So I did it. Star Girls was released on Steam and I am not sure if it will hit my goal of $20,000. I believe my game is suffering from an exposure issue because it dropped hard after 3 days and just keeps falling. Right now I am sitting on +2,000 wishlists, but I am just getting under 300 people viewing the page a day and it’s dropping by 25-50 people each day.
Here’s what I learned in the 20 days:
- Reddit marketing is the best! Thank you to the visual novel sub-reddit you guys have been very supportive.
- People wanted the games to be NSFW. I would have had a lot more sales if I added nudity, but I’m pretty sure everyone would space bar through my game, (I removed the spacebar dialogue code btw) but people are hungry for sex.
- Don’t comment on your steam community page. It kills the conversation of you community.
- Players will experience crashing errors that you have never seen before so it doesn’t matter how much QA you do. You will still rush to fix something you have no idea how to reproduce.
- Checking your sales numbers can become an addiction. I was addicted to my sales numbers and had to cold turkey myself, had a mini-vacation.
- If you don’t keep up with marketing your sale numbers drop like a rock.
- There will always be 6 or 7 games that look better than yours and there will always be one asshole that has to point out that your game isn’t as good as a AAA game.
- Steam curators don’t really review your game. Some do sure, but I’ve had the multiple curators ask me for a copy of my game after they already reviewed it (or didn’t).
- You need to have multiple people reviewing your game on day one (Kickstarter might have helped with that).
- Everyone loves a sale. My games was full price at launch because I like Nintendo approach to game price. Steam has trained people to buy game only on sale so my revenue has suffered.
Not all hope is lost though. I am still working on bugs and figuring out what should go into version 1.0.1 based on feedback. I’ve also been looking into hosting my game on itch.io and maybe gamejolt were the market isn’t as crowded. Hopefully, if I can make $10,000 I can start production on the next project. Which might be a spin-off of the Star Girl universe. I’ve also been working on another game for the last month in Unity (not the Star Girl engine), which I am pretty expected about it’s potential.
Thank you to everyone who gave Star Girls a chance. Version 1.0.1 is in the works.
Nice breakdown, never published a game before but it is cool to know about some of the strugles and realities of a developer.