Steam Greenlight is dead, and thus, so is this tool.
One of the biggest problems with promoting a Greenlight campaign is that users are usually not logged into Steam in their web browser. This means that even after you’ve done everything right to entice users to click on your Greenlight URL, they can’t vote for your game unless they first log into Steam in their browser, which also means approving their browser through Steam Guard! You probably know how this goes: the end result is that those precious hard earned clicks fail to convert into votes because the user has too many barriers and hurdles in front of them to quickly cast their vote. (more…)
Developing video games is hard work, and I know that from decades of experience. Despite all that time, I’ve got very little to show for it, and so I hope to present 3 games over the next several years to prove my capabilities as a game developer and to plant some franchise seeds. Now originally I was hoping to ship a huge game called Daath Galaxy, but when I ran out of cash to fund the voice acting, a smaller project, Arcana Kira, was bumped to the top of my development priorities. However, with the addition of VR support, and a ton of feedback, I realized Arcana Kira needed a lot more work before it was going to be fun and done. In the meantime, I had the old Daath Galaxy 2d prototype sitting there with over a years worth of development. It seemed a shame to basically waste all that work… so I salvaged it and that eventually became Daath Origins.
As I’ve looked at game development and marketing, I’ve noticed a common theme for the first several games a studio produces. Generally, without a major publisher, most development studios first game “goes under the radar” so to speak, and usually isn’t a smashing commercial success. The lucky gamedevs are the ones who survive long enough to finally make a commercial success, but most studios go out of business before that happens. You don’t need Rami Ismail to tell you those things, although I do recommend the above video as a good dose of reality.
With that in mind, Daath Origins became a “do it now or never” sort of deal. That’s because Daath Origins is built on RPG Maker XP, an engine with a somewhat deserved stigma against it. It’s also 2d, simple in many ways, and therefore wouldn’t really make a lot of sense as a follow up to Arcana Kira. I want each game release to feel like a marked improvement over the last, so it was either Daath Origins > Arcana Kira > Daath Galaxy, or no Daath Origins at all.
While I am certainly proud of Daath Origins, it is also a sacrificial lamb of a game for me. It was my lowest hanging fruit; the easiest project of mine on the table to complete, and also the project most likely to fail. That’s perfect though. Exactly what I need as a young up and coming game developer. Yes, this is my first real swing in the AAA minor leagues. It’s very probable that I’ll strike out this game, maybe even the next couple. With enough at bats I think the practice will help increase the chances of hitting a home run.
If you’re skeptical of our dates for game releases, I don’t blame you. We’ve delayed both Daath Galaxy and Arcana Kira multiple times, so I understand. Just know that I’ll always delay a game if it’s not ready, as a game has to be both “fun and done” regardless of the arbitrary release date that we set, in order for us to actually pull the trigger and call it a “released game”. With that said, we’ve been sitting on a near complete game for a long time now, and that game is Daath Origins, for Windows PC. I’ve waited a long time to announce it until I was absolutely certain I wouldn’t need to revise the release date (however, this isn’t the official announcement, which will be a bit later when we issue the press release and start doing actual promotion for the game.) I’m going to try harder to not pull a “Mighty No. 9” like this in the future, and my plan to do so is to stop announcing release dates until a game hits beta. Anyway, you might be wondering what is “Daath Origins“, what is the status and implications for Arcana Kira, and where is Daath Galaxy? All these things and more I am going to address below:
Previously we were targeting November 2, 2015 for our release date for Arcana Kira on PC/Steam. The game needs more time in development to properly balance game mechanics and fully populate the world, and as such, we’re now targeting March 22, 2016 for our release date for Arcana Kira on PC/Steam.
It’s been a few long weeks with no new Arcana Kira build since Alpha 11. What gives? Well, we’ve switched the development model a bit, moved to SVN for source code management, and as such, we’ve moved away from regular weekly builds so that we can tackle some problems that will take longer than a week or two to fix or implement. You can learn more about that in our last blog post. The last word we gave was that when the new menu HUDs were fully implemented, we would be ready to release Alpha 12. That’s still the current status, so we appreciate your patience while we work on completing Alpha 12. Here is how the revised HUDs look currently:
Good news everyone! BLACK LODGE GAMES, LLC has moved forward and this weekend we finally became a Steamworks developer thanks to your efforts in Greenlighting Arcana Kira and Daath Galaxy. This year, the full focus is on bringing Arcana Kira to Steam and the PS4, although we’re hoping to announce a Wii U title for 2016 before the end of the year as well. Development of Arcana Kira has gone very well so far, but it certainly has had and continues to have it’s fair share of challenges. We will be shifting away from the once a week playable build model, to a still well defined but less regular release schedule, and in this blog post I intend to tell you why that is necessary, as well as to shed some light on how development of the game is evolving and what to expect in the next couple of months as the game progresses towards beta.
Arcana Kira is supposed to be entering BETA in just about 1 month (Aug 21, 2015 is the beta target.) This brief document will outline what has to be done in order to achieve this goal, or in this case explore how long of a delay the beta will have because optimism is no replacement for realism, and the current pace of development does not project an August beta any longer. From the initial reveal of Arcana Kira on May 22, 2015, the possibility of delays were addressed in full detail. The long and short of it is that if the game isn’t fun, and isn’t done, then it’s not ready for beta
BLACK LODGE GAMES, LLC usually releases an update for Arcana Kira alpha each Friday, and we’ve been pretty spot on each Friday for the last couple of months since we started. However, last Friday we skipped a release and made a small tweet saying we’d be back today with the biggest update to Arcana Kira to date.
So far, it’s pretty much been a 1 man show here at Black Lodge Games. Daath Galaxy has been worked on for over 7 years, and Arcana Kira is out in playable alpha right now, speeding towards a beta release in just over a month. There’s also Daath Origins, a largely complete top down turn based RPG sitting in the queue, waiting for the time and the funds to be finished. Then there’s the other projects, from before Daath Galaxy, and the games I’ve made or collaborated with others, that have never been officially revealed or talked about.