Otello has found a comfortable (?) place in the bathroom…!
Today’s blog post is a bit different. I want to talk about a side-effect of when small indies grow
Back in 2007-2008, I was doing some “research” on indie CRPGs and of course I’ve checked also Jeff Vogel’s site (Spiderweb games). He’s one of the most famous indie doing RPG, so I was curious to see how he was doing. I was surprised when I read in the official forums that “he used” to post there, but now he doesn’t even show up anymore. I was thinking “What? how is possible, he doesn’t care about his users?!”.
Now, several years later, I understand completely his reasons! When you start growing your business, when you have more titles under your belt, the things to do increase exponentially.
Just think what there’s to do for each game:
- support: that’s the biggest problem. No matter how fool-proof you made your registration/full version delivery, there is always going to be an issue with it. But not just that: hardware configuration problems, sometimes files are downloaded incompletely so people think are corrupted, false antivirus positives, etc. It’s just insane, believe me! Some indies I know have hired people to deal with that, but I honestly wouldn’t trust anyone (since I should give access to orders database, Steam keys, etc). So I do it myself…
– marketing/promotion: I honestly don’t do much of this, but even in this case, there are many things to do. Send press-releases, answer journalists, do interviews, send press-copies, etc etc
– social presence: nowadays is essential, so I try to post daily updates on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so on. Is not a big amount of work each: but if you sum everything, starts to add up (5 min there, another 10 there, etc and voilà hours are gone!)
– game production management: emailing people, checking what they’re doing, etc. Note that I don’t include the actual game coding in this part, and still is big!
OK I’ll stop here, I think you got it so what is happening is that (luckily) this year was very good for me, but also means that my “free time” has greatly decreased…and I don’t mean to be rude or snob people, but I won’t be able to answer anymore people emailing me “to chat”, or “to know how is going”, or asking “when game XYZ will be out” and so on like I used to do in the past. I simply don’t have the time anymore!
Of course I’ll still provide support for customers, I don’t plan to disappear from my forums, and will try to reply on the various sites (blog, twitter, Steam forums, etc…there are so many!) but it will depend on how busy I am in that moment.
I also realized that I’m spending really too much time in front of the computer: I want to stay more with family… the wife and pets
End of the rant! Now, for some quick update on the games, check those screenshots:
The skills screen of Queen Of Thieves
Attributes screen, similar to SOTW one (work in progress)
I got new GUI art done by a new artist who did a great job in my opinion. Is still work in progress but you can see the “return of skilltree” that some players liked so much in Loren
Stay tuned for more info next week…Christmas is coming!