is the secret to success making 18+ content?

bgillisp

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The thing is, they don't even play the games you submit. Remember the game that got through the process that was missing the .exe? If anyone at all had played it at Steam that would have been found.

From what I've heard there are still three things you can't put in an 18+ game. No exploitation of children is one of them (and that is stated on the Steam Direct page). The other two I can't post and keep it PG13 though.
 

sura_tc

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Regardless, Steam adult games are spreading at a rapid speed. Even some adult JRPG (aka hentai games) are making it to Steam.

So, I am inclined to believe that Steam is allowing this. It is not necessarily a bad thing.
 

bgillisp

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Maybe. We'll see. Though if they do I joke between that and the fact that it seems to be all that sells well on Steam (unless you are an AAA company) they should rename themselves Steamy.

Also some of this mass spreading is why some devs jumped ship for Epic as they didn't want to be associated with a platform that was getting known for 18+ content and not moderating their games.
 

sura_tc

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It all began with Steam greenlight. They were the first one (a large company) to start accepting indie games onto their platform.

That should be seen as a good thing. Because, before that, it was painfully harder for indie dev to get their games to gain exposure.

Of course, it didn't take long to get that system to be abused.

Personally, I am not a fan of neither Steam nor Epic. I prefer GoG method. But this is my view as a gamer instead of a dev.
As a dev, I prefer Steam's method.
 

BlueMage

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@bgillisp Steam does allow full Adult game, you just need to tag is as mature content.
But doing so perhaps will cut down like 1/2 potential customers because unless one
has signed in his Steam account, adult contents will never show.
There is a better approachment that is to put NSFW content as a free DLC =)
That way, your game still being show & advertise normally on Steam, but player
still know that your game is NSFW and can download it easily.
An example:
store.steampowered.com/app/965670/Niplheims_Hunter__Branded_Azel/
 

jkweath

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I feel like there’s a “can’t do” mentality here that makes almost no sense to me. Advertising is not difficult. It takes very little effort.

Any advice you'd be willing to offer on advertising, then, outside of adding R18 content?

In my experience, you're right in that advertising isn't technically difficult, but it seems very possible to put a lot of effort into advertising but with no return on investment.
 

Indinera

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but with no return on investment.

It happens all the time.
I don't trust the press and to be honest I've had an entire career so far without spending a cent in marketing and also without benefiting from any significant push from journalists. For one lucky dev that gets profitable exposure, hundreds that get overlooked no matter what they do. If you're not a lucky person in general, bet on hard work and consistency over years, not marketing and definitely not press. Expecting anything from them is likely the best way to end up immensely disappointed.
 
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Liandra Aura

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Advertise at coffee shops, work, schools, on the boards, discord servers for groups such as Lunatic, WorldAnvil, etc.

You have to get your name around and build a following before any kind of release. Luck is a factor but hard work and determination will do wonders for you. If you think about it, a lot of people who think they "don't have enough time" are simply not willing to put forth the effort. Deny it all you like, just look at the work ethic around you. Japanese workers for example will literally work until they die. I'm not advocating for that of course, but as I said before, it's all about what you're willing to put in.
 

Dezue

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Agree with @Indinera , it's far better to build up your own thing in the current gaming market instead of relying on the press.
Over the last few years, it lost its significance quite a lot, while specialized youtubers and streamers gained influence.

We've had an Kotaku article about one of our games some time ago, and while that's a cool thing in and of itself, it sadly did nothing for us in terms of funding.

That said, it's best to not think that 'advertising is easy' or something like that if you want to make a living in game development - it's actually one of the harder things to get right, and is different for every game.
 

sura_tc

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Have to agree on loss of significance in press / media.

It has been quite noticeable in the last few years, which I think is a good thing.
 

jkweath

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You have to get your name around and build a following before any kind of release. Luck is a factor but hard work and determination will do wonders for you. If you think about it, a lot of people who think they "don't have enough time" are simply not willing to put forth the effort.

I kept trying to think of a good response to this, but the only thing I can think of is, "guilty as charged". I'm thinking after my next two game releases I'll probably make a game worthy of having a bigger publisher to do that work for me.

it's far better to build up your own thing in the current gaming market instead of relying on the press.
Over the last few years, it lost its significance quite a lot, while specialized youtubers and streamers gained influence.

We've had an Kotaku article about one of our games some time ago, and while that's a cool thing in and of itself, it sadly did nothing for us in terms of funding.

It actually surprises me that having an article written in Kotaku didn't help you much. I figured exposure like that would be a godsend.

Then again one of my games was featured on a podcast and had articles written on Cliqist and Defunctgames, yet its sales still pale in comparison to another of my games that I put absolutely zero advertising effort into.
 

Dezue

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@jkweath Yeah, we also hoped it would help more - still, the article itself was very fun to read and quite positive, so it was a good experience overall ;)

I guess it's more about the people that like your game and where they hang out instead of the sheer number of views.
In the end, displaying your stuff in front of 1000 people that dig your kind of game is a lot better than showing it to 10.000 people that dont' really care much.
 

JosephSeraph

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Regarding the adult game market being oversaturated and you needing a lot to stand out; that's true if your target audience is straight men; there is however a lot of untapped potential in lgbt+ territories or even games targeted at straight women :)

granted, the potential number of players will be quite less, but since these are niches that are mostly unfulfilled, you can tap into a much, and i mean much bigger percentage of that audience. Of course though, you don't understand that demographic (which mostly comes from being the target audience, although not necessarily) it's likely players won't connect to the game and i oop.
 

MDZ

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All of this makes me wonder how I will fair when it comes time to publish.
Striving for march but will most likely be July for release. Everything I have been reading "not just here" leads me to believe quality of content, marketing and the venue it's sold on are 3 key parts for a NSFW projects success. If there is anyone who has sold their title and has had success with the sale of it, I would like to hear more.

~MDZ
 

jakeybreaky

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Personally I enjoy porn games, though I wish the standard was a bit higher for them. With the exception of a lot of visual novels and a lot of japanese games, it's pretty rare to see a NSFW game kinda push the boundary and actually try to be a legitimately great game. Unfortunately there are just a lot of games that kinda just slap some tiddys onto a cobbled together mess and call it a day, in the hopes of making a quick buck.

There's been a few in recent years that have definitely been trying a lot harder to be legitimate games, but we're still far from perfecting the craft I think. And with steam now allowing for porn games to be sold, I'm hoping that will kind of open the floodgates for more developers to try and push the envelope a bit.
 

MetalKing11417

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There are some of them considered to be of high quality within the community such as The Last Sovereign.

As for me, my main concern is financing- I know of several nsfw games for rpgmaker on *******, but are there any non 18+ games there (not including people making plugins) and how many of them seem to have a following? Because I would like to be able to focus more time on my game and be somewhat financially stable.
 

Wavelength

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I don't know, a lot of very experienced and qualified-to-speak devs here are saying that porn 18+ games are the best and most reliable way to sell a large number of copies and make money. Maybe it's true; I really know very little at all about that subculture of gamers. But I think it's extremely doable as a non-18+ dev too; it's just that so many people suck at making their game stand out.

To the Moon, One Shot, Skyborn, and One Way Heroics are good examples of games that have each sold hundreds of thousands (or more) of copies, and I believe were all made in RPGM.

I think there are really two things you need to do: Make it very obvious on your Steam (or itch.io or whatever) page that your game offers something unique and special (you can do it with unique mechanics, a very unique and aspirational story, or just a very creative pitch), and also make it very obvious that you put in the work to make your game a good experience (graphics or music are usually the best ways to show this - sadly all the time in the world put into balance, which is necessary to actually create a good experience, won't convince someone looking at your Steam page). A third factor - getting a good start out of the gates by hustling your game and getting the first few hundred people to try it out quickly - probably helps, too.
 

CraneSoft

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To the Moon, One Shot, Skyborn, and One Way Heroics are good examples of games that have each sold hundreds of thousands (or more) of copies, and I believe were all made in RPGM.

I hear those titles come out quite alot (or rather, the only titles I've ever heard in non-R18 besides the popular horror ones) whenever sales numbers are involved, but I must stress that those games are made during a time where the market wasn't even half as saturated as today, and that's not really a good milestone for today's market. With Steam allowing R18 RPGM games now, the market is only going to get even more saturated than before as you will be competing with them directly now.

The hurdle for 18+ games is simply much lower for the average dev that are not a god at creating games but possess at least some artistic talent. Even then, it is simply too difficult to get your game noticed nowadays especially when you don't have some level of good art in a non-R18 game, and people need to understand the risk involved is extremely high if you don't have a dedicated following of at least 1,000 (the average number for ANY R18 dev I know that isn't hiding in the sewers) before release (which I assume most of the people here do not have).
 

Wavelength

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I hear those titles come out quite alot (or rather, the only titles I've ever heard in non-R18 besides the popular horror ones) whenever sales numbers are involved, but I must stress that those games are made during a time where the market wasn't even half as saturated as today, and that's not really a good milestone for today's market.
Thanks for pointing that out - I actually meant to qualify that those games were, indeed, released in a less crowded market than we have today, and I forgot to include that in my post as I went off on other tangents.

I still think this speaks to the important of standing out, though. If your epic 60 hour fantasy RPG with standard battles, lots of sidequests, and "great characters" doesn't look like it can blow all the other indie fantasy RPGs out of the water, not that many people are going to take the flyer with their time and money. If you are clearly providing an experience unlike what people will get from any of those other games, I truly believe you're going to convert some views into sales and a lot of people will take the time to actually play through your game (or at least try the first few minutes and keep playing if it's good).

I see a lot of RPG Maker games suggested to me on Steam that - while maybe they're actually quite good in practice - when I look at the Store page I get a giant sense of "meh" at what I'm seeing. There's nothing that pops out to me as "this would be a special experience", and the number or positivity of the reviews even makes me feel like maybe it got a fanbase it didn't deserve. Again, maybe I'm actually missing out on a truly great game, but the way it's presented doesn't suggest that, and I'm inclined to think that explains the sales more than anything else.

The bar has been set pretty high.
 

Andar

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but I must stress that those games are made during a time where the market wasn't even half as saturated as today
not all of them - that is sure for "to the moon" which was released before the stigma of RM-Game appeared. But Skyborn is relatively new, it was released after everyone was telling "RM-Games are bad" and is part of the reason why that opinion faded.
 

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