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We almost did it. Regroup for a second run. Stay on target.

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Hi.

So basically I wanted to delete this after a few hours but because of the epic comments I won't. Thanks again guys. Best fanbase ever.

Things are not so bleak, truth is I just pushed myself too hard again and I need to rest for a few days.

All good. We'll keep going. The original article is below the artwork.


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Original Article:


Dev to Dev

This won't be a fun post. Sorry.


If you don't want to be disillusioned, discouraged or just in general you want to keep your vibes positive then move on like now. These are not the sex droids you are looking for.


No George Lucas and Pewdiepie memes here. It's a retrospective of the past 9 or so months since the game was released- how I feel, what I have been through and so on.


Last year what kept me going for many months before release was that I wanted to deliver this game no matter what. Aside from the desire to make something that will inspire and move players I also wanted it to be an inspiration to devs. I didn't want to give up. I couldn't give up. I couldn't let down all the people who were waiting and believe me there were many times I was about to give up.


Takes a special kind of talent to take something so epic and make sure it doesn't become popular whatsoever. And this is where the pain starts. Hence the "emo" posts on YouTube and Twitter which disappear after a while. I remove them out of embarrassment. But the pain stays.

Conclusion

You see many meme games and just smaller games that took a few months to put together and yet they explode and sell hundreds of thousands of units and pop up in thousands of videos and here you are, you poured over 45,000 hours into this thing and who cares? A couple of bigger YouTube videos and a few thousand sales. I remember designing the Coildrones and Rice Pods when I was 16 in 1996. Put that into perspective.


So looking at how G String performed is this success? Should I feel good about it? Sure, creatively I am glad I "got it out of my system". It still beats rotting behind a desk in a dead end job but the release did leave a void in me and the reception... Well, it is what it is but in the end no one can blame me for not advertising enough.


Sent out over 3000 emails, made over 100 videos, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, Reddit posts and so on. I guess I failed to make something that "clicks with the general public". That's on me as a dev and artist.
As an advertiser I am not sure if the YouTube gods heard of it or their assistants screened it out. Shit works differently once you become a big time persona or whatever. Those people are beyond human for all intents and purposes. Whatever. That stuff is beyond me. I released those proton torpedoes and set them on course. I guess I am a bad shot.

Surface Impact

Negative, negative, it didn't go in. It impacted on the surface. The Death Star didn't blow up. It's right there, staring me in the face. Laughing at me. What did you think? You can take me down?
In the end what kind of message does all this send out to other devs? "Stick to your guns no matter what and in the end... Well in the end you'll go out with a whimper. You were right. You made it but so what? No one cares." This is not the message I wanted G String to stand for.


I wanted this to be an inspiration. What a joke. I am a fool. I wanted this project to stand out as something special, something that says: "Hey, you can do it, whatever you believe in, just keep going and it will work out."


Can I say this now, 9 months after release? Not really. Not wholeheartedly. Don't do it. Don't spend years and years on some passion project hoping it'll pay off. Unless you just want to do something for fun, for shits and giggles, then do it but don't expect anything.

Foreseen Consequences

I'll still keep making art and I'll update the game as much as I can but I feel I have to be honest - hence this article. I have always been honest with fans in these past 12 years or however long ago I went public on MODDB.


I keep it real.


You know this if you have been following this project. I can't fake it. I can't say this is fine when it's not entirely fine and like the post Covid world I also burn inside. I will not pretend. I am grateful G String got made and I am massively thankful to all who helped me along the way, especially Biohazard and LunchHouse. I am happy it went retail but considering what it took, and only I and God really know what it took, the reception so far has left me bitter and disillusioned.


What still keeps me going is that I know the few people who do find the game enjoy it and impacts them in a deeper way. I know this. The numbers are not there and that hurts. A lot. Because I did put in the numbers... But I know that to some out there this game means something and they "get it." Maybe that makes up for the lack of numbers?


This is just how I feel and have felt for a while now.
I just had to get it off my chest. If this is disappointing to you as a player or dev know that I did everything in my power to avoid this. I tried to make it work. I did put on the makeup. I wish I could say this is all epic and awesome and yes and Dogecoin and fun and memes... but there is a darker, sadder, emptier side to it...


I did the best I could with what I had and I will continue to do so as much as I can because I have no choice- it's in my nature to keep going, to keep trying against all odds because in the deepest, most delusional corners of my mind, I still believe this thing will take off. How or when? No clue. Will I even be alive by then? No clue.


I like the world of G String and it would make for an epic franchise. I stand by that. I really think so but I hoped this vision will always stay fictional, this was supposed to be a plain precautionary tale! But now the in many places skies are red from wildfires and we all wear masks due to covid... What's next? Space travel? Oh, yeah Elon got us covered.


Enjoy the ride.


Comments
Guest
Guest

Keep your head up Eyaura!! G-String is a masterpiece and eventually I think it will garner some cult-success. I was thinking recently about how Brigador turned out to be a top selling hit long after it’s initial release, and I think that is definitely what will happen to G-String as you update it along. I think it was a success already though, it’s definitely one of the best and most interesting games I’ve played.
-Protester

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DarkShift
DarkShift

I guess that answers my question on your previous article about the sales.

My feeling is, it’s still amazing that a mod turned retail game developed by a one woman army over 12/15 years still got so much advertisement. Of course it can’t stand against AAA games. Of course it isn’t even great compared to other « indie’s  media coverage (Tell tale, hotline Miami…)
Maybe if it was called « Half-Life : G String » it would have been more recognized; or called « Hunt Down Alyx’s G String for the Freeman ».
Maybe you can have the fame and the downloads if it has stood free ‘till the end, like a high ranked mod such as HL Echoes.
Or maybe we can be proud that a mod turned retail still got pretty good reviews from press and people.
Maybe it should have been as hailed as the Stanley parable.

What I can say, is that it’s perhaps as much as you can expect for develop something as being single to do that.

My feeling is, perhaps it’s time to move on? You have proved enough as an amazing developer, the number of people who could have done what you’ve done can be counted on the fingers of both hands, why not join others to start new projects?

Fact is, if you have learnt anything about this decade long journey, is that : you are not alone.

Also, in those years of covid and post covid to come, I can really tell all your work on mods, be it you and others, provide me sometimes more joy than anything else.

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8472
8472

I felt somewhat similar on releasing my own mod in 2017. After spending years – not as many as you, though – on a passion project, the reaction fell way below what I expected.

G-String is considerably more impressive than my effort, so I don't want to draw too close a parallel, but I will say that I had to come to a realisation that I was a hobbyist. That I wasn't cut out for anything bigger than making little hobby projects. I'm not saying you're in the same boat necessarily, but I will say that I started enjoying my work when I stopped trying to make it meet some insane standard, or reach tens of thousands of people.

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CallistoNTG
CallistoNTG

Yoy have my deepest sympathies. I think your game is lovely, and you've done a good job of improving it post-release. As for what can be done, you could consider rebranding. As much as I personally like the game's title, G String seems to alienate a lot of people. And this is a "it's the children that are wrong" situation. But maybe talk to Lunchhouse and see about rebranding the game's title into something that maybe avoids this blind, stubborn "I saw the title and didn't look further" reaction some people have.

Kinda like how No Truce with the Furies became Disco Elysium in part, I think, because people seemed to associate the title with Furries.

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Jacques98
Jacques98

A friend of mine just showed me this post, I had never heard of your mod before, and I opened this post expecting it to be a NSFW Mod. The amount of love and effort you have put into this is astonishing, and I honestly do sympathize with you, but the name G-String genuinely sounds like the title of a porn mod. I know what you were going for, but unfortunately it didn't come off as that lmao. I will share this mod with anyone who is interested, I just recommend you change the title and keep your head up my friend.

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GrunsTala
GrunsTala

i'm honestly really sorry to hear that.... even if i've never worked on such a big project on my own, i can still understand the feeling, it's really awesome to see what G-String have became, and how you did the whole thing single handily with maybe the help of a few contributors, it's really impressive, but it's still sad to see not have the recognition it'd deserve honestly, Black Mesa got a **** ton of recognition for being an HL1 remake that was in "Early Access can't judge!!!" for years, have a broken workshop, and ""fixed"" Xen by extending it to be way too ******* long, G-String is such a cool immersive little package, as some others may have pointed out, it might be because of the name? even if i'm not sure why G-String would be such an issue of the name

but in the end, even if it may not help all that much to say that, but there are still a good bunch of people who really enjoyed the game, it's a great immersive Source game with really good combat and a pretty depressing universe

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Xamp
Xamp

G-String seems like that weird, niche type of game that doesn't make a big splash on release but gains a cult following years down the line.

Obviously I'm not some Nostradamus but that's the sorta vibe I'm getting from the game.

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kalidrone
kalidrone

I honestly don't care what kind of flak those critisizers/haters throw at your G-String mod-story. To me, it will always and I mean ALWAYS remain an eternal masterpiece that always outshines the Half Life series entirely and more than enough to tackle plenty of AAA titles out there and even the legendary films like the original (by "original", I don't mean that "Disney" ******** those asshats have been excreting, just to clarify) Star Wars Original/Prequel Trilogies out there.

I NEVER joke/lie when it comes to your G-String project when defending it, ever...! ^-^

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Guest
Guest

You're an amazing developer, and no amount of sales or reviews will ever change that.
In my eyes, G String is one of those games that gain a cult following with the years, kinda like Van Gogh paintings in its time.
You have been a great inspiration to a ton of developers and modders, and I really hope your game gets the recognition it deserves someday, because it's some of the best things I have seen in the Source engine so far.
That said, don't be too rude in yourself, maybe it would be good for you to take a break for some time, or work in a side project in the meanwhile, maybe someday this will help you get a job in the game industry (Works like this look GREAT in a portfolio), or maybe someday you'll have better luck.
In the end, I hope you don't give up in your efforts, and wish you the best of luck, even with the current sales, you have already impacted people's lives, and that is something worthy of praise.

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conroy_bumpus
conroy_bumpus

it's just that singleplayer-only/story shooters don't sell like they used to. it's a boomer's format. even dice or activision won't make them anymore. and then add to the fact that g string lacks workshop. no multiplayer/coop. pretty much a one time affair with little to no replay value. no sense of progression, not even so-called 'light rpg elements'. at the same time the steam supply is staggering. g string is great for what it is, but when you think of it in terms of commerce, there are simply better deals on the market for the same $$$. it has an interesting universe and i feel it would've been more successful as a narrated walking sim like firewatch or dear esther. my $.02.

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Zwinga_Tron
Zwinga_Tron

Hey! Just wanted to tell you - your post really resonated with me. And I now intend to buy G String the very first chance I get. Would've done so eons ago, but well... I'm terrible when it comes to spending habits 😶.

And this isn't due to pity - reading your words, something genuinely clicked in place in my mind, about the game. I finally got why I had wishlisted it so many months ago. So there - honest posts like these are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, ever. In fact, they can bring in new fans <3

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SellFace Online
SellFace

I might be repeating stuff people already said above, but all these small meme games and projects that make a loud splash on release are soonly forgotten and some people don't even notice them dying, while good projects and masterpieces stay much longer. Considering the amount of time you put in the project, such reaction(the dev reaction) was inevitable. Just remember the good times and nice people that met your project. Any art is not an attempt to impress everyone, but a continuation of yourself. Stay strong.

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HEVcrab
HEVcrab

I say for myself. You got me with your creation. I'm all yours, even though my skills are modest. Feel free to share the game's C++ code with me, I have at least the pyrokinesis improvement idea: the player base being not that big plays in favor of implementing it.

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latexmatriarch
latexmatriarch

Whats the idea?

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Aynekko Online
Aynekko

I totally understand your pain. But you should know (of course you know!) that there are people, maybe it's not too many of us, but we are really enjoying the game and you are, as a developer, is a great inspiration to other developers too.
And remember, you made a single-player game, full of action, with a story and deep and THICC atmosphere, instead of another multiplayer-only gimmick with battle-royale and lootboxes. And you should be proud of that.

Once I began making my own mod, I was already prepared that it won't go anywhere. I'm not expecting it to either. I created the page here only after 7 years of developing. Maybe it's dumb, but I just accepted the reality and doing it for myself. Like some people said above, single-player games are far from popular as before - it's obvious. But I think, that must not stop you from doing what you love. There are always people who care about what you do.

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MatthewHardy
MatthewHardy

I played the mod when it first came out and I loved the game even more. Honestly I think you should consider changing the title, it's definitely the problem. Nobody is going to take the name G-String seriously, no matter how good the game is. No professional gaming sites are going to want to publish articles or make videos about something called G-String. The same goes for many bigger YouTubers. It isn't the kind of name that attracts good attention, it just alienates people.

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Beez-one
Beez-one

Just wait until Sseth or Mandalore eventually pick it up, meanwhile get a good rest ffs.

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SPY-maps
SPY-maps

It is always very hard when something that we worked on for so long with such passion doesn't deliver what we hoped it would do. Especially when we work on something for so many years it starts to become a purpose in life. And when it then ends it feels like we lost something. When I released my Ep3 The Closure mod 5 years ago I also felt the same emptiness that you do now. It is hard to let it go and move on, but in time you will see that there is nothing else for you to do (other than release a final update of some sort). I find it hard to say something about the success that your game has. But I will still try because it is a big part of your article above. Source mods are getting old by now. For many, many years the Source (HL2) community was HUGE. And big mods did receive tons of downloads and comments. But after a decade it started to slow down, people moved on to newer games and engines. As I did myself. And even when your game has outgrown the status of a source mod it still feels to a lot of people as one. That could be one of the major explanations of why the big success never took place.
I think that by now, after 9 months of the release date, it is time to move on. It is hard and difficult to do, it is like leaving your child alone in the world. There are such great free engines out there, that are so much easier to work with as the Source engine. I am very sure that you can make an awesome new game, in much less time than that G-String took. And you will notice that as soon as you start working on something new, you will forget a bit about G-String and what it all meant to you. It will then get the place it deserves in your life, something like it being a good old friend. Something that you have a warm feeling for and did share tons of things and emotions with. And who knows, maybe in a year to two it suddenly gets a huge cult status. We never know how things will go.
Hope you will get through these disappointing times, you deserve a huge new adventure, and as soon as you go on it will find you.
Much success and love,

Leon

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Neon-Ghost
Neon-Ghost

Sunk cost fallacy is a bitch.

You may feel G-String is your magnum opus and the best you can ever produce, but I wholeheartedly believe you're wrong if you think that. The past 20 years gave you knowledge and experience to correct upon your prior shortcomings. If you were to move on and make something new, you'll likely only spend a fraction of the time making it.

Giving up is last thing anyone can do to lift themselves up from that despair and disappointment.

From dev, to dev. Good luck, I wish to see more from you.

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Kasumi Krystal
Kasumi Krystal

Same like a Great Game is lost among a bunch of cheapskate trends, so are millions of comments in the flood of other videos.

Little echoes and embers of people who will forever live in the dream you were building, and people who will be laying in a hospital bed filling it with the assets of them to make their little corner of a dying world better.

I was one of them...

Laying down in the Hospital for a year, prior to release, I kept following the designs of your world to fill the dying dreams of mine. Acid rains painting tears on the murals of a long lost smile.

And I am just one. One of thousands. Thousands that will never find a way to reply, comment, express.

Of course Among Us will get more reception, of course Meme Mods will have a million videos. The way the world flows is trends, and offsprings of trends.

Simply because you were original doesn't mean you were wrong.

Hours to months to years, concepts to ideas to templates to retail.

Worlds rising from the black void of the Hammer grid, that will resonate in minds for lives until our hearts stop beating, until my heart stops beating.

Whenever you think of how little the achievement is, remember the Light City.

Light City was filled with stars, on posters and the lamps in the streets. Everyone knew a star, everyone had a star, everyone loved their star.

And when the power died, when the lights faded and gave way to the night sky, not one of them knew the millions of lights shining above were the true stars.

You are such a star, shadowed by the infinite pollution, lost in the night.
I am the observer beyond the city wall, gazing up in the sky.

Your rusted commerce empire, torn by storms and rains, will be a world I return to at depressed nights.

Because a dream shared is a life accomplished.

And for that I thank you.

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[RE]Kasderan
[RE]Kasderan

For any artist it is imperative yet very difficult to accept that however the amount of hours put into a project, it is rare to see this dedication paid back the same amount. Often it is not even a question of quality but sheer luck.

Seeking recognition is understandable but not always possible and a very unstable goal. For me, I try to create something for myself first and for others second. Though it is always a nice boost of morale if people understand your vision and praise your hard work.

Everything you created so far is much more than 99% of all people would be capable of archiving. That alone is a great success.

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serendipiti
serendipiti

thankyou for being an oasis of honest reality in this desert meta world we live in , I think the game is great and too sophisticated ? to be a "success" ,,,, artistic merit and popularity dont mix
you reached people on a much deeper level

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psilocibinum
psilocibinum

I share your pain and sympathize with you ...

But (I don’t know how to say this so as not to offend), the latest version of G-string, unlike "day one" and the 2011 version, is a very corridor game. Maybe this is partly the reason that the game has become not very popular?

I have nothing against corridors, but there really is less concentration of moments, like those when a huge ship flies over you, or when you go down into a huge crater in the ground ...

I really don't want to offend, because I think the past versions of the mod are really great things ... And I have not completely completed the walkhthrough of the latest version, so I cannot express an unequivocal opinion about it (maybe it will still change). But if I ever become a popular streamer, I will stream all versions of G-string to raise their popularity :)

In any case, this is a colossal work to be proud of, regardless of whether the game was able to move from the underground to the mainstream or not.

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Guest
Guest

You should really try to evolve this thing beyond the mod category into an indie game thing. It's been said that Black Mesa is way lesser and it's considered a Source-based game, not a mod. It's on Wikipedia in the Source article. Then from there you should PR it as a wholesome thing that it is. Maybe put some sponsors like Devolver to make it look bigger. Do your PR like them indie-devs do. Indie games festivals/lists.

Perhaps, put yourself out there a little more as a solo-dev persona. There is a fan aspect to it. We all know our Edmund McMillen and Cactusquid (or at least it do).
 
Also, get a real PR person. See how indie game-dev PR is done in general. There's tons ways to make it look better. Indie game blogs, the IGF or something. I do believe Cactus got famous through IGF. There's YouTuber's who get a game for free and do an honest review etc. All in all, there is still time to go beyond the mod category while the game is in progress.

Aaaand don't forget to playtest with other people.

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