Author Topic: Marketing and awareness thread  (Read 8529 times)

Offline nas1m

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2014, 04:11:57 PM »
I've cut down the text a bit:

Greetings, Hydral.  I will be your computer for this "grand strategy campaign with turn-based tactical combat."  I think that's code for "we're going to die."

Our solar system is vast and complicated, and I sense you are a little dimwitted -- so I tell you what, let's start with the simple stuff.  Like escaping with this flagship you just hijacked from a bunch of angry robots.  That seems important.

Please excuse my impertinence, but I believe you are the last of a murdered race, yes?  My records note you Hydrals were the dictators of the solar system, so basically you had it coming.  And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.  Hmm.  So people really aren't going to like you until they get to know you.  Well, only you can use the scattered remnants of advanced Hydral technology, so that's something.

Look, I'm not going to tell you what to do.  My understanding is that you're trying to form the solar system's first-and-last unified federation, and that's noble enough.  But right now nobody wants that except you, and you've got 8 very diverse, very angry races to either unify or exterminate.  So... good luck with that.  I'll help how I can.
There' a small typo in there (marked bold above) isn't it?
The comma in "it," seems superfluous to me...
The comma in the quotes actually applies to the greater statement, 'And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.'

It is correct practice to place it within quotes at the end, even though it does not apply directly to the word used in quotes.  Otherwise it looks like, 'And by "it", I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.' which is awkward in appearance.

The comma is used to separate a prepositional phrase from the rest of the sentence it references.  It is arguable that he started the sentence with a conjunction, but the truth is there is actually no rule to that effect so long as it is not a fragment on the whole.
Thank you very much for explaining this :). English is not my first language, you know ;). Another day, another lesson learned!
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Offline Chthon

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2014, 04:18:42 PM »
I've cut down the text a bit:

Greetings, Hydral.  I will be your computer for this "grand strategy campaign with turn-based tactical combat."  I think that's code for "we're going to die."

Our solar system is vast and complicated, and I sense you are a little dimwitted -- so I tell you what, let's start with the simple stuff.  Like escaping with this flagship you just hijacked from a bunch of angry robots.  That seems important.

Please excuse my impertinence, but I believe you are the last of a murdered race, yes?  My records note you Hydrals were the dictators of the solar system, so basically you had it coming.  And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.  Hmm.  So people really aren't going to like you until they get to know you.  Well, only you can use the scattered remnants of advanced Hydral technology, so that's something.

Look, I'm not going to tell you what to do.  My understanding is that you're trying to form the solar system's first-and-last unified federation, and that's noble enough.  But right now nobody wants that except you, and you've got 8 very diverse, very angry races to either unify or exterminate.  So... good luck with that.  I'll help how I can.
There' a small typo in there (marked bold above) isn't it?
The comma in "it," seems superfluous to me...
The comma in the quotes actually applies to the greater statement, 'And by "it," I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.'

It is correct practice to place it within quotes at the end, even though it does not apply directly to the word used in quotes.  Otherwise it looks like, 'And by "it", I mean the moon that smacked into your homeworld.' which is awkward in appearance.

The comma is used to separate a prepositional phrase from the rest of the sentence it references.  It is arguable that he started the sentence with a conjunction, but the truth is there is actually no rule to that effect so long as it is not a fragment on the whole.
Thank you very much for explaining this :). English is not my first language, you know ;). Another day, another lesson learned!
No worries.  It's not your fault that the evil power within the crown you chose to serve gave you the form of a huge block of steel.  Nor that your partner once changed you into a giant frog.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2014, 04:41:34 PM »
No worries.  It's not your fault that the evil power within the crown you chose to serve gave you the form of a huge block of steel.  Nor that your partner once changed you into a giant frog.
:D
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Offline cupogoodness

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2014, 06:56:55 PM »
Is the $20 mentioned in the blog post the final price?

$20 ($19.99, if you want to get pointlessly specific) will be the standard USD price across all distributors. I definitely understand your concerns; as a team, we wrestled with the decision for the better part of a week.

We agreed $20 would be the right price for several reasons. It's the same price AI War was originally offered at, we can discount it a bit more heavily down the road and still receive significant returns on it (an issue with some of our past titles, such as Skyward Collapse), and we as the development team just really believe it's worth the price. Many of our community members understand their purchase will stretch beyond what they get "out of the box," (along with what will already be packed in for the 1.0 release), and that's something we're trying to get across to the general public as well (by taking more initiative on updating and connecting the Steam store and community pages, so that potential buyers can see what's going on pre or post-release).

We're also doing a pretty generous launch discount to help people through the door. I doubt we'll discount again until whenever the summer sale comes along, if even then. We'll see how it goes. I won't say I'm nervous about the higher than normal price, but that doesn't mean I think we'd do better if it were priced lower. We have faith that people will find it agreeable, possibly even enticing -- though I don't want to push it. ;)

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2014, 08:40:09 PM »
I really hope you are right, because I think might end up getting a bit of pain for this and I would be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't happen.


I don't think you are really launching this into the same market that AI War: Fleet Command launched into. Personally, I think you may be underestimating just how hostile the potential audience might be to this.

Nowadays, there are "middle-tier-not-really-indie" games that launch at $20 with much higher budgets and longer development times.
Rust is selling for $20 and Starbound is selling for $15, and both those game have better media exposure than you are likely to ever get for this game.
Soldak does launch their games for $20, but outside of their fans they are sometimes criticized for "over-valuing" their games.
Jeff Vogel is selling Avadon 2 for $10 on Steam, and I think most of us know how stubborn as heck that guy can be about this sort of thing. Yes, he charges $20 on his own site, but that's a "fans only" price with a money-back guarantee.

As a guy who's also into flight sims, wargames, and other such genres where the "niche price" can sometimes be a thing, I can see where sometimes a game might charge more than normal due to circumstance. That said, I don't see many of those forces being at work here.


I'm NOT trying to be mean, but if I'm to be honest (an hopefully be at least somewhat helpful by doing so) I have to state that as my view/opinion on things and really hope I'm wrong.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 08:44:23 PM by Professor Paul1290 »

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2014, 08:51:01 PM »
For what it's worth. I kind of agree with PP. I see TLF as more a $15 game than $20 at standard price.

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2014, 08:59:26 PM »
Though I don't believe that you're overpricing the release at all, I'm going to tend to agree. I'd hate for this game to suffer the same problems that BD had due to lack of media exposure but exacerbated by the greater cost. I don't think many people will be as keen to buy on impulse if it's more expensive (This one has had more exposure, but it's still not near something like the more hyped indie titles)
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Chthon

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2014, 09:47:27 PM »
I am fully behind the $20 price if you deliver on everything I see promised in the videos and screenshots.  A game does not need hundreds of hours of CGI work and voice acting to be a good game.  I think too many people forget what games are for, and that is to be fun.

Offline Castruccio

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2014, 09:54:05 PM »
I know we're not taking votes here, but I also think $14.99 would be a better bet. 

Offline cupogoodness

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 01:27:56 AM »
All valid concerns, and I definitely have an understanding of the difference between launching a game now and launching one five years ago. The thing we keep coming back to is this: If the game is deemed "good," people truly enjoy it, and those points are being translated to those potentially interested, the $5 difference isn't going to be a big picture issue. I just can't see it. However, the safety net the $20 price provides if the game doesn't launch well could keep us better afloat as a company moving forward.

When we released Bionic Dues for $10 to a poor launch, rallying was much more difficult. We actually received quite a bit of press for the game at launch, despite the perception that we didn't spend anytime marketing it at all (I'm still not exactly sure what ultimately went wrong, though looking back I regret not gently getting the word out months in advance like we have with TLF). The game just didn't sell much at all, for whatever reason. Not including bundle inclusions, we've discounted the game twice on Steam since (iirc); and though the game's player pool has tripled directly because of those sales, the amount we earn per purchase just doesn't cut it in terms of what we're looking to earn during these types of promotions.

Skyward Collapse is even worse at $5. Discounting it 50% means that we are making less than $2 a copy. $20 means you can discount down to $15, $12.50, $10, $7.50, $5, and $4 over the long haul -- that gives us a lot more opportunity at featured and/or weekly promotions that will actually move the needle. The diminishing returns of discounting a $5-$15 game repeatedly at 75% off is much more apparent. You just get lost in a sea of games at some point, unless you're a DayZ, Starbound, etc. Baseline sales for the AI War collection (at $17) is the only product that sells day-in and day-out for us at regular price. We really need TLF to fall into that category as well (regardless of how it launches, the money we earn from it will almost certainly run out at some point) -- otherwise we're going to be scrambling here for the foreseeable future.

To put all of that in another way, I think we've been bit on our behind a few times by going with a price the market is telling us to go with, instead of the one we feel is actually justified. This may well turn out to be the wrong decision, but everything taken into account, it feels right. I know that's vague, but that's just the hunch I have.

Also, does it make any difference to know that the launch week discount we're planning is 25% off? So $15 will be the "launch price," it just happens to be a temporary one.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 01:43:59 AM by cupogoodness »

Offline Chthon

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 08:35:38 AM »
When we released Bionic Dues for $10 to a poor launch, rallying was much more difficult. We actually received quite a bit of press for the game at launch, despite the perception that we didn't spend anytime marketing it at all (I'm still not exactly sure what ultimately went wrong, though looking back I regret not gently getting the word out months in advance like we have with TLF). The game just didn't sell much at all, for whatever reason. Not including bundle inclusions, we've discounted the game twice on Steam since (iirc); and though the game's player pool has tripled directly because of those sales, the amount we earn per purchase just doesn't cut it in terms of what we're looking to earn during these types of promotions.
Even with TLF, I only heard that it did exist months early.  I couldn't find anything about what it was really which left it completely up to my imagination.  Only now did I find screenshots and videos of gameplay.

To be fair, up till now it had changed dramatically, so making a coherent selection of video/screenshot advertisements would be difficult.  It kind of makes your job a bit harder really, because now you have far less time to build up an advertisement campaign, one which will probably have to push out well past release.

I really don't know the answer to the marketing problem, heck there's probably more issues than I even see.  However I'm willing to help, because you guys make great games and deserve more credit than you get.

Offline Castruccio

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 10:16:32 AM »
That launch discount changes things.  I think that's a great idea to go at 14.99 for the first week.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2014, 11:26:02 AM »
That launch discount changes things.  I think that's a great idea to go at 14.99 for the first week.

I agree that if you are charging $20 then the opening discount is a really good idea.

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2014, 12:12:21 PM »
I'll add my voice to the small crowd who thinks the $20 retail price is a good idea.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Marketing and awareness thread
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2014, 12:40:51 PM »
A base price of $20 along with a notable launch discount definitely seems like the best solution to me here.
But you already knew that of course ;)...
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