Steam Release?

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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d10sfan
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Steam Release?

Post by d10sfan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:53 pm

Is a Steam release for this game planned in the future? If so, will buying the game now get us steam keys?

IainMcNeil
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:01 pm

No we don't have a Steam release confirmed at the moment. It is something we are considering but can't promise. If we do, as I understand it we will be able to give Steam keys to existing players so if we are permitted to do so we will but I can't promise that Steam will allow that as they may change their policy which is obviously out of our control.

d10sfan
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by d10sfan » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:30 pm

Ah ok thanks for the info!

Kamikaze84
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Kamikaze84 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:00 am

IainMcNeil wrote:It is something we are considering but can't promise.
Just wanted to say that I'm also interested in a Steam release. I hope you decide to go down that path!
Cheers.

Dragoon.
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Dragoon. » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:51 am

As long you still offer a DRM free version which I can install and run without an internet connection I'm fine with a Steam release too.

HitmanN
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by HitmanN » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:10 am

Definitely would prefer Steam. In fact, I find it odd that a developer would willingly exclude their product from the biggest distribution and community channel out there.

IainMcNeil
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:30 am

We're a publisher with 200 games not a developer :)

We have no DRM, unlimited downloads and unlimited installs. This means the game is yours and nobody can ever deactivate it if their server goes down.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by vv221 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:55 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:We have no DRM, unlimited downloads and unlimited installs. This means the game is yours and nobody can ever deactivate it if their server goes down.
That's in a big part what decided me to beta-test, then buy Pandora.
I wouldn't even have considered it if your business model had been similar to the Steam one ;)
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HitmanN
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by HitmanN » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:31 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:We're a publisher with 200 games not a developer :)
I was really thinking of Proxy Studios when I said that, but... true.

To be honest though, I had never heard of like 95% of your games before I stumbled upon Pandora by total accident, and never of Slitherine at all. I tend to primarily find out about games via Steam, or via bundle sales... which essentially are Steam keys anyways. Same goes for most of my friends, afaik. We all see what each other is playing on Steam. Except now my friends don't see I'm playing Pandora. Am I arsed to go and tell them about the game? That's the question. Steam would do that for me regardless. And that's just one way Steam introduces games to its users, most of the time when you're not even looking for anything. Such extra exposure is undeniably efficient.

Dragoon.
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Dragoon. » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:12 pm

HitmanN wrote: Except now my friends don't see I'm playing Pandora. Am I arsed to go and tell them about the game? That's the question. Steam would do that for me regardless. And that's just one way Steam introduces games to its users, most of the time when you're not even looking for anything. Such extra exposure is undeniably efficient.

You can add Pandora to Steam and even use the Steam-Overlay.

In your Steam Client lower left corner click on + ADD A GAME -> Add a Non-Steam Game then point to Pandora.exe

You find the Pandora.exe ,assuming you used the default location during installation at C:\Program Files (x86)\Slitherine\Pandora\Binaries

HitmanN
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by HitmanN » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:22 am

Dragoon wrote:You can add Pandora to Steam and even use the Steam-Overlay.

In your Steam Client lower left corner click on + ADD A GAME -> Add a Non-Steam Game then point to Pandora.exe

You find the Pandora.exe ,assuming you used the default location during installation at C:\Program Files (x86)\Slitherine\Pandora\Binaries
It'd be easier to just tell people in person. The point I'm making is that if I don't do either, the game receives no extra promotion. Steam titles do, because all you have to do is play the game.

Non-steam games also have no product page on Steam, so my friends would only see the title of the game I'm playing. Is that intriguing enough for them to search for info on the game elsewhere?

Dragoon.
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Dragoon. » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:33 am

Actually the main reason to do this is to take advantage of the Steam UI. So you can chat with your friends or look-up something in your browser without to task switch.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by TheBean » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:41 am

IainMcNeil wrote:We have no DRM, unlimited downloads and unlimited installs. This means the game is yours and nobody can ever deactivate it if their server goes down.
There's no reason why you couldn't have a DRM free version on Steam, a bunch of games do it already (where you can just copy the game folder anywhere and run it from the .exe). I'm hoping you guys do decide to sell through Steam, I'd love to buy a bunch of your games that I can't buy otherwise. You should also consider selling on http://www.gog.com/
Dragoon wrote:Actually the main reason to do this is to take advantage of the Steam UI. So you can chat with your friends or look-up something in your browser without to task switch.
You can do that anyway (as mentioned above).

I think the real benefit of using Steam is having the game available to millions of potential customers that would otherwise never even hear about it.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by FrenchTart » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:11 am

Hi. I saw this game mentioned on RPS. It looks great.

I'm holding off on purchasing at the moment however primarily because it isn't on Steam.

Generally speaking, I do all (or at least 99%) of my game purchasing through Steam as I find it far more convenient. I am also much more likely to impulse-buy something that looks interesting if I can click a few buttons on Steam and be done with it.

I'm sure there are many many many potential customers that are in a similar situation.

As an aside, you may want to adjust your forum sign up process. Asking for more information than is needed for a forum account (RL address, for instance) is a bit of a turn-off for new users. At the very least, mark the extra info as non compulsory rather than leaving the user to guess.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Flavorable » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:41 am

IainMcNeil wrote:No we don't have a Steam release confirmed at the moment. It is something we are considering but can't promise. If we do, as I understand it we will be able to give Steam keys to existing players so if we are permitted to do so we will but I can't promise that Steam will allow that as they may change their policy which is obviously out of our control.

This is definitely possible to get around with Steam, as they are generally very reasonable about that issue. Pursue Steam with everything you've got. The only thing holding this game back is it's lack of exposure and Steam would multiply this game's awareness by a factor of over 10. (NOT an exaggeration.) Indie games with production values that are much lower than that of Pandora regularly quadruple their profits by inclusion on Steam.

I'm saying this because I want this game to succeed so that I get to see more content with bigger budgets and more exposure in the future; and I think Steam is integral to that. None of my 20+ friends who game would ever know about Pandora if it weren't for me mentioning it, but if it showed up on the Steam front page they'd have it scoped out in an instant

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by HitmanN » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:22 pm

Flavorable wrote:The only thing holding this game back is it's lack of exposure and Steam would multiply this game's awareness by a factor of over 10. (NOT an exaggeration.) Indie games with production values that are much lower than that of Pandora regularly quadruple their profits by inclusion on Steam.

I'm saying this because I want this game to succeed so that I get to see more content with bigger budgets and more exposure in the future; and I think Steam is integral to that. None of my 20+ friends who game would ever know about Pandora if it weren't for me mentioning it, but if it showed up on the Steam front page they'd have it scoped out in an instant
Exactly! Glad to see more people showing awareness of Steam's marketing power.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by ElegantCaveman » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:02 pm

As much as I love Steam and would love to see Pandora on Steam, I don't think it's a good time for that yet. There are a few reasons for this:

1. With the Winter Sale just around the corner, a 25% sale would be expected, with bigger price-cuts for subsequent sales. By at least waiting until after the Winter Sale, it gives the game more time before lowering prices.

2. From a Steam customer perspective, 30$ for Pandora in its present state is simply too much (20$ would be more appropriate). I can already see the Steam forums flooding with people complaining that it's a weak Civ V wannabe, and complaining that it's a SMAC spiritual successor without key SMAC aspects.

3. As an extension of that, if this game had more features, it could actually be sold for more. Make a full-featured SMAC spiritual successor (which I believe is the plan?), and 40-50$ actually becomes an acceptable price, at a stretch. Not that I'm saying the price should be raised, but add more features, and people won't complain about the 30$ price (which I guarantee they will if you release it on Steam as it is).

4. If Pandora was available on Steam right now, people would complain about the price vs. presently-available features, and that could actually do more harm than good. People complain about price/lack of features even for Early Access games (which is silly, but people are silly), which Pandora wouldn't qualify for since it's officially been released, so imagine what they'd say about a full release at this price.

I don't know what the medium-/long-term plan is for this game (free updates? paid DLC?), but from what I understand, Proxy Studios' goal is to add a lot more features.

Making a "SMAC Spiritual Successor" is a double-edged sword: on one hand, a lot of people will be interested simply because of that; but on the other hand, there are certain expectations that come with such a claim - expectations which are simply not met, with the game in its present form.

Steam is a great way to "get the word out". Arguably, the best way to do that. But one of the problems with Steam, especially for a developer/publisher, is that with all their crazy sales, prices can drop relatively fast.

Pandora is a game with enough mass-appeal that this isn't a huge issue, but releasing a game on Steam just before a big sale is a terrible idea, regardless of the genre. Try to release it early next year. Or if you need more time to add content, aim to release right after next summer's sale.

TL;DR Add more features before you release it on Steam, and try to release it after a big sale, not before.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Dragoon. » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:19 pm

Instead of Steam rather GoG.com would more sense, since both share the same no-DRM Stance.

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Re: Steam Release?

Post by ElegantCaveman » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:23 pm

True, GoG would make a lot of sense, and its sales aren't nearly as crazy as Steam's.

Getting Pandora on GoG would be a great idea, and as soon as possible.

Dragoon.
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Re: Steam Release?

Post by Dragoon. » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:59 pm

Actually if it just about exposure and to be honest there come a bit trolling with it; :twisted: How about EA Origin?
A few months back they got past 50 million users barrier, and while Origin lack the backup function and usability of Steam, they have three things that Steam struggles with.
Refunds, no forced updates and a die hard working offline mode.
Origin has now a user friendly refund policy. On Steam you have to beg, it's a rather condescending experience.
Once the Steam client get notified about an available update you can't run the game until you update. Disabling auto-updates just postpone the download until you launch the game next time. This is especially a problem with offline mode as I noticed.

Once per year, at the end of summer the men in this family gather to sail with my father for 4 weeks. Maritime satellite internet is ridicules expensive and not an option except for communications, weather data and custom clearance.
Not once Steam offline mode survived this trip, because after awhile offline mode disable itself and requires you to go online again. Unfortunately when you go online it also download the latest update information. Even when you have auto-updates disabled and go offline again it won't let you run games that got updated until you do so. If I would download one of these big patches at sea and blow the bandwidth cap... anyone ever heard of keelhauling? My father did :shock:
Origin offline mode has yet to fail me. Still don't change the fact Origin blows.

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