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Author Topic: Preorders and Sales  (Read 54744 times)

Knall

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2011, 08:53:34 AM »

You should speak to the humblebundle guys and get your game put into the next bundle :)

Yeah! Tell David / Jeffrey :D
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Alex

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2011, 09:01:54 AM »

Guys, guys! I think that might be a bit premature - they would probably like a more finished game :)

Starfarer is a million-dollars-game - I'm sure. But also I think that you don't need to force the sales until the announced features is implemented.
Definitely agreed. I don't think it's wise to push it out until it's ready for prime time.

Would love to see it sell a $1 million worth of copies: I'm greedy and want more awesome features post-release.

Thanks for the kind words! I agree about not pushing it out too early. The thing is, if I were to be able to do this full-time, the work would go much faster. I guess I'm just chomping at the bit... a bit.
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Blips

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2011, 10:02:03 AM »

Starfarer is a million-dollars-game - I'm sure. But also I think that you don't need to force the sales until the announced features is implemented.

What is the purpose of offering the alpha preorder for 50% if you're not going to advertise it?

If you guys were to show off a future alpha build, who's to say that you won't get enough preorders to allow you to work on the game full time?
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SeaBee

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 10:57:20 AM »

What is the purpose of offering the alpha preorder for 50% if you're not going to advertise it?

Probably to gather feedback, correct bugs, generate some buzz, get an idea of how high interest is, and create a bit of revenue. In many (not all) cases, a company may only get one good shot to make a first impression. I can't speak for Fractal Softworks here, but I know that I'd want my big info burst to come at a time when I'm confident my game (and the sales backend) is where I designed it to be.

Then you announce it to the big game sites, get tons of page hits, and hopefully move a lot of products at full price.

That's my thinking, anyway.
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Blips

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 11:06:57 AM »

In many (not all) cases, a company may only get one good shot to make a first impression.

If their alpha was filled with on-screen debug text or didn't have sound or in general was lacking polish, then I'd agree with you 100%. But the current alpha is very polished for what it is, and they've outlined their intended features quite clearly. I'm not saying that they should rush it, only that there may be a large amount of positive feedback even if they only show off the combat / missions.
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Alex

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2011, 02:52:38 PM »

Probably to gather feedback, correct bugs, generate some buzz, get an idea of how high interest is, and create a bit of revenue. In many (not all) cases, a company may only get one good shot to make a first impression. I can't speak for Fractal Softworks here, but I know that I'd want my big info burst to come at a time when I'm confident my game (and the sales backend) is where I designed it to be.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Except, ideally, instead of one big burst, it would be a slow ramp-up, though I don't know how realistic that is to get that. The problem with a burst is it's kind of hard to prepare for it (say, to handle a large spike in site traffic, if you don't know how large it is), and if something goes wrong, there's a big price to pay.

In many (not all) cases, a company may only get one good shot to make a first impression.
If their alpha was filled with on-screen debug text or didn't have sound or in general was lacking polish, then I'd agree with you 100%. But the current alpha is very polished for what it is, and they've outlined their intended features quite clearly. I'm not saying that they should rush it, only that there may be a large amount of positive feedback even if they only show off the combat / missions.

The plan is to polish the alpha up a bit more and then get in touch with a few review sites, just to feel it out, instead of blasting press releases to anyone and everyone. Hopefully leading to a slow ramp-up in the number of players, building up the community, getting more word of mouth, etc. I don't know if it's a good plan, but that's the plan for now :)
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The Old Farmer

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2011, 05:57:32 PM »

Sounds like a solid plan Alex, best to walk before you run.  If I understand correctly this is only part time for you, slow but steady will win you the race.  I have seen too many great projects fumble because they tried to get big too fast, and not just in the game industry.

Keep up the good work, even if I would like to have more game to play now refinement takes time. But you seem to know this already.
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SeaBee

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2011, 10:51:10 PM »

Sounds like this project is being managed with careful intelligence, which makes me feel really good about where Starfarer will be in the next few months. I like how expectations are hopeful but cautious.

The more I think about, the info ramp-up really does seem like the more likely (and better) road to take than my "info-burst" assumption, which wasn't really backed up by realistic research.

I know how the fans are feeling, though: eager to see this become a big hit, but maintaining a strong desire to exercise restraint to guarantee the best possible results.

If their alpha was filled with on-screen debug text or didn't have sound or in general was lacking polish, then I'd agree with you 100%. But the current alpha is very polished for what it is, and they've outlined their intended features quite clearly. I'm not saying that they should rush it, only that there may be a large amount of positive feedback even if they only show off the combat / missions.

No, you're right. The first alpha we're playing is fantastic (my expectations were much lower), looks great, sounds great, plays great -- I definitely agree with you that it's a tough game NOT to enjoy, even at this early stage.
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Avan

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2011, 11:00:49 PM »

And even though a lot of the modding we've done (ie, mission distribution, adding custom ships & weapons) isn't officially supported and really wasn't planned for at this stage is still quite possible, and in a mere 2 weeks we've already got... 7 custom ship graphics (6 new, 1 altered) and a balance change mod, not to mention one released mission up for download. (I still need to get around to polishing my other ones >.>)

Alex

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 08:09:09 AM »

The more I think about, the info ramp-up really does seem like the more likely (and better) road to take than my "info-burst" assumption, which wasn't really backed up by realistic research.

Ah, but I think you're right. Everything I've seen/read/heard indicates most games sell in a burst. On the other hand, though - I wonder what the sales graph for Mount & Blade or Minecraft looks like.
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liamdawe

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2011, 08:34:06 AM »

Guys, guys! I think that might be a bit premature - they would probably like a more finished game :)

Not really, their last bundle had 1 pre-order (so not even a demo) and 1 prototype completely unfinished game in it. Your game is actually playable, plus by the time the next bundle is out it will be a lot more complete, the next one I doubt is until at least the end of this year!

Avan

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2011, 08:43:19 AM »

the last bundle was stuff all released by the same company (frozenbyte) all at the same time, so I'd think that it was an exception rather than the rule, as normally the games are all produced by different developers.

Ivaylo

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2011, 11:02:26 AM »

This is definitely an interesting discussion. I am not sure we can say what an exception and a rule is, RE: the HiB. I have the feeling the guys at Wolfire don't play by a set of rules. This, to me, is why they have been successful.
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Avan

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2011, 12:19:56 PM »

Well, I meant 'rule' more in a metaphorical sense, but.. :D

Mercurio

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Re: Preorders and Sales
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2011, 09:47:57 AM »

What about making a video contest or something... Let people record their most epic battles and upload the results, maybe you can tinker another trailer out of it or something xD
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