TSE on Steam?
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AlphaPrey
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Joined: 22 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: TSE on Steam? Reply with quote
I'm not too sure if anyone else has said anything about this, but I think it would be a great idea to put The Spirit Engine 1 and 2 on Steam. Putting TSE on Steam would give a large popularity boost at the least along with income coming from Steam. Just an idea...
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monsoonasiian
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yeah i think that sounds like a good idea.
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AlphaPrey
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Additionally, TSE 1 could be on Steam as a free release to get peoples attention, and then TSE 2 would be sold to the people who are interested in TSE 1 and want more.
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
From what I've heard, Valve are quite fussy about what games they allow onto Steam. Sadly, I don't think that TSE-2 has the production values or the popularity they would require.
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Tiavals
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, there are other avenues as well, such as Impulse or Gamersgate or such.

And they have games that are far inferior to TSE2 on sale in them.
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Jimbob
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Mark, I think it definitely does.

Time Gentleman Please and Ben There, Dan That! a couple of adventure games have recently made it on Steam for 2.99 are well made, (and very good might I add) but as far as production values go, you'd be pushed to say TSE2 doesn't meet those requirements... plus it'll give Rock, Paper, Shotgun another excuse to post about it Wink

The only thing that could prevent it from being accepted is that frustrating (an rather random) audio bug that crashes some people's games... but then, you have a demo that people could try before hand as well as a tester...

EDIT: Also, hi Mark, how's things? Razz
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey Jimbob! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Great to see you!

Not doing too bad thanks. Tired from work, glad the bank holiday is here at last. How about yourself?

I must confess again that I hate sales, marketing and business. We may have something more fun than Steam in mind for the future though.

I don't think I've heard about any audio issues. Are you able to give any more info?
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TwiTerror
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I am not aware of these bugs, but I am in a position to fix them. Any insight?

Jimbob wrote:
The only thing that could prevent it from being accepted is that frustrating (an rather random) audio bug that crashes some people's games... but then, you have a demo that people could try before hand as well as a tester...
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Jimbob
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Sorry, I'm thinking of TSE1, where it used to crash for some people with music changes (why you released the nomusic version)...

So that means there's NO reason why it can't go on Steam now Wink
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AlphaPrey
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't think there's much risk in putting it out to Steam. Steam does the advertising, sales and specials any you get most of the profits.

-Btw, I'm just speculating, I haven't published anything on Steam
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KMate



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Hell yes. Reply with quote
I've registered specifically and only to tell you guys this: You really really should put this game on Steam.

Here's why:
1) A placement on Steam guarantees a sales boost. Considering how big and mainstream Steam is, from their perspective you basically don't exist - which is good, because it means you can expect buyer behavior similar to your initial release (only bigger). Steam pretty much made Darwinia, and by extension Introversion. It's been a while, but things haven't changed much.

2) You're in a position to do exactly what the guys at Zombie Cow Studios did just recently. They just released Time Gentlemen Please, a very lovely (and very very low-profile) adventure game, and sequel to the freeware (and not so good, but still fun) Ben There Dan That. The indie press adored it. People bought it. Then Zombie Cow pestered the guys at Steam to publish them, and did it as a package: you buy our new game, you get the original for free. The original already was free, but it didn't matter, because that's not how buyers think. Steam customers see "Double Pack", and they buy. It's psychological. You guys have an older, OK game, and a great new sequel, and we can have both for $15! Yay! (Granted their price point is lower, but I think it translates.)
Though I have no firm numbers either way, I'm led to believe they haven't regretted their partnership with Steam.

3) Low-hassle, customer-friendly anti-piracy system included free of charge.

4) Valve are fussy about games they allow onto Steam, but TSE2 absolutely has more than good enough production values (compared to some of the other stuff on Steam) - in fact, it's downright odd how much you fit with the Steam Indie aesthetic, if there is such a thing. There are guys on the Steam staff that love indie games, and you absolutely have a chance with them. And they don't require popularity (though it helps) - they can make you popular. This is actually a symptom of a larger issue, which leads me to my next point:

5) I don't intend to be mean, so please take this as a friendly critique: from where I'm standing, you haven't done as good a job promoting the game as you could have. As I understand it you've sent the release to a few indie-oriented sites, and relied on word-of-mouth to carry you - which it surprisingly has for a bit. But you've underestimated yourself. You've been aiming at GameTunnel, while you should have aimed at 1UP and Eurogamer. Because you're good enough for mainstream, and you need to be aware of it and take advantage of it. Kieron Gillen wrote a glowing article about TSE2 on Rock Paper Shotgun, after hearing about it accidentally and doing some digging. You should have been all over Rock Paper Shotgun from the first announcement you made. OK, so you don't consider yourself a good salesman. You didn't publicize the release all that much. Forget about it, because now you have a chance to fix it, and to make things even easier, this time there's only a few people you need to convince, and they all work at the same place. (Yes, Valve's Steam department is surprisingly small. Don't get intimidated.)

6) Therefore, I know Steam is not very "fun", and is about as mainstream as you can get in this line of work, but please don't let that dissuade you from trying. And trying. You will have a hard time convincing Valve to pay attention, but treat them just as you would a game journalist. Be polite and insistent, and show them why Steam absolutely needs to have your game, because it's just that good. (And it is more than good enough.) Show them how and why you're special and different from the rabble trying to get in. You might want to emphasize your streamlined, but not simplified innovative combat system, your strange and new gameworld, your wonderful graphics, and of course all those glowing reviews and awards.

7) It might be possible to integrate Steam Achievements into the game, you know better than I whether it can be done. But if you can do it, your game will sell more. In fact, I encourage you to integrate as much of Steam functionality as you reasonably can (not just Achievements but general gameplay stats, a la Team Fortress 2 - you can imagine how much more some numbers in an RPG mean if the whole world can click on the player's Steam webpage and see them), because these things do matter to us customers. They're kind of stupid, but they help sales. Think of them as a metagame - one of the advantages of a huge, unified online game platform. The guys at XBox Live can tell you it does make a difference.

8) I'll be very honest now: I haven't bought TSE2. Oh, I've played the demo, and liked it a lot, but as a matter of habit I just don't buy games online. Except on Steam, where I buy quite a fair amount. The reasons are partly rational (the advantages of Steam as a platform, cuts down on my spending if I have a mental line I won't cross) and partly irrational (I like to keep all my games in one place). So understand I'm not just doing this for your benefit - I want you to put the game on Steam, so I can convince myself to buy it. I guarantee there are others like me, because Steam is just such a mindshare leader.

*) Oh, finally, when you get Steam to publish you, do all of us European gamers a favor and don't let the bastards equalize the prices. Currently the default European price for a $15 game is 15, a ridiculous 40% increase. Same goes for pounds. Apparently all it takes for Valve to fix this is that you firmly insist on it, and tell them what prices you prefer for each market (US/UK/EU). You wouldn't believe how much it pisses us off when we see a game that hasn't had this done.

So there. Thank you for your time, and I hope you will consider my proposal. Best of luck, lots of sales.
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KMate



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Let me add one other bit. Reply with quote
OK, I understand. You hate sales, marketing and business. That's perfectly normal Very Happy

But don't think of it that way. Think of it from my perspective: there's this awesome game, see, but so few people know about it. I want it on Steam, not so you can reach my market segment to monetize your brand leverage (or whatever bullshit), but to give myself and all the people like me the opportunity to play it. Or, to really lean hard on the guilt-trip, you're not denying yourself our money - you're denying us your game.

Well, not me specifically, but all those gamers who don't know about you. You know what I mean.
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks Kmate! I'm sorry I didn't reply to you sooner.

I'm very grateful to you for taking so much time to write such a thoughtful, insightful and, I think, very accurate assessment of the situation with the game. The kick up the backside is much needed and appreciated. Wink

Earlier this week, Josh tried approaching the Steam folks through an internal contact and alas, they shot us down. We have now tried though, and I'm thankful to Josh for doing so.

On the plus side, we're scheduled for a 50% off sales promotion on Impulse this coming weekend. I really ought to make a news post about that. Neutral
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KMate



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Well hi there :-) Reply with quote
Hey, don't worry about the late reply - I'm just happy if my post made a difference.

I'm sorry to hear about your lack of success with Steam - so far Very Happy I would still recommend that you occasionally try again, perhaps through other channels so that your game reaches a more receptive employee. As I understand it's been known to happen.

But see? A sales promotion on Impulse! Your game and my post have been mentioned on Rock Paper Shotgun, and some folks in the comments have expressed interest in the game. It might be worth it to not just make a news post, but fire off an email to a few friendly websites like RPS about it - some might mention it in an update. A 50% off sale gets semi-interested people buying. Also, say, http://savygamer.co.uk might be interested, they're good at finding these deals on their own, but hey, it doesn't hurt to help them, right? And others like them, and so on - if you already know websites that cared about your game in the past, it's almost certainly a good idea to tell them about stuff like this.

Hey, I'm planning your marketing strategy again. Sorry Smile
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littlebugger



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I watched Impulse the past week-end and there was no sale on TSE2. I think a price cut would benefit the game immensely.

Let me know if there's going to be such a sale soon, I'll try and spread the word out using my website.
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