First, a note about how I’m doing this post-mortem. I’m a Marketer who arrived in the team a few weeks ago and gathered the feedback of everyone working on it. They sent me by DM to make it a bit more “anonymized” and “less influenced” by other people experience. I also added feedback from my own point of view, as someone arriving in the latests months of a project.
FYI We’ll be releasing Sigma Theory on April 19th if you’re interested.
After the success of Dungeon Rushers, Johann, the creator of Goblinz Studio, wanted to work on a game using the same codebase & gameplay. It would be a sci-fi RPG game taking the gameplay basis of Dungeon Rusher but improving it. The same team would be on board and use the experience gained on the first game of Goblinz Studio.
There were some hiccups and the art director of Dungeon Rushers wasn’t available any more. Johann hired Mathieu to do Robothorium! It’s quite important because it was Mathieu’s first project. He learned a lot but still had to gain experience to make something cool.
Mathieu accommodated nicely but the art and creative direction were a bit clunky from the beginning. The team had to do a complete rework of the art direction and change all sprites, for the sake of the game. It did help but we still noticed players were not interested in it that much.
Using the old engine was a bit hard to do at first. We used the basis of Dungeon Keepers. Using an old basis seems flawless and the best use case. That’s you know, in programmers dreams. Not in reality.
The story is a sci-fi tale about a war between robot and humanity. There is a whole plot about how robots trying to integrate in a future society. There are also links between dangerous science and who should own it. Alas, the writing is a bit disconnected from the gameplay! We could feel that the sci-fi part wasn’t interesting for layers.
Dungeon Rushers was very fun and put cheesy adventurers in crazy dungeons. Robothorium was “serious business” and the writing was different from Dungeon Rushers. Some players didn’t really recognize themselves in it.
Our marketing was very focused on robots, sci-fi, story until we realized that the very best thing of Robothorium is it’s gameplay. The gameplay is generous, with skill trees, crafting, looting and such. The progression curve is nice. We decided to shift the marketing more onto the gameplay and less around the story.
We arrived near the end of the Early Access and we knew that the game was good, but the sales couldn’t skyrocket. The team decided to give it’s best though because everyone loved the game. All the team pushed trough the release, and it went pretty well. We organized a stream run with around 30 streamers ready to cover it around released. We had a coupon with Chroma Squad which generated significant sales!
Today we’re preparing the 1.1 patch for Switch + PC, but we’re unsure about how we’ll push after that. We want to work on our new projects like Legend of Keepers. We also have to keep working on Sigma Theory & Seeds of Resilience.
I love stats. You love stats. Let’s make a stats party!
As of today 18/02/2019:
We’re french but have quite a low amount of French users, we don’t know why. For RU, we hired Pangolin (https://twitter.com/YaPangolin) around launch to help us a bit. China is still quite low cause we had some issues with our publisher there.
125 around EA launch SP ; 5–10 daily ; 220 around launch. Still going :)!
Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments if you have questions!