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The Fox Who Was Raised By Robots

by William David on 04/04/14 01:30:00 pm   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


If the name ofSwing Swing Submarinerings a bell with you, it's probably that you are one of the300.000 playerswho tried our first game:Blocks That Matter. We released it in 2011 on Xbox Live Indie Games, it won the Dream.Build.Play Challenge and then we ported it on Windows, Mac, Linux.

Two years after, in October 2013, we releasedits sequel,Tetrobot and Co.,apure puzzle game. Unfortunately, that second gamehasnot found its public:only 6.000 people bought Tetrobot and Co., in 5 months.I never thought we can perform thatbad, even while beingon Steam, the biggest digital distribution platform, from day one.

The development of Tetrobot and Co.costus150.000 dollars, and so far it hasgenerated onlya thirdof this sum.

You can imagine how sad we are to seeTetrobot and Co.being ignored,putting our team of 5 french developersin a quiteuncomfortable situation. Today, I readthatsome developers are depressed because they are successful. I wish we hadthis kind of problem right now.

Anyway, how could you know that Tetrobot and Co. even exists?Few reviews are available online andfew youtubers gave it a try.Tetrobot and Co.has no goat characters, no gorgeous 3D graphics, no narrative twists and noinfinitemode.Tetrobot and Co. is just a well crafted puzzle game.

Even if the videogame market is saturated, even ifSteam doesn't want to push small unknowngames anymore, we are the ones to blame.We should have spent more time trying to sell it instead of just making it. We learned the lesson the hard way.

In our misfortune, we are lucky: everyday, we receive mails fromour most dedicated players, telling us how much they love Tetrobot and Co. and how excited they are to play our next game,Seasons after Fall. When motivation starts to fade, we know we can open a tab and readsome great articles fromRock, Paper, ShotgunandIndie Statik, toremember that the game we made is not perfectbut that it still has charming 2D graphics, nice game mechanics, challenging puzzles andan amazing soundtrack.All these little thingskeep us motivated...plusthe fact that we still love making games.

Last week, 5 months after Tetrobot and Co. release, we took a decison:we decided tocut the price of Tetrobot and Co.and we createda permanent discount for all Blocks That Matter owners on Steam, to thank them for having supported us until now. Of course, we alsohope that when they finally hear about Tetrobot and Co.,at some point,they mightbuy it and allow us to createSeasons after Fallmore easily.

I am adeveloper, but Iamalso a player. Ilove playing games, all kind of games, and each timethecreatorsthatIloverelease a new one, I buy it, I play it, if it is good I tell myfriends, if it is greatI shout as loud as I can, and if it is not that good I try to explain why to thedevelopers.I do this because I want small developers, like us, to keep improving, make better games, express their opinions and surprise us. I like to think that my money, and my support,help them to do that.

Seasons after Fall is meant to be released in 2015.
Right now, we have enough money to keep working on it untilAugust 2014.

All is not lost: we can still try to port Tetrobot and Co. on other platforms, try toparticipate inbundles,open pre-ordersor plan a crowdfunding campain, and we'll probably have to do all of these things. I just hope it will not be the last time.

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