Greetings, friends. Here we are with another Seclusion: Islesbury update, or rather, a general game development update.
A few months ago we were in the Greenlight fever and thanks to your help were able to get greenlit before the journey into the Steam Direct unknown started. Turns out it’s quite a bit easier to get into the Steam Store as of now if you have a 100$ to spare. But, that doesn’t mean Greenlight was a waste of time for us. On the contrary, I’m happy we were able to get approved by the community. We wouldn’t be able to reach many of the people we have if Greenlight wasn’t a thing. It was a good experience and now Greenlight is history.
Many believe future of small indie developers on Steam Store is bleak. Without a doubt, increased number of games and amount of “low effort” titles on the store makes it difficult for games with small to no promotion budgets. Visibility and reach for most games decrease as the time passes. These are certainly big problems, but I believe that’s the natural order of things. Game development tools are getting better every single day and not only they are easier to use compared to the past, they are also cheaper and more accessible. It wouldn’t be fair to put all the blame on Steam when the bar to become a “game developer” lowers each passing day.
Getting your game’s name heard is certainly a big challenge without some good money to spend, but that’s not all there to a game’s success. While I admit it’s a big part of the equation, the kind of game you are making and contacting the right communities are equally important.
Point and click adventure game genre is one of the oldest and probably the most controversial of the genres. Some people love it and some people can’t understand how these games can be enjoyed at all. It’s a regular occurrence to read the news of how adventure games are “dead” on gaming websites. Yet fans of the genre, including myself, just love it endlessly.
The things a p&c adventure game can offer are very specific: Stories, countless types of puzzles, and constant exploration. You might think “Hey! Almost all games do those, don’t they?” and you’d be right. But in my mind what makes adventure games different is these are the goals of the game, not means to an end. You want to see stories unfold, puzzles get solved, and every nook and cranny of the game’s environments explored. You don’t need to hurry (unless it’s a timed puzzle, the bane of our existence), you can just take your time and live in this world. Are you trying to solve a murder? On a spaceship trying to find your way into a new galaxy? Or about to find a way to distract the guard who’s guarding the door to the garage in which there is a motorcycle that you need to jump on a roof using a ramp to get antenna that will help you fix the radio which will give the code to the locked door that’s hiding the donut you must give to your friend to take the phone number of the girl you like? It’s all there, waiting for you to explore and experience. You can’t blame someone for enjoying these, can you?
Thus, for me, it’s all about knowing your audience and working on reaching them. For a small indie developer, there isn’t much else to do. Success might not be guaranteed, but it’s certainly a good path to follow.
I’ve heard the question “why make a p&c adventure game?” so many times. From a business perspective maybe it’s a justified question, but it’s not easy to deny one’s calling. I enjoy adventure games endlessly and I know many others feel the same way. That’s why I’m making an adventure game. To share this love with as many people as possible, as long as possible.
This was my little rant about the situation of the indie game development world. What do you think? Are we good or is the future dark for indie developers?
What About Seclusion: Islesbury?
It’s all well and good, but “What about Seclusion?” you might be thinking (at least I hope you do). Seclusion’s development is going very well and we can almost see the finish line now. From now on updates will come your way more regularly. Maybe not weekly updates, but there will be something to share every other week until the release date. So, make it a habit to follow this blog or our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and IndieDB!
The real news I want to share this time around is our new member Nico Negron! He joined me a few months ago as the composer for the game and he was working very hard on creating an incredible soundtrack for Seclusion since then! On our next blog post, you will learn a lot more about the music of Seclusion and will get to hear some amazing samples. You can find Nico’s other work on his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter.
Until next time, don’t let the darkness consume you!