First of all let me do a brief introduction about myself :) My name is German Wachnitz (just call me gw), I am a software engineer and have a master's degree in finances. Before working full time on Rogue Empire, my very first indie game title, I worked in several non-premium gaming industries.
At some point I had the savings and confidence to make something I dreamed of: My very own game. To sum it up Rogue Empire is a fantasy themed turn based roguelike rpg dungeon crawler with some interesting mechanics.
So here we are now, almost 2 years after this and about to release the game into steam early access... Oh boy the nerves!
Some interesting links:
Trailer (I need to update it a little ;)
Not only is this release important but it also brings many questions I hope to answer to myself and to you guys!
1) How does Steam Early Access fair against Itch.io?
This one has been in my mind for a while and researching about it came up with poor answers to say the least. The thing is: can you do a projection? This could be very interesting for other folks out there or myself if I work on another title in the future. So I want to know M modifier in :
[Steam Sales] = [Itch sales] * M
Obviously one has to know if this is anywhere near correlated. But my guess is it might be somewhat correlated. Would be awesome to have other developers jump in and do a correlation test.
Rogue Empire has been on itch.io as an early access title since around 3 months ago. So far the reception has been exceptional from everyone who bought it which is somewhat reassuring :P. It has been some days in the top 3 sales/popular in the rpg genre and is currently in the top 4 when sorted by rating.
As a personal note, itch.io has been invaluable as a source of user feedback and a way of adjusting the game.
Now when translating this into sales, I am a little short of a 100 sales. I know this marketplace is not too big, but I always wonder if there is any correlation when finally releasing on steam.
Let's see what happens the coming days after the steam EA release. :O
Another question here, is the acceptance rate going to hold up in steam? I have the feeling itch users are much more tolerating toward games in the platform. One of the main reasons for me to do a rather late Early Access release on steam.
2) Will press notice the game more?
With this entire thing about the indieapocalypse press has been bombarded with new titles day after day. This makes me think press mostly ignores you until you got some serious traction going. Or (high chance here) I am failing to grab the presses attention. :S
For me press access has been hard. Reaching the press using mails so far has a 50% click through rate (they open the mail) and around a 20% response rate. Then again half of the responses are I have no time now.
To clarify, I know early December is the worse month to contact the press so I concentrated this after the 25th.
So my hopes are the game as being officially on steam will improve the various rates mentioned above. Let see how this fares!
3) Will streamers notice the game more?
For me getting streamers and YouTubers to play the game really made the difference. I am not talking big streaming celebrities here (in fact those usually ignored me) but people like unhollydonnuts, esty8nine, Razors Edge and Mage Masher, many of which didn't even ask a key, made a huge difference.
How will this go on after release? No clue haha. Probably a tone of key requests at keymailer :S
4) Will this impact my patreon support somehow?
Oh yea, I got a patreon :D Its was set up on the very early stages of development when some art was still stick mans! Oh those memories...
I have to admit patreon is not really the way to fund your premium game. Usual way to do this would be a kick starter campaign. But... at almost a 100$ it helped a lot on ad hoc stuff like unity assets, page maintenance, domain maintenance and coffee. And over the course of months it sums up.
I am not sure if a successful early access release would bring more patreon supporters. We shall see.
5) Will bug fixing and support be a nightmare?
Honestly I am terrified about this. So far being away from a large user base meant I could take my time to do stuff.
Anyone who bought the game so far can tell you I am a very active developer and try to fix stuff ASAP.
But in the current world of everything needs to be done yesterday and I don't think the early access tag will ease this at all.
To be honest I will have to hope for the best with this one. To the Haters: Please don't hate, all you need is love ;)
OK I think that covers it for now!
Please don't be shy and let me know what you think! Also If it is in your heart, help me get this thunderclap campaign going!
Cheers and happy New Year!