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I actually had the idea of combining the world images on the title screen, but it would've have to be pretty and I couldn't afford to buy a correct kind of artist to do that because it's not cheap and I had other game expenses. At any rate, I'm pretty satisfied on the current logo, even though it seems many here disagree with me.
I also thought to use this as the title screen at first, but what do people think? Would it have been any better than the current one? The Tome of the Elements text would've just read Labyronia Elements. Now, I just use this as a book cover for a readable item in the game. In my personal opinion, I like the current logo more though.
gRPrzb6.png

I actually dig this quite a bit, it looks a like a 70s prog rock album cover. I think a little more could be done with the font to make it a little less flat, but generally speaking this is heaps better.
 

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I actually dig this quite a bit, it looks a like a 70s prog rock album cover. I think a little more could be done with the font to make it a little less flat, but generally speaking this is heaps better.
Dang, man. Maybe I should've gone with it after all. Oh well...
 

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You seem to have missed the part where I said "looks like there was little effort..." etc. I wasn't saying there wasn't effort put into the creation of the game - I've been making games on RPG Maker for over 20 years. I know that even a 10 minute game can have a ton of effort put into it and still look a bit weak. What I was saying is that the presentation makes it look like every other bland RPG Maker game out there and that's not what you should be trying to present if you want the game to sell better. Again, there's one image that looks interesting and the rest look like typical RPG Maker fare. Picking what to show of your game is something you should be focussing on getting RIGHT if you want to draw an audience. You want to show off the pretty and interesting-looking aspects of your game because people are naturally drawn to those things.

Sad as it is to say, visuals and eye-candy really help sell your game. Just because a game plays amazingly, has an awesome story and multifaceted everything doesn't mean that it will sell well when what is shown are very weak images. Showcases are to draw attention to your game and you wondered why people weren't buying. The visual aspect you show is one reason - it just doesn't LOOK like a quality game.

And it's an easy fix - get some matching facesets, throw up some pretty and aesthetically pleasing images from the game and update the logo to look less like a mess. Bam! That will at least help the game sell a bit better than it has been. Make the game look less like baby's first RPG and people might give it a chance, especially now when people have seen enough RPG Maker games to know what is and isn't 'effort'.

(Again, not saying you haven't put effort in, but it doesn't look like it has had effort due to the images you've chosen to represent your game to the masses. See, you're using the RTP as the main base. People have seen the RTP before, they know it now and know it's not personally created by you. They know it is pre-made resources that anyone can use so if you're going to use it you need to show it used well to make an impact, and the current images... bar one, don't. show. it. well.

And, yeah, the faces. :shrug: )

As a prospective player who has played many of the best RPG Maker games to come out of the engine, your game visually just has very little that makes me want to play, and if you're selling to the RPG Maker crowd, they have probably played more than a few games - especially those ones I mentioned which are all your competitors since they are also for sale on Steam under the genre of RPG. Your game is going to be shown among them and in comparison your game doesn't look half as good.

Sorry if that comes off as rude, but it's the plain truth.


(also, that star logo is rocking. why didn't you use that instead? it's about 1000 times better than the current one >.<; )
 

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The thing is, it actually isn't too late to fix some of this. You can change the screenshots in Steam. You could get new facesets and change them. After all, games like Divinity Original Sin and Wasteland 2 released major updates which changed the game well after the release (though they did call them the extended edition or ultra edition or whatever). So maybe you could do that?
 

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I'm not gonna change the in-game content at this point -.- It's like starting to create the game all over again, which makes no sense since it's been received well despite the modest sales, and as I said, I'm done with it and satisfied for the end result. The game has been released and completed last december. You don't change the content after that, unless something is really broken or bugs require updating. I'm even against DLC and always have been. It's usually just worthless extras, or in the worst case scenario, messes or bugs up the main game.

I'm not sure what you mean about "matching facesets." Should I hire some artist with my non-existing budget to create all-new faces to the game? This would take time and new updates, since higher quality faces take longer time to draw. To be honest, the faces in the game might not be the best quality out there, and I could've made them a lot better if I'd spent more time with them (believe it or not, even one of the current faces took me about 2 hours to draw with wacom, and there are a lot of faces. I can do better, but then it would've been 4 hours per face). Besides, I'm kind of happy with the faces! At least they're not looking like they were made by the same few artists that make the faces for most of the RPG Maker games. They might not be the best, but at least they're not generic.

I had set myself a time limit of at least 3 years to complete the game, and there were a million other aspects I had to spend my time.

As for the logo, maybe I really should have used the first one with the star. But back then, many people were liking more the one the game has now, or at least both got about 50/50 positive feedback. So, I went with what I used based on the feedback and my personal preference back then, and decided to use the pentagram logo as an in-game book cover.
I still like the current title screen logo, because whatever it might be, it's not generic and that's what I want to avoid more than anything...

About the competition.There are now tons of 2d RPG:s in Steam. Some might look better than others and some worse. Someone might think a game made with Vx Ace looks more generic than another made with 2K3, even though the latter had been using its own engine's RTP fully, vanilla, and the VxAce version had edited almost everything which takes more work. Whatever's the case and despite this, the images would have to be truly special at this point for the player to think it's just not another 2d-rpg, no matter what maker we're using. Things have changed fast in just a few years.

I'm sure I and many of us could create the best looking 2d RPG game ever, with 1 hour of playtime. Unfortunately, I had to make compromises with things related to the visuals, because of the scale of this project. At least one of my test players said that despite the "RTP" base (even though it's not really the engine RTP mostly but edited free-to-use or bought material), he quickly forgot he was playing an RPG Maker game because of how it all works out. Based on that feedback, I decided to carry on with what I was doing and saved a lot of time like that. If I had drawn all the graphics and animations from the scratch... well, it would've taken something like 15 years and I could be dead by then, or lose interest on the way. I don't have a team to work with these things from the start, except the musicians of course.

The things I did not compromise were the story, the creation of five unique worlds, the music, atmosphere, and the gameplay. Those had to be as I envisioned them. Unfortunately, none of this can be seen from the store page, apparently.

What was the image you found looking interesting? I could change the store page images based on that opinion.
 
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Again, not saying you haven't put effort in, but it doesn't look like it has had effort due to the images you've chosen to represent your game to the masses. See, you're using the RTP as the main base. People have seen the RTP before, they know it now and know it's not personally created by you. They know it is pre-made resources that anyone c

We know a lot of people are hard on games that use the RTP, and we can see why. However, we've seen some wonderful stuff with the RTP. Having said that, most of it was parallax or using Doodads. The way every asset of the RTP places in a linear fashion on the grid doesn't lend itself to looking that amazing.

If you're going to represent a game made with the RTP, it has to be your absolute best work, even if it's minor spoilers.
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with using RTP assets. A good mapper can make a beautiful, unique map using any asset. Mapping isn't just an exercise in tilesets, it's understanding space and how we use space. It's like being an architect! Which scant few of us are! So, yeah, it's really tough to be a mapper (so if you've hired a mapper, respect him or her!).
 
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with using RTP assets. A good mapper can make a beautiful, unique map using any asset. Mapping isn't just an exercise in tilesets, it's understanding space and how we use space. It's like being an architect! Which scant few of us are! So, yeah, it's really tough to be a mapper (so if you've hired a mapper, respect him or her!).

The argument in this thread is against RTP in an advertising and marketing sense. People can bang on about the RTP as much as they like but the reality is in the context of this thread, your average steam user is turned off by it. If they see it in the previews of your game most will look elsewhere. I know theres plenty of RPG Maker fans who will still buy a game with it and thats fine, but thats a ridiculously small number of Steams user base. Your average consumer sees RTP and views it with the same eyes as they would a unity asset flip because generally they dont know any better.
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams : The problem is actual sales numbers prove you wrong. There are RTP heavy games that sold 200,000 copies, and custom asset games that didn't even sell 1,100 copies. There's way more factors than the RTP.
 
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@VisitorsFromDreams : The problem is actual sales numbers prove you wrong. There are RTP heavy games that sold 200,000 copies, and custom asset games that didn't even sell 1,100 copies. There's way more factors than the RTP.

I imagine that has a lot to do with price and other factors, I see a lot of $1 - $2 RTP games (almost all with scantily clad anime portraits in the thumbnails), a lot of more "adult" orientated RTP games and a lot of cheap RTP games designed to sell based off achievements selling well. Like ive said in the past, Steam recommends me tonnes of RPG Maker games and they all almost exclusively use the RTP, but they also fall into these categories more often than not. Sex sells, and a thumbnail with big anime tiddies is going to sell better than something that isnt anime tiddies. Most games that use all custom assets tend to ask for higher price as well outside of Suits: A Business RPG which has an obvious impact on sales. Steam also uses its algorithm to suggest games based on sales, many of these games have been on Steam for a number of years, it will keep suggesting them to people because they have already sold x amount, its a bit of a snowball effect from there.
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams : The problem is actual sales numbers prove you wrong. There are RTP heavy games that sold 200,000 copies, and custom asset games that didn't even sell 1,100 copies. There's way more factors than the RTP.
This.

Even though, this might be largely because of the flood of indie games exploding the market between 2015-2017. In 2015, a modest or even poor RTP RPG Game could sell the 200 000 in a year for example. In 2018, you're lucky if you get 500 copies sold in 6 months, and even then it'll have to be a lot better game. I don't think with "Modest/ Poor" you'd get anywhere anymore at this point.

Whatever's the case and for all aware things that's been said in this thread so far, it's not gonna be easy for any of us- or for any indie developer, unless you have a big team with pro artists and superb marketing experts, or in another case like 100 games released, or if your game is AAA quality graphically.

It doesn't even matter if the "AAA" game tells a dumb story about a space marine fighting against aliens in a maze of grey corrdiors (as long as they're shiny and high-rez) and the playtime is less than an hour with absolutely no new ideas and a badly told cliched story, for if the visual tech is today's best and the resolution top-notch (resolution trumps every other aspect of a game to many these days) and there are guns' n' stuff, it'll sell a million more than the best 2d Indie RPG of all time you just happened to create in the course of 10 years. Especially if it's made using RPG Maker, in which case your 10 years of work earns you about 1000 dollars per year.
Even though absolutely no one remembers it after a week of the playthrough.

Edit: However, not all audience in Steam are interested about the engine the game was made of. Actually, I think most players don't really care. Most players are not developers, and when I was a gamer and not a developer, I couldn't care less about the engine the game was used, even though I have to admit the more original it looked, the more it always interested in me. In RPG:s, I always read the reviews and my decision to buy was based on what was said about the gameplay, story and music mainly, if the game looked like a basic 16-bit era JRPG.

Afterthought:
Aren't all the modern shooters looking the "same" too with each other? Why diss only the 2d games? Most of them are even made using the same 2 or 3 engines (Unity, Unreal etc.)

Second Afterthough: Would be nice if Steam would advertise other games too on their front page, than the ones that are already selling millions. If a person is looking for a certain popular game, he can just write the name on the search bar. But yeah, this is the rich is getting richer and the poor will be swept under the carpet mentality I guess, from Steam.
 
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@VisitorsFromDreams : Right. Plus those I know of that broke 200,000 copies with only RTP did it when getting a game on Steam still meant (in people's minds) that the game was good. No idea if they could do it if they released the same game now.

@Labyrinthine : Maybe not, but I do have a fishy feeling that if you were to make an AO version of a game it would sell better, even with RTP and 3 - 5 hours of gameplay, as that seems to be the market these days. Guess I'll miss that trend as I refuse to go into that kind of territory with my games.
 
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@VisitorsFromDreams : Right. Plus those I know of that broke 200,000 copies with only RTP did it when getting a game on Steam still meant (in people's minds) that the game was good. No idea if they could do it if they released the same game now.

I think Steam Direct really changed things, for better or for worse. Whats important to the themes of this thread isn't what sold well in the past (which may have been true of RTP), its about what sort of advertising works now. Its hard to know what works and doesn't work for a lot of more recent steam releases without having sales numbers for games released in the last 12 months, but those games are whats relevant. Its frustrating that its not something thats easy to get the information on.
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams : Even then, it wouldn't help as it often takes longer to make a game, so by the time you made your game, your data is outdated. If we were to rush to make RPG Battle Royale games, by the time we figured out all of the scripts, that trend would be done and tired. So unless we had a battle royale game ready to go NOW, best forget that one.

Same with the switch. That's the hot new thing right now, but unless you got a game ready to go over there in 6 - 12 months, I have a feeling that in 12 months or so it will be just another Steam and indies will be doing the same there as they are on Steam now.

I honestly wish a competitor would come along and shake this up, as I think if a system came along that curated games and gave all indies an honest chance to get on the store, but rejected the garbage, it would be so popular that Steam would be a thing of the past in 3 - 5 years (gog is close, but they reject all RPGMaker games out of habit unless they prove popular somewhere else. Maybe they will change that someday, but until then...). But that would require someone with $$$ to set that up.
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams : Even then, it wouldn't help as it often takes longer to make a game, so by the time you made your game, your data is outdated. If we were to rush to make RPG Battle Royale games, by the time we figured out all of the scripts, that trend would be done and tired. So unless we had a battle royale game ready to go NOW, best forget that one.

Same with the switch. That's the hot new thing right now, but unless you got a game ready to go over there in 6 - 12 months, I have a feeling that in 12 months or so it will be just another Steam and indies will be doing the same there as they are on Steam now.

I honestly wish a competitor would come along and shake this up, as I think if a system came along that curated games and gave all indies an honest chance to get on the store, but rejected the garbage, it would be so popular that Steam would be a thing of the past in 3 - 5 years (gog is close, but they reject all RPGMaker games out of habit unless they prove popular somewhere else. Maybe they will change that someday, but until then...). But that would require someone with $$$ to set that up.
It's hard to predict what's trending at any given time. Not even experts know much about it. That's why it's just better to do one's own thing, with one's own rules. Maybe you'll get lucky and create something timeless.
(Edit: besides, who gives about trends if that were the option...)
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams : The problem is actual sales numbers prove you wrong. There are RTP heavy games that sold 200,000 copies, and custom asset games that didn't even sell 1,100 copies. There's way more factors than the RTP.
I trust you regarding selling below 1000 copies, but can you link some RTP games that sold over 200k copies as you say? I think this is rather misguided, or some very special circumstances were at work for those games (like if it was one of the first RPGM games on Steam in pre-Greenlight era, which is not relevant at all right now).
 

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Yeah, I was actually offered to make an "adult" RM game at one point, but I refused to do it, because I can't do anything I lack interest of.
 

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I am absolutely not saying that RTP is bad. I'm the RTP Princess ffs, I live and breathe that stuff like it's going out of fashion, but there's a huge difference between This (which has mapping issues btw) and This. One might draw more potential players and interest than the other. RTP is a very versatile tool, but you need to expend some skill and effort to eke out the best of it.

That aside, again, picking the best images for your game page is something you can do to drum up excitement. Again, the ones on there currently aren't great for drumming up interest, especially the one that I linked above (might want to add some walls under those ceilings).

Also? You can work on your game for as long as you need to. Why do you think you can't? Just because it's released doesn't mean that it can't still be refined - and future players will thank you for it. Hell, past players will probably thank you for it if they go back to play it again. So yes, get some faces done and revamp the game. Tell them it's a remastering - they won't care as long as it looks better and plays well.
 

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@Dankovsky chronicles of a dark lord I. The remaster though did really bad and only sold 3000 last I heard

Also skyborn is heavy rtp and was considered a success. But exact sales numbers for that one I never got.

And finally the original aveyond has a lot of rtp and so does the millenium series and both are considered successes. Exact numbers not given but I recall they once said one of them made them over a million dollars in the end.

But to prove the changing markets thing...aveyond 4 only made $30000 in sales (not profit, but sales) as reported in an interview with therampantcoyote which is about 2000 copies at the price they charged for it

Edit: One of the problems with the argument don't use the RTP though is there is no evidence that better graphics = more sales. To prove or disprove it you'd have to release two identical games at the same time, one with RTP and one with custom graphics and see which sells more. Otherwise there are too many outside factors at work to conclude x caused y. To properly prove anything in statistics you have to isolate it down to only one variable under consideration, and the rest must be at your control. Unfortunately this is a common fallacy that companies fall into thinking x caused y and when they adjust wrongly they go broke.

However, I personally don't think graphics =/= more sales. Look no further than pubg for this one. They used unity default and/or store maps...and most of the public didn't care as they offered a fun game on top of that. Sure, some criticize them, but the average person doesn't seem to care as the game is fun, and that is what matters in the end.
 
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I am absolutely not saying that RTP is bad. I'm the RTP Princess ffs, I live and breathe that stuff like it's going out of fashion, but there's a huge difference between This (which has mapping issues btw) and This. One might draw more potential players and interest than the other. RTP is a very versatile tool, but you need to expend some skill and effort to eke out the best of it.

That aside, again, picking the best images for your game page is something you can do to drum up excitement. Again, the ones on there currently aren't great for drumming up interest, especially the one that I linked above (might want to add some walls under those ceilings).

Also? You can work on your game for as long as you need to. Why do you think you can't? Just because it's released doesn't mean that it can't still be refined - and future players will thank you for it. Hell, past players will probably thank you for it if they go back to play it again. So yes, get some faces done and revamp the game. Tell them it's a remastering - they won't care as long as it looks better and plays well.

We 100% agree with everything you just said, and apologize if our previous comment came off as dismissive. You are correct. You can do wonders with the RTP if you, as you said, put the skill and effort into it.

In all actuality, the second map you showed was what inspired us to create this map of Cairo.

And what you say about working on your game after you release it? Ab-so-lute-ly! In fact, a good developer will take feedback on his game and refine it for a while after release, making it better and more streamlined: from concept to code. There is never an excuse not to work and rework on a game after its release.

Lastly, a lot of a project's success also comes from the attitude of the developer. If you come off as "my game is the greatest as it is" instead of "how can I improve my players' experience", you're going to innately create a crappy product. Developers who think their project is immaculate are doomed to failure.
 

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