Time for more coffee; while that brews, let’s do a blog post. Let’s talk about polish, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. (EDIT: Now with addendum.)
First off, an enormous thank you to all our beta testers. Dredmor is so much better now than it was two weeks ago, and this is thanks to your input, crash bugs, feedback suggestions, gameplay complaints, and balance issues. Hang in there guys, I know you’re burnt out. For everybody not in the beta: hang in there, we’re so close to the end it’s amazing. There have been times when I thought this day would never come.
So what *are* we working on? Polish, mainly.
There was a thread on the Positech Games blog that gave me a few ideas about what to write about while I wait for coffee. Cliff… well, I don’t actually know why I read his blog; he mainly spends his time writing about a) how awful it is to be an indie, b) why everybody should be paying $29.99 for Gratuitous Space Battles, and c) how horrible it is to have to deal with municipal planning authorities in the United Kingdom. (The last complaint is fairly universal.) Meanwhile, Alex Mosolov, whose game Starfarer you should all be playing, just gets on with making a game, and is letting you pre-order for $10 and suffer along with him as he works on the alpha. Guess whose attitude I like more? And guess who just posted, excitedly, that he decided to quit his job to work on his company full-time? (Also, unlike Gratuitous Space Battles, Starfarer actually lets you pilot a spaceship. I think that’s a selling point.)
That said, I usually get ideas for blog posts from reading the Positech blog, so there you go. Today’s post at Cliff’s blog was the usual “Argh Indie Pricing” thread. We still haven’t made a pricing announcement for Dredmor other than the < $10 thing, but we do have one in mind. It’s a shame that the final price for Dredmor isn’t higher, but there is a recession on and I will be the first to admit that there is a lot of competition out there for your gaming dollar. Nothing new there. The next game we make, we are committed to having production values that clearly justify a $19.99 price, both to ourselves and everyone else. That’s all there is to it. What is interesting in that thread, though, is the following comment from a poster – a comment that has massive, incredible value:
If there’s something I want to say it’s this:
Indie games need more polish to be able to sell for more.
Most devs don’t have the money for that amount of polish, but they do have the time, even if it means taking a part time job to survive. If a game looks unpolished, with bad graphics, bad sound quality, music, uninteresting characters etc, then no matter if it’s indie or not, it will fail, and people won’t want to buy it, not at the full price.
Yes, exactly what he said.