that's not enough. You need to be better than the 300 games(number out of my ass) that are getting published and the 300 that get money without publisher. Takeaway the 90% of those games that will be made by better teams with way more experience combined than a single person. That only leaves 60 games made by a single person/small team that can succeed(once again numbers out of my ass, but not that different from reality). 60 games a year out of what? 600000 a year? Not that the single person doesn't have it's merits but still, the cons outweigh the pros.

I haven't fully accepted that I do not have that special thing, just that no matter how much I love working on games, making enough money to make a living as an indie is not in the books for me.

There is a reason to quit thought. When you work a full-time job to support yourself you have a very small time to work on games, even that is sometimes non-existant. When a game takes a year or at least months as a full-time thing, then games in their spare time would take x10-x20. Sure some developers made it working 10 years on a game in their spare time, but that is still a small percentage of the developers.

Hey if you want to make games, make them, I still support that. Just when you've tried for a couple of years and you are not making a dime back, you have to rethink where are you going with this? Can you survive 20-30 years like this? With small wages, long hours and disappointing results? And take the love out of it. If you can good... if not well there are many more flowers on the field.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2022, 02:48:28 AM »

I actually disagree that the social game needs to be a factor. Even though socializing with important people plays a roll in most of the bigger games and getting in bed with the power players is a popular approach, since it doesn't take too much money and also people who are socialites consider going out for drinks with "important" people to be "fun." However I'm coming up with my own way to get around that.

In terms of supporting yourself: I fully concede that it is rough to do that. I'm lucky and privileged that I can continue to work on the next great thing and my backers will continue to support me. That makes me very rare, and I get why some people would resent that. A lot of people will recommend Kickstarter for you to get more funding. I've never done it but it might be a good way to keep the lights on for a bit while you work on your next thing.

Alternatively: you don't have to take years and tons of work to make a game. Think of Cookie Clicker. It was the kind of game that could be made in a week if you had the design work. Another example is my own https://eggfun.io (which is not on steam and I made the first version in a week for a game jam. It has a budget of a few hundred dollars, mostly to register the domain. And a few weeks worth of coding/design. And also, I got a friend to loan me some of his vast library of great music for the BGM.
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2022, 03:41:39 AM »

Hey mate,

Thanks for the good discussion.

I won't lie that I've seriously thought about doing small scale games as a viable path, I just don't see how I could do that. I do not play those games and don't know many that do. I would also assume that is harder to get these games noticed by someone as they usually lack many things including depth. Even that I also assume you would need a couple successful of them per year just to sustain yourself. And I generally lack ideas in this kind of games. So in my eyes those are even harder to make Smiley. But it might seem like a viable path to get noticed if you got an interesting idea to make.

Anyways I'm glad that someone made it. Best of luck to whatever your future may hold Smiley.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2022, 12:40:57 PM »

I still see myself as not having made it. I'd like more secure stream of income and really to have an audience that honest to god knows my work and what I'm about. I say I'm trying to get the nuclear sustained reaction that will continue to power me and my friends for a long time, and I'm sort of not there yet. Also, when you start trying to acquire atomic material it seems the system or whatever mysterious ethereal other worldly force that exists sort of clamps down. I can't even put my finger on what the resistance is since I'm so hidden from everyone I wouldn't really know. But nuclear material seems to metaphorically be used for evil in a lot of instances.

I really wouldn't want you to give up on making games mishe-, and also I'd love to play some of your work on my GAMEDEV FEEDBACK segment just to get some visibility, or at least tell you if your fly is down. Its an unpleasant compromise: you have a vision for a game that would take years and millions and a team to make but you can't get that. I feel your pain BIGLY. Even if you have to take a day job, you can try to spend a few hours tinkering with *something* and of course, less hours means a smaller project is likely more rewarding. Penny slots.

However, my rhetorical rant still stands: the industry is more competitive than it is welcoming, and it would help me psychologically if everyone admitted that. There are a lot of people who want to play the "MORE THE MERRIER" card but if you ask them to play your game in even a slightly wrong way they are "too busy." Part of why I like this movie clip is that Hemingway is honest when he says he hates this other book he hasn't read:





And I guess I'm sort of trying to sus out the "Gertrude Stein" of this industry, it seems like such figures don't exist or are very well hidden. Edit: to some extent, I kind of wish I could be that figure.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2022, 08:45:27 AM »

https://kotaku.com/the-cub-silt-planet-of-lana-cocoon-limbo-inside-playdea-1849054986
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2022, 02:18:30 AM »

Oh my word,
I'm so sorry I haven't responed to this.  I'm currently at work so will read through the replies.
I am not getting any e-mail reminders someone has responded to my question.  Does TIG dothis?

But thank you for the information.
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« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2022, 02:20:18 AM »

@michaelplzno:  Thank you for this, at the very least it made me laugh. :D
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2022, 02:24:46 AM »

One thing I should mention is I asked GOG for feedback.. and they gave it.  I was stunned, this never happens.  But the gist is that they like the look of the project but the direction it will take is still unclear due to it being super early stage.

With that advice, I decided to work on some things before posting again;  Specifically, compute shaders.  Some of the effects were getting very CPU heavy, so that is where I am right now, neck deep in HLSL coding.

Thanks again for the feedback.

PS:  I just found the "Notify me of replies button" - DOH!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2022, 01:28:52 AM »

Well I'm glad GoG respected you enough to give you something meaningful you could improve to work with their platform. To me its profoundly rude to not even say why you are rejected or what could be fixed to make something successful.

According to GoG my current XBOX title looks like a mobile game. I disagree but even if true, I wish GoG would help me find an artist and so on rather than just say it doesn't look good enough for their store. I would have made it a GoG exclusive if they put in their side of the work. GoG doesn't seem to want exclusives for some reason that makes no sense.
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2022, 10:52:59 AM »

Michael, it's true that publishers will overlook some issues with your game, and won't expect perfection.

But, to use the gem analogy, a jeweler won't accept a diamond that's still partially embedded in rock.

From the content you've shared, I would say that the demos need a lot more polish before they would be accepted. It's not a bad game idea, but things like sound design and graphical design are important. I had a game get rejected by GoG a while back, but they said the only reason was because it was too casual and that I should pitch it to mobile companies. They took over three weeks to reject it (they said, at the time, they would get back within four business days) because they were going back and forth about whether to publish it or not. So, it was a close call for them. The stars didn't align for me, either, but I shouldn't have given up.

This is what the game looked like:


I sent them a playable demo with five levels, all the sound and music and a complete vertical slice of game play. This is more along the lines of what you need when you're looking for a publisher. And, not every game you make a vertical slice for will get published. I ended up deciding that I didn't want to work on this game anymore and gave up on getting a publisher, but I shouldn't have.

Also, please try to remember that it's your game that is under a microscope and a rejection isn't a personal attack. It's just an indication that the game either doesn't fit that publisher's goals, or that it needs more work before you seek publishing.

As for the press release, it wasn't picked up because it's incomplete. Press will want the article to be copy-pastable from your press release. It's not a bad idea to hire a writer for this part to proof read and edit your article before you send it out as a press release. Game journalists get heaps of these all the time, so the best/most complete articles will get published. Take inspiration from existing game articles and press releases, follow the common formula.

I would encourage you to develop your game further if you think it has potential. Get community feedback and seek publishing only when you're at the point where you are ready to create the bulk of the game's content and most of the smaller details like foley are worked out already.

Keep working at it. I know that rejection is discouraging but when you get rejected just say "ok, thanks for your time" and put your nose to the grinding stone. Polish the hell out of your vertical slice and you'll get genuine interest from publishers and indie conference organizers.
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« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2022, 08:14:02 AM »

What I'm saying, advocating for LionelTheDragon's Game, is that GoG is foolish as a business to not help the potential of new projects considering the power they have to influence what games are going to be successful.

You seem to be confused as to me taking this personally: the game in this thread is literally not a game I made or my project. This is a matter of business. If I had a powerful platform, I would want to work on projects like this.

The jeweler who turns down an uncut stone is a fool, I will die on that hill. If you know gems you know what they are worth. If you only resell cut stuff and have no idea what is and is not valuable then you are the quintessential hack that doesn't belong in the gem business.

In my experience with game sites writing about my games, they never take the exact press release that I send them and always write their own copy. That is based on the personal experience of having my games written about on Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, The Onion AV Club and many others. I guess when sites write about your stuff whendricso they just copy what you send them and I'm envious that I could have that much control over what a press outlet says about my game.

The only thing I can say from your image of your game is that the visuals aren't very good: but to prove my point, I'm not sure this isn't just a prototype screenshot of a GTA multiplayer map that is in need of cleaning up.
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