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Hourences

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Hourences last won the day on November 17 2013

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About Hourences

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  • Birthday 12/29/1983

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    Game Development
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    BE/NL/SV

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    http://www.Hourences.com

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  1. Likewise I'd be happy to meet up.
  2. Thanks Sprony for setting it up! The summer sales helped quite ok. It gave us 2x the sales our actual release did about. We now reached our minimum expected revenue point so with a bit of luck we can push this up further over the coming 6 months to a medium good result. Big question is always how stable the sales are longer term. 250 000 people now have it on their wishlist, which is a pretty considerable number, so lots of people have seen the game now and are interested, but are still waiting. We are not quite sure if it is due to VR, or non VR. Hard to track that on Steam. We are going to be building a free DLC level, for which I will invite people from the community and give you the entire game in UE4 to build with. I will post a proper post later but if anyone is interested in building a room with our assets and all let me know.
  3. EA was your release last year. In 2016 EA is not your release. What I mean is that when the concept of EA was still new you had quite a few games that did really well in EA, and their release was effectively (and for some still is ) their only real release. But if you look at the EA sales of a lot of the games right now you see pretty much the same number of sales for all of them (usually around 10k). A lot of people seem bored/burned with EA, and you tend to attract only your fans/EA enthusiasts. So you cannot really approach EA as your launch in 2016, because a lot of people will simply no longer buy EA games at all. EA has become what EA was originally meant for. Feedback and QA. We approached EA even with stating very very clearly that it would be just 3 months + the game is done, but even that didn't convince people. I am aware the timing is not great, but E3 is not exactly the only consideration. Timing is rarely great. Last month had tons of big releases. After E3 it are sales everywhere. After that people go on vacation + are busy with their sales. Then there is No Man Sky. After that it is Gamescom. Etc. If you wait for the right moment it can take a long time, and in retrospect everyone will say "yeah but it wasn't the best time". With E3 ahead we are able to travel to E3 and meet up and push with press in person at least which is better than the other options. Then we have another push after E3 for the Xbox launch. We sent out keys a week in advance already to all the big ones, so we are aware of that. It is hard to cover every website and magazine out there however, so if a game cannot be reviewed because it would not bring in enough hits, that is sad to hear.. I am not sure if that is why we all got into this industry... Or if it was for the love of making and playing cool games? And we don't have many reviews yet, so if you are after getting people to read something they haven't seen before, I'd say now is still very much so the time?
  4. Oh yeah Epic will help and it will be good, but it doesn't make a huge difference in the long run. It doesn't replace the existing lack of traction...
  5. There's no discount because when we were EA we had 15 Euro. After EA we went to 20 Euro as planned, but due to financial laws in the US you cannot change price and then discount it at the same time for logical reasons. So that was not an option. We are going to be in the summer sales though. And we are discounted on GOG right now. Also a fun thing is that last time around we tried the Steam visibility banners. This gives you one of those smaller banners on Steam front page. 500 000 impressions timed with the European and then the American evenings, yet we sold like 150 copies out of those 500 000 impressions. It is ridiculous. What is even weirder is that when we launched originally, we got well over 1 million visits (not impressions, actual page visits), yet our exposure then was equal to what it is now on Steam. On top of that 10% out of those 1 million either bought the game or in the majority of cases put it on their wishlist. So that 10% conversion rate (or at a minimum sign of interest) was good statistically. Yet it doesn't happen again. I have tons of numbers we can't make sense of. For example the first week our Steam community group grew from 0 to 20 000 people in like 3 days time. After those 3 days, from Day 3 to day 120 or so where we are now, it grew by just 8000 people. So there is this massive peak in the start, and then that is it. No matter what content we released, what kind of trailer we did, how much press or streamer coverage we got, it never showed anything like the first 3 days again. People always say that if you keep updating the game you will gradually attract an audience, but we do not see this whatsoever. When we released 3 hours of new content we'd sell 100 copies extra because of that, which is about 1000 USD income. So perhaps it is as Blackdog says, but since there's so many types of gamers out there, and so many people who would enjoy this kind of game it feels more of a "no one knows it exists" kind of thing. The visibility is super hard. I would love for indie developers to work together more. We all have an audience. We could all beat the visibility problem together if we'd work together in small groups of similar games. As singleplayer games you don't compete with each other. I'd love to find other small studios willing to work with us on something like that.
  6. I don't really believe in Kickstarter. Kickstarter takes a huge amount of time to do well and is a job in itself, full time probably for about a month. I know quite a few people who tried, and even when they succeeded it took them so much time and money to do that a good portion of the money they got from KS would have to go to simply paying for the effort it took to do the KS in the first place. That is a big commitment and time you take away from the game, and you need to make sure the payback you get is worth it. If KS fails you also fail publicly. You can then not go a publisher and say "we got this cool game" because they will say "yeah but the public isn't into it, look at your KS". If you compare the amount of money you would possible make after covering for the effort it took to do, to the risk involved that if you fail you also immidiately potentially lose other opportunities, then the investment is pretty big, the risk is pretty big, but unless you make hundreds of thousands (you won't) the payback is too small. Look at it this way. If you see how much trouble we have getting traction with a full and finished released game, then imagine how hard it is to get anyone to care about some KS.
  7. Viral marketing is the hardest form of marketing of all. When it works it is superb but it is about as hard to predict as figuring out which pop song is going to be number 1. You can try to work the system, but you need significant resources to try and do so. As an indie you can only fall back on luck, and luck is never a strategy. So when it comes to marketing you can try a couple of times, like we did, but if it doesn't go viral then you can't do much more other than to keep spamming the picture or thing online forever until 1 day it might ignite... At that point your energy might be better on spent with traditional marketing.
  8. We had some coverage on places like IGN but now when the full game is out, or when we released episodes, it became old news it seems for them. With a game this size and this visual you'd say they would jump on top of it, but while we do get a bit more attention and sell more than your average indie title on Steam, it is nowhere near enough to fund a game this size. If you would have done this game "properly" with an office and full time devs you probably would have had to have say 2 years 6-8 people full time to pull this off. That means you'd burn something like 40 000 USD a month, and that is without paying anyone well or having much reserve. You look at a 1 million dollar budget, which I think is still little for a game like this. That scares me the most. We will make some money now because we worked for nothing for years, but if you'd want to grow the business and have an office etc, it is just plain impossible. We've had the exact same situation with the past 2 games too. The only reason we make money is because we barely spend any, but from a business point of view we have no way forward making indie games (even of this complexity). There is just not enough return to be able to properly the company. We also noticed that even when press picks it up, the impact on sales is absolutely minimal. A lot of people simply wait for the sales, but then when the sales happen so much other stuff also happen they simply forget. I am not sure how as an industry we can move forward. We compete with all forms of entertainment, and we get ever more of that. 5 Years ago not only were there this many indie games, you didn't had Netflix. We compete even with Netflix for example. And none of that is going to get better. We also have ever more existing games we can play. 5 years ago a game from 2006 might look terrible, but in 2016 a game from 2011 is still perfectly playable and acceptable for many. As our graphic and gameplay standard begins to settle, that also means we get an ever growing library of existing games we can spend our money and time on. So yeah... And a publisher only works if you find the exact right partner. Otherwise you will just end up in a situation where they do the minimal work, they send a few emails, and otherwise they move on one of their many other titles. If your game breaks and fails, they won't care. They got 10 other titles. But you on the other hand got only this 1 title. That is the biggest risk to a publisher by far for me. It doesn't really matter to them, unless you give them a huge cut, but then it doesn't in turn matter for you. When it comes to publishers a very interesting case is Adrift. That was a reasonably big publisher (you won't get a bigger one as an indie) with good coverage, and that sold less than 20k copies on Steam. It sold like 5k I think in the first week, which is nothing for a game that likely costed them at least 1 mil or so. So even they could not do anything about it. And sure, maybe the game wasn't great, but with their coverage even a bad game I'd say would get at least more than a few thousand sales the first few days...
  9. Thanks guys! Sprongy sorry it has been super hectic trying to manage it all. I wouldn't say it is too late however, we just released? Best time for a review is now actually? Humble Bundle you can only do after about a year, and you must first make the investment of adding in Mac and Linux then, and then after that you can make a limited return. It was huge when it started but the market is incredibly saturated nowadays. If you look at what we did for marketing: Present with playable game at our booth at E3, Gamescom, GDC, CES, Paris Games week, and others Marketing agency plus 2 part time people for months Partnership with tech firms such as Tobii or Ultra-D who in turn sent it on to press and took the game to conferences When EA came out, coverage on all major sites including exclusive reveals on Gamespot, 4 page articles in Edge magazine and so on Short intense EA phase with multiple massive content updates, which in turn we contacted the press for time after time Multi platform plus support from Microsoft, plus VR support. We manufactured survival kits sent these boxes worth of cool stuff like USB chargers to the biggest streamers in the world to try and impress them And a huge game, 12-16 hours long, high end graphics, very visually focused (easier to sell). Ratings on Steam at 86% and VR problems aside, pretty much entirely positive one after another. Rock Paper Shotgun was super happy with it last week in their review too. But in the year 2016 this is not enough anymore for an indie game, even of our size. You drop off the Steam page within 24 hours, and that is it. If this doesn't work out then I really don't know how to go on making games. You can't base such a huge investment on nothing more than luck.
  10. THE SOLUS PROJECT IS DONE! GOG: https://www.gog.com/news/release_the_solus_project STEAM: http://store.steampowered.com/app/313630 Took 1073 days of continuous 24/7 work, 15 UE4 releases, 12-16 hours of content, VR support, 10k assets, 15k+ BP nodes, ~100k meshes placed, runs 60 FPS, and a filesize less than 10 GB in size. Sales are still low so any help you can give with spreading the word would be much appreciated! This was by far my biggest project and was absolutely crazy to build something this big with almost no resources, no office, and while working multiple other jobs. Now to figure out what I will suddenly do with all this time I have available now...
  11. Part 2 is out now, check out our vacation trailer! Tired of life on Earth? If you guys are into level design the game is pretty much entirely that. It is many hours worth of massive levels and environments. It is all about the world and the environmental story telling. And it is old school classic 90s FPS style. Its been really hard to get anyone to buy the game though. Lot of people seem to just wait for full release but that impacts us pretty hard in the mean time. We had great press coverage so far and Youtubers support with a few big ones vouching hard for the game. Edge just did a 4 page special etc. But the public itself just doesn't respond at all...
  12. We are now live! 2.5 years of focus and work but part 1 is now up on Steam and GOG. Xbox One follows in 1 week. A major update more than doubling the content follows in 2-3 weeks. http://store.steampowered.com/app/313630/ http://www.gog.com/game/the_solus_project Oh and here is the Announcement trailer, which I don't think is in this thread yet. The two videos complement each other.
  13. I will be there all week, will usually be found at the Unreal Engine booth. Come say hi!
  14. Bump. We need more help. One to two more Level Artists/Level Scripters. We are primarily looking for a Level Artist. Someone who can click levels together with existing modular environment assets, and make it look pretty. Alternatively we are also interested in hearing about any level scripters. Blueprint scripting gameplay together within levels (enemy waves, spawning, etc.) Three to four month long full time contracts. Portfolios which are FPS/Third person game level heavy, and show a proper understanding of the Unreal Engine (any version, though 4th one is preferred) will be prioritized. Other than that all things posted in the opening post are still valid. Thanks. EDIT: POSITION FILLED.
  15. What people were expecting, a real life simulation ? I can find hundreds of those glitches in GTA. That's like very harsh and grumpy. I'm wondering why this game gets all the hate (won't buy it anyway lol) Is it because their marketing campaign created too many over hyped expectations ? Or nowadays players are that picky they want a refund when they have no splach FXs for shots in the water ? That is really harsh. Most of the stuff in the video may not be perfect, but a lot of it is very minor stuff like the water splashes or the sun that keeps on reflecting on a building in the shadows. I think it is getting a backslash both because they pushed it so hard for being next gen and awesome, and because perhaps on a bigger scale people are also not yet convinced by what next gen really means. What the value of having next gen consoles really is compared to having PS3/Xbox360s. And when the game doesn't has as many obvious next gen features as promised, bugs, or some graphically cut corners, you get an extra harsh backslash.
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