Dreamblazers Devlog: Week of June 22, 2015

Alrighty, let’s take some exciting things one by one!

So, somehow, in all the rambling and fretting and pondering I’ve been writing about here for the past couple of months, wondering what I can and can’t afford, crunching numbers on what the kinds of games that I back on Kickstarter make on average, and so on, somehow it never occurred to me to think through all the way to what happens sales-wise after a game is finished and is being sold to the public. Part of the reason why is because Dreamblazers is probably still quite a ways off, but another part is because I wouldn’t have known where to look for those sorts of figures.

Enter the article in the link above telling me exactly where to look. The article refers to 55,000 sales as the “average” for an RPG on Steam, which wouldn’t necessarily be good news, but they later clarified it was actually the median:

I never know who’s reading this blog (other than like 650 spambots per day, but more on that in a moment), so for those not in the know about the difference, here’s an easy illustration: let’s say ten games are for sale and they sell 0, 500, 2500, 5000, 10000, 15000, 17500, 35000, 95500, and 275250. The average here is 45,625, but you can see how misleading it would be to look purely at average when in fact only two of the ten sold that many or more. The median is 12,500, which is more in line with what a person could reasonably expect to sell since five of the ten sold that many and another came very close.

Bottom line: suffice it to say I’m feeling a lot less insane now about my entire indie game developer venture. =P It’s still progressing more slowly than I’d like, but on the other hand it’s 2015 and the entire resources of the world still haven’t figured out flying cars for us, so I can only feel so bad about that.

Now for my second topic… You know who’s arguably progressing more quickly than I’d like? gamingislove, the creator of ORK Framework and Makinom. He’s so on the ball with both of his Unity assets that often I’ve just barely figured out what in the world an update with 10-14 new features does by the time he’s released another one.

Yesterday he released something that I think will let me do very interesting things with turn order in the battle system if I only 1) choose to abandon a traditional turn-based system or ATB system and 2) figure out how exactly the “multi-turns” system works. :P That’s part of why this post was a day late—this really excited me, so I rushed to experiment with it, but I haven’t quite gotten a grasp yet on how it works. Apparently it’s similar to Final Fantasy X, but there’s been a learning curve for me since I haven’t played that. One thing I do know is that now I’m capable of giving a character multiple turns in a row!

…this isn’t quite the same thing as multiple attacks per turn, though (which is what I’d really, really like). For example, Celty’s the fastest playable character in the game, so let’s say she could either attack three times per turn (not possible as far as I know) or could get three turns to every other character’s one (possible). In the first scenario, if she gets hit with the Soaked status effect that covers her in water and makes her weaker against lightning for three turns, then she’ll attack nine times before she dries off, but the enemies will also get two turns. In the second scenario, if she gets Soaked, she’ll take three turns in a row and dry off before the enemies have a chance to zap her.

So I’m not yet sure if I’m sticking with this route, but that’s what I’m looking into.

And then, of course, today gamingislove released the plugin to bridge ORK Framework and Makinom, so I’ve got even more on my plate! It actually feels good to be back in that swing instead of mostly waiting on art assets or sending out feedback about them.

One day, when I crack that median 55,000 sales figure, I’ll have to figure out some way to pay that guy back. Sure, he’s getting hundreds or thousands of customers, but it still boggles my mind that I could either pay an entry-level programmer $65,000 for a year—that’s not so far off from how much money as I’ve made in my life!—or I could have done what I did and make this one-time $100 Unity purchase. For all my struggles and all my amateurity shining through, I wouldn’t trade any of it. In fact, I literally couldn’t ahave.

Last thing for the day! The Steam article from earlier did make mention of PR being important, so at some point I have to step up in that department. For some reason there’s been a sudden massive upswing in spam comments here over the past ten days to the tune of about 1000 per day, which is another reason this post is a day late, but that’s obviously not quite the same as drawing in new eyes. :P

Not too concerned about it just yet, but finding a monster artist should bring me really close. I don’t think I necessarily need stuff like music or even special effects in battle before I can put out the most basic of basic demos, but obviously I’ll have to be able to show off monsters for the main characters to fight.

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