Author Topic: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!  (Read 5796 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2009, 12:10:57 PM »
Shh!  Don't tell or they'll create a new tax bracket just for me!
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Offline Haagenti

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2009, 12:28:13 PM »
If it is not too immodest, roughly how many sales have you made?

The nearest power of 10 will do fine.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2009, 12:35:43 PM »
We're into the four digits, but not yet the five digits.  So it's still early days, yet.  I need around 50k units sold in order to comfortably quit the day job, but I might be a bit risky and do it with fewer if I have to.  I'll definitely talk more about concrete numbers further into the future, but right now I want to avoid being too specific in public for fear of damaging the perception of the game as popular -- it most certainly is, in its circles -- and because the course of this game's life has just barely gotten started from what I can tell.  With a potential retail deal in the works, I also really have to watch what I say in certain respects, so I'll leave it at that.

The basic status is that the game is selling well, moreso than the huge majority of other indie titles (sadly for the industry as a whole), but not at all close to the "indie darling" games that get so much coverage and sell tens or hundreds of thousands of copies very quickly.  I don't know if AI War will ever reach that "darling" status, I suspect it may be too complex and hardcore for that, but becoming a darling is not at all necessary for this to be self-sustaining.  Reaching a huge chunk of the potential audience for the game is required, and that's still underway on a lot of different fronts.

EDIT:  To be clear, we're in the four digits for numbers of copies sold, not in terms of dollars.  We're well into the five figures for actual dollars, based on that.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 12:39:03 PM by x4000 »
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Offline CogDissident

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2009, 04:14:37 PM »
I'm curious, why do you have your game on Impulse but not Steam? Steam is a more popular platform, and seems to be equally friendly toward indy developers selling their games on it (unless I got the wrong impression).

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2009, 04:16:28 PM »
I'm curious, why do you have your game on Impulse but not Steam? Steam is a more popular platform, and seems to be equally friendly toward indy developers selling their games on it (unless I got the wrong impression).

They are very picky about what they take, which is why you don't see more indie games there.  I'd love to be on Steam, but so far the feeling is not mutual. ;)  They are waiting to see how things look at our 2.0 release, when the new art is in there.  If you look at their list of indie games, its only around 70 total last I checked, whereas most other distribution places have more, so they are really much more selective.
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Offline Darkreaver1980

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2009, 04:48:59 PM »
I realy hope that they will allow Ai War on Steam. Because this would likely tripple your sales.

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2009, 04:51:03 PM »
I realy hope that they will allow Ai War on Steam. Because this would likely tripple your sales.

That was my thought, too.  They have said they are interested in seeing the 2.0 version, so I guess we'll see what happens in a month or two when that is ready.  Fingers crossed!
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Offline Admiral

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2009, 05:15:14 PM »
I personally wish Steam would die a horrible death. I have had nothing but problems with that service.

I wish AI War will be the game that will put Impulse at the top of the list for digital distribution.

I am surprised that the sales don't number 10^4 yet, and am thinking I need to put more posts on my blog about this game. Too bad I'm a privacy nut and it's encrypted & password protected for my family and friends only.

Offline Darkreaver1980

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 05:16:20 PM »
Well, in the past 2 weeks the game itself got 3 times better than it was before. I think the chances are high that valve will go WTF?! after playing version 2.0 while never getting the answer for: "How the hell did he do it?" ;D

Offline Echo35

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2009, 09:12:57 PM »
I'm curious, why do you have your game on Impulse but not Steam? Steam is a more popular platform, and seems to be equally friendly toward indy developers selling their games on it (unless I got the wrong impression).

Big problem with Steam (Besides them being very picky) is that they are VERY particular on the number of updates they allow per month from 3rd party developers. I don't know if anyone here has ever played the mod Dystopia since it came to Steam, but there was one point a few months ago where they pushed a patch and there was an apparent glitch that made the server browser unable to locate any servers. It was a quick fix, but because Steam only allowed a certain number of updates per month, we had to wait nearly an entire month to be able to play online again unless you loaded the reg fix yourself, which many new players didn't do simply because they downloaded the game, saw it was broken, and gave up on it.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 09:14:28 PM by Echo35 »

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2009, 09:16:45 PM »
Big problem with Steam (Besides them being very picky) is that they are VERY particular on the number of updates they allow per month from 3rd party developers. I don't know if anyone here has ever played the mod Dystopia since it came to Steam, but there was one point a few months ago where they pushed a patch and there was an apparent glitch that made the server browser unable to locate any servers. It was a quick fix, but because Steam only allowed a certain number of updates per month, we had to wait nearly an entire month to be able to play online again unless you loaded the reg fix yourself, which many new players didn't do simply because they downloaded the game, saw it was broken, and gave up on it.

On the bright side, with AI War all of the license keys are cross compatible.  So no matter where you buy the game from, you can always load up the demo and input your base key.  Hopefully nothing that dire would happen with Steam (and I'm certainly not going to alter my release schedule to accommodate that -- if they just release cumulative patches every month that is their prerogative), but if so there is always an alternate mechanism for players so that no one is ever left out in the cold like that.  But that would certainly be very frustrating when dealing with a developer who has only released their game through Steam, I'm really surprised they did not make an exception and do a hotfix.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2009, 09:17:14 PM »
Well, in the past 2 weeks the game itself got 3 times better than it was before. I think the chances are high that valve will go WTF?! after playing version 2.0 while never getting the answer for: "How the hell did he do it?" ;D

Hopefully so, yeah. :D
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2009, 09:33:29 PM »
I personally wish Steam would die a horrible death. I have had nothing but problems with that service.

I wish AI War will be the game that will put Impulse at the top of the list for digital distribution.

You and I have had similar discussions off the boards about this before, of course, so you know my feelings on it pretty well.  I've always liked Valve as a company (I couldn't help but after HL2, and I was a Counter-Strike fan before that), and Gabe Newell seems like a really interesting guy.  The whole story behind Portal and how that came to be also really fascinates me, and I remember back when Steam was a new thing how exciting that was.  However, with any large company -- #1 in a market in particular -- you certainly get problems more than one would like, and thus dissatisfied customers as well.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Stardock staff, and I really want to see Impulse take off in a major way because I feel like they are doing so much right there.  I also prefer their client to Steam, on the whole.

But, in the end, for a developer it's like Walmart versus Target.  If you sell your goods in just one of them, you'll never reach your entire audience despite the fact that both are mega-chains.  If the market were bigger to begin with that might not matter, but as it does it's a significant boost every time we get a new distribution partner; I can't turn down anyone who is on the level.  I don't think any of your complaints with Steam were things that they maliciously did, I think it was all just the typical sort of thing that can happen with large companies; and my personal experiences with them (aside from them not picking up AI War immediately) have honestly been nothing but positive.

I actually shop at GameStop pretty regularly, which might surprise some people who hate the monolithic chains.  But I've got one near me that has a really awesome staff that I've come to know, and so I enjoy going there and seeing them when I get new boxed games.  They don't know that I'm also a game developer, I'm just a regular they know by sight, which is a lot more relaxed.  To me, I think that's another mega-corporation that a lot of people have beef with, but I just have trouble working myself into a fervor about any given company.  My dad absolutely loathes Microsoft, and then here I'm a Microsoft Certified Partner at my day job.  Go figure.  I'm pretty apolitical when it comes to companies; I even briefly considered buying an Apple product a few weeks ago. ;)

I am surprised that the sales don't number 10^4 yet, and am thinking I need to put more posts on my blog about this game. Too bad I'm a privacy nut and it's encrypted & password protected for my family and friends only.

These things just take time!  It's doubly hard for a new company, because not only do people have to hear about the game, they also have to become excited (or curious) about it to the point of making a purchase.  So all of the word of mouth really does pay off, as do the big reviews like the one by Tom Chick.  People are wary of someone they've never heard of (as I would be), so they have to have it recommended to them from a source they trust.  That's another thing about Steam, is the air of legitimacy that brings -- if it's on Steam, people assume it must be very good. 

People who know Impulse also tend to have a lot of trust in that platform, but unfortunately it just does not yet have the same kind of brand recognition.  But, like you, I hope that it's brand continues to grow and I am happy to be helping with that in whatever way I am with the success of AI War.  A number of people seem to have discovered Impulse through AI War (though not as many who discovered AI War through Impulse, naturally), so I think that's pretty cool.  They're a really good partner, and I want to see them succeed -- and it's clear the feeling is mutual from them, which is just really awesome.

This was pretty rambly, so I don't really have a proper conclusion.  I guess I'll just cut it off there. :)
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Offline Echo35

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2009, 12:10:41 AM »
I usually only go to GameStop for DS games. Almost all my PC games I get digitally, either through Stardock, Steam, or GOG. I can't remember the last time I even used the CD drive on my Desktop.

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War is #4 (edit: now #2) in popularity today on Impulse!
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2009, 12:42:28 AM »
Yeah, I'm the same way for PC games.  But I also buy for the DS, the Wii, and the PS3.  So that's what I use Gamestop for.
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