How should I go about the release of TowerClimb?

  • So, TowerClimb has grown. It has a lot more content, better gameplay, better music, better everything, and polish. I hope to be done with it in the next few months, if time allows. Everything is pretty much done except for the final levels and a couple of other things.

    However,

    It's in a very playable state right now, and I would love some testing and feedback.

    There's two options with regards to release.

    1. Finish the game completely, and release it.

    2. Set up a public Beta, which would allow you to purchase the game at a reduced price, and play it right now, while providing feedback. Purchasers would get the full game when it's done. A pre-order of sorts.

    I'm leaning towards option 2 because I know there's a group of people who would buy the game, and their feedback and testing would be very beneficial (and motivating).

    What do you think? Is there anyone here who likes the game enough to throw down 5-7$ for the beta? I think TowerClimb, being a roguelike, merits community input during development, and that's why I'm leaning towards the public beta.

  • I'd say number 1. The current version should be enough to generate interest in a finished game.

    But when you do release it you will really have to sell it, if you know what I mean.

    The problem with number 2 is 5- 7$ isn't much, so a reduced price is kind of pointless.

    However you could do some sort of donation thing, where they get a demo if they donate.

    Edit, oh wait your saying 5-7 for the demo.

    Ermm I guess I should ask how much do you plan to sell your first commercial game for?

    Might want to go with small price point to start.

    There are advantages to having more sales, and less gross.

  • I'd say release the beta for free to a super small group of trusted people who have already played the game, and have shown themselves to be good feedback givers, or people local to you that you know personally. The idea here is that they're people who will actually take the time to feed back, and that towerclimb doesn't get released before you intend it to.

    also, I agree with newt. make it uber cheap, and try to sell more copies

    for instance, I think you will get more than twice the sales at $5 than you would at $10

    for a little perspective

    plants vs zombies is $10 on steam ( http://www.the-nextlevel.com/media/pc/p ... bies_2.jpg )

    braid is $10 on steam ( http://gamernode.com/upload/manager///E ... 877407.jpg )

    ragdoll kung fu: fists of plastic on psn is $10 ( http://www.psu.com/media/rag-doll-kung- ... c-ss-2.jpg )

    castle crashers on psn is $15 ( http://gaming.icrontic.com/uploads-gami ... encap9.jpg)

    [upon it's announcement, many forum posts can be found saying (I would have gotten it if it were $9.99, which once again goes to show the difference $5 makes psychologically]

    graphics don't make the game, but books are often sold by their covers.

    the three I mentioned also happen to be great games.

    the last screenshot I saw of towerclimb was in an uberretro, almost c64 style of gfx.

    it might have changed, and I don't doubt you could get the game a decent audience even with those gfx, but at $7 or more, I think you're going to greatly reduce the size of your audience

    I think the figures you mentioned would be good to be honest, for the final product, not the beta.

    it makes it an easy impulse buy, and also easy to recommend if it turns out to be fun.

  • I agree, at 5$ it would be a better impulse buy, and an easier buy for non-fans of the game. I've been hovering between 5 and 10 $ as a final price anyways. In comparison to other indie games, as you pointed out, 5$ seems about right. I kind of want to release the game now however, for feedback and popularity growth. I think it would be beneficial.

    The graphics are the same resolution, only more polished now.

    if it turns out to be fun.

    I guarantee you, It's fun.

  • If your going to sell any games especially indie games then a demo of the game is essential.Also it wouldn't hurt to do some marketing to see if the genre or idea is popular or not.And with so much "free" indie games out there it would be difficult to sell it.One thing ive learned over the years with indie gaming is that the general public could care less how you did the game and what program you used to create it.As long as a game is fun to play then it will sell,But genre popularity is equally important.

  • If your going to sell any games especially indie games then a demo of the game is essential.Also it wouldn't hurt to do some marketing to see if the genre or idea is popular or not.

    There has been a demo of sorts in the past: the early alpha I made for the competition. The game has proven to be very popular and universally well liked, and this is why I chose to push the concept to perfection. Numerous people have already told me that they would would pay for any new version. Popularity isn't the problem.

    And with so much "free" indie games out there it would be difficult to sell it.

    Just because there are many free products, it doesn't mean that there aren't people willing to buy a certain specific or specialized product.

    The genre is popular, and the game is fun, and more importantly, unique.

  • Best of luck to you Davioware,I for one cannot wait for your game to be released.

  • I believe it'll be your 1st commercial game so I'd go for option 1, set price at around 5$ and sell more copies of finished product to more people, make wider audience and than I'd use their feedback to make "better" sequel.

    I've tried the alpha and I didn't like it. You didn't get me in the first two minutes and it could be because of the graphics, but when you release the new polished version, I'll try it again, because all those people saying "it's awesome!" can't be wrong

    Good luck with the release.

  • Watch out though - if you price it too low, it can create the perception that might be cheap and not worth buying. Might want to reconsider $9.99.

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  • Watch out though - if you price it too low, it can create the perception that might be cheap and not worth buying. Might want to reconsider $9.99.

    I've heard a lot about this but on the otherhand I don't completely agree though ofc I am twisted and mad so

    and oh 5.99 sounds better than straight 5 or if you're feeling lucky punk you could try 6.99 (love that)

  • I hate ".99". Scummy. Just sell it at what ever price you want though, you can always try selling it a bit higher then reducing it later anyway (and maybe get more interest in it again, if you need more).

  • I understand how you feel and I used to feel the same about it, but there has been a huge amount of money thrown at studying how to get people to spend money, and using .99 is effective. It's not scummy. It works. Companies wouldn't do it so much otherwise.

  • A bit OT but cannot leave without saying this!

    Whats with the "arvoesine" in your signature? as it's Finnish

  • It's the name of a game he made.

  • While a lower price point might seem to cheapen a name, when you don't really have a reputation, getting your product to as many people as possible is a great way to establish one.

    Of course everything still depends on how well the game is received.

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