Why I'm dropping GameJolt support and why you should too

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Tuomo L, Jul 25, 2017.

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Are you going to release your commercial game on Game Jolt?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
    81.3%
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  1. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    I mean, everyone in this topic pretty much have stated Game Jolt has been underwhelming and have shared sales figures compared to other sites too. I don't know where in this topic anyone has shared that their game on Game Jolt has performed better than on Steam/Itc.io
     
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  2. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I think the point is that gamejolt was too flooded when the post was made, and it was impossible to make a living there. Steam has become that too, I've heard of many developers having trouble now as Steam only promotes those games that are already doing well (sound familiar)? I think the difference is now you can create a page and reach out to those who like your kind of games, which is what @Tuomo L has done.

    Now maybe their game(s) aren't what you like to play @RoseofCrimson . That's fine. No one is going to please everyone. I'll admit that new Adventures of Dragon game isn't my type of game, but that's fine, it wasn't made for me but for those who like that kind of game. The trick is to know your audience and cater to them, and if you do that, then you will do well, regardless of what you release your game on (as long as your audience knows how to find your games). And that is what I've seen the OP do here, they found a way to reach those who want their kind of games, which is the ultimate secret to being successful.
     
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  3. RoseofCrimson

    RoseofCrimson Veteran Veteran

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    I personally purchase promising rpg maker games every month on steam scouring new releases and watching old ones. If one thing is consistent is the games that look amazing does well and the medicore games are always less active (0-16 comments).

    The worst thing you could do as an artist is think you cannot grow any further and blame others for your shortcomings. Yes, the market is flooded, but there is also a quality ceiling you must overcome. There is also tools for marketing that are available for -everyone- on the internet. Popular lets players that you can pay to play your game for their audience, however, even if you gain attention by using techniques like these, the challenge is retaining attention in this flooded marketplace... which leads back to the quality of your game. Is it interesting? Is it fun? How much thought did you put into your game to separate it from the flood of other metoo developers that use rpg maker and shove their product on steam?

    There was a thing a player said to me when I uploaded my game to steam greenlight. "It's really good for a rpg maker game, but it still looks like an rpg maker game." At that time I realized I didn't put my everything into my work. I would cut corners saying that "this is good for a rpg maker game." Even in steams heyday, most games here wouldn't be successful, because they aren't true passion projects. They are just rpg maker games that are sometimes better than amateur rpg maker projects. Those incapable of realizing this limit themselves and wont break through an invisible ceiling.

    Why would anyone buy in the sea of thousands of games the -same- game with a different skin? The game that uses the same sprites, the same scripts/plugins, the same music, the same rtp? People are looking for fun, they're looking for interesting, they're looking for things that they do not know they're looking for. You -have- to grow as a developer or be washed away in the sewer which is steam, because rpg maker games are easy to make and they are a dime a dozen.

    I say this as someone that has personally played a few of Tuomo's game (after purchasing) on steam. They weren't the worst, they weren't the best... they weren't memorable in the slightest - it was just another rpg maker game I played on steam. I have a list of the absolute best rpg maker games I've played (free or otherwise) and I doubt it makes it to the top 50.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  4. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    The problem is, that is actually false with how reality has gone. The developer of The Amber Throne (an RPGMaker game) actually posted their sales figure here on the forum a long time ago. It was pathetic. Yet, if you look at it, it looks nothing like an RPGMaker game. Yet, there are hugely successful RPGMaker games that used the RTP . Data Hacker Initiation is one, Chronicles of the Dark Lord Part I is another.

    So you tell me...why are people buying those look the same games and passing over the others that don't? If you can figure that out congrats you could probably save other indies, and not just RPGMaker developers.

    PS: You might want to read up on the developers who have reported making more in sales on the Switch than on Steam. Apparently that is becoming more and more common as well.
     
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  5. RoseofCrimson

    RoseofCrimson Veteran Veteran

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    It's consistent with reality. It's a $15.00 rpg maker that doesn't look very fun for its price.

    Amber Throne is VERY beautiful, but it's just pretty. I see Amber Throne and I think "that's such a lovely looking game", but I don't think "It looks fun.". Data Hacker isn't popular, it's mixed, and if you think about the theme of the game and it's simplicity it seems as though it'll attract children into Sword Art Online and CoADL is also unpopular for a game released in 2014 it has only a minute amount of reviews.

    I'll link a few interesting games I've played.

    Eternal Senia - It looks awful, but the gameplay is very fun and the story actually made me feel something. - almost 10k comments and a considerable fanbase, released in 2015 a year after CoADL (and no it's not popular because its free, Tuomo's "Lamia must die" was also free and released in 2014 before E.S. and didn't do well with 184 Mixed reviews. I'd like to remind everyone that in 2014 steam wasn't as flooded and it still doesnt have much of a fanbase.)


    Rakuen - Released last year and has a very compelling story with interesting gameplay. Made by Laura Shigihara (of plants vs zombies fame that who worked with Kan Gao - one of my favourite rm devs that also made quite a few stellar story-oriented rm games including Quintessence, To the moon, and The Mirror Lied) $10 on steam with 1.3k reviews, 5 star, mostly positive.


    OneShot - Released in later 2016. Very Pretty, not in my top, but worth getting on sale. 9k reviews


    Lisa - Need I say more? It's the cult hit Lisa. I'd say it's not as good as it's sequel, but it's still something that deserves to be looked into.


    When I look at all of these games I can tell they're passion projects that bleed the effort of the creators. They're not just rpg maker games, but something transcendent... I'd say Amber Throne's hugest flaw is it's price range, as Ara Fell did a little better and I bought it because it was only 3 bucks even though I felt it wouldn't be very fun.
     
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  6. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    One thing to be careful of though is high reviews =/= a lot of buyers. Not everyone bothers to write reviews. Sometimes, people buy the game and don't play it right away though. So be careful with the correlation there. Also I think you think I'm talking just RPGMaker projects here but there are well done games in other engines (and I mean well done, not just the typical asset flips) that just get buried and don't break 1000 sales. I wish I had saved the article where one game reported it had not even broken 1000 sales after 3 months on Steam, and it was a good game. But since there were like 200+ games released that week, it got buried and forgotten fast by Steam, and therefore by everyone until a review site gave it some more exposure.

    So while what you bring up can help with selling a game, don't think it is a magic formula to success. If there was one, AAA companies wouldn't go bankrupt.

    Also I think this is off topic from the point about Gamejolt, so maybe best to take it to another thread?
     
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  7. Arin

    Arin Tonight...we dine...in-oh a piece of candy! Veteran

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    Huh. I wonder why you aren't getting many reviews on GameJolt.

    Maybe it's because your games are bad, Tuomo.

    Me personally, I plan to release my game everywhere I possibly can. Itch.io, Gamejolt, and Steam. If I can get away with it, it's going on that site, no matter what. Exposure is what RPG Maker games need and going that extra extra mile to really bring in the audience is what is going to sell. It doesn't matter that the story is great or that there's great gameplay. What people are going to see is the art. If they see the art and it looks like the thousand and millionth RPG Maker game, of course they aren't going to buy it. They'll look at it and say "Oh, it's an RPG Maker game. Therefore, it's bad."

    But if you go the extra mile to wow the audience, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, you'll get lucky. But the majority of people are going to look at your RPG Maker game and just bin it. Because that's what it is. An RPG Maker game.
     
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  8. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    Ouch!
     
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  9. RoseofCrimson

    RoseofCrimson Veteran Veteran

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    You'll have to take into account word of mouth and the like. There isn't a magic formula that leads to success, but that doesn't mean you should half ass your work because you may or may not succeed.
     
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  10. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    Literal 0 sales on the site probably has to do with that.

    Sorry to hear you're not fan but others in this topic have been also posting and saying their figures at Game Jolt have been bad. Are you saying every single person who shared their data here make bad games? Because again, by this logic, you make a good game and people suddenly and magically find it everywhere and only bad games never get found, even if the website is exceptionally smaller than their competition where the very same game sells like many times more?

    Again, almost no one even saw my game on Game Jolt. It was literally lost in the sea of games with absolute no way of bringing more attention to it, like on Itchio, Steam and many others. I forget what page it was, it was in double digits with more RPGs being poured and pushing it backward each moment.

    You can do that if you want but remember, each version needs also different maintenance. There's no one sdk you can just fire up and instantly upload a new patch to each version of your game on every website. The more websites you are on, the more maintenance, support and marketing you need to do.

    Or do you think that uploading your game and just leaving it there on those websites for the next 10 years is the way to go?

    Yes. RPG Maker has stigma. You can polish your game all you want but it'll still be hated just as much as next RPG Maker game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  11. Latefallen

    Latefallen 90% of the time, my code works 100% of the time Veteran

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    I've never used Gamejolt but I don't think you should leave it. Hear me out.
    I've no idea if Gamejolt is free. If it is, keep it. Otherwise, drop it.

    Assuming it's free:
    Having as many avenues for potential customers to find your game(s) is a good thing. The more different websites you appear on, the better SEO your game is going to get and the more places there are for people to discover your game. Imagine that you didn't want to use Itch.io so you didn't put your game(s) on there, that's a big market you're missing out on. Sure, Gamejolt isn't doing anything... yet. If it's free there no reason to drop it, sure they're not promoting your game(s) and there's no real userbase checking your title out but there's that chance that someone might stumble upon it. What's better, one sale because you left it up or no sales because you took it down.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  12. RoseofCrimson

    RoseofCrimson Veteran Veteran

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    These are all cult classics on youtube with millions of views and a huge following.

    Lisa, Witches House, Yumme Nikki, Corpse Party.

    There are more, but I doubt you'd care... you're too busy blaming everyone else but yourself on your lack of success because of your arrogance. *Gamejolt may or not be successful, but that isn't the point. People have friends, and you don't know WHERE the catalyst of the butterfly effect will strike. A popular lets player may scour gamejolt for underated game, a popular kid may search for specific games in the search engine, anything may happen that boosts the popularity of your game.

    There is literally NO downside to keeping a gamejolt page open besides harming your already brittle ego because your mediocre games arent being hailed as the second coming of jesus. The downside of being removed from gamejolt is lower visibility. What sort of business owner TURNS DOWN PR? What's going through your head?
     
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  13. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    It is one thing to point out general things that may cause low views/downloads/ratings, but please do not personally attack. If there are specific games you feel are not good, leave a review on the game's page somewhere and out of this topic.
     
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  14. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    It seems for me that the Mr. EGO here is YOU on this discussion.

    All my games are "underrated" (usually by foreigners that don't get the concept, can't blame then either), even so I'm still selling on Steam. But on itch.io and game jolt, I have a really hard time to barely make people notice these games exist. I deleted these pages, and now I have plenty of time to spend on more useful things like... Oh! You won't believe me!... Making new games.

    If you like to keep blaming other people's "competence on making games", just because they are having a hard time selling their games, you should rethink your mindset before participating into a game development forum.

    We are not here to "attack" each other, but to "help" the most as possible.

    Also, I honestly don't understand why there are a lot of "crappy games" that are so successful out there, while others from the same genre aren't, and some even get "hated" for no reason at all.
    I'm not talking only about indie games here, I'm talking about old and new AAA titles from consoles and such.
     
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  15. taarna23

    taarna23 Marshmallow Princess Global Mod

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    I may not have a game in a marketplace (some resources, but that's another matter and not remotely a serious effort), but I do sell jewelry I make. The same concept applies, however. The site is not there to promote your stuff. You are one game/developer/resource/item/whatever in a sea of many - maybe even millions. If you are not doing your own promoting and are not driving traffic to your stuff, well, there's your problem. You end up relying on people coming to a site to browse, and maybe stumble across your stuff before somebody else's. In essence, luck.

    Don't rely on luck. Get on social media. Get a website going. Get out there and tell people about your game and why they should play it and where they can find it.

    However, if you are going to remove something, ask yourself how much it's costing you to leave it there. If the answer is "nothing," then you are losing nothing by leaving it be.

    @CleanWater It was literally just said not to post a personal attack and then you post a personal attack while complaining about posting a personal attack. I could facepalm harder but I already have a headache.
     
    #55
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  16. RoseofCrimson

    RoseofCrimson Veteran Veteran

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    Ego? Me...? No, I've no semblance of ego. I am not a social person, so I don't sugar coat words. I've been part of the RM community since rm95, and there are many rm makers I respect and admire. RM makers that made beautiful and fun games for free, before steam was even part of the rotation. Since steam I've seen the same babies first rm game that was largely ignored by the rm communities be shoved on steam... overflooding. It's really easy to believe your game is the most amazing project ever and noone understands you, but its far harder to actually criticize yourself and open yourself up to being criticized.

    I shared the same tough love I've gotten to another creator. He'll never improve if he believes he can do little and expect big returns. You cannot be your own critic, like it or not... who decides if your game is underrated is not you, but the customers or lack thereof.
     
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  17. OnslaughtSupply

    OnslaughtSupply Ssshhh... Veteran

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    I think many are missing the point, it takes time to make, update, and maintain multiple sites all with different formats, rules, etc. So GameJolt and itch.io are free, but it still takes your time to set them up and keep them running. Time being your most precious and valuable resource = still not entirely free. If You're not seeing any return on that investment of your time, whether it's the legendary Steam or a homebrew server, why bother? That time could be better spent doing anything. In an ideal world of unicorns and rainbows, you just put your mega super awesome game everywhere on the internet, blast it from the rooftops of social media, and it becomes a hit. That's not the world we live in. I have had some fair luck with itch.io but all my stuff's free demos and game jam games, which coincidentally is what itch.io is for.
     
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  18. McTricky

    McTricky Veteran Veteran

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    These are the analytics for the demo of my RPG Maker VX Ace game that I put up on GameJolt about 6 months ago. This is with monthly/bi-monthly updates!
    upload_2018-8-21_0-9-7.png

    I'll admit that it GameJolt involves a lot more work in marketing than other platforms. It's fine for like freeware/demos and that sort of thing maybe, but for commercial games, you'll REALLY have to put in that work. Never mind the fact that GameJolt uses "markdown" language, something other platforms DON'T use, so it's really annoying when you're doing cross-platform updates.

    Getting views and ratings is all about how you present the game, from the thumbnail to the way you lay out your game info/presskit, etc. Staying consistent with updates is another thing. I had a really silent period with updates on GameJolt and itch.io and I think that really hurt me. But then again, I've not really been trying with the marketing and I've just let the presentation do the talking.
     
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  19. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    You got the point, when doing the PR of your game, you need to have certain things very clear before starting.

    1 - Who is my target audience?
    2 - Where do I find this audience?
    3 - What's the best way to reach this audience?

    Even so, this doesn't mean you will become a hit, however, it may raise your chances considerably. But definitely, I'm sick of those persons babbling: "If your game is good, it's going to sell well" or "it's not selling/doing well because it's a crap". That's not how things actually works in the backstage. The only thing I can presume from this kind of statements is that this person is a complete layman that never sold an indie game before.
     
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  20. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @CleanWater : That's what I've noticed myself when people post those opinions. You can search and find many examples of games that sold well that were actually bad as people bought into the hype then were like "What is this %$^@". Or you can find examples of games that sold poorly but were actually really good. There's many an 80's or 90's PC game that was good but didn't find an audience for various reasons. Sometimes was just as simple as they released the game the same time as another hit game, and the public decided to only buy one game and it wasn't yours unfortunately. After all, if it is say your game or Final Fantasy XVI, you know which one people are going to buy...

    And it's not just games. I recently watched the TV show Cheers (1982 - 1993 is when it aired), and the show had horrible ratings in the first season, despite the first season being good. In fact, the creator said one week it was dead last in ratings for all the shows that aired one night. But, what happened was NBC decided to stick with the show and give it more time to see what happened, and that summer NBC aired the reruns, and more people saw the reruns for season 1 and were like "Hey, that's a good show!", and it went on to become a hit and season 9 it was the top rated show.

    Still, I do think @McTricky proves with those stats that it is possible to have success on gamejolt. You just have to find your audience and make sure they know about your game. But, no matter what you do, not every platform is going to work for you or be worth your time. For example, could I burn my game on CD's and mail it to people? Sure, I could. But is it worth it? No. So we do have to decide as indies what platforms and distribution methods we are going to use, and make sure we use them well.

    @RoseofCrimson : You seem to have some thoughts on how to distribute your game well to your audience, maybe make a topic on that and see what others think? It might be a good discussion point.
     
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