The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

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matt
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The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by matt » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:48 am

There is a lot of negativity on there about the cost and the story and everything... It makes me worry that most people aren't enjoying the game since there are very few defenders. I don't check Steam forums for other games. Is that to be expected?

Should I ignore them? Should I try to defend the game? I would like to NOT check the Steam forums, but we are running into issues with old video card drivers, so it's important that I do...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:18 am

Matt, sadly that is par for the course for the Steam community, no matter what the game. I tend to avoid Steam forums for that reason.

The obvious trolls aren't worth engaging, but I think it's nice you're responding to some of the other criticism. People tend to be surprised when a developer directly engages them in honest conversation, it's not that common and I think it makes a good impression when done well, as you have. I believe you helped turn a couple of them around a little. It's just a fine line to toe, you don't want to get sucked in too much. It's really cool you're reaching out personally and helping people with technical issues too though.

It's generally just noise, try not to let it get to you. I don't think it represents the critical reception very well at all, the Steam community is way too large and unfiltered a place for that.

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matt
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by matt » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:40 pm

Yeah. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if we had a few more positive Steam reviews. We just fell below the Positive threshold 80% to Mostly Positive. I wonder if we'd be better off with metacritic back there instead. Maybe it wouldn't make a difference because with the 2 reviews we have, it's 80% as well. However, I am scared if we ever do a big sale, a bunch of people will buy it on a whim and review it - destroying our average... :-/ Oh well. At least they would have bought it. haha

I guess maybe I deluded myself when developing the game. I knew it wasn't going to be a game everyone loves, but I assumed horror fans appreciated atmosphere over jump scares. I guess I was wrong. You can't please everyone I suppose, but I hope the game has enough legs to continue to sell. The sales numbers have dropped off a bit today, which is a bit terrifying.

Hopefully streamers/twitchers/etc will continue to cover the game through Halloween, so we can keep some momentum.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Arkham
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by Arkham » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:31 pm

1) Gone Home took a chance at being different, it got rave reviews and to many was one of the best games of the year…it only has an 80% on Steam.
2) Unless you are in a small online community, it’s best not to read the comments. If your interested, Patrick Klepek from giantbomb.com has done several talks about trying to get more civility in gaming forums (or just try reading the first 3 comments on any major news site without feeling nauseous).
3) It’s nice for the developer to respond to some comments, but it is better to walk away most of the time, because some people just like to stir the pot. In Indie Movie, it seemed like Jonathan Blow got burnt out replying to all the negative comments (and started getting attacked for it), and watching what happened to Phil Fish over the past few years was a tragedy. If reading the comments are not constructive, then it’s not worth reading them or getting involved with them (or obsessing over them!!!).
4) It seems to me like you made the right call. You wanted to make people aware of OCD and depression, and you were successful of reaching a lot of people. You met your deliverable by getting it out before Halloween. Plus, the game and concept was able to get your name and company to be recognizable to the press and gaming community, which is a position that 99% of the thousands of indie developers would love to be in.

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matt
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by matt » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:44 pm

Thanks for the pep talk! Now, I am only bummed about all the technical glitches. I fixed the major crash ones, but now the character appears black. I guess that's an improvement? :-/

Is anyone on the forum seeing this problem?
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Grabthehoopka
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by Grabthehoopka » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:55 pm

Yeah, don't let it get you down. Horror games already have sort of a niche community, and horror is very subjective. Games that appeal to short attention spans usual do better since they have traction with more sub-demographics, but you had a very specific vision and you didn't pander to anyone in particular, so some people aren't going to like it.

But look on the bright side - more people like it than don't like it. A significantly larger margin of people like it than don't like it. A majority of people are liking your game! If they didn't like it because it wasn't to their taste, that's really unfortunate; but there really isn't anything you or they can do about it now. The first cuts are always the deepest, but just know that so many more people are silently enjoying the game you made.

Arkham
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by Arkham » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:05 pm

I haven't seen that problem yet (I'm running on an integrated HD graphics card).

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:11 pm

I haven't seen it on my laptop (integrated HD graphics card) or my GeForce card, is it a specific card issue you think?

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matt
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by matt » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:36 am

I think it is only with Intel Integrated Graphics and other cards with really old (and potentially buggy) drivers. While one would think it'd be easy to fix, someone took a screenshot of the Intel driver update utility, and it said that it needed an OEM specific driver or something like that, and I doubt the OEM has been keeping it current. So that's going to be a nightmare.

I guess the new thing that is bumming me out is that for whatever reason, when I go to Neverending Nightmares's page on Steam, it shows a bunch of negative reviews as the most helpful even though there are positive reviews with more votes and/or higher ratings. How does that work?!?! :( Maybe Steam hates me. Do people take the Steam reviews seriously? It just sucks that the top hits are all negative for some reason...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

SCXCR
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Re: The Steam forums are bumming me out. :(

Post by SCXCR » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:30 am

On a distribution platform where people are routinely spoiled by sales that drop some games' prices ridiculously low (got one for $0.74 recently), the "too short/too expensive for the length" argument is a pretty flimsy one.

And going on what Arkham said, I just checked the store page on Steam for Gone Home; all but one of the displayed reviews were negative.

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