Happy New Year, everyone!
The last few weeks have seen some big changes for Staport Delta as we released two updates to our closed alpha players. Our 0.7 alpha update had a big focus on the visuals, with a massive update to the lighting system and showing more information to the player through text, overlays and the UI. The 0.8 alpha update also had some visual updates with new environments and UI changes, as well as introducing our new space pirate attack event and a corresponding new laser defense tile for players to build. Both of these updates have been really exciting to release to our alpha players, incorporating their feedback and prioritising improving their experience as we add new features. We have also been hard at work adding in the plumbing for more content coming this month, which we are looking forward to announcing as we make more updates available to players.
As an indie, marketing is an ongoing journey of trying to find players and create your community. We have just seen the end of the Steam Winter Sale, that time of year where Valve tries to make sure they have enough server resource to handle the hordes of gamers looking for a good deal on games they want. As players, we knew a lot of people did this because in past years Steam would have connection problems as people hammered the store and the marketplace, or played the various meta-games that Valve has developed. We had not appreciated that as developers, there’s a different insight into exactly how many people are seeing your game’s store page during this time. Particularly since Starport Delta hasn’t been released yet, it’s been great seeing faith from players adding our game to their wishlists. The week before the sale, we also launched our Starport Delta store page in German, and it has been great to see more players from German-speaking countries adding the game to their wishlists.
After the recent news from Steam and Epic about changing the revenue splits, Discord has also decided to chime in and offer to take only 10% (potentially with a view of reducing that in some way later). For indie developers not using Unreal, this becomes the lowest split a major player in the marketplace is taking. If you’re using Unreal, Epic’s store including their 5% royalty in their 12% split still makes it a slightly more attractive option from a pure cost standpoint. This continues to be an interesting and highly relevant topic for independent game developers, and one we will be keeping an eye on!
With our recent announcement that we are attending PAX East, we have been watching the PAX East site for news and updates. Recently they have opened up applications for their Indie Showcase, a mobile-only collection of the “best indie games you’ve never heard of”, which is a pretty cool cornerstone of the PAX experience. Also open for applications is PAX Rising, a showcase for independent creators with very small teams that the PAX team believes can succeed with a bit of a helping hand from the publicity and exposure garnered from being a part of PAX. Both aspects of the show are heavily curated and are a great place to look for up and coming games and creators.
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