Game Dev Tycoon - Steam Greenlight and responding to feedback
Let me start this blog post by saying
Thanks for sharing our story, for supporting us by buying our game and for voting for us on Steam Greenlight! Your support means that we will not only be able to spend a little more time on Game Dev Tycoon, to improve and adjust it based on player feedback (more on that below) but it will also be likely that we will create a bigger and better sequel some time in the future.
I’m happy to report that my brother Daniel can finally transition out of his full time job to focus exclusively on Greenheart Games. The support from paying players (who are still outnumbered by pirates) is what makes all this possible. We will still have to remain a small and lean start-up, focusing on small-ish games – the funds we have would evaporate extremely quickly if we suddenly started hiring a team of game developers – but we are very grateful that we can continue our path.
Our blog post about piracy caused a lot of reactions and we plan to publish a follow-up blog post about it but first we want to talk about the future of Game Dev Tycoon.
The future of Game Dev Tycoon
The big news is that Valve gave us the green light so Game Dev Tycoon will come to Steam!
Steam is a big deal; it’s one of the few systems where a lot of players genuinely support developers and, unlike in app stores, any new game is vetted for potential and featured on the front page when it releases.
We would have released on Steam as soon as possible a few weeks ago, but since our story was reported we had a big influx of players (both paying and pirates) and, while it’s clear that many players enjoy their experience with Game Dev Tycoon, we also saw some frustrations and have to admit that Game Dev Tycoon could use some more polish. From the feedback we received and from watching players play the game we can see that there are some flaws which hinder the game’s potential and lessen the game experience.
Listening to player feedback – We want to do better
When we developed the mechanics for Game Dev Tycoon, we noticed early on that creating a sophisticated rule-set is hard. That’s probably the reason why most social tycoon games simply rely on grind-mechanics. In those games you can just level up this, spend money on that and while there is some strategy involved, it largely doesn’t matter what you do as you’re guaranteed to succeed. Game Dev Tycoon has similar elements but the core mechanics don’t work like that. In Game Dev Tycoon you can create a good game from the start but you can also create a bad game with a great team. We like this and want to keep it that way but admittedly the balance is sometimes off. The problem is that the game is tuned for some play styles but not for others. The game can be too punishing at certain stages and, what’s worse, it doesn’t give you enough feedback to be able to adapt your strategy. Sure, you could play following a wiki with a calculator at hand but we never wanted the game to be played this way and playing according to a wiki only ensures that you lose out on any fun and sense of achievement you might have otherwise had.
Our next goal is to address these balance/feedback issues and to take a bit of time to improve and polish the game further. Don’t expect any major additions (that’s what a sequel is for!) but you can expect some improvements/small additions and a more polished game experience.
ETA for the update
Fixing the game balance and adding features isn’t easy and one sure way to mess it up is to hurry a patch out the door. That’s why we cautiously set the estimated release date for the updated version to August 2013. We plan to release this updated version on Steam first and all customers will get it for free through their Steam keys. Once this update is out, we will also look to get the game on other distribution platforms and back-port the updated version to the Windows Store.
While these larger changes are under way we will continue to release service updates fixing crashes or bugs (1.3.10 is in the works) but the large balance and content changes will not happen incrementally.
For technical reasons we are not able to generate Steam keys before the game is close to be released on Steam. We will announce how and when Steam keys are available closer to the release date.
You don’t have to wait
We think it’s important that the initial Steam release addresses those balance issues but if you are really eager to play the game now then you don’t have to wait. You can buy it from our website and we will send you a Steam key once the game is ready on Steam.
7.99 USD, €6.49 EUR (excl. VAT)
Paypal, credit card and bank transfer accepted
– Steam key will be delivered later –
– Greenheart Games ♥
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