Four days ago, I released my first commercially available game on Steam and Itch. I built this game on Void Linux with the Godot game engine. I used many open source tools to create the assets such as Audacity, GIMP, and Blender. I didn't use usual sources of advertising such as a PR company (I didn't have the money) or various social media, except for Reddit and Mastodon.
Launch actually did not go according to plan - there were global DNS issues on launch day that effected all of Steam (Steamworks went down exactly 3 minutes before release time). I had to release my game a couple of hours after my launch time because of this. However, because this is my first title and it's small, nobody complained.
After uploading my trailer I started to write up some release announcements for Reddit, Mastodon, and email. I sent the email first since I had a mailing list for the game, then posted everywhere else, then posted on Reddit last. I received good responses from all except some on Reddit, but most of it was just "the graphics suck".
Currently I have 5 reviews on Steam, all positive. I have one review on Itch that gave it a 3/5, but it is by far my favorite and most detailed review. If you are reading this, THANK YOU!
Possibly interesting facts:
- I launched the game with a base price of $4.99, but with a launch discount of $3.99.
- The day before release, I had about 150 wishlists.
- Only 9 of the people who originally added the game to their wishlists actually purchased the game (4.0% conversion rate).
- I purposefully launched the game 2 weeks after the Steam Summer Sale in order to maximize possible purchases.
- 32 units - $118
- 210 outstanding wishlists
- 9,000 unique visits
- 5 units - $24
- 400 unique visits
Thank you to everyone who purchased the game. I hope you enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to make and I look forward to creating more story-focused titles!
I will leave other game developers with a warning: I received maybe 10-12 emails after release from "streamers" and "curators" that were offering reviews, but they were all just people wanting keys for free. Many of the "streamers" would include a paragraph about their work and school background, which made me slightly skeptical. However, the easiest way to tell if it is a scam is to go to their profile on whatever they send you - most of the "streamers" had last streamed a couple of years ago, but one had last streamed eight years ago!