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Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:19 pm
by SiENcE
Timetable
We started in 2012 and released the game in Dec. 2018.

2 years of preparation (setting/story/layout/engine/tools/aso.)
3 years of production (gamecode, art, music, levels, testing, aso.)
1 year doing a company, tax stuff, website, advertising, release, interviews, trailer, press, bugfixing, playtesting, aso.

As you can see, that last year is the very most stressful :-/ and this makes no fun at all.

Releasing a game is schizophrenic. You need to tell people only good stuff and be happy, but you are only tired and want to end all this :ultrahappy: .

Costs
We invested ~10k € into external costs. Server, tools, musicians and some graphics.

My companion Marco invested 3 full years to draw all the 10000 graphics, to write a story of 80.000 words and to build the 68 mazes. I worked part time over 5 years on engine&gamecode&mechanics aso.

So in the end we spend ~350k € for development (imaginary costs, but we would have had many other contracts, which we rejected during this time).

We will never ever get a return of invest, but this has mostly todo with the 10 points i mentioned in my other post ;)

But we wanted todo this game, so in the end it’s exactly what we had imagined. So all ok!

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:13 pm
by raidho36
That's really cool, thanks for your story!

I heard that reviews to sales ratio is about 1:100, is this true? With the kind of game it is, I can see how it didn't took off big - just because of the genre.

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:03 pm
by ivan
raidho, keep in mind that most units sold are at a discount :)
But yea, good job science, we're proud of you!

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:36 pm
by CrimsonGuy
Those last posts have some very valuable info for anyone trying to get something going on the indie scene. I also enjoy reading about others lets say "post mortem" experiences. Very admirable the ammount of time and dedication you put on your project hope you do better on future endeavors, you deserve it :ultrahappy:

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:31 pm
by SiENcE
raidho36 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:13 pm
I heard that reviews to sales ratio is about 1:100, is this true? With the kind of game it is, I can see how it didn't took off big - just because of the genre.
Thx!
The ratio of Steam reviews (other reviews don't count) vs sold units is somewhere between 40-50 (i know some other indie developers). I think 1 vs 100 only counts for AAA games or if your game sold really really well with lots of discounts as ivan said.
Also we don't distribute keys via other stores. We want to keep it clean in Steam ;). We only do sales from time to time, as you sell nearly nothing in between!

I think the genre was not really main the problem. It was more a problem that we didn't make a full retro rpg.
The gameplay and the structure is more modern. No character creation, no levels, no XP. We wanted a fast and snappy gameplay without crawling in menus the whole time. We also wanted to create a very branched game, but this leads to very different experiences. The problem here is...a review is only about one playthrough, but you will only see 1/3 of the whole games content in one playthrough. When you replay the game you don't get all the rest, as the branched nature don't offer you the rest as one branch.
We still have 3 unlocked achievements...since yet, no one came into this branches or didn't meet all the requirements and conditions.

So it's very hard to say something about the full game, as no one will ever see everything (maybe only the one, who unlocks ALL achivements).
ivan wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:03 pm
But yea, good job science, we're proud of you!
:awesome:
CrimsonGuy wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:36 pm
Those last posts have some very valuable info for anyone trying to get something going on the indie scene. I also enjoy reading about others lets say "post mortem" experiences. Very admirable the ammount of time and dedication you put on your project hope you do better on future endeavors, you deserve it :ultrahappy:
Thanks a lot!

If you have more questions, feel free to ask.

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:31 pm
by raidho36
Have you considered making a "historically accurate retro" RPG mode as a DLC? This shouldn't come at too much effort, not in making new assets anyway.

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:57 am
by SiENcE
raidho36 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:31 pm
Have you considered making a "historically accurate retro" RPG mode as a DLC? This shouldn't come at too much effort, not in making new assets anyway.
I think something like "historically accurate retro" RPG don't exists.

Do you mean character creation and XP, levels + attribute points?

Personally i found this in rpgs always a bad idea. Most of the time you mess up with your build. The thing is, in AoS you can do all this by quipping the right items...you can "change" your character very heavy to a caster, a damage dealer or tank. But without loosing the ability to change this over your session! So i think it's a far better solution. I don't know why people care for xp, levels and assigning points by hand :monocle: . For me it's a step backward. You loose flexibility to adjust your gameplay over time.

But we have some ideas for new gamemodes. Also for something fresh. But this needs some time to implement. Maybe in winter we come up with something more specific ;-).

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:16 pm
by KayleMaster
Would you do it again?
If you had to make a commercial game (but someone paid for the work), would you choose LOVE again?

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:55 pm
by raidho36
SiENcE wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:57 am
Personally i found this in rpgs always a bad idea. Most of the time you mess up with your build. For me it's a step backward. You loose flexibility to adjust your gameplay over time.
Well you don't have to like it to implement it. Yeah I agree it's stupid and backwards and is little more than a holdover from DnD tabletop role playing games, where it made very little sense just as well but it made DMs job easier. But people go nuts over this silly mechanic - apparently, winning though grinding is just as good as winning through skill. And it's more than appropriate for this game, while in fact it's not appropriate at all to do what you're currently doing - a complete 180 flip situation. Take no offense. I think you should have started with this "classic" PRG mode, and added your current thing as a game-changing DLC.

Re: Aeon of Sands - The Trail - a retro, post-apocalyptic RPG coming 4 Dec. 2018

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:21 pm
by SiENcE
KayleMaster wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:16 pm
Would you do it again?
If you had to make a commercial game (but someone paid for the work), would you choose LOVE again?
Hard question.

I think no.
I just spent too much time in front of the PC and instead with my family, that was not okay. I also know now that I (We) can. As a child I always wanted to make a game like Eye of the Beholder...not knowing that I would do it ~29 years later.
raidho36 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:55 pm
I think you should have started with this "classic" PRG mode, and added your current thing as a game-changing DLC.
Yeah maybe :). When you do something like this over such along time, you have thousands of decisions. Bigger and smaller. But you don't know which are the important ones at this time.

A wise man once said: All men are wise. Some before, others after.