A Slight Tactical Error

08 Oct
October 8, 2012

So, according to my calculations I’ll most likely be releasing my game mid-December.

This is a slight problem. You see, that’s Steam Sale season. And AAA Release Bonanza season. I’ll be releasing right as competition, both for gamer dollars and media attention, is at its peak.

In other words, a somewhat less than ideal time for a tiny indie release that will struggle to get noticed at the best of times.

Unfortunately, I can’t release the game earlier because it’s not done. And I can’t release it much later, because money is running out. I could hold off a month or two, maybe, but then that gives me no room to breathe and I’m probably still in the zone where everyone has spent their money on Christmas presents and has a dozen new games to play from sales.

So yeah. I’m probably fucked. Not quite sure what to do about that. Maybe if I release, I can make enough sales to last a few extra months and build an expansion which I can use to create a second PR surge later in the year when things have calmed down. Maybe. Assuming I make any money at all.

I really don’t have the experience to guess at how this will play out. At this stage, all I can do is grit my teeth, push through it and let things play out.

Ah well. Better batten down the hatches, seas are about to get rough.

8 replies
  1. Arn Richert says:

    We’re in the same boat; ahoy there!

    I will follow the advice in you’re last sentence 🙂

  2. Colter Cookson says:

    Have you considered letting people preorder the game for a slight discount? That would give you some extra money and an excuse to promote the game outside the Christmas season.

  3. gareth says:

    Colter, that might work, yeah. Not sure I have enough of an audience who care to pre-order to have it make enough of a dent, though.

  4. Diego Doumecq says:

    Mmmhhh, but that’s not much of an excuse there, is it? You should do the pre-order thingy no matter the size of your present audience: Once it’s set up, every PR and marketing move you make can directly translate into money in your pockets.
    You know, as oppossed to spending a month or two marketing your game in the hopes that when it is finally released the people will still be there to buy it.

    I guess it all depends on how difficult it would be for you to develop the pre-ordering scheme, now that I think about it.

  5. GhanBuriGhan says:

    Any chance you could turn this around to your advantage, and get in on some Xmas sales yourself? Not on Steam obviously, but maybe some of the smaller platforms, or maybe there is some sort of Xmas Indie bundle that you could join?

  6. gareth says:

    Diego : Certainly, I’m not using that as an excuse not to try, it’s worth a shot. I guess I just suspect that I haven’t got enough built up reputation/trust with an audience to make a noticeable dent.

    But that can be tested. 😉

    Ghan : You know, that’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll put out feelers with indie bundle groups closer to release.

  7. Diego Doumecq says:

    The Humble Christmas Bundle perhaps?

  8. gareth says:

    Well, if I can get in on a Humble Bundle, that would be great. From what I hear, they’re very good for the devs that manage to get in them.

    But I’m not sure how they work, whether it’s something you submit to and hope to get in the next Bundle or whether they approach you or what. I’ll investigate, but it’s not something I’ve looked into much yet.


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