Robothorium developers discuss launching before E3 on Linux, Mac and Windows. Also interesting seeing Goblinz Studio is an indie game studio composed of seven people.
The developers are also responsible for releasing Dungeon Rushers in 2016 on Linux, Mac and Windows. Which has great success on Steam, Switch, PS4, Xbox and mobile.
Since then they have been working on Robothorium for one year. Which is available on Early Access, as of June 7th 2018.
Now, here is the developers insight.
A developers story about the Robothorium launch:
Our initial launch date was May 10th. But after a few delays and the number of games planned to release during this month. At the beginning of April we made a crazy bet: launching one week before E3. This week is indeed one of the most risky of the year. So whether it be for indie or AAA games. Because press won’t cover your game if you’re not at E3.
But making this decision without thinking. So we have a change in strategy, focusing on influencers (Twitch & YouTube). As well as on our community that we have been animating for several months with open betas. Also our devblogs and our Discord.
We’ve thus allocated all the budget that was initially planned to be used to contact the press. With a freelance and a PR agency to develop Twitch features. Advertising the game through influencers. But also through Facebook, Twitter and AdWords advertisements.
The purpose of this strategy was to reduce to 0 the budget to the press. Since it wouldn’t have been available during this period. So as developers we bet on the availability of influencers and players who wouldn’t care about E3. To this end, focusing on medium size influencers (3 to 80K subscribers). Instead of the big ones having agencies, which are not available during E3.
Also taking the opportunity to think about investing in long term into influencers. To do so, we’ve also have an internal tool to better select the interesting influencers. Which will be useful as well for the next games.
But the most important feature is to also give more value to streamers. Therefore, we have a voting system for viewers to make them participate during streams. More information about this HERE.
Robothorium – Gameplay Trailer (Linux, Mac, Windows)
Launching and Steam bug:
The release started extremely well,with a lot of videos and live. Sadly, we’ve suffered from a Steam bug, with our game leaving Early Access on June 8th at midnight (PST) because of a bug in the scripts, depriving us from the launch highlight usually offered by Steam. Some players were thus thinking they were buying a full game instead of a game in Early Access, which led to several negative reviews.
Thanks to our community and a sleepless night to answer to angry players, we have been able to lower the negative impact from this error which has been corrected by Valve teams during the following day.
Despite the negative impact of the bug, we still have good numbers on the first month for a game with an Early Access budget lower than 200K€ (around 140K€ for pro and 45K€ for marketing).
But as important as the sales are, we’ve managed to gather a lot of active players within our community. Our Discord has already bypassed the 400 members and the newsletter has received more than 600 subscriptions thanks to the ingame link, but also thanks to weekly devblogs.
Robothorium: Sci-fi Dungeon Crawler is available for $14.99 USD on Steam and Humble Store. Which of course includes support for Linux, Mac and Windows. And hopefully this feedback gives you some idea of what indie developers go through.