I know what you’re thinking, Why write a post about a service which is no longer available. Well because our game Star System Sabotage was on greenlight for a total of 9 months and 7 days. The aim of this post is to demonstrate that even when you’ve given up hope, things can still miraculously come about and some helpful advice for your games in the future from what we learned.
The main reason we think Star System Sabotage was greenlit was due to greenlight closing down. We didn’t campaign very well during the time S3 was on the site, we only amassed a total of 151 yes votes compared to 386 no votes in 9 months.
Our biggest problem was also our biggest lesson, Marketing is your friend. Don’t be like us and create what you regard as the best game, that you think everyone will love, and think what’s the point in marketing?
It’s hard to think that when your baby flies the nest, it won’t be super successful when you eventually show it off. I think that’s what it’s all about though, showing it off to the world and getting feedback. The most negative feedback we received was in in regards to the jump mechanic of the player. Everyone regarded it as “too floaty” but we didn’t see it. We thought “Nah, it’s fine, the premise of the game is set in a hacker’s program, so we can do whatever we want with the gravity!” – first mistake.
Flash forward to 4 moths having been on greenlight and added to the Greenlight group: Greenlight Limbo.
There wasn’t much we could do to increase the votes, other than try to gather a following. The natural votes disappeared and well what else could we do? We decided to look at the mechanics and try and change them to make it more fun and guess what, we changed the gravity and of course, to our amazement, it made it more fun. Where am I going with this you’ll be thinking, well, listen to the feedback you get. I know your game is this beautiful creation and it can do no wrong but really it can do so much wrong, but you’ll never see those flaws because you avoid them.
S3’s campaign was never perfect, I personally wouldn’t even regard it as good. As game developers we’re not marketers, There are entire 4+ year degrees on marketing so what makes us the expert?
We felt we changed those mechanics too late, there was nothing we could do because what’s the point. So what did we do? We put S3 on the back burner and worked on other stuff. We participated in the Global Game Jam of 2017 and we started to get our mojo back for game development.
We began to work on a game called Here They Come, which is a side-scrolling brawler in the style of Streets of Rage. We’ve done this game a bit differently, some of you might have seen it on some Screenshot Saturdays and we’ve kept updating our twitter account with gifs and posts about it. Shameless Plug Here….
We’re getting feedback and we’re implementing the feedback, even if we don’t agree with it. We’re trying it because before we properly show it off to the world we want to get it right. Our biggest fear is failure. So when you realize showing it off isn’t as bad as you think is, I think that is the key to creating successful games.