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[Archived] Time for a new community playthrough?

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Luhr28 - 02 November 2020 06:52 PM

Simon_ASA also said he would be involved in the Boïnihi playthrough.

That’s not an actual vote. Voting is for participants, not devs. Smile

That IS however very much incentive to vote, because a CPT where the dev is present to share his thoughts always has that something extra. It’s amazing if you can pick the dev’s thoughts during a CPT…
And knowing Simon, he’ll probably be the most active forum member during the CPT, giving wonderful details about the development process. Just check his contributions in the ASA CPT! Cool

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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No of course don’t take my comment as a vote for Boinihi, it would be too weird Smile

Ahah I’d do my best to be the most active member during the CPT, I’m sure I’d have a lot to say, but it always depends on the questions and how people are interested in the game!

Anyway even if Boinihi doesn’t win now it doesn’t matter for me, I hope that some of you will have the opportunity to play it and will enjoy it. I’m often watching this thread all year long in case one of my games would be chosen for the next CPT. I remember Catyph was close some time ago, but even if they don’t win the votes I know it can still happen someday. Always happy to talk of my games, reply to questions, and see how players see my puzzles and stories (with many things that didn’t cross my mind as a creator). A CPT is always a rewarding experience, a way for me to learn and try to do better next time, and I wouldn’t miss one if I am available at the same period.

But I think I’ve talked too much in this thread, place to the votes. Sorry…

     

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I have a question about Boinihi - it looks like a relaxing game from the screenshots, but you never know. So are there any horror parts, deaths, tense scenes, anything like that? I really like the sound of Myst + Syberia/TLJ or something like that, but I have anxiety.

     
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Simon_ASA - 03 November 2020 03:53 AM

A CPT is always a rewarding experience, a way for me to learn and try to do better next time, and I wouldn’t miss one if I am available at the same period.

A CPT with dev participation is always a rewarding experience for us as well.
CPT’s are always fun because you get to discuss the game in-depth as you’re playing, but actually having behind-the-scenes input from the dev just lifts that to another level entirely.

Maybe it’s a good thing that our genre is niche. If adventure games were mainstream and hugely popular, I don’t think we’d get the devs to join as often as they do now. Grin


Simon, how are the sales going for your games? I remember back when ASA was released, you only sold a handful of copies in the first week, and most of those were to forum members here. How has that evolved over time? Especially with you releasing a new game every two years or so (and consistently getting good reviews here).

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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@Vehelon
Boinihi is a very peaceful game globally, and if I am allowed to I would even say it’s a poetic experience, but I have to warn you that there is a short film where some of the Terran astronauts die during their journey. This is a bonus short film, so I can tell you where it is during the CPT to avoid watching it. It tells the story of the main character and how he arrived alone on the moon of Boinihi and for what purpose, so it is quite an interesting Bonus video for most players, but still it is dispensable if you don’t want to see such things. I would say that it is not more violent globally than many animations for kids on TV nowadays. The story of Boinihi (in a diary) also refers to a catastrophe on his planet and people who died when their civilization collapsed, but there is no image of it, it’s just text. Except for these two things (bonus video and diary) you explore peaceful environements and focus on translating/understanding the Codex, and there is no horror, no blood, nothing shown that can really shock.

@TimovieMan
This is something that we could probably talk furthermore during a CPT if we have the chance to do one for Boinihi. But globally the sales are not good and it is too difficult for me to make a living, so I have announced past Summer that I have stopped working for an indefinite period of time on the Black Cube series, in order to focus on a totally new thing (which I still have not decided but have plenty of ideas). I don’t know what I am doing wrong but it would seem that I am not good in communication around my projects, because I really have a low number of followers on social networks compared to other adventure games creators. That makes it very hard for me to share news and reach the people interested in my projects…
ASA has been my biggest “success” in terms of distributed copies because I was lucky to release it at a time where Myst-like adventures in 2d almost didn’t exist anymore, and there were way less indie developers, and also because it was added to some bundles like indiegala at a very low price ($1 or 2 per game), which was great to reach people but didn’t really allowed to cover expenses and development time…
Then Catyph has not been very successful and was ignored by influencers in general, and my idea of a “Blue Matter System” in the game was not very popular to most traditional adventure gamers (which has been fixed in Catyph Light Edition, but I think almost nobody played it). I tried to bring new ideas as I was asked to in ASA, but *that*  wasn’t really a good one.
Then there was Myha, with a successful Kickstarter, so we were hoping better results: it is today wishlisted by about 200 people who await for a big sale off, but we don’t want to drop price too fast in regard to our backers, and also because it has been my first collaboration with another creator and in full3d with Unreal Engine 4. But the sales were not very good, we were hoping that the Kickstarter would help us “advertize” a little more to reach new players (particularly with the 3d), and it hasn’t really been the case I think.
And finally Boinihi: I sold few copies so far, probably because the game is still expensive (the market has changed since my release of ASA and there is no choice nowadays but to put a “high” price to cover the expenses and also because most people buy during sales…). Boinihi has been a commercial failure, 2 months after release the game had the worst number of copies sold in the series, and as usual not because of the content but because influencers didn’t speak of the game so it was totally ignored -and it made me angry once again to have t orely on that “system”.
Another major issue that decided me to stop the Black Cube series (temporarily! I really hope to do a 5th episode in the future), is because it is a series… I never really insisted on the ‘Black Cube’ label because I want people to realize that each game can be played in any order (it’s not Black Cube 1: ASA, Black Cube 2: Catyph, etc), but nevertheless it is obvious that they are all in the same world, so many people are worried to buy my games as they think “I have not played the previous ones, I won’t understand anything”. You proved it again above with your question (which is perfectly fine, I totally understand it). But because of this I can’t continue to create these games or I’m going to bankrupt! lol but seriously I’m very worried by my personal situation.

All of that being said, the games have nice reviews as you said, and I am very happy by what I have constructed over the years. I really thank continuously all the fans who support me and who enjoy my work: that is what allow me to continue despite the challenge! Let’s hope that my next game will be interesting enough to allow me to get back to the Black Cube series sooner or later. In the meantime I am learning new tools and techniques: as you might have seen I have participated to some game jams in August and September and I take it as an opportunity to learn how to make games with the Unity engine. I still need to work hard on it…

     

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@Simon_ASA
Thanks for being honest, it doesn’t sound like it would pose to much of a problem especially since I know it’s dispensable.

Lady Kestrel, please put me down for Boinihi.

I think it’s the right idea to put the Black Cube series on hold for now. Sometimes developers make a breakthrough when they try something a bit different and it catches the public’s eye (did anyone play Cyan’s first few games before Myst? No one really heard of the company before their breakthrough game)

     
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Vehelon - 03 November 2020 06:30 AM

(did anyone play Cyan’s first few games before Myst? No one really heard of the company before their breakthrough game)

That’s because they only made games for children.  Tongue
There are a few references to their previous games in Obduction. So I looked it up.

     

Love, science and sunshine – what else do you need? - Niamh, The Sea Will Claim Everything

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There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (5) - Karlok, TimovieMan, Doom, Pegbiter, Intense Degree

The Journey Down, Chapters 1-3 (4) - SoccerDude, TimovieMan, Doom, Chrissie

Boïnihi: The K’i Codex (3) - Luhr28, TimovieMan, Vehelon
Heavy Rain (3) - Intense Degree (leader), Chrissie, Pegbiter
L.A. Noire (3) - Intense Degree (leader), Chrissie, Pegbiter
Loom (3) - SoccerDude, Doom, DCast
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (3) - Adv_Lvr (leader), TimovieMan, Pegbiter
Shivers 2 (3) - RTRooney, TimovieMan, SoccerDude

     

Save the earth.  It’s the only planet with chocolate.

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I also think “There Is No Game” should be disqualified - being that this is a PLAYthrough thread, for GAMES.

Who’s with me? Smile

     
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Vehelon - 03 November 2020 10:09 PM

I also think “There Is No Game” should be disqualified - being that this is a PLAYthrough thread, for GAMES.

Who’s with me? Smile

Oh for Pete’s sake! Why are you here, what’s your goal? To be as annoying and/or provocative as possible? Most of your posts are, and I’m sure that’s not a coincidence. Like your bullshit about one banned user, like your attacks on me, not to mention your attempts to promote astrology.

     

Love, science and sunshine – what else do you need? - Niamh, The Sea Will Claim Everything

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@Simon_ASA: According to Steamspy your 6 games sold a total of 37,000 copies. Average price 12.39 dollars. Is that correct? Steamspy is kind of wobbly from day to day, so I have no idea how accurate their numbers are.

     

Love, science and sunshine – what else do you need? - Niamh, The Sea Will Claim Everything

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Don’t worry Karlok, I think my time here is just about done. All those things you mentioned should have shown me this is not a nice place to be, and now that somehow even my humor is misunderstood, and I’m attacked, it’s time to go.

LK, please withdraw my vote for Boinihi.

     
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Vehelon - 03 November 2020 11:53 PM

Don’t worry Karlok, I think my time here is just about done. All those things you mentioned should have shown me this is not a nice place to be, and now that somehow even my humor is misunderstood, and I’m attacked, it’s time to go.

Yeah, you never attacked anything or anybody, it was all just innocent jokes, and just one comment from the forum bitch is enough to make you leave. Bye!

     

Love, science and sunshine – what else do you need? - Niamh, The Sea Will Claim Everything

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Karlok - 03 November 2020 11:17 PM

@Simon_ASA: According to Steamspy your 6 games sold a total of 37,000 copies. Average price 12.39 dollars. Is that correct? Steamspy is kind of wobbly from day to day, so I have no idea how accurate their numbers are.

Unfortunately it’s not accurate at all!
If these numbers were true I would be more than happy, that would do almost $500k of revenue over the years Laughing
I’m sorry but that makes me angry (not again you, against Steamspy) as if I was lying all the time about what I earn with my games.

As you can see from my Steam financial summary it’s not what they say:

First of all I am not selling 6 games but only 4: ASA, Catyph, Myha and Boinihi.
There are other games on my account that I distribute for my collective The Icehouse: Bloodwood (a game by Juanjo Barcelo Molina) and Chilie (a game by mt brother Yves), which was decided because it is complicated to sell games on Steam for them (you need a TIN/EIN number, you have to pay a $100 subscription to Steam per game, etc).
And I have also Kitrinos which is a 100% free game.

Even if we count that free game and the 2 games that don’t belong to me, we don’t yet reach 10000 copies in totality. As you can see in the financial summary above.
These numbers also include the keys I gave for free and the copies I sold at a very low price during sale events, on itch.io, or in bundles in the past.

When you see $68000 you could think that it’s a big number and that it’s really good. Well, it’s not that bad and I am very honored that people trusted me enough to buy my games, but that is not the question.

I’ll talk of $65000 revenue next to simplify and because part of the 68k money is not for me. Steam takes 30% of it, so they take 19500 and what they send to me is $45500.
I receive even less because of international transfer costs, probably $45000 or lesser.

The French government takes 25% of it because of my status of independent (we call it auto-entrepreneur). So what really is for me is $33750 (I stayed in dollar but for me it’s euro). You can see that the money I really earn is already half of the Steam total revenue…

Of these $33750 I also split some money with my colaborators: programmer Andy Rinaldi for ASA Remastered (30% royalties), music composers of Karreo (5 to 15% depending on the games), ...

Anyway what I really received for myself is probably less than $20000 (I have not calculated right now). From this I remove the software licenses that I bought in 2014 for my activity (3dsmax $5000 and After Effects $1200). There are many other costs but let’s say I earned $15000 from the sell of all my games together since 2013.

$15000 over 7 years of work is ridiculous! If you think of it, it’s about $2000 per year, so less than $166 per month to live from. Games are my only income to pay bills and buy food. My budget has never been balanced, my monthly expenses are higher than my income despite all my efforts, and I live like a poor person. I live in France, it’s not a country where life is cheap. Happily I was supported by my father until 2018 but he passed away. Since then I received some money as an inheritance, but I am not happy that I have to use it to survive.
Next to this I am doing a lot of efforts to spend less money: vegetable garden to buy less food, cut off the cumulus of hot water in summer to save electricity, dry toilets to save water, limited car travel, no travelling, no parties…
I will soon have 9000€ of expenses for necessary work on the roof and gutters of my old house which was built before 1820. My laptop is from 2006 and my work PC is from 2013 and I will soon have to buy a new one if I want to continue to create beautiful games as the standards are increasing. My windows are not double-glazed and I heat with a wood stove, it is barely 15°C at home in winter and I am cold. Etc.

I am not an exemplary person but I make efforts and I don’t complain (not too much!) given my situation. Anyway I hope that you understand clearly why I couldn’t continue to work on the Black Cube series despite doing my best all these years. I love my job of indie developer and it is time-consuming, I can’t imagine doing quality games as a spare-time job, and I want to continue as long as possible, but it’s really a crusade (if I take another job I know that I’ll stop making games). My games are not perfect, I would like to do more and better, include more voice over, etc, but it costs money.

Well, I’m sorry this is not the good thread to talk about all of this, I would have prefered to do it during a CPT for example, or an interview, but I thought I had to reply because Steamspy is sharing bullshit and I really don’t want players to think that indie adventure devs are becoming rich on their back (not all).

If you’re curious, my other sources of income are itch.io, where I have $500 of lifetime earnings that I keep for The Icehouse collective. There is Fireflower games but it is very new. There was the Adventure Gamers shop and Desura but the sales amount were low too. Same for Humblestore that I decided to quit. I tried other stores too but never suceeded on them. Finally I have a Patreon page where great people are giving me $25 every month. Last but not least, since 2019 I get a kind of social aid which is recalculated quaterly, that gives me between 0 and $200 depending on what I earned on the 3 previous months.

I hope I have been transparent enough to show you that I am a true passionate creator and that despite the joy of having such a wonderful job, it’s not easy and I don’t live on a private beach with $500,000 stolen to people who are stupid enough to buy my crappy games!  Wink I have the greatest respect for the people who buy my games, even if it’s not always easy to show it (I’m all alone to do everything, to answer messages…), and every penny I receive is spent in full consciousness. Thank you!

     
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Didn’t know Steamspy reported such “precise” figures since Steam blocked games ownership on profiles.

I’m also far from these numbers :p Demetrios should reach $50,000 total revenue (before Steam cut & VAT) in 4.5 years and many, many sales. Fortunately I also release on consoles!

     

French creator & solo developer of “BROK the InvestiGator” (coming soon) and “Demetrios” (Available on PC, iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita and Nintendo Switch)

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