Another Greenlight Update

Hi everyone! Last time I wrote about Letter Quest’s progress on Steam Greenlight it was about 66% of the way to the top 100, and that was about three weeks ago. A lot has changed since then! Due to the help of some really amazing people at a couple of popular Steam Groups, we’ve gotten so many more votes. We’re currently sitting at #67 on all of Greenlight!! Most people think that another batch of games will be chosen soon, possibly tomorrow, so we’re hoping Letter Quest gets included…which would be so amazing! Here’s what our current stats look like, and as a funny thing to note, seven hours ago we had around 5100 yes votes and were 99% of the way to the top 100 – it’s been an amazing day so far, and it’s only lunch time: And here’s the real crazy bit, our progress since we started, look at the crazy spike so far today: If you can’t tell, we’re thrilled about all of this! We’ve been working hard for…oh my, 132 days it says on those charts…trying to get Letter Quest noticed. It’s finally happening! We want to offer our sincerest thanks to everyone that has helped spread the word, voted, tweeted, retweeted, shared, and otherwise mentioned Letter Quest. Here’s hoping it will get onto Steam soon and will do well enough that we can afford to make more games! If you haven’t voted yet, please consider doing so here,...

read more

Steam Greenlight Update

I wanted to update everyone on our progress on Steam Greenlight. This was written on August 5, 2014, and we’ve made a lot of progress in the last week! According to Steam’s stats, we’re 66% of the way to the top 100. A week ago we were only 50% of the way there! Valve recently approved another batch of Greenlight titles, although this time they only chose 50 (the last several batches have been 75 games each). I also noticed that a lot of the games that had been in the top 20 didn’t get chosen this time…and most of those had done “vote and get a free copy of the game” giveaways, so maybe Valve has noticed and isn’t approving games that use that tactic? I am curious about something though, because it doesn’t make very much sense to me. Here’s the current chart of our progress on Greenlight, compared to several of the current top games: Notice how the top #100 item (the darker blue line) is actually less/lower than our line (bright green) at the end…so I’m not sure how we’re only 66% of the way to the top 100 if we already have more yes votes than the #100 item? I’m thinking that Valve is not just basing the top 100 on votes, but if that’s true, then I’m not sure what other criteria they’re using, or why we keep climbing up 1% for every 50 or so votes that we get. πŸ˜‰ Anyone else noticing the same thing? Hopefully we’ll keep up our current momentum, and get some more coverage about Letter Quest so that we can bring it to Steam soon! If you have a moment, consider voting for Letter Quest on Greenlight....

read more

Letter Quest Price Change on PC and Mac

First off, a huge thank you to everyone that has purchased Letter Quest so far! We really appreciate your support, and we hope that you’ve been enjoying the game! As some of you may have noticed, we recently decreased the price of Letter Quest. We put a lot of time and effort into this decision, and have been stressing over it for many days. And before the initial release, we put a ton of time into choosing what we thought was a fair price. I can honestly say that I’ve been losing sleep over the decision for a few days. Let me explain how we’ve approached pricing (and if you’d like to know what we’re doing/offering for people that already bought the game at $7.99, please click here). When we decided upon our original price of $9.99 for the PC and Mac version (which no one has ever paid, the game has been on sale for $7.99 since day 1), we looked at many factors, including: Letter Quest was a mobile game first, and is free on iOS and Android, with a $2.99 purchase to unlock all of the additional weapons, tilesets, and Rose (ie: the “full game”) For the desktop release, we made a huge amount of changes. What are other indie games like ours charging? What are other games charging that also were originally mobile games? All of the desktop changes took nearly 4 months of full-time work. We think that Letter Quest on desktop feels like a desktop game now, not a mobile port. So we felt justified in asking $9.99 for the game, and did a lot of research into other indie titles that released in the last 6 months, looking at the quality of their artwork, length of the game, how long the dev time was, etc. – basically anything we could use to gather info and help us with our decision. We found that $9.99 was a very common and seemingly fair price for a game like ours. Unfortunately we have realized that (based on some people’s feedback and the fact that the mobile version exists) Letter Quest will always be seen as a “mobile port brought to desktop”, even though it barely resembles the mobile version anymore. And so a lot of people see it that way, and can’t justify paying the $9.99 price (or even the $7.99 sale price). Add to that the fact that “word games” in general seem to be a hard sell these days, and it started to become clear that our price point just wasn’t going to work. Also, I personally emailed over 40 members of the press about the Letter Quest release, most of which I emailed two weeks before the game’s release (I would have loved to have given them more notice, but the truth is that I’m out of money, and couldn’t afford to sit on a finished game for any longer without any sales revenue), and ended up getting zero coverage. Not a single mention anywhere. No reviews. No news posts. No previews. Nothing. We’re not sure what happened, maybe my email wasn’t very good (although I also emailed tons of press about Letter Quest on mobile back in February and got a lot of coverage, and people even mentioning that they loved how I pitched the game), maybe most PC and Mac sites really don’t care about word games, maybe the price was too high? We have no idea honestly. Maybe it was a combination of things? We also realized that we’re still not a very well-known company – most players out...

read more

Our Experience With Steam Greenlight

Letter Quest has been on Greenlight since April 11, 2014…which is an interesting date, since it also happens to be the first day of PAX East 2014. Unfortunately we overlooked this fact when we added Letter Quest to Greenlight. It’s funny, when you’re getting a Greenlight page ready, you pay attention to all the details – a nice trailer, quality screenshots, a concise description, etc…and then you forget to do a thorough search for major gaming events that are currently happening! Oops! We’re doing okay on Greenlight now, although after 95 days on there we’re still only 52% of the way to the top 100, as you can see here: Based on other devs that have been kind enough to share their Greenlight stats, we’ve seen that a lot of titles get around 7,000 – 10,000 visitors in their first day or two on Greenlight, just from traffic on Steam. We only have just over 9000 total, after 95 days! We’re assuming that is the effect of launching on the first day of PAX East – our first few days didn’t bring in very many visitors. We’ve been doing okay since, but it’s certainly a long process. Letter Quest is a word game at its core, and as such doesn’t seem to appeal to a large portion of the people that vote on Greenlight. We have a demo and link to it in our Steam description, but that doesn’t seem to make much difference, most people never click to try the demo. We’re trying to find a way to get more people to try the game, because almost everyone that plays it gets hooked and really enjoys it, even people that don’t normally like word games. Luckily we got a bit of a boost in visitors and votes when we put a Letter Quest demo on Newgrounds a few weeks ago. The demo has been played over 25,000 times as the time this was written, which is fantastic! It also managed an average rating of 3.96/5 from 780 votes, which we’re told is really, really good for a demo on Newgrounds, since most players downvote demos on there simply due to them being a demo (most Newgrounds players expect full free versions of games). The official launch of Letter Quest on PC and Mac is happening on July 22, 2014 and we’re hoping that helps with Greenlight votes as well. Every copy of the game will come with a Steam key if/when we get onto Steam. Also, right now we’re only selling the desktop version via Humble widgets on the official Letter Quest site. Once the full release of Letter Quest happens on July 22, we plan on selling Letter Quest on several different stores, and hopefully that will help with sales and Greenlight votes! Hopefully in the next month or so I’ll be doing a new post on how we got through Greenlight and will be bringing Letter Quest to Steam! πŸ™‚ Oh, and if you have a moment to spare please consider voting for Letter Quest on Greenlight: Vote on the web by clicking here Vote on Steam by clicking...

read more

Choose Your Words Carefully (Part 2)

Last time I talked about how important the wording of your “buy now” button can be. Today’s post is similar – it’s a quick tip about how it’s very important to pay close attention to the wording you choose to use on a game’s landing page! When designing the Letter Quest landing page, we tried our best to follow the tips outlined in Emmy Jonassen’s wonderful landing page design post – thank you so much for posting that Emmy! One thing the article doesn’t talk about though, is how to word the various parts of your landing page. We started selling early access versions of Letter Quest on July 1, 2014. And in three days, we had three different people ask the same question – “if I buy the early access version, does that include the final version too?”. We were a bit put off by the question at first, thinking “wow, we’d be some really evil devs if it didn’t include the final version, does anyone actually do that?”. A quick read of the text beside our Humble widget pointed out the problem. At the time, the first bullet point beside the widget read: Includes early access to Letter Quest on PC Hmm, no wonder people were confused – we didn’t actually outright say anything about it including the full version. We assumed that was a given, but we then realized that, in a time when many devs try to nickel-and-dime players in any way possible, we shouldn’t assume anything. So we updated the wording to: Includes early access to Letter Quest on PC now, and the full game when it’s done Much better! No confusion there! We also mention that it includes a Steam key if/when we get onto Steam via Greenlight. So please do be very careful about your wording when you’re trying to sell something!...

read more

Opening Steam to a Greenlight Page (Easier Voting!)

We’ve had Letter Quest on Steam Greenlight since April 11, 2014. Once you get taken off the front page of Greenlight, you’re on your own for trying to get people to go there and vote…it’s really difficult! The Newgrounds demo that we recently posted has helped out a lot – we’ve gone from getting around 10 “yes” votes a day on Greenlight, to around 40! That’s a huge jump, since the only thing that changed was the Newgrounds demo. One thing that is very difficult is actually getting people to vote – it’s tricky because most people don’t ever log into Steam in their web browser, instead they are actually logged in to Steam. This tip is absolutely not my own – it’s from a wonderful Gamasutra article. You can see the tip at the bottom of the article, where it says “Update:”. The original person that created this solution is the developer of Black Annex, and you can see his post here. Here’s the summary: if you want more votes on Steam, you need to make it easier to vote. The easiest way for most people is to vote in the Steam app. So you create a special link that opens Steam directly to a Greenlight page, here’s how: You first create a tiny php file containing the following code: <?php header('Location: steam://url/CommunityFilePage/248089760'); ?> Where “248089760” is the ID of your Greenlight page. Then you simply point people to your php file in a browser, and it will open Steam to your Greenlight page! One thing you can do to make this cleaner is to create a URL that redirects to your php file, we used http://greenlight.letterquestgame.com (try clicking it if you have Steam running on your computer!), which looks a lot more friendly. Also, it’s nice because our main page for Letter Quest is at http://www.letterquestgame.com, so most people tend to trust that greenlight link more because it’s on a recognized domain name. Good luck on Greenlight everyone! We’re currently 45% of the way to the top 100 – it’s a lot of work but we’re hoping we’ll eventually get...

read more