Announcements

BIG Announcement: Fatal Theory takes on Steam Greenlight!

So here it is, after all our hard work. Fatal Theory’s all grown up and ready to take on the world, starting with Steam Greenlight. This article is an honest reflection of our experiences there, and how it’s been trying to release our first game in general.

DAY ONE

I imagine a lot of people have this idea about what people look like when they’re putting their game up on Greenlight. Judging by the way people defend the marketplace like it’s under attack from frauds and phonies, I imagine the picture looks something like a grinning dev in business-casual, rubbing their greasy mits together at the thought of all the wonderful Steam cash they’re about to make. And in some cases that’s probably about right, but in my case I want you to imagine a guy sitting at the computer in his pyjamas, bags under his eyes from four 60+ hour long weeks spent finishing off the game, excited at the idea of finally pushing this thing out into the world but also so deeply terrified of how it’s going to be received he can’t even click the button to send it live. 

But I clicked it anyway, because I ran out of reasons not to, and we sent the thing live.

What followed was basically a whole lot of hitting F5 to refresh my browser page. It’s amazing how exciting refreshing a browser can be under the right conditions, and seeing our ‘yes’ votes and comments come rushing in was definitely the right conditions.

Here's our stats from day one:

 So far so good!

And then…

THE DREADED FLAT LINE

We peaked early.

It happened so suddenly. People either processed us through their queues, or else we dropped off the front page, I’m not entirely sure what. But the waterfall of people just stopped around 8% of the way to the top 100. I was hoping the initial hype would last a little longer, but with no prior fanbase and only a small following on twitter, I guess I was pretty naïve and optimistic. It became clear very fast that if we’re ever gonna make it to that top 100, let alone the top 50, we’ll have to drive all our own views and it’s going to be a tooth and nail battle the entire way up.

Here’s our stats from a little over a week, featuring the peak and fall of our brief time in the spotlight.

Week 1 Stats 

THE GOOD AND THE BAD

So what are the takeaways from week one of being on Greenlight? I’m seeing it as a mostly positive investment so far. The game didn’t explode and suddenly take off, but let’s face it, it’s a solid little beat ‘em up that’s incredibly fun to play, but it’d be a stretch to say it has much ‘wow’ factor or mass market appeal. I wasn’t expecting too much in the way of that.

It did, however, get our game in front of 6000 unique visitors, and gain us 70 new followers, which may even convert to sales when we run announcements about it going live. We’ve had a fair bit of positive feedback, and not half as much trolling or “this looks like it came from Newgrounds” as I expected, so that’s actually been a really pleasant surprise.

Seeing those graphs peak and fall is a pretty good motivator to do some actual, proper marketing and really get the game out there too, just to keep those little coloured lines alive.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

This whole process of building a game and unveiling it and letting the public at it, it’s an emotional roller coaster. Especially for people like us, who would be 100% happy just working on things on our own, never showing anyone. We do this more because we love creating than actually wanting to sell something at the end of the day. So to open this thing we’ve spent ages working on up to the world… I don’t mind saying it, I was fucking nervous. Some days doors open up and it feels like you’re on fire, others you feel like the world’s biggest failure. And the weird thing is, I think that’s actually pretty normal for this line of work.

But it’s been good so far. And though we’re realistically not expecting this game to get huge, Matt said it best: “I feel like we’re finding our place with this game.” We’ve started to get our name out there, and build a bit of a reputation. Regardless of whether or not we succeed with Greenlight, we’re only going to achieve bigger and better things from here on out.

Til next time wreckers!

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