Games As A Service
Written by Jo. These thoughts are my own, and are not written on behalf of D-Pad Studio. Meet me and my team at DICE, GDC and SXSW 2017!
You can read this post in it's entierty here.
Last month, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer stated "Games as service is becoming the default". He also asked if devs felt any guilt for not updating their games post-launch. "The fact that we did, might have delayed Owlboy for atleast one year" would've been my Twitter come-back.
But, since 2017 is the year we'll finally be able to touch on all of our hard earned do's and dont's as we developed Owlboy (now 10 years in the making), I'll start out by elaborating on this topic.
In 2013 we fully developed and released Savant - Ascent in the course of 5 weeks. Quite a feat I thought to myself at the time. We learned quick that releasing a game is only the first stage of it's lifecycle - the "I've been born, NOW WHAT!?" stage.
We initally released the game through a Humble Widget on our website. That way, we didn't have to deal with quality checks, store setups or publishers. Release went smooth, with 1500 purchases on the first day. We were happy with that, and started working on Owlboy again - now with a little morale boost as a result of a succesful launch.
Then, something happened that we hadn't expected. Fans started getting in touch with us, not only with congratulations, but with simple requests to fix bugs, features, platforms and ideas. A staggering amount of fans wanted the game on Steam, a platform we had no expectations to be accepted onto at the time (things were a little different back then) (I feel SO old writing that).
Greenlight had just become a thing, so we thought: "What the heck, lets go for it". It got accepted a week later.
Now, this is where the service bit of 'modern game releases' hit us hard. With each title on Steam, a community follows. Having a constantly updating forum, solely focused on giving you feedback for you game is great... Well, unless it starts filling up with raging customers with demands like 'full controller support', 'flawless resolution options for all screen sizes', or 'translations for all the world's languages'.
At this point, you either tell your players, "No, the game is complete, this is what you get" - or, you start communicating. Naturally (being an upstanding developer and all), we started to do something about all the feedback coming in.
> Read Part #2 of this post.
Owlboy has FINALLY launched and we're making our way to America on a tour to talk about it's development! We'll be at DICE, GDC and SXSW! Program announcing soon! Come and meet us!
For more info on Owlboy, visit owlboygame.com.