190 - Steam Early Access

Developer diaries about creating Neverending Nightmares.
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matt
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190 - Steam Early Access

Post by matt » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:14 am

Steam Early Access is an interesting tool for game developers to get early funding and feedback on their game. Is it the right fit for every game? Here are my thoughts.

-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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JPrice
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Re: 190 - Steam Early Access

Post by JPrice » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:55 pm

Heeeeey that 12 hour (Actually 13.7 hours now) Steam review was mine. Cool that you should mention it, I did test and play the game as much as I could for feedback so! hahaa :lol:

I think that it is interesting for Neverending Nightmares. I mean you did an early access thing but I think the way that you did it was more under the pretence that it was to help the develop the game and give feedback, where as Steam Early Access is more focused on a "play now, finish later" type of deal which is way more suited (As you said) to open world style games where the constant updates give players more to do. I think you made the right choice in making NN a "tester early access" style game because it gives players more detail on what exactly they're getting into and allows them to make the choice on whether to play early or not. Plus having the game in the public eye in Steam Early Access isn't good for a game like Neverending Nightmares, at least in my eyes. Focusing more on an inner circle allows you to have direct feedback that could prove to be useful (At least hopefully useful from us lot! hahaa) and it keeps public attention to a minimum so that most players will go into the game fresh when it's fully and publicly released on the store page, rather than playing an unfinished build and then forgetting about it later. So all in all I think you made the right choice :)
"Always look on the bright side of life"
Check me out on Steam if you like! - http://steamcommunity.com/id/JPrice321/

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: 190 - Steam Early Access

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:43 pm

The whole experience of playing the builds as they come out has been a really fun one for me, I've never been a part of something like this. Did it make things more difficult or easier on your end, releasing the builds this way? Would doing it all internally instead and maybe not having to polish so much have affected the development process?

The only early access I've bought so far is Project Zomboid, and part of that was just wanting to help support those guys. If you read the history of their company, they've had tons of bad luck. There's not a whole lot to see in the game yet but I had fun for a few hours. The updates are really far in between though, so I have no idea when the game will be "finished".

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matt
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Re: 190 - Steam Early Access

Post by matt » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:19 pm

The other thing is that doing Steam Early Access sort of ruin the "event" for your launch that will hopefully have a bunch of press and other attention, which will boost your popularity on Steam, which will hopefully get you more publicity on Steam (although the new storefront confuses me), which will hopefully get your more sales. Some games on early access can make a splash at launch (the Forest for example), but how long will the game keep selling? What if they run into a Spacebase DF-9 scenario where the end game isn't something that the audience is happy with?

Doing the development with the alpha builds has been very valuable for me. It's forced me to focus on getting things up to a shippable quality as soon as possible as well as gotten a lot of really helpful feedback from you guys. One of the dirty little secrets of game development, is that without external milestones it is easy to lie to yourself about how complete your game is. Even though you know in your heart it's totally not where it should be, it's easy to ignore that little voice and keep on trucking.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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