5. Lack of Marketing Planning
When we started this process, we weren't sure exactly where it would lead us. As the project grew, our priority shifted towards making this the best game we could. This meant that it wasn't until the game was nearly complete that we properly considered how we would market the game.
To a certain extent, we really couldn't plan, as we didn't know what distribution networks we would have to work with. For example, we wanted to get the game onto Steam, as we knew what a great platform it would be. But without the completed game, all we could have supplied was an abstract concept.
This was not ideal, as we believed the game really needed to be seen in the best possible light. We didn't feel like a tech demo would cut it in this case. As such, we held off and sent it only when it was 99 percent complete.
I still don't know which was the riskier strategy: doing as we had done, or sending the concept off early. In any case, it seems like we made the right choice. Steam picked up the game and has subsequently become a big part of the success of Lume.
It was only at this time that we were really able to start planning how we would get the word out and what other platforms and distribution networks we could bring the game out on. But in retrospect, we could have helped ourselves a lot by having this kind of thinking prepared earlier on.
Whether or not things went as well as they could in this regard, Lume sold very well and was profitable enough for us to begin work on the much larger sequel, which we're now deep into developing. It's been the ideal result for us.
Making Lume has really allowed us to hit our creative stride as a small studio. We created a project and a working practice in which we could be both inquisitive and ambitious. By setting for ourselves realistic parameters such as making this a first installment, we could afford to experiment in other ways. The experience of making this game was enjoyable pretty much throughout.
We learned a lot throughout the process too, and we'll be taking these lessons to build on our way of working for the sequel, Lume 2. The game is many times the size of Lume, and we want to push what's possible in every way we can. We're keeping an openminded approach to the process and allowing it to adapt as we go.
As previously mentioned, we're working with Catrina Stewart, an architect who's brought her own methods of working to the process, and we've incorporated these accordingly. We're now building cardboard "sketches" of an entire city in our studio. These are rough mockups that can be made in a couple of hours and allows us to test things like camera angles and composition before we build them for real. We learned our challenges the hard way with Lume, and now we know that we've got to test, adjust, and retest everything before we start the filming.
Technologically, we're at a level now where we understand more of the possibilities and can increase the quality of the lighting, the camerawork, the resolution and the sense of three dimensional space. It will dramatically improve the beauty of Lume 2.
One of the finest lessons we've gained from making Lume is the knowledge that our hunch was right. If you build something you truly care for, and you invest that care in every part of the process, there will be an audience out there who will care for it too. It has given us the confidence to take Lume 2 to a whole new level of detail and beauty. It will be released sometime in early 2013, and we can't wait to show you more over the coming months.
|Karstein Roesnes Ersdal|