2014 the year… of change

happynewyear

Reading back the previous end of year post, I can’t stop thinking how things have changed so rapidly for me. This is probably the biggest “problem” of being indie: things change at lightning speed, for good but also for bad!

Last year I was happy because Loren Amazon Princess was accepted on Steam. Nowadays, I have 13 games there, with the 14th (Seasons Of The Wolf) to be released next month!

Last year I had zero games for iOS. This year I ported almost all of them on Apple’s platform, and I plan to do more next year, especially since Ren’Py will get its own porting system!

Last year beside my loyal long-time fans, I was mostly unknown to the general public. Now, while I’m still not *that known*, people talk about me. Some adore my games, others hate them, others are neutral, but at least people talk about me. The worst thing is being ignored/unknown 🙂

This year I made “only” two games, but two big ones: Roommates and Seasons Of The Wolf.

Roommates

Roommates is a title that totally exceeded my expectations. I’ve made “a few” dating sims before, but this one basically is of another league! I think probably is due to the fact that, like my RPGs, it is not focused on only a romance genre/combo, but all of them. Playing as male or female, straight or homosexual romances. It’s a game for everybody.

But also, great comedy writing. There’s nothing wrong with more serious/mature themes, but sometimes people just want to escape the mundane problems with funny stories 🙂 So, thumbs up to Michael (Roommates’ writer) for his great job on the game!

The game soundtrack by Leetstreet Boys was also a very good move. I really can’t find an issue in that game, something that “if I could go back, I would have done differently” and it’s a good thing!

ToA: Seasons Of The Wolf

SOTW is officially out since just little more than a month. It was a challenge, a bet. I wanted to see if I could make “a real RPG” myself. With romance, with a story, with my usual artwork style, but… much more detailed, with a Nightmare difficult level that would actually make people go crazy with it, with a map system, secrets, randomized items, etc.

I won that bet. The game is doing VERY WELL, beating Loren’s first month sales. Of course, is not an entirely fair comparison since 2 years have passed from Loren’s release and now I have a much bigger following. But to be honest, I was fearing that it would be a flop 😀 So seeing that is doing well reassures me and was already worth it.

Still, I’m not going to do another insanely big game like this one anytime soon! It really “burned me”, because I worked on it 10 months straight, every day, fixing/tweaking stuff. I know it’s my job, but now I need a break from such big games. I’m going to make some smaller games (this time, FOR REAL!! LOL) like Queen Of Thieves. They’ll still be RPGs, but have limited party members/skills/items/and so on. They will also be easier to balance 😉

However, there could be something new related to SOTW, maybe next year. I just received this letter via a pigeon from a certain Jariel the bard from the green lands of Grandtree:

letter

End of year’s thoughts

Even if this year was good for me, the future is still very uncertain.

I personally know several indies who this year took a huge hit on their finances, some have abandoned the business to move elsewhere, others went back to contract work or looking for funding. And only a few years before, they were earning six figures! So, you never know what the future holds! Doesn’t matter how much you plan things ahead… because this business moves so fast, is easy to be caught by surprise.

I think the most important thing is to stay humble, never think to have “made it”, and keep working on what you love. At least, this is what I’m planning to do in 2015 🙂

Happy New Year!

This entry was posted in game design, general, indie life, iPhone & iPad, marketing tips, postmortem, queen of thieves, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, Steam, strategy games. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 2014 the year… of change

  1. Canyon says:

    Happy New Year! I hope Roommates did well enough to lead to more light-hearted comedy games in the future. Those are my favorites. I like the picture – I always want characters from different games to interact with each other.

  2. Lex says:

    I would be one of those indies.

    The biggest challenge is that the game prices and the perceived value of games are dropping like rocks. It’s worse than last year. I do a lot of affiliate sales, so this really hits my monthly revenue. $20.00 a game was a better price point for me, but a lot of indies are embracing $14.99 and under now because the perceived price of games has really taken a hit and they feel like their games aren’t worth $20. Gotta’ love those bundle deals. XD

    In some months, I sold the same number of games as last year or more, but made half as much. Why? Because people are going after sales and the cheap / price-reduced games.

    However, I’ve also sold less general merchandise (Japanese snacks, physical games, etc.) which generally did better in the past. My ad revenue gets much worse each year as well.

    Also, my bet on OUYA has been … a profit killer. I should have been making new games instead of working on OUYA ports. It kills me to say it, but I was really optimistic about the platform. Downloads continue to be really disappointing even though conversions are probably higher than any other platform, even when using a donation payment option. And OUYA doesn’t seem to be doing anything to get consoles into the hands of new customers. (palms face)

    • admin says:

      Well about prices depends on the game. I have some $9.99 games too 🙂 I think a good way to price a game is quality x content = $ but of course quality can be subjective.
      As for OUYA, I honestly had no hopes about it being successful, sorry that you invested so much time on an already dead platform :/

  3. Matt says:

    Really proud to have been a part of those 2 projects!

  4. Pingback: Leet Music 2014 Post Mortem | Leet Music

  5. Tanagashima says:

    Happy New Year and glad to see youre doing well ive been a big fan for about a year now and own most of your RPGs and roomates. ee got SOTW it they’re all worth it and looking forward to next year. all i can say is if you keep making i’ll keep buying them.

    • admin says:

      Thanks! Yes I plan to keep making them. The RPG maybe one every 2 years or some smaller ones, while dating/life sims at least once a year 🙂

  6. Mirror says:

    Wow I didn’t know roomates was made this year!!! I thought it was made the same time lowen was made im shocked lol! This actually makes me happy that I was able to play it the year it came out. I found an add for lowen downloaded it at the Apple Store with roomates and loved them beat them plus lowens dlc was so great!!! I still play them for fun and it’s still fun lol love all the characters in them. I’m glad that im a fan.

  7. Crystal says:

    Hey, could you PLEASE extend the sale? I want to buy Roommates (Anne’s Story and Max’s Story) so bad, but I’ll just have the money to buy it next week, from Tuesday… Could you?! Thanks!
    Oh, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too! :3

  8. Cheska says:

    A happy new year to you. ^_^ Thank God your games made it to iOS, or I wouldn’t have heard about any of them. Hope you’ll continue to make them coz I really enjoyed playing.

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