Get that thing off your chest... Now...

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mugenjohncel
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#46 Post by mugenjohncel » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:21 am

DaFool wrote:And then someone comes along with a no-budget work with little to no art and gets exposure
Depressing but that's how things work DaFool my friend... the whole VN thing will gauge your success via popularity contests...

Either you take advantage of it or drown in obscurity. This is why I've been emphasizing and encouraging associating your works with large websites such as 4chan and others like this VN I know despite being mediocre in quality got the widest coverage simply because it was associated with 4chan and the devs have all sorts of connection to be featured in various places to get press coverage.

But hang in the DaFool...

"POOF" (Disappears)

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#47 Post by Taleweaver » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:38 am

mugenjohncel wrote:This is why I've been emphasizing and encouraging associating your works with large websites such as 4chan and others like this VN I know despite being mediocre in quality got the widest coverage simply because it was associated with 4chan and the devs have all sorts of connection to be featured in various places to get press coverage.
Maybe we should REALLY do more networking. In my opinion, games from our community pop up on game aggregators too seldom - and the current number and quality of release from here should at least justify having one of our titles mentioned every month. From all the recent NaNoRenO releases, for example, only Ristorante Amore seems to have found some attention, and that's just not enough!
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#48 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:46 pm

DaFool wrote: I'm also super depressed since I cannot meet the last 10% of polish needed in my projects hence the need to hire, and I'm running out of cash. And then someone comes along with a no-budget work with little to no art and gets exposure and I'm like "But I've been doing that in the past and nobody cared!"
Taleweaver wrote: Maybe we should REALLY do more networking. In my opinion, games from our community pop up on game aggregators too seldom - and the current number and quality of release from here should at least justify having one of our titles mentioned every month. From all the recent NaNoRenO releases, for example, only Ristorante Amore seems to have found some attention, and that's just not enough!
The fact of the matter is that marketing and networking are extremely important to ANYTHING'S success, but especially indie games. The movies that do the best spend as much as 50% of what they spent on the movie itself on advertising, and they market the movie for months before it hits theaters. Marketing is a vital part of having a successful creative project. Field of Dreams lied to you - if you just build it no one will come, because they don't know it exists.

You need to be prepared to market your game just as diligently as you made it. I've heard many successful indies say they had to spend 2-3 months or more marketing their game as a full time job to achieve the visibility and name recognition that they have. You need to be proactive - a website, a development blog, building a fan base and getting them excited and mobilized BEFORE release. A mobilized fan base can market your game for you! Ideally you should have this marketing plan scheduled and designed to start 2-3 months before release, then build into a fever pitch where the climax of excitement corresponds with the release of the game.

What does marketing consist of? Trailers, screenshots, art. A good trailer cannot be emphasized enough. This is the 1-2 minute sales pitch that gets people excited and invested. Don't hold back the good stuff, here! You shouldn't spoil the story, but if all your good art is in CGs, show some of them! The fact is, if you don't impress people with the trailer, you'll never have a chance to impress them with your game.

Networking means having lots of places to submit your game to, and lots of people to help push it for you. It comes from being involved in multiple communities and making yourself well-known BEFORE your game comes out. This also ties into marketing - notice that the Ristorante Amore team tied nearly everything they did on the forums back into the game - whether it was art discussion, showing a tutorial on Ren'Py features, discussing writing, etc.

That "no-budget with little art" that gets more exposure is probably doing things you aren't. Quality does not translate automatically to exposure. It is the same reason McDonald's kicks a ton of fancy restaurant's butts. They have the biggest presence and marketing push.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#49 Post by fleet » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:38 pm

Marketing also involves finding the correct audience for your work. What gets downloaded only a few times at one site might get downloaded a lot more at another site.
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#50 Post by DaFool » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:36 am

I'd rather be a pure developer though. I don't want to be forced to maintain a Twitter, Facebook, and additional forums when I barely have time to maintain a blog.
Marketing
Can't market hentai... basically the only channels that accept hentai are the piracy ones, thus there is no gain there. I mean, who wants to be known in the social networks linking to 'Chinese Cartoon Porn'?

Visual novels which happen to include adult scenes have a free pass. Nukige... just don't.

I also think that creator / consumer ratio is unusually burdened in that there are now more projects and more groups than what can be sustained by the current community, especially when they can be satiated with the translation community's output.

I'm not giving up in the nukige field... that space is practically a monopoly where we have no competition.

But for all other projects that are all-ages or have female protagonists, I think it may be best for me to partner up with Winter Wolves or one of the Otome groups, depending on the particular project's appeal. I mean, look at what Wadjet Eye Games is doing publishing almost every other indie adventure game I hear about... and Amaranthia publishing almost every other RPG Maker game I come across.

@mugenjohncel
My comment was generally directed towards indie-scene stuff with/without pixelart that happened to be made in Ren'Py. The shiny games at least I understand a lot of effort was put into their production. It just seems to me that for other genres, you can be experimental, but nowadays unless you're in some mysterious inner circle, your VN must be top notch in presentation to get featured.

The only EVN group I believe that can stand entirely on its own is Dischan, since now that KS is over 4chan needs another poster child for the epic 500,000 word visual novel project. The ability to affiliate is what I think will keep the other groups surviving.

I mean sure there's a bit of bad blood from being burned here and there, but I do trust that we can keep a professional relationship when necessary.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#51 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:37 am

DaFool wrote:I'd rather be a pure developer though. I don't want to be forced to maintain a Twitter, Facebook, and additional forums when I barely have time to maintain a blog.
But you also say you'd rather have a wide audience for your game. One takes the other. As an indie you've got to pull duty in every spot on a game team, and one of those spots is marketing. Saying you'd rather not do it is akin to saying you'd rather not program - the game really doesn't "work" without it. You may be able to hire someone to do marketing for you, but if you want people to find your game it still has to be done.
DaFool wrote: Can't market hentai... basically the only channels that accept hentai are the piracy ones, thus there is no gain there. I mean, who wants to be known in the social networks linking to 'Chinese Cartoon Porn'?
That's why when you market you are creating your own channels. A website, a development blog, a twitter account. And hentai games obviously do well enough - that's almost the only genre of VN that gets brought over by the professional companies. Again, they are setting up their own distribution channel and using marketing to funnel gamers to it.

The thing with hentai games is they need to be special or unique, with a good hook. Hentai and porn are a Google search away - you need to give something more than the pictures and porn to make playing a hentai game worth it. Again, marketing is what is going to tell potential players that this isn't the same experience they can get with an image search.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now... time to Bitch!

#52 Post by mugenjohncel » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:46 pm

Hmm... I dunno what to think about this but might as well do good on my promise to bitch about this... I usually let things like this slide under the bridge and get it over with like the spamming of hate mails and flooding my inbox with gay porn or any of those KS devs talking behind my back... but not this time... for you have been constantly doing this to me for some time in every channel where you and I happen to cross paths while taking every damn insult you toss at me... might as well bitch back about it eh?...

So I was chatting with the guys at vn-devs and DOOMFEST (the artist for Juniper's Knot) invited me to join their channel... of course, being naive I came in Good Faith perhaps maybe to discuss a bit of VN's here and there but what do I get?...

Image

An instant Ban for no apparent reason... While as an artist I respect you and your godly amount of talent, something a mere mortal like me can only dream about but as a person you certainly are a jerk... I'm pretty much insulted by what you did but of course knowing how high and mighty you are now due to your new found fame which probably inflated your ego a bit too wide... I'm not expecting any apologies from you... I mean, you are Doomfest while I'm just a lowly Uncle Mugen, the scum of the internet who cannot even speak or write fluent English!...

I certainly don't know if you really are a jerk or simply being a jerk on me... If you are... I don't know the reason and I do not want to know because it will not be in my best interest. If you find this amusing then good for you... I am very grateful that I made your day Sir... Please Enjoy...

Whatever...

"POOF" (It was such a long night)

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#53 Post by Razz » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:53 pm

Mugen...I can never tell when you're being serious or not. >_>

------------

I'm kind of debating whether or not to charge for my game. I'd planned for it to be free for some time now but more and more just charging 3$ seems like a good idea. Mainly because I want to use the money to make more games and hiring people.

Though the downside it's probably going to get a lot less exposure and I don't have a track record of decent games yet. And if they thought it sucked they'd activate my 'well it was free' trap card. Gah lots to think about.
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#54 Post by LVUER » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:17 pm

Hmmm, I don't think Mugen is kidding because he was complaining about same thing in the past. I think I have slight clue about why Doomfest did that.
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now... time to Bitch!

#55 Post by KomiTsuku » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:56 pm

mugenjohncel wrote: I certainly don't know if you really are a jerk or simply being a jerk on me...
If it makes you feel better, you weren't the only one who has enjoyed the jerkness of Doomfest.
DaFool wrote:I'm also super depressed since I cannot meet the last 10% of polish needed in my projects hence the need to hire, and I'm running out of cash. And then someone comes along with a no-budget work with little to no art and gets exposure and I'm like "But I've been doing that in the past and nobody cared!"
That's actually why I am retiring and leaving visual novels behind me. As much fun as it has been, I'm getting tired of throwing away perfectly good money into projects that get ignored. Hell, even when I ask a simple thing like what characters would you like to see in the demo, I get crickets. I try new art styles (eastern, western, and a mix), silence. I try open development, silence. I try new plots, silence. I'm not happy with the fact I have to kill half a dozen nearly completed projects, but I'm just too tired of running in the background and setting fire to my paycheck. Today I dismissed one of the best writers I've worked with because I couldn't keep paying her for a project that had no potential income. 35k words into the plot, sprites and some backgrounds done, never going to be completed. It rips my heart to shreds, but I have to do what I have to do. Rising Angels is going to be my last project (and only the first chapter), then I'm done. I'd kill it as well, but faaaaaaaaaar too much of my income and energy has been sunk into that story.

...I feel better. Been dealing with that anger for the past month as I shut projects down.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#56 Post by Camille » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:31 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:Marketing is a vital part of having a successful creative project. Field of Dreams lied to you - if you just build it no one will come, because they don't know it exists.
Quoted for truth. I don't think a lot of people will ever appreciate how much work I put into PR and putting Cyanide Tea/our work out there. It's a very thankless job and most people don't realize how important it is. This last month since RisAmo was released has involved just as much work as the writing/programming I did throughout March. You can't just expect people to pay attention to you/your work when you're just sitting around waiting for them to come to you. Attention is something that's earned, not something owed to you. This is a really good article about how the Hunger Games books were strategically marketed and plugged. If the book had simply been published and Scholastic didn't put all that effort into marketing, there's no way the franchise would be as popular as it is now.

I don't think that our game was the best out of the NaNoRenO lot at all. It's just that we did a good job at promoting our game. I mean, I think we did a great job on our game itself, of course, but there's always a shinier, better-written game out there. That's life and you can't focus on all the people better than you because that won't get you anywhere. PyTom says this a lot, but building up a following outside of LSF is very important. Nowadays, we actually get more hits to our sites from sources outside of LSF--overwhelmingly so. Of course the support from LSF is very important, but the people here aren't the only VN players in the world. We've actually gotten a very good response from a lot of people who'd never played a VN before RisAmo. Veteran VN players tend to be more picky, harsh and stuck to their ways like Final Fantasy fanboys who want every RPG they play to be like a Final Fantasy game--why market and/or aim towards people who are naturally predisposed to dislike most everything you do?

It's nice to say that projects with lots of hard work and polish put into them should naturally attract attention on their own, but it's just not true. You want attention? You go out there and you grab it. If you don't, then you can't complain that your project isn't getting the hits/downloads/whatever you want and expect. If you ARE doing all that and still not getting the results you want, then something is probably wrong with your project because it's not grasping the audience that it's meant to. In that case, you probably need to sit down and reevaluate your approach to what you're doing.

I feel like I say stuff like this all the time and nobody listens to me. :/ If what you've been doing up until now hasn't worked, don't you think you should try changing that before complaining that the system is unfair?

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#57 Post by Sapphi » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:36 pm

Razz wrote: I'm kind of debating whether or not to charge for my game. I'd planned for it to be free for some time now but more and more just charging 3$ seems like a good idea. Mainly because I want to use the money to make more games and hiring people.

Though the downside it's probably going to get a lot less exposure and I don't have a track record of decent games yet. And if they thought it sucked they'd activate my 'well it was free' trap card. Gah lots to think about.
I think if I were you I would leave it free, but put a donations button somewhere so that people who really did like it could contribute if they wanted to. The thing about charging tiny amounts is that not everybody has access to forms of online payment, so you would not be making a lot of money AND you would potentially be limiting your already small audience...

@Mugen: Aww... :(

@KomiTsuku: Double aww! ;_; Too much depressing stuff in this thread... you'll still be around the scene, won't you? :(

I'd just like to get off my chest that I'm really stressed out with finals week fast approaching (May 7-10), projects wrapping up, lack of sleep, leaving my job at the college... my room is a mess and I just keep shoveling food into my face... for a good 2 months I was on the 1500 calorie diet and looking great... then holiday dinners kept coming, people bringing fundraiser FROSTED CHOCOLATE CAKE into work for MARCH OF DIMES (how the heck do you say no to that?! IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN), etcetera, I told myself when the weather warmed up I could start eating normally again because I could go walking outside again but the US is having crazy weather and it got cold again... but I kept eating more calories... I'm so bloated right now that I look pregnant... all I really want to do is finish my part of the Pet Project (that's a whole other rant) and get to work on my other stories... I am so depressed... OTL

EDIT: In response to the discussion of advertising our releases, do you think it would be beneficial to have some kind of advertising tips subforum or sticky or something here? It's obviously a pretty vital aspect of game development.
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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#58 Post by KomiTsuku » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:50 pm

Camille wrote:I feel like I say stuff like this all the time and nobody listens to me. :/ If what you've been doing up until now hasn't worked, don't you think you should try changing that before complaining that the system is unfair?
And when all that fails? You make the inaccurate assumption that I just sit on my butt and wait for the gods of fortune to smile upon me. I've tried new and unique approaches. Changing my approach was why I got into VNs in the first place. If I can't get a single hand's worth of comments on character choices on four different sites, what should I do? I work over a full time job, I run several anime conventions, I try to have a social life, and I manage my studio the best I can with what little time I can spare. Heck, I've been tapping my numerous contacts in the industry for assistance for a while. There were even plans on... anyway, I've erred, I admit, but there comes a point when you have to accept that things aren't going your way and it is time to walk away from the table. It's the dumb gamblers who sit at the table long after the deck has turned and keep playing, hoping the next hand will bring better fortune. You've had good luck paired with your hard work. I've not been so lucky and want to take my remaining time and try something else.
@KomiTsuku: Double aww! ;_; Too much depressing stuff in this thread... you'll still be around the scene, won't you?
Very unlikely. Since I plan on returning to the traditional novel medium, I fear our paths may not cross very often.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#59 Post by Nuxill » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:08 pm

I'm mad because a friend of mine is in a dire situation and there's nothing I can do to help because she lives so far away. I hope she's able to get help from people who live nearby. I'm worried about her.

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Re: Get that thing off your chest... Now...

#60 Post by Camille » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:12 pm

KomiTsuku wrote:And when all that fails? You make the inaccurate assumption that I just sit on my butt and wait for the gods of fortune to smile upon me. I've tried new and unique approaches. Changing my approach was why I got into VNs in the first place. If I can't get a single hand's worth of comments on character choices on four different sites, what should I do? I work over a full time job, I run several anime conventions, I try to have a social life, and I manage my studio the best I can with what little time I can spare. Heck, I've been tapping my numerous contacts in the industry for assistance for a while. There were even plans on... anyway, I've erred, I admit, but there comes a point when you have to accept that things aren't going your way and it is time to walk away from the table. It's the dumb gamblers who sit at the table long after the deck has turned and keep playing, hoping the next hand will bring better fortune. You've had good luck paired with your hard work. I've not been so lucky and want to take my remaining time and try something else.
I wasn't actually talking specifically to you, but I'll go ahead and try and answer since you've asked me. I haven't been around LSF as long as you or a lot of other people have, but my personal impression (to be taken with a grain of salt, as any opinions ought) of you and your studio is that you make a lot of big promises that you don't deliver on. First you're doing game X and you release a lot of artwork, and then you pull the plug on that and start game Y. You then get busy and try to get people to help, only to flake out on them and decide to do everything yourself--but you don't finish on your own, either. I don't appreciate that you drummed up all this initial interest in Rising Angels and asked people to help write--and then cut everyone out of it without any sort of personal explanation or message. A quick "Hey, I decided to go ahead and write this thing on my own, sorry for the inconvenience!" would have been nice, but you couldn't even afford that much.

People get busy. I understand that you have a very demanding full-time job and I think it's great that you try to put so much effort into so many things, but you have to try and finish what you start. People will wait, but they need to see progress. In your recent "30 day progress" thing, you quit blogging--and working, presumably--after day seven. I wrote you a very long critique on one of your games and you did what with it? Dismissed it, got defensive... This is not an attitude that inspires much confidence or makes me want to comment on your work more. And why would people want to comment on a favorite character poll or whatever when there's such a low chance of the game being finished? Over and over you keep saying "Well I'm quitting, anyway! This game probably won't be finished, anyway! I'll pull the plug on this and maybe just release episode 1 of this, anyway!" ... Is it a wonder people don't want to invest time in such a thing?

If you've decided for yourself that this isn't the avenue for you and you need to rethink things and try something else, great. I'm not going to sit here and beg you to keep making VNs as much as I love them and wish that more of them would be made. But unless you change your attitude towards work, entitlement, and getting along with other people, I fear you'll meet the same situation no matter what you're pursuing.

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