Yet another steam (Digital Distro) thread

PC : Turn based WW2 goodness in the mold of Panzer General. This promises to be a true classic!

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Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:24 pm

First of all. I wanna thx you all for keeping the Thread clear from Steamhate / love statements ;)
Second. I hope you dont think i wanna force my Opinion on you.
At first i just wanted to know why no Steam.
You gave me some good answers that also makes me think ;)
As right now this developed into a real good discussion and there is almost nothing that i like more than a good discussion.
So bear with me ^^
Rudankort wrote:Hi Raisti. Some more interesting links and thoughts, thanks.
Raisti wrote: There we are all assuming. As long as you didnt try we wont know if Steam pressures you. But i dont think that they will force much lower than 14.99 $ down.
Yes, you are assuming here. You don't know if we tried or not, and we won't tell you. ;) And if the game does not appear on Steam within, say, 3 months, you won't know if that's because they did not accept us or because we did not submit.

That's the whole point of my post: there are reasons why this game might not be on Steam. Not all of them would fire in practice, of course, but if you don't see the game in the catalog, this means that some reason does exist. ;)
Thats the hole point of this Thread to talk about the reasons why its not on steam ;)
If it really was already rejected by Steam and you dont wanna talk about it i can understand that.
But you could atleast say then that PC is never gonna be on Steam.
So far i haven´t read such a statement or i overread it (then i am sorry).
Rudankort wrote:
Raisti wrote: Ok Sins look good but there are also alot of examples off bad looking games on steam that also got a great Userbase.
i.E.
VVVVVVVV (http://store.steampowered.com/app/70300/?snr=1_5_9__13)
or
Hearts of Iron 3 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/25890/?snr=1_5_9__13) which is a very complex Strategy Game and looks alot like yours (complety different Gameplay thou ;) )

Also i dont think customers that are looking for good Graphics instead of good gameplay are your target customers.
I did not say that the graphics are bad per se, it is the combination of graphics and price which is the problem. If we could sell on Steam on the same terms as we are doing now, it would be win-win, just as you said. But most likely in this case the sales will not be worth the trouble. Most people just will not understand why they want to pay so much for Panzer Corps when they can get games like Civilization and Heroes for just a little bit more.
I perfectly got your point about Price and graphics.
But i point again to Hearts of Iron 3 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/25890/?snr=1_4_4__13)
Similiar Graphics and also Strategy (Difference is its Gameplay is on a much larger and complex scale)
I know i cant give you sales Statistics on this Game but the Subforum for this Game clearly speaks for its success on steam
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/f ... .php?f=512
And trust me the Audience for this Game is even smaller than it is for your Game because of its Complexity (really no comparision with your game)
Also it costed long time 29.99€
I monitered this Game and the Price was constant for over an Year.
So i think your Game got a good Headstart for a release on Steam.
But we both can only speculate on this ;)
Rudankort wrote:
Raisti wrote:
Raisti wrote: This is kinda paradox. Before you say because of Graphics in relation to price you dont have a large Base of interested Customers and now you say massmarketing will likely kill you or cause much trouble.
What is it now. Many people would buy on steam or only little :P
At normal price few people will buy this game on Steam. At low price I would expect to get a lot of sales. So I explained what kind of issues this can generate. If we are lucky and sell a lot, we could get more money than we are getting now. My point was that this money would not come for free. It might still be worth it, or it might not. But once again, only we can decide here. For example, you don't know how MP server is implemented and how scalable it is.
This is alot of assumption on your side to be honest.
We wont know until it happens
We wont know if it sells bad on normal Price (hope we are both talking about the 19.99 $ you are currently charging)
I think it would sell rather good because its a fair price. Also i think we can both agree that this kind of game is for a more mature Audience where 20$ isnt really much of a spending ;)
Yeah i dont know how MP server scales but you dont know how much of the Steambuyers would even play it in MP.
I think this is a future Problem we dont have to worry about right now and if it really becomes a Problem i have engough Money at hand to solve it fast.
You have to solve it anyways. As you said further down Lifecyle isnt over so you may run into this problem with or without steam.

Rudankort wrote:
Raisti wrote: The issue here are PC-specific bugs, which result from all kinds of exotic user configurations. We have our share of these, especially in the music/sound department.
Again you run in this Problems anyways. Steam just speed the process of finding these up.
This sounds more like a Developers Pride Problem (which i can totally understand because i am also one ^^. But i am just a normal .Net code slave :P not a Gamedeveloper)
We always want to release the perfect Product with less Bugs as possible.
But lets be honest. There is no such thing.
Also i think we PC Gamers are accustomed to really much more worth cases of bugs despite Sound Problems.
For example Heroes of Might and magic 6. For me the game is constantly crashing (much worse than sound problems).
The game is out for 2 Month now and its still not Fixed. Not even a statement from Ubisoft / Black hole is out on this problem and they are much bigger than you
So we PC Gamers are already used to this shit :P
But i honor your sight of View on this one ;)

Rudankort wrote: There is always something happening. For example, we are in the middle of Christmas sales now. The game has started to sell in retail in Germany. Etc. The life cycle of this product is not as short as you think.
I really think that going retail in Germany was a wise Choice of yours.
So Kudos for that.
Hope it really goes well for you.
But i dont doubt that it will be a success for you. Germany always loved good Strategy Games.
Many examples out there of Strategies games that only sold good in Germany ;) (I also happen to be a German :P, so i know what i am talking about ^^)
Rudankort wrote: Personally, I don't agree that now is the right time, but other guys might have other opinion. We shall see.

I don't know what else to say here really. In order to give us real advice you need to have a lot of information which, for obvious reasons, you don't have. So you can only leave this to us and trust we can make the right decision. ;)
Sorry that i cant provide you with such information but how about you try to contact a Indy Developer to talk about this.
Wont hurt you ;)

Last thing i want to say. You really should take a look at stardock. They also had a Distro Site (Impulse)
and they refused to release on Steam. There Situation might not be excatly like yours but i think it also got some paralells.
This might interesting for you. Its an Interview with brad Wardell on selling Impulse to gamestop and the rivalry to steam
http://www.pcworld.com/article/224518/s ... valry.html

And again i wont try to force/convince you to release on Steam or Other Sites.
Just wanna speed up a final decision on Yes or No ;)
Last edited by Raisti on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:32 pm

Grunewald wrote:
Raisti wrote: As for Bugs in the Game. they wont multiply only discovered faster ;)
Rudankort wrote: The issue here are PC-specific bugs, which result from all kinds of exotic user configurations. We have our share of these, especially in the music/sound department.
My very personal solution on that would be: bring Panzer Corps out on MAC now! No exotic user configuration, pleasant OS AND most important of all - i own one and wanna play Pz Corps :wink:

ps: thanks for the info @raisti (do i still need the inet for starting a game? as i said, my experiences are over 2 years young)
No you dont need a Internet connection to play offline but the process to get there kinda sucks.
Here you can find a How to https://support.steampowered.com/kb_art ... -AGCB-2555

Rudankort
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Post by Rudankort » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:54 pm

Raisti wrote: But you could atleast say then that PC is never gonna be on Steam.
So far i haven´t read such a statement or i overread it (then i am sorry).
In the very first post I wrote that the game might appear on Steam in the future. It is the best answer I can give to the question if the game will ever be there.
Rudankort wrote: I perfectly got your point about Price and graphics.
But i point again to Hearts of Iron 3 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/25890/?snr=1_4_4__13)
Similiar Graphics and also Strategy (Difference is its Gameplay is on a much larger and complex scale)
I know i cant give you sales Statistics on this Game but the Subforum for this Game clearly speaks for its success on steam
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/f ... .php?f=512
Yeah, I checked their forum as soon as I got the link from you. So, according to their site, this forum has 350 topics and 1476 posts. View counts are hundreds, thousands at best. In direct comparision with this forum these numbers are not impressive. Although such comparision does not tell the full story of course. I also tried to compare HoI forum with Half-Life 2 - there are several forums on that series, and the biggest post counts are like 30000 and 118000. So roughly 100 times more. Probably not bad if HoI sold 100 times less than Half Life. But all this is so speculative.

If you Steam guys are willing to help us with this, we would appreciate some hard data. Can you give some more examples of games similar to PzC and how much they cost (I see only russian prices myself)? Were there any indications, in interviews or whatever, about the sale numbers those games managed to achieve? Any info like that would help.
Rudankort wrote:
Raisti wrote: The issue here are PC-specific bugs, which result from all kinds of exotic user configurations. We have our share of these, especially in the music/sound department.
Again you run in this Problems anyways. Steam just speed the process of finding these up.
Not really, in most cases these issues are not bugs in your code, it is something on people's side, but you need to investigate and help them nonetheless. I surely had much more headache with this in the first couple of weeks after release than I have now.
Rudankort wrote: This sounds more like a Developers Pride Problem (which i can totally understand because i am also one ^^)
We always want to release the perfect Product with less Bugs as possible.
But lets be honest. There is no such thing.
Oh, not really, we did release the game in the end, and we even burned it into a bunch of CDs selling out there, so any form of digital distribution is not that bad.
Rudankort wrote: Also i think we PC Gamers are accustomed to really much more worth cases of bugs despite Sound Problems.
For example Heroes of Might and magic 6. For me the game is constantly crashing (much worse than sound problems).
The game is out for 2 Month now and its still not Fixed. Not even a statement from Ubisoft / Black hole is out on this problem and they are much bigger than you
So we PC Gamers are already ued to this shit :P
Is it really that bad? Did not have a chance to look into that one yet, though I'm an old fan of the series.
Rudankort wrote: Last thing i want to say. You really should take a look at stardock. They also had a Distro Site (Impulse)
and they refused to release on Steam. There Situation might not be excatly like yours but i think it also got some paralells.
This might interesting for you. Its an Interview with brad Wardell on selling Impulse to gamestop and the rivalry to steam
http://www.pcworld.com/article/224518/s ... valry.html

And again i wont try to force/convince you to release on Steam or Other Sites.
Just wanna speed up a final decision on Yes or No ;)
Thanks for the links, I'll check them. I assure you that for us the perspective to sell a big pile of copies on Steam is very tempting. ;) However, we must not forget about caution. If we fail there, there might not be any more games from us. It would be a real pity, we have so many plans.

PS. Once again, in the context of this discussion, any hard data (I know it is very hard to come by), examples of other similar products on Steam, success stories shared by developers etc. are very much welcome. We will read and consider all information we can get.

PPS. Oh, was it my anniversary 1000th post?

Linai
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Post by Linai » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:56 pm

Steam sure did help wow sc2 minecraft and soon diablo 3 and sw:tor. Yup.

Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:21 pm

Rudankort wrote:
Raisti wrote: But you could atleast say then that PC is never gonna be on Steam.
So far i haven´t read such a statement or i overread it (then i am sorry).
In the very first post I wrote that the game might appear on Steam in the future. It is the best answer I can give to the question if the game will ever be there.
Perfect there is hope for me.
But i totally forgot something in the last Post ^^.
As you said you sell a boxed version of PzC in germany and as i said i am a german.
I dont have a problem with boxed games, but didnt bought even 1 in 5 years because i got all on steam :P
For your Game i break my 5 years abstince of boxed game.
But a little hint in which store i can buy it in germany would be appreciated ;)
Can i get it at "mediamarkt" / "saturn" ?
Just for info if i buy it boxed that wont stop me rebuying it on steam if it ever releases their (more win win for you :P)


About helping you gathering some data. I will try but this takes some time ;)
Rudankort wrote: Is it really that bad? Did not have a chance to look into that one yet, though I'm an old fan of the series.
To be fair its a Problem on both sides.
The game crashes for many Users with Error Msg like "Out of graphic Memory"
This mostly happens when you open up the city screen.
So there is cleary a bug.
As for my side. My Video Card is not the best right now but the PC overall is still good
Here my Specs
CPU: 4 Core Intel q9650 @ 3 ghz
mem: 4 Gigs
Operating system: Win XP (32 bit) fully patched
GPU: Nvidia 8800 GTS

so clearly the bottleneck is my videocard but i think its still good engough.
Got no Problems with other Games. For example i can play warhammer 40k space Marine without Problems.

Also because i got this bug doesnt mean you have to ;)
There are many gamers without Probs (except Game slowing down in longer sessions similiar to Heroes 5)

But i can say despite the Bugs its still a great heroes game ;)
Rudankort wrote:PPS. Oh, was it my anniversary 1000th post?
More coincedeces. Today is my Birthday :P
Now i am off starting to gather some Data so keep this thread open or post me where to send the data if you close the thread.

P.S. Dont feel sry for me that i gather Data for you on my Birthday.
Its already 23 o´clock here in germany and i got to work tomorrow so party time is over and its a good way to make me sleepy :P

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:27 pm

Raisti wrote:But a little hint in which store i can buy it in germany would be appreciated ;)
Can i get it at "mediamarkt" / "saturn" ?
Just for info if i buy it boxed that wont stop me rebuying it on steam if it ever releases their (more win win for you :P)
What's wrong with ordering from Slitherine/Matrix during the sale?
I'm also from Germany, and I can vouch that payment and delivery are smoothless and fast.
_____
rezaf

Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:43 pm

rezaf wrote:
Raisti wrote:But a little hint in which store i can buy it in germany would be appreciated ;)
Can i get it at "mediamarkt" / "saturn" ?
Just for info if i buy it boxed that wont stop me rebuying it on steam if it ever releases their (more win win for you :P)
What's wrong with ordering from Slitherine/Matrix during the sale?
I'm also from Germany, and I can vouch that payment and delivery are smoothless and fast.
_____
rezaf
nothing but my policy is ether boxed or steam.
So slitherine shop is no alternative for me.

If you want you can laugh about my policy but i wont change it ;)

But i just saw that i am stupid. There is a boxed + digital version.
Guess i got no other choice than buying now

But just to make sure i get a CD/DVD send to me (germany) when i buy the boxed + digital version right ?
Btw that doesn´t change my opinion on a release on Steam and as i already said i would rebuy it there ;)

Grunewald
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Post by Grunewald » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:48 pm

Alles gute zum Geburtstag! (Happy birthday)

Seems to me, that we could talk about a german forum :wink:
I'm german too...
until then

ps: congrats to your 1000 post rudankort :D

VPaulus
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Post by VPaulus » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Raisti wrote: But just to make sure i get a CD/DVD send to me (germany) when i buy the boxed + digital version right ?
Yes. A nice DVD case, with a nice high quality printed manual.
Besides for Europe, they are usually posted from Germany. My at least was. It said Deutsche Post.

Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:04 pm

VPaulus wrote:
Raisti wrote: But just to make sure i get a CD/DVD send to me (germany) when i buy the boxed + digital version right ?
Yes. A nice DVD case, with a nice high quality printed manual.
Besides for Europe, they are usually posted from Germany. My at least was. It said Deutsche Post.
Nice just bought it ;)
So you get atleast some money from this stressful customer :P

But i wont stop the data gathering.
Still want the game in my Steam account :P

Longasc
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Post by Longasc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:04 pm

http://www.amazon.de/Slitherine-Panzer- ... 005IUB3I0/

The initial batch on Amazon.de apparently sold out in only a few days.


To be frank I am not sure what bothers me more, Steam only games or the attitude of users who accept nothing but Steam as digital download platform.

Raisti
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Post by Raisti » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:11 pm

Longasc wrote:http://www.amazon.de/Slitherine-Panzer- ... 005IUB3I0/

The initial batch on Amazon.de apparently sold out in only a few days.


To be frank I am not sure what bothers me more, Steam only games or the attitude of users who accept nothing but Steam as digital download platform.
Whats wrong with just focusing on one Digital Platform (doesnt matter if steam or any other).
Like me many dont want x accounts on y platforms.
I want it all in one Place and steam happend to be my first digital platform like for many others.
cant see anything wrong in this tought process.

If you like steam or not got nothing to do with this ;)

but this goes clearly off Topic

TheGrayMouser
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Post by TheGrayMouser » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:50 pm

lordzimoa wrote:We have a perfect Dutch expression that fits this discussion so well:

"De beste stuurlui staan aan wal."

"The best helmsmen stand on the shore."
:D Never ever heard that expression, closest I can think in "American" is "backseat driver", or "armchair quarterback"

nikivdd
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Post by nikivdd » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 am

I bought the game via the matrix webstore and the DLC's via slitherine.
I had no issues at all, it was all smooth and professionaly handled.

I had no problem to pay 45 euro for the game, althou i can very much imagine that for some it is too much.
In my opinion, it is better to drop the price to 35 euro, or now even better with the sales, to attract buyers.
I'm sure there is still some profit in it, of which a part of that revenue can be reinvested into the game.

Of all games i bought in the past, there has never been any better feedback than here. Players with (technical) problems are helped fast. There is more personal involvement and you don't have the feeling you're just client number 2000.

Lordzimoa will understand when i say "hier koop je geen kat in een zak".

I just fear if the game would be on steam, the price would have to drop significantly and with the cut steam takes, as a result little more will be invested into the game. A sale or two per year is a better approach, and now with the demo released, to persuade people to buy the game.

Perhaps next year an upgraded demo could be considered, giving a glimpse of the DLC's.

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Post by Aloo » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:16 am

rezaf wrote: What's wrong with ordering from Slitherine/Matrix during the sale?
I had a problem, that i couldn't use my CC to pay for my order and had to make a PayPal account just to make this purchase. That was a bit of unnecessary work compared to buying on Steam.

kop101
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Post by kop101 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:49 am

Rudankort wrote:Can you give some more examples of games similar to PzC and how much they cost (I see only russian prices myself)
hint: there is a special tag to see other countries prices, like http://store.steampowered.com/app/105600/?cc=ru or http://store.steampowered.com/app/105600/?cc=de and so on.
As for examples, at the moment I can think about:
Terraria ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/105600 )- the game similar to PzC with very simplistic graphics, good metascore and not easy to get in gameplay for newcomers. I remember numerous topics when it appeared on steam, people asked "WTF HOW CAN YOU PLAY THIS", and other people explained how good it is. And number of players was increasing on my eyes -constantly top15 of most played.
Football Manager series ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/71270/ ) - similar to PzC with high price (50 euro!), niche gameplay and oldschool fanbase - mostly mature players, some of them started to play from 1993 version (!). Just look how successful it is - always on top of most played games. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

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Post by VPaulus » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:27 am

Aloo wrote:
rezaf wrote: What's wrong with ordering from Slitherine/Matrix during the sale?
I had a problem, that i couldn't use my CC to pay for my order and had to make a PayPal account just to make this purchase. That was a bit of unnecessary work compared to buying on Steam.
I too had already a problem in paying with a CC in Steam. Since then I only use PayPal with Steam. :twisted:

rezaf
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Post by rezaf » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:14 pm

I have to say that aside from the often too high prices, I'm very happy with the Matrix store.
They offer a ton of payment options, and shipping fees are VERY reasonable - especially compared to ten years ago or something, when it'd cost me ten times that (or even more) to get one of their games delivered to my doorstep.
_____
rezaf

lordzimoa
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Post by lordzimoa » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:12 pm

Football Manager series ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/71270/ ) - similar to PzC with high price (50 euro!), niche gameplay and oldschool fanbase - mostly mature players, some of them started to play from 1993 version (!). Just look how successful it is - always on top of most played games. http://store.steampowered.com/stats/
Football Manager is a big AAA game, published by SEGA, that is no niche Indie game, it has a multi-million dollar PR and Marketing machine behind it and it is a very long lasting series, basically a brand on it`s own... supported an published by a publisher with a giant network. ;-)

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Post by Xiggy » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:50 pm

I buy games from steam, Impulse, Matrix,Battlefront, etc. They all have their good points and bad points. The biggest issue I have with steam at the moment is they are isolating online gamers. If you buy a game on steam, you play online with other steam gamers ONLY. That fractures the community.

As an Example, A very popular RTS Company of Heroes, has had something 65 million games played on there network. The people that purchase it on steam, cant interface with that community. They can just play with the people who bought the game on steam. This is a business model Steam chose. I am not sure it is good for the gamer/customer.

This is true of many games on steam. I will still purchase games on steam, but it is something to think about when you do.

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