Original article: http://code-drama.com/2011/07/09/demo-post-release-impressions-reviews/
Hey everyone. I hope you didn’t think I dropped off the edge of the world or anything; I’ll try to explain what’s going on the best I can.
Koya Rift released a little over a month ago. I’ll admit, I did a terrible job at marketing the game. My sole focus was to create the best game possible in the time I had allocated, and I seemed to have ignored other important factors that would have contributed to more successful sales – such as making sure people actually know about the game.
There was my problem. I was ready to release a project I had worked very long and hard on, but nobody knew about it. I was very excited and nervous coming up to release day, but I was overlooking the fact that I had not prepared any press or worked hard enough at acquiring followers before the game had released.
Sales have been miserable since.
Shortly after release the fact that my game had pretty much bombed in sales became apparent and really discouraged me. The people that did buy the game were happy with it, and from them I got praise and my hopes had been raised some. But I was disappointed in myself for not marketing it better. And I’m not sure why I was so upset with myself – I was juggling school and my part-time job on top of developing the game! So on one hand I feel like there’s nothing I could have done (the quality of the game would suffer), and on the other I’m pissed at myself just because I’m a perfectionist and my pride-and-joy has fallen far short of my expectations and initially failed on the market.
Another reason I was upset is that I only started sending release announcements and asking for reviews after the game released – I wish I would have tried to schedule them before hand. Many websites are simply ignoring me, or telling me they’ll get to it but then never doing anything (you know who you are). This is most likely because they’re already booked with news about other games, and if I pop in and try to get some coverage it’s difficult for them to find time to get an unplanned article about this unknown indie game written.
I promised a demo within a week or two, but it’s been over a month and I have one prepared for you all only just now. My failure in sales had demoralized me, and I was unable to get my head in the game and continue to work on the project that was the sole product of my passion and became my ever-present reminder of my failure, my last one-and-a-half years of life that only led me to an empty wallet.
I kept the demo in mind and worked very slowly on it. I moved into my university almost two weeks ago, the move and the classes have been eating more of my free time. But I’ve had time to reflect.
I put a lot of work into a project that I’ve heard great things about from my peers, and the people on the internet that have played and know about it. The product is done, can’t I try to market it now? I’m supposed to start up with a new team soon on a new game, but I guess I can always try to improve sales on KR and at least keep a measly income stream coming in. Only that most likely won’t happen because one of my payment distributors only pays me every $500 I make, and at this rate I don’t know if I’ll ever see that money.
Koya Rift was reviewed by a few sites, and they were positive! Each review provided me with a little bit of positive reinforcement, but because they weren’t from very big sources, only one or two sales each. So my victory was short lived.
Here they are if you want to read, the people that own these sites are very nice so I suggest you check some of their other stuff out:
Astringent Gaming: http://astringentgaming.com/gaming_reviews/review-koya-rift_30131
(The astringent gaming site seems to be offline for now, which is a shame considering it was my favorite review.)
Tas Gamers: http://tasgamers.com/pc/koya-rift-review/
Indie Game Reviewer: http://www.indiegamereviewer.com/koya-rift-an-indie-game-review/
Indie (Magazine); Issue 3: http://www.indiefunction.com/issue3.php
pigames (this is in polish, so if you want to struggle through a translated version you can try): http://pigames.pl/2011/06/koya-rift-recenzja/
And there’s a demo now, too. The differences in the demo from the real game are:
- No difficulty adjustment. It’s always at 480.
- No level generation. It’s one level. All the time. How lame.
- No campaign (duh.)
- No warm fuzzy feeling that results from supporting an indie developer.