How should I advertise my game

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Labyrinthine, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Rukiri

    Rukiri I like to make Action-RPGs Veteran

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    Youtube, PHub(you know what I'm talking about :p), twitch, facebook, twitter, your own blog, etc.
    Basically everywhere...
     
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  2. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    You can't come here asking how to market your game, and when dozens of people give you useful advice, come back with that, lol. I wasn't planning on posting here, but I can't not post with a response like this.

    If you sold a mere 1k copies in almost a year, it means:
    -You're doing a bad job advertising your game. Your logo, texts and screenshots do not appeal to the people seeing your game page.
    -Your game is bad, meaning the few people who've played it didn't spread the word and told their friends to get it too.
    -You cater to a near non-existing audience, and refuse to broaden your focus because of petty reasons, such as "quest markers are lame" and "well, it's not meant to look pretty because (insert lengthy lore reason)".

    You are so proud to not be 'generic', whatever that means, but it's not selling the game to people. Generic things are generic, because they appeal to people (same for clichés). You are unwilling to make your game look pretty, because all your effort went into writing a story. Yet, your screenshots don't show off the quality of your writing. You're advertising your game using the weakest points of your game, and you still wonder why it doesn't sell? You blame your players for not 'getting' your game, because they didn't do this or that, or they didn't get far enough, when it's only you as developer who is to blame for bad play experience. You wonder why people don't buy your game when you blame the players for not 'getting' it. How can you not see your catastrophic approach to handling your game?

    This is why you don't sell your passion projects. You want to make money? Sell stuff that appeals to people browsing Steam store. Get a good artist to draw character art that looks cool, even if it means being 'generic'. Make maps that wow the people looking at them. People don't care about your lore when they look at screenshots when deciding to spend their money. Make your game look good, or take people's advice and write a book.
    Know what people want and cater to that group, not to yourself and what you want.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Milennin : Not 100% true, as there are indies who have done all of that and sold < 1K copies. Sometimes bad timing of your release can doom you too, especially as flooded as Steam is. With 7000+ games coming out a year it's easy to be buried in the list.

    Now granted the stuff posted on this thread should help prevent that, but I've heard of games that did all you listed and were still under 1K sales.

    Now I think some of the problem is some of us (like me) have just stopped buying games when they first come out as our backlog is too huge right now. Any game I'm curious about just ends up on the wishlist, and when I feel like buying and playing a new game I'll look through it and buy one then, and usually by that point in time the game has been out 2 - 3 years or more. To give you an idea, I still have to play the following, all on my backlog, and games I own already:

    Wasteland 2
    Divinity Original Sin
    Xenonauts
    Final Fantasy Type-0
    Blackguards
    Wild Arms 3 (PS2)
    Rise of the tomb Raider
    Eternal Sonata
    Starflight
    Bards Tail 2 and 3
    Ultima 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 (I beat 6 when I was young, but never any of the others)
    Police Quest 3
    Monkey Island 1 and 2 (originals)

    I think you get the idea, especially as some of those games are from the 80's. Last time I counted I got about 400 games in my backlog on gog.com and about 300 on my steam account in my backlog, and that is not counting all the Ps1/2/3 games I got as well. And I'm sure there are others in the same situation as me who have decided to just play the backlog instead of paying $59.99 on a new AAA game they will not get around to playing until 2021 anyways.
     
  4. jkweath

    jkweath Goes Fast Veteran

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    Im almost of the opinion that, At this point in gaming history, its almost not worth it to even try making a commercial game with RPG maker unless you A) have money to invest in marketing, B) are willing to learn how to market and put in the time for it, and C) have a game that can be marketed to begin with (in other words, probably no game that uses RTP graphics or doesn't hit a niche audience besides "fantasy/medieval jRPG".
     
  5. Celianna

    Celianna Tileset artist Global Mod

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    I don't know, I don't have money for marketing, but I'm still doing alright with my niche game.

    Knowing who your audience is, is the most important part. That said,my audience is very small and scattered, it's hard to reach them sometimes!
     
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  6. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Sometimes I miss a Steam Curator specialized into listing RPG Maker made games.

    There are some that play RM games, ok, but I'm talking about a curator that shows only RM made games. Pretty much like an easy book list to find RM games. Preferably, non AO RM games.

    Small initiatives like this one could help greatly the community overall.

    @Labyrinthine, there's something I think I really need to tell you about the original Labyronias.

    These titles, at least here on Brazil, managed to gather a really bad reputation. They are even compared by some persons with "Miner Ultra Adventures" (a terribly crap made game indeed). The same thing happened with my other game series "Porradaria", specially with "Porradaria 2: Pagode of the Night".

    I played your original games, and found them enjoyable and the price tag fair for what the game has to offer, but not everyone is up to check things themselves. After you got a bad first impression, even if it was "fake", you hardly can make persons change their mind about it.

    On this matter, it seems that some Youtubers enjoy picking on small devs just for this. I don't know how they manage to find "terrible issues" even when isn't any at all, just to shame the game and convince everyone it's another "indie trash" not worth of purchase.

    I always heard what the "critics" were talking about my games, and if the issue was real, I fixed it right away. I really worked hard on many updates I did on Porradaria 1 and 2 to make them better games. Today they are much better than they were in the past, but certain people keep repeating that they are "trash games", because that's what they heard before in some reviews, and nobody cared to "review" these games again after the updates to see how better they are now.

    I think that maybe, just maybe, the only problem on your marketing behalf is on the title itself. People see the title and automatically feels... "Oh no! It's Labyronia!! Argh!!!:eek:"

    IMHO, you have two options:

    A - Change your new game titles (easier path)
    B - Make a really outstanding new Labyronia, to make everyone regret the bad things they said about you and your games (harder path)

    I'm personally taking the B route.:biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  7. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    We freaking LOVE Eternal Sonata. Maybe one day we'll have the time to finish it. >__>

    This is very true. Once a game gets a bad reputation, all the updates in the world can't save it from its rep. That goes double for RM games, apparently, which really run the risk of a bad rep.

    That's one of the reasons we specifically started critiquing RPG Maker games. We felt they were getting a bad rep just for being RPG Maker games. We felt someone needed to establish a baseline for them. YouTubers like Drifty are similar, as are ones like NeoSoulGamer and Toasty.

    Don't know if the OP is still lurking here, but that is very sound advice. Rebranding may not just save his series but may reinvigorate it. Give it a fresh coat of paint as it were. Of course, the harder path is just as viable but is an extreme amount of work.
     
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  8. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    @Labyrinthine Please keep reading the thread when you have the spare time, and when you can, read this post too. As I am just summarizing all the advice you've been given here with two tutorial links by other members of the forum to try and keep it simple on how you can succeed with your next game.

    I think these two tutorial links go well with the advice given here, so I try and show that to you below and I believe the advice with these two tutorials can really help you out and is really going to make clear what to do different.

    I already agree with what a lot of people have said here and what @CleanWater has now added, and I truly believe anyone else who would seriously want to help your game get better would agree with the advice given too, it's not just the case on a certain audience believes a certain way of thinking. Just as @CleanWater said, if the next Labyronia game is outstanding, and I believe you could do that, then I think it would really help you have a game that's more enjoyed, with more positive feedback.

    With your next game try and follow the advice in these two points, you've been told it all already but this is a summary where the added tutorial links fit into it showing you some further examples on how to handle mapping, level design and reducing confusion for players.

    Two simpler points.

    Point 1. Make sure to think about level design.

    Do more to it then just simple narrow one tile mazes. @Studio Blue covered that really well, and I feel it does go hand in hand with what @Ksi has been telling you about mapping as well. From a level design point of view, you want it to have enough space for players to roam around and explore without being too large or too small. There isn't always a set size ffor this, as different games focus on different thing.

    For instance, if exploring towns is a smaller feature in the game, then it'd make sense to make there sizes small while still giving enjoyment to the player to explore the town. If dungeons are suppose to be more challenging, which is what I think you are aiming for, then try and put hidden features in the dungeons where players can gain useful rewards by finding them. (Read my second point, point 2, in relation to this below this section).

    Then from what @Ksi has told you, you'd want to visually make the map appealing. I know RTP can be repetitive and I think if you can make custom tiles and they look good visually then do so, or mix the two together if you want to limit how much you do, but what really matters is how it looks visually.

    In @Ksi example that was entirely RTP but with a more creative use for the wood bridge tile, and it definitely looked better, personally I had no problem with RTP there at all since it looked really good. I'd guess a lot of people would agree with that too, so even with just RTP the level design and visual apperance can make a huge difference.

    See if you can practice level design mapping and then add enough detail here and there to them after the level design is complete, so they work from a level design point of view while still looking a bit more pretty for all the maps you end up making for the next game.

    Looking carefully again at your mapping from the video Studio Blues played, I actually think a lot of the first maps look good enough, and I think Studio Blue said they had no issues with it which seems solid and correct advice. It is just the level design that could do with work in those maps, but clearly in that other map Ksi shared, it would look at lot better with more visual details and less empty space.

    Also with level design, you can add simple puzzles to the dungeons if you follow a structure like the one @Indrah made in this tutorial here.

    Indrah's Mapping in 5 easy steps, very solid and good advice.
    https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/mapping-in-five-easy-steps.61/

    So an example of a simple puzzle, having a few switches needing to be pressed to open a certain door or make a certain pathway appear. Or the character needing to find a specific item to proceed forward. You can add features like this in the game, just don't make them too difficult and confusing for the players to achieve the puzzle objective, and don't make too many of these in one go. (Again I cover this further in second point, point 2). I think your main objective of collecting X of certain items works fine, but then with some of the dungeons and towns perhaps, make sure to make something slightly different so it varies a bit and changes a little, you don't have too much, just to try a create a little varity to add more joy to the game for the players.



    Point 2. Don't make things too confusing for players.

    This is what @Studio Blue had been telling you over and over, and it's a very valid critic. I hope you can see it applies to everyone making any type of game and not games for certain audiences. I agree with them completely.

    Here's a good tutorial by @Titanhex on level design.
    https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/inde...me-design-workshop-part-2-level-design.69832/

    Yes this is related because you do not want players to be confused when navigating your maps. It's ok to have some players use some thought in the game, but you still want it to be clear enough for a player to get through.

    That's, I believe, one of the main points @Studio Blue has shared with you and that can definitely make such a huge difference with your next game. A huge difference.

    My advice to you would be try put yourself in the players shoes and try as best as you can to see if it seems confusing along the way if you were a completely new player.

    So with the dungeon idea, if you do add switches as a quick example, if you also have random encounter rates don't make a super large maps with one switch the opposite side of the other with random encounters every 5 steps. That may sound obvious and simple to you, but really people can do that without even realizing they have. If you have random encounters in your next game always check to see how many steps on average it takes to get into them and whether they happen at the right pace, too much or too little depending on what's right with the mechanics your going for. I don't think you really had a problem here but the example is given on how to think about game design all the time to prevent confusion for the players.

    An example of level design and reducing confusion that is more related to you, would be, don't make things too mazy spanning with many different directions on a single map without it being clear enough for the player to get to the next map. Very similar, isn't it?

    When you get good at level design, everything should become easier.

    I read another one of your newer threads on a new game you were thinking of making, and I thought you had a lot of very good ideas for the game, but like @Ksi said here, what matters next is how you do them and how you present them to not be confusing for players. At the first when reading your new thread, a few of the ideas sounded confusing to me, only a few. While it is ok if the game become more complex along the way, present the game to the player in a way they won't be too confused by it. You can add some surpises, some feature that can come across as complex and confusing in a different sense, just make sure the player doesn't become too confused by what you present to them. So the player can keep up with the ideas, and at the same time the confusion would still have to be reduced to the maximum it can go on for without players being too confused.

    Really work on this point and I think you'll make a much better new game.

    Simplicity for the player and presentation applies just as much to the story as the level design and mapping. So with the story it's fine to have surprises and a couple of plot twists if you want to add them, just make sure they are structure well in how the information is given to the player. Not too much in one go.

    Make sure to work with point 1 and point 2 that you've already been told about many times now. If you want your game to succeed, I really think that is what you have to do.

    It shouldn't feel overwhelming for you to accomplish this either, as I believe you can definitely do it, if it does feel too much in one go break it down into simpler steps or a method that works for you to follow. Just make sure you somehow get the level design right and a simpler feel for players with a lack of confusion.

    You already are doing well with creating certain atmosphere, sound effects and music. I believe you can make something outstanding, but you need to take the advice you've been given to heart. Not just excuse it, as long as you do these specific changes, I think your next game can succeed very well.

    I would also advice, if @Studio Blue are happy to, when you get enough content in your next game, without any rush, so that may be a whole year from now depending when and how often you work your project, ask for feedback again and see what they can then say. So I mean when you get 2 hours worth of content, at that stage it may be good to get some ideas and feedback from someone else who is good at criticizing games for you.

    Don't do this if you don't improve in your next game from the advice you've been given, but do improve it and then do seek for further advice again in the future. I think @Studio Blue would be more than happy to tell you how your doing in a year time or how short/long it'll end up being if it's sooner/later. I think it really is great and good for you that they were able to give you such a lot of useful feedback and may be willing to help you further in future. Something for you to really be thankful for, it IS solid advice and I can see they are still trying to help you further now, so please don't just brush it off.

    I think everything has now really been said and done for you here. Unless anyone else want to expand or summarize on already said feedback, or if anyone wants to share new thoughts on what can help you further, everything really been said and done now. So take all this advice and see what you can do in your next project.

    If you need further help with mapping, for level design I recommend looking at good commercial video games that have had positive feedback and see how they map. If there is a game out there that has mostly negative feedback, but everyone is still praising a certain aspect of it, then of course you can look at that one aspect they got right for ideas too. I believe that too could really help you, but you definitely have enough feedback here already and with those two tutorials in addition to it all now, you definitely have a lot of useful feedback and enough to improve your next game. Best of luck with it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  9. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    @Studio Blue, I would like you to play my game too. Ok, it's not translated, but just out of curiosity, I would like to know what the foreigner audience (non-Brazilian players from my point of view :biggrin:) would think about it. If you are interested, let me know. :wink:
     
  10. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    We are always happy to help a developer who is willing to grow and fix their game. It's only when the developer stops listening to us that we're reluctant to continue helping them. For this game in particular, we stuck around this thread because we so desperately wanted to help this developer.

    We'll see what the future holds.

    Give us a PM. We'll see where we're at after this upcoming weekend. :)
     
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  11. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    Yes @Labyrinthine the best advice to you is try and tackle some of the suggestions as they really are good suggestions and since @Studio Blue are so willing to help you out, I really think you should give this a go, as you have two people happy to give you further feedback to keep improving.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  12. Biestmann

    Biestmann Heaven's Height Veteran

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    I just want to say how illuminating this thread has been. Whether or not the OP has taken away much from all this, there are people like me that certainly have. So thanks to everyone participating in this discussion.
     
  13. CrowStorm

    CrowStorm Check my résumé, your residence is residue Member

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    I just want to say I'm super glad this forum exists because I NEED to monetize this shizz to justify spending the amount of hours I do gammaking and I have NO idea how to go about it. In the past, I have spent several hundred dollars advertising games even more obscure and niche than RPG Maker games (gasp!) and seen no particular correlation nor causation between advertising and sales/clicks. This doesn't mean that all paid advertising is a waste of time, but it is something to think about when you're operating on a shoestring budget which my default assumption is you are, if you're working in RPG Maker.

    Honestly, I'm still struggling and hustling to try and get some of my non-commercial RM projects NOTICED. Like, even trying to "sell" something that's free is a challenge in such a crowded market.
     
  14. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @atoms (and others)
    I appreciate your support and you have a lot of good advice, but some of it was kind of strange. It seems that you're under impression the game has no puzzles even though there are lots of them. This stems from the fact only a very small fraction of the game has been shown here. The beginning has no puzzles not counting some simplistic rock pushing stuff. The world of Spirit seems empty at first, but there are a lot of varying content later. Several worlds and dungeons are full of puzzles, and you could say rebuilding the world is a big puzzle by itself. The mapping and progression-based puzzles, minigames and various activity from the worlds of Earth, Air, Fire and Water gets better. Even the first dungeon of the Fire world was quite a complex puzzle utilizing several rooms working in unison.

    About the random encounters, they exist only on the world maps. Enemies are visible units in all other areas with puzzles, dungeons and such.

    When you create a game 3 years, 10 hour working days every day, it would be strange if no improvement happened on the way. The game can be completed in 30 hours if you speed run through it knowing everything, but most players take 50-90 hours in the first time. Creating this much content was a constant learning process. In addition, I have completed 5 games and released them all, so I'm not exactly an amateur using this program at this point. In other words, I wouldn't create an area with 5 step random encounters just to annoy the players. I've gotten past the beginner phase and those common mistakes a long time ago.

    The reason why I'm so passionate towards this game is that I put everything on it, all the skill I could muster and had learned before making the 3 preceding games. My priorities were world creation, freedom to choose the order of entering the worlds, gameplay with a lot of variety and the soundtrack. The mapping could be better in some areas, but I think it's good enough. Here's part of one city. It's directly from the editor so there are no special effects. Is it really such bad mapping?

    [​IMG]

    I know, it's not the best map out there. I can only say that I had to make some compromises concerning the graphics because of the enormous scale of the game. Otherwise I would have never completed it. If the game had been shorter, I would've concentrated making more beautiful areas, but this one has about 600 maps... -.-

    This is actually a thing many developers don't realize, and the reason why so many games never see the light of day. You have to compromise something if you're about to finish your bigger project one day. That is, unless you have a company...

    As I stated before in my comment, I have taken all the criticism concerning the beginning of the game here seriously, and I'm thankful to all who've had their say. I will take these things into account when building my next project. However, I can't help clarifying things if I notice disinformation based on speculation concerning my game. These would include stuff like "every area is a labyrinth" which I already proved false.

    As for positive feedback, Labyronia Elements stands at 80% with 10 reviews in Steam now, which counts as "positive." Not overwhelmingly, but good enough for me now at least, especially since these are all random people reviewing. There are no "friends or family" within the people who've had their word about the game.

    I don't mind dividing opinions- negative reviews can be a useful tool for noticing own mistakes (even though, I'll never take seriously a negative or positive review of 5 minutes playtime -.-) I have a feeling many players who bought the game months ago are still in the middle of it, so new reviews are probably still on the way. Also and as I earlier stated, the reviews tend to get more positive the farther the player gets in the game. The most positive reviews are from people who completed it. This contradicts the statement that the player could see the overall quality in the first few minutes.

    All the major, professional review sites play through the story of any game at least before giving a verdict. These days people trust way too much user reviews which might be anything from biased people to those who just let the game run still in hopes of getting cards or something- and then write a "review" from their nonexistent experience.

    This is kind of out subject now and not really directed to anyone, but this is what I really think about reviewing and I stand firmly behind my words: You don't review a 100 page book after reading 2 pages. You don't review a movie after seeing the first 10 minutes. Anyone could say "the movie didn't draw me in immediately so it must suck completely." Yet, there are many great movies and books with a slow start. The same is true with games. People need to make a difference between "first impressions," "hands on," and "review." I have personally never reviewed anything without seeing the main content through. If I had reviewed Undertale based on its demo beginning, I would've given it 6/10. After playing it through, it's definitely at least a 9 if not 10.

    Of course, this is not to say criticism from parts of games was wrong. It's not like they were full reviews, and they can be very useful.

    @CleanWater
    I've distanced myself from the original Labyronia RPG games. They're not even released by me. I just call them the RPG Lite series now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  15. Neka Music

    Neka Music Veteran Veteran

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    While I am still working on my first commercial game, I may have a bit of advice regarding what am I doing now :

    1. Get an investor, especially for the one who doesn't know about RPG Maker. I got an investor and he agreed to give me a small budget for my game, and now I can get many custom script and even an unique battle system ready at my table. While the battle system may be expensive and I subsidize it, but it's a long term investment because I can use it for my next game.

    2. A Better (generic) naming of your games; be pragmatic, maybe we could add a bit of like : The legends of... or Final.... whatever; it makes the game to be more memorable, and more searchable in google or any search engines. Your game name ; Labyronia; in my opinion; might sound less-familiar.

    3. If you wish, you could add more DLC content for your game; but be wary; you may be biased as a greedy developer, make the dlc worth the price.

    4. EDIT : maybe I would change your game thumbnails on Steam; into something more visually appealing, like adding a character's portrait on the thumbnails. That could give the buyer a visual clue about what's your game looks like.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  16. Phenax

    Phenax Veteran Veteran

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    This is a huge misinterpretation. Of course people that played the game for longer will on average leave more positive reviews. They continued to play the game because they liked it. Someone who doesn't like it isn't going to play it as long. This has nothing to do with the quality of certain parts of your game.

    Imo Labyronia is a pretty good name. When I google it I only get results for the game. This might be personal taste but I'm pretty sick of all the "The Chronicles of..." etc game names. Generic naming I believe is not something one should aim for.

    I personally believe that the problems of Labyronia Elements don't have to do much with the game itself. I'm saying that as someone that hasn't played the game. Just judging from the reviews Labyronia RPG and Labyronia RPG 2 weren't super great games, the reviews really could be better considering those are $1 games. Regardless, they sold well. Maybe they came at a better time, for a better price or something, maybe luck was involved. What stands out to me is the pretty poor presentation of Labyronia Elements on the Steam store. You need to get better banners. It's a $5 game, less so when it's on sale. People aren't gonna be spending an hour researching whether or not the game is worth that price. They'll look at what they see in the store and at the reviews. If your game is actually good then you don't have to worry about the reviews. The trailer takes 17 seconds until it starts getting to the point, nobody has that time in 2019. Make a trailer that gets straight to the point (gameplay). Get more interesting banners. The description takes ages to get to the point. It's really hard to find out what this game actually is about. This needs to be adressed as directly as possible in the first 2 sentences imo.

    Sorry if some of the things I wrote have already been beaten to death, I have to admit that I haven't read the whole thread. But the above applies to the current situation when I look at the presentation of the game on Steam's store. I'm by no means an expert but thought my 2 cents might be of value for the dev.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  17. Neka Music

    Neka Music Veteran Veteran

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    I agree with Phenax. For marketing purposes, Labyronia Elements should need a better banner on steam. It was way too simple.
    For me, I would add a picture of the main hero/ or heroine (maybe Soltrise / Zera)? in the game? Perhaps a visually beautiful character would attract the buyers.

    As I am one of the playtesters of the game, the weakness of this game is
    about the character progression, especially at the
    late game; for example some items and equipment and even godly skills do not carry over through the entire game.
    as I read one of the game reviews mentioned about this. Which is pretty non-standard for long RPG Games.

    Of course, this is my personal opinion. But, if I were a developer,
    It could be better if there is a way to find the lost items/equipment.
     
  18. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    @Neka Music, @Phenax
    "for example some items and equipment and even godly skills do not carry over through the entire game."
    The thing with skills is only true for the main character. It was an unfortunate decision, but a must for maintaining balance (the reason for this is also explained story-wise). The world of Spirit is the real place to grow this character.

    You two are absolutely right about the banner. I've been thinking about hiring an artist to create better art for the Steam page. Creating a new trailer would probably be a good idea as well. I should show more gameplay with the puzzles and such.

    Neka Music also mentioned a budget. Personally I didn't have an investor, but the game still cost several thousands to make unlike the previous iterations.

    As for the first Labyronia games, they sold well only because the market wasn't as full of RPG Maker games- or any games back in 2015. It's a lot harder for indie developer to sell one's product these days, especially if the marketing lacks and there's no hype generated for a game. All this would require a lot of money and possibly relations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  19. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hey, it's us again! Not sure why this thread popped up in our list after all this time, but here we are. Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2019!

    We're going to go ahead and counter-point the above quote so that developers reading this thread will understand where we personally come from (not to say that Labyrinthine is talking about us in particular, of course). We stand firmly on the following stance and believe we have the overall support of other LPers: You have five to ten minutes to hook a player into the game, and thirty (or less) to pull them into the main story. If Labyrinthine has addressed the problems plaguing the opening segments of his game (the ones we pointed out in our LP), then the improvement will be marked and wonderful.

    On a side note, we did play more of this game over the holidays and did enjoy the story from what we've seen. The actual wordcraft needs work, but the story is very well put together. Labyrinthine has some great story-telling talent. The design choices still turn us off, but at this point, it's probably not possible to fix them without major revision.

    After looking over the Store Page, and discussing things amongst ourselves, we have to agree with Hawk Zombie's review the most: https://steamcommunity.com/id/hawkzombie/recommended/750770/ (He gave the game an overall positive, but had some very compelling things to say about where it could be improved.)

    So to finish our reply to the original quote above, while you don't review a book/movie/game/etc over the first few pages/minutes/etc, you absolutely do decide whether to stay with something relatively quickly. There is a huge difference between a slow start and a bad start. Movies, books, and even games can start slow and still build momentum and draw in their audience. But if the start is bad, the chances of someone sticking around the entire time is considerably limited.

    In conclusion, developers reading this thread, it is absolutely important to trust in an LPer/Critiquer/Reviewer when they say the start of your game has major issues. Those initial flaws, while they may be corrected as the game progresses, need to be addressed if your game is going to hook and maintain the majority of its players.
     
  20. Golden Unicorn Gaming

    Golden Unicorn Gaming Savior of Astoria Veteran

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    Just read this entire thread and was fascinated and here's my 1 cent worth of thoughts:

    Regarding generic advertisement:

    Social media. I tried a hundred dollars via Facebook and didn't see any results (is that too little? No clue). I POUNDED Twitter for a good 6 months and that was when I had my best/most sales but also take into account that was the first 6 months of release, when sales SHOULD be "good." After that first 6 months, though, I slowly drew back from Twitter because life gets in the way. Which brings me to my point, longwinded as it may be... there is a guy on Twitter @Crankagegames who has recently truly inspired me. He is nonstop on Twitter: he interacts with his audience 24/7, is funny, is politically incorrect, is a comedian, he posts pictures of his games' reviews and tags the reviewer, discusses other things besides just his games/gaming company, and overall his interaction is incredible. TBH I could never do what he does, I'm too busy. But it's inspiring, and so far in this thread nobody has addressed that if the DEVELOPER is an awesome person, then people might be more willing to buy your game or you might be able to grow a bigger following/community. Having a personality seems to have been crazy good for him and I applaud his efforts. On social media, do not only try to sell your game, but sell yourself.

    Game Expectation: @Labyrinthine and others

    I made ATHOPS for me. I wanted to tell a story and cross off a bucket list/life goal. And I did it as cheap as possible without going overly cheap while still adding necessary expenses. I tried to be reasonable. I spent about $1600 to make it, with zero expectation to get it back (though I did via KS) and then had zero expectation to make a penny past that (though it became profitable anyway). In Labyronia, if people are being too critical about The Dark One's loss of skills that it utterly destroys their will to continue with the game, then @Labrinthine needs to take a hard look at his game and ask himself if he...

    1) made it to make money/sell as many games as possible/please the community or
    2) tell HIS story.

    If you made this game for $$$, then that turn-off needs to be addressed and you must simply let the community change your game. I went through a very similar thing with ATHOPS where the main character gets betrayed early on and gets hit unconscious and I made the decision that the little girl who saves him was unable to grab his weaponry and gear while she pulled his adult body to safety and people were truly not pleased with it. But I didn't compromise because I made that game for me + to tell a story, and that's the way the cookie crumbled (I have, however, learned my lesson, and that stunt will never happen again :) ). I get the vibe @Labyrinthine feels the same way with his game, and I commend him on holding firm to his convictions if it related to the story/ending.


    Finally, thanks to everyone in this thread for all the input. It was really enlightening. Generally, I agree that the market is oversaturated and it's going to be really hard to sell 5K copies in a year on a small budget (I define small as 5K and below, which means most games probably aren't worth attempting). This disregards Hentai, of course. :)

    Happy gaming and gamedevving everyone!

    Luke
     
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