5 Years on Steam — Sales Analysis

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Hello my friends!
In this post I would like to talk about sales and marketing analysis on Steam during a period starting from 2014 to 2019.

I think a lot of game developers could benefit from this analysis to understand how the market has changed and if it’s really more difficult today to be able to sell your game to the mass.

Sales Chart Analysis

I’ll start by sharing this sales chart of all our games starting from June 2014 to September 2019 (5 years)

Orange is the number of copies sold, blue is the effective revenue in $

Woodle Tree Adventures has been our first game released in 2014. As you can see, even if there were few games on Steam (less than 4.000), the game didn’t sell a lot of copies during the first release days. (today there are 30.000 total games on Steam).

At that time the game has been approved with Greenlight, while today there is a faster way usingSteam Directto publish your game.

During 2015 we released a lot of other experimental games (The Deer, Heaven Island VR MMO, Heaven Forest VR MMO and more).
These games did perform nicely with thousands of copies sold during the first days, but it wasn’t constant through time, so in the long term didn’t continue to sell well as you can see from the sales chart.

In 2016 we released the sequel (Woodle Tree 2: Worlds) that did perform well, but not like the first game, probably due to many games released on the store too.

In 2017 the number of games on Steam tripled, so we feared that our new game would not perform well, but we were wrong.
In July 2017Suicide Guy has been released and during the first week the revenues surpassed the ones from all our past games combined.
As you can see from the chart, sales did not stop and continued thanks to the fact that we continued to update the game with new levels and improvements (for example Christmas and Halloween themes levels)

In 2018 we released a new chapter of the game called Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply that performed pretty well even though the games on Steam doubled once again (with almost 30.000 games total).
During these years we continued to expand and update our most successfull games: this helped to maintain sales constant through the time without releasing new games.

In 2019 we’re still updating our past games (Suicide Guy and its expansions) while working on new bigger projects. I’ll update the post when the new games will launch!

Has the Steam Market changed?

Yes of course, but I think is still possibile to sell well on this platform.
A key factor is to create an original game and continue to update it even after the release date.

You really need to keep the game up to date and keep asking players for feedbacks: this is an approach that we’re using right now even for our console games (Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One).

This not only keeps the sales stable through time, but helps you create a more profound bound with your fans. (after all it thanks to them if we can keep making games!)

Considerations

As a final consideration I would like to say to all the developers to not be afraid by the numbers of games released every year on Steam.
I have read a lot of articles on various gaming websites alarming all the developers, but If you really have an original idea and have enough game development experience to create a full game from start to finish, then you just need to focus on your game only.

Of course is still possibile (as it was before) that a game does not sell well: afterall there are a ton of different variables that could make a game sell poorly, but you need to keep that as an experience for your next game.

Thanks for reading!
I’ll continue to udpate this post too, if you have feedbacks let me know at fabio@chubbypixel.com

Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe now available for Nintendo Switch! – And Upcoming Free DLC

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Hello my friends!
We’re glad to announce that Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is now available for Nintendo Switch!
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Woodle-Tree-2-Deluxe-1607727.html

This is an improved version of the 2016 game released on Steam Only.
Moreover a new DLC is coming next week with a ton of new challenges and levels!

Stay tuned 🙂

Woodle Tree 2: Development Blog

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Hello!
In this post I would like to talk to you about our next project in development for
Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 “Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe”.

Provisory logo

This is actually a remake of a game released in 2016 on Steam called “Woodle Tree 2: Worlds” (link)

The game was pretty successful at his time with over 20.000 copies sold, but we were not able to include all the concepts and mechanics we wanted due to time and budget limit.

Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe first screenshot!


Thanks to the great success of other games we’ve release in last years (like Suicide Guy and more) we now have the budget to be able to create even a greater title!

We started the development of this new version in June 2018, trying to adapt the whole game to Nintendo Switch.
Since it’s an open world platformer, the effort has been huge considering the limited hardware and the fact that our target was to achieve 60 fps.

Here a glimps of the map of the whole game, comprehending over 9 levels + new different platforming areas:

Concept of the World map in Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe

The remake we’re trying to achieve will comprehend a total redesign with new levels, characters, new cutscenes, improved game mechanics and much more.

We really hope you’ll appreciate the effort!

We’ve already started to advertise the game with a huge feedback from fans https://www.reddit.com/r/nintendo/comments/aftp39/our_new_game_woodle_2_coming_to_nintendo_switch/

This is very useful since we’re still gathering feedback from players, and the game is far from finished.


The game will be released in 2019, I’ll soon update this post informing you on all the new things we’re adding to the game!

New Intro menu

Here meanwhile some cool concepts from new characters and items!

Agile Game Development process for Indies

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Hello my friend!
In this post I would like to talk about the game development process we’ve acutally used during the last years for our games.

To start by, I would suggest you to read even the “Agile Game Development with Scrum” book by Clinton Keith:
Amazon link

The process we’re acutally using is very similar even if it’s applied to a much smaller scale studio (of 5 people instead of 200).


What is Agile?

Agile is an approach for developing products using short and fast iterations.

The ideas is to make small features for the current project in small periods of time. In this way the results of each iteration are used to adjust the project plan: each iteration is like a short project in itself.


What is SCRUM?

SCURM is an iterative and incremental Agile process that produces demonstrable working software every few days: for example a build of the project that can actually be tested.


How Agile can be used for Indie Games?

I think Agile can be really useful for indie game studios if used wisely:
Since the initial concept of a game does never perfectly reflect how the final game will be, I think a Waterfall Development process is useless in most cases.

We usually start with the Concept of the game and then start the Preproduction and Prototyping process for testing the main mechanics of the game.


While we’re still in the Production process, the Concept and Design core of the game can still be modified depending on the feedbacks of our testers that are testing the first prototypes.
If something is not working well in a game mechanic, we’re still able to modify it without great effort from the Programmers.

This is just an example, but this process can be used to every phase of the development: for example while the Sound Designer is making the sound effects of a character and the Animator is making the animations for it, the Game Designer can test both and give feedback on how well the sound effects are linked to the animations.

Personally I think that Concept and Design can be modified through the entire development process of a game (even in the final Post Production stages) if this does not change too much the Deadline Release.



Extended Agile

I think Agile can be even extended while working on multiple projects at the same time.
We usually develop 2 or 3 games at the same time and Agile is really useful since some of the ideas, concepts and mechanics could pop up in the development of a game and can be used even on other projects.

This process can even be useful to avoid Dependencies of members of the team: for example if a programmer is waiting for the animations of the main character in order to finish the code for the run mechanic, he can meanwhile work on other mechanics or on another project.

It’s important to have a cohesive team, since the potential savings in cost for team is lost when time and effort is wasted through iteration delays and dependencies between team members.



Final Considerations


One of the most interesting phrases from the Agile Game Development book referring to the best team Clinton worked with is:

“Much of the chemistry of that team is a mystery to me. There doesn’t seem to be a formula for how such teams can be created, but I’ve found that it’s quite easy to prevent such teams from forming” – Clinton Keith

Agile and Scrum are surely some of the things that really can help these kinds of team to form since it allows all the members of the team to communicate and have a larger view on the project.



Useful Resources:


https://marionettestudio.com/agile-game-development-quick-overview/

https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RobGalanakis/20140219/211185/Agile_Game_Development_is_Hard.php

https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1013175/Agile-Methodology-in-Game-Development

http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/