The Spirit Engine 2 is going freeware
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Mark Pay
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Joined: 09 Aug 2006
Posts: 624
Location: Margate, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: The Spirit Engine 2 is going freeware Reply with quote
Josh and I have been talking this over, and decided to take the significant move of making The Spirit Engine 2 freeware, like the first game.

It's been 18 months since the game was released. Right now, having a price is restricting the number of people who could enjoy it, and it's selling very few copies anyway. So my feelings are that we might as well let everyone play it for free, not just the freeloading pirates!

The game hasn't been much of a commercial success. This is my responsibility, from poor design decisions to a lack of polish and an absense of marketing. The release has been a fascinating and at times very stressful experience. I'm no salesman, and this is a difficult and unstable industry to try and make a living in. I'm still very proud of everything we accomplished together in the five years we spent working on The Spirit Engine 2. The most heart-warming surprise has been how wonderful our customers have been. We're very grateful to you all for your support and your goodwill. Sales of the game have helped me personally through a difficult period of unemployment.

So, down to formalities! Version 1.06 will be the freeware release. There's no major bug fixes, I've mainly just addressed a handful of translation issues. The release will hopefully come in the next couple of months. There's some complications with the few portals that still have distribution agreements for the next 8-20 months, but I can't see any contractual blocks to this.

I am currently investigating hosting arrangements. Does anbody have any recommendations? I mean, besides just pointing people to all the usual rapidshare or rayfile links where you can get it for free already. ¬_¬
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GiB
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Joined: 09 May 2008
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Location: Bulgaria

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I am currently investigating hosting arrangements. Does anybody have any recommendations? I mean, besides just pointing people to all the usual rapidshare or rayfile links where you can get it for free already. ¬_¬

I think host-a is a good place to host the game.
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Brickman
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wow. I wasn't expecting this, but it makes sense and I guess it's been a long time coming. I do NOT think it's anything wrong with the game ("Lack of polish"? What lack of polish? There's plenty of polish); it's entirely down to marketing. If you do another project and do try to sell it, you'd probably be doing yourself a huge favor trying to add someone to the team who knows about marketing, because it's hard and isn't the same skillset as music or coding or design.

I think you're right in doing this now, though. That's a lot of hard work to go as unappreciated as it has, and unless Valve spontaneously takes interest in you or something it's too late to do the kind of marketing that earns real money. At least you can get maybe get a fan-propelled publicity blitz when it goes free; I'll certainly be spreading the word.

Still $15 well spent for me.
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Tiavals
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Joined: 06 Feb 2009
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There most certainly is nothing at all wrong with the game as such. As my local gaming magazine said about TSE2: "Once a gain a game that doesn't need anything to succeed except a highlight in the media and a chance. Our magazine can only highlight the game, it's up to you to give it a chance. And you should do it."

Independent games usually have very little presence in the media, which greatly strips their chance to succeed. It's a great shame that you didn't succeed commercially, but rest assured, your work was most definitely not wasted. It is very good of you to make the game freeware, hopefully that will make more people enjoy it's greatness.
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ROD
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Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 103
Location: Black Forest, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Brickman wrote:
I do NOT think it's anything wrong with the game ("Lack of polish"? What lack of polish? There's plenty of polish);

I agree, nicely put

Quote:
If you do another project and do try to sell it, you'd probably be doing yourself a huge favor trying to add someone to the team who knows about marketing, because it's hard and isn't the same skillset as music or coding or design.


Ha. I got to the point that I finally felt (after long years of hard labour including music university) I was able to play my music and write my songs in the way I've always been wanting to - just to find (like so many colleages) this alone doesn´t bring you any gig offers or record sells. So I tried it and attended a coaching in management, booking, advertisment strategies...whatever, and forced myself to the phone and stuff and yeah, somehow that worked for a while, but never in my life did I feel that exhausted or unhappy! Yes, It IS hard and it definetly needs a different skillset (I dont have it). I won´t ever try that again but rather use the energy to find someone who is capable of doing that job.
Ehm, anyway...yes, I also hope you´ll find someone for this important part in the future, when you guys resume for TSE3 after getting rich through donations (the Radiohead method) Cool Shocked
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Galvin
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Mark, your game is incredible. There is absolutely NO lack of polish - as the others have said here - and I would gladly have paid $40.00 for this wonderful game. (Indeed I did! I bought it twice, once when it was first released and again on Impulse so I could have it forever as it were).

I still play it from time to time and love how extremely well done the battles are, and how I can come up with different battle chains for my various parties to use to fight onward to victory. I also continue to listen to the music regularly to this very day - and I don't think the tunes have come off my iPod since I first acquired them all those months ago - I constantly hum Crimson Limit all the time now!

When/if you release a TSE3 I know I'll be one of those who downloads it immediately that first day paying whatever price you've asked for.

Again - you did a fantastic job Mark. I never shut up about the game to all my friends and have louded it as my #2 game of all time due to the story and complexity of the combat. Know that your work is appreciated sir, and thanks again for all your hard work!
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Narakir



Joined: 23 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Making this game free is a good move and I won't regret my spending, but saying it's unpolished is begin too hard with yourself, it's more polished for what it is than many modern games, sure it runs on an archaic looking engine, but who cares ? Surely not people playing it.

Quote:
I am currently investigating hosting arrangements. Does anbody have any recommendations? I mean, besides just pointing people to all the usual rapidshare or rayfile links where you can get it for free already. ¬_¬


Perhaps you can get a deal with good old games (http://www.gog.com/en/frontpage/), the give some games for free, but I'm not sure TSE can be considered as an old game. But it least they'll probably make it quite visible.
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Mark Pay
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Joined: 09 Aug 2006
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Location: Margate, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank-you for your kind words everyone!

When I say TSE-2 lacks polish, I'm looking at the game from a more mainstream perspective. Regular gamers expect fullscreen high resolutions and many helpful usability features that aren't in the game. It's been wonderful to hear how many people are still willing to play in such a tiny little window, but it's the low production values which kept the game off of portals like Steam.

I've not lost my enthusiasm for making a third game! I have plenty of ideas, I just need to find the time. ( Another five years should do! )
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The only thing I think your game was missing was a way to access the manual from within the game. Though I'll admit I could understand people not being used to games that don't take up their full monitor.
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Nillo
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Joined: 25 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is a generous decision, and I do not regret having purchased the game at all. In fact, if you put up a donation button somewhere I'm sure I could double what I spent on it, because it is worth so much more than what you have received and I feel a bit ashamed that I was powerless to bring the game to a bigger audience.

When the freeware version is released I'll make sure all my friends know about it, and I will try to give it some attention in other places as well.
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Jimbob
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Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Maybe you should put up a little donate button as well... as I'm sure a lot of the people who may have been put off by the price will be knocked back when they play the full thing Razz

Good luck with it. If you need a mirror host, I'm not particularly using my space that much if it comes to it.
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knpmaster



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
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Location: cinnaminson, nj

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hey Mark

I am willing to host your game on my web server.

Contact me via email.

knpmaster at gmail dot com
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TwiTerror
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Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'll go ahead and answer this question: The soundtrack (full) is going to be free when the game is released for free, no point in not doing that. (:
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DemiImp
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It makes me sad to see this being released for free. Especially after going to your forums a few weeks ago only to find out that you quit working on a 3rd game.

If you put up a donate button I'd donate the extra money I felt this game was worth.

I wish you best of luck as to whatever happens next Smile Whether that be eventually working on another game (not necessarily the 3rd in the series) or getting a job at some other company. Happiness is important Smile
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woodecker



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject: Some impressions Reply with quote
I have played The Spirit Engine, it's a nice game, the idea, the music...

When I discover that there was a second part I thought it will be also free, so I don't bought a copy, the price was to high for me.

If you put a Paypal Donation Button or something similar people will pay what they think the game costs, and you will be surprised! Maybe some donations will only be 1$ but some people will give more than you think if they really enjoy the game.

The creator of World of Goo has done this and has a lot of earnings!
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