Community?

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Community?

Postby Ironfangz » 18 Jun 2015, 23:36

I'm not trying to be salty here, but uhmm


Is it ever going to finish?

I used to check this website daily, then weekly... monthly... ... I'm about to say annually.

Front page: No updates
blogs: No updates
forum: No activity. ((apart from USS, you are amazing))

I have done research on crowdfunding for a school project. We've compared the failed kickstarter campaign of CotD with a successful kickstarter campaign of Convoy.

Similarities:
Small audience
Hometown, Leeuwarden
Game design, cartoony.

Differences:
Dev Team size: CotD (We estimated 15) Convoy (3)
Gameplay: CotD (adventure) Convoy (arcade)
Experience: CotD (few games) Convoy (no games)

As seen above, CotD had better chances of succeeding their campaign.

We tried to interview both companies. We were invited over to have a conversation with lead developer of Convoy Games (Ikr, that title sounds delicious). But we got no response from CotD. ---> I'll come back to this later.

The interview showed us their approach to their campaign. It was very simple. Two of the three developers continued working on the game, whilst the remaining developer updated their blog daily. CotD was mentioned during the conversation. They bluntly stated that CotD wasted money on coffee instead of spending it into their game. Ofcourse, this insult lacks context, but allow me to explain. What they tried to say is that CotD pushes their efforts away for a long time, then take it back up again to continue working on their game. These pauses aren't good for anyone.

Importancy of Community
Community is the crux of success of a game. If there is no one to support the game, no one to buy the game... In worst case it will make the company bankrupt. A strong and active community will attract more and more people, which leads to success. Creating a friendly environment for players to interact with the developers is the key for success for companies such as CotD and Convoy. Little companies with an enormous crowd of supporters will grant more possibilities. Look at Minecraft for example. Mojang miraculously achieved to get a massive group of followers, which made their game known world-widely.

How to get a Community
Our research proves that lay-out of the Kickstarter page, daily updates and interaction with developers leads to an active community. Simply putting daily messages on the blog takes a little time, but your supporters love it. This is what CotD lacks and Convoy does right. I am unable to comment on the blogs. Besides that, when I asked for an interview by mail, I received no response. Even saying "No, we've no time." would've been enough. Convoy replied a day after a mail was sent.

Trailers too, during the interview Convoy showed their trailer. Then they googled CotD's trailer for comparison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPiThyZKSoU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DnO9hXzy3w

Trailer Comparison
First 8 secs(very important. Average amount of time for a viewer to decide to continue watching or clicking away.) of Convoy's trailer showed positive quotes with tensive music. CotD beats Convoy with two pieces of cool art work and better music. After the 8 secs, Convoy beats CotD with a better show off of their game. They show actual in game footage. Various aspects. Vehicle design/upgrade, a map and a few epic battles. What does CotD show? Text and images. Images are cool, better designed than Convoy. Music, still better. But the text makes it so bad. There's no epic warrior's voice that reads it out loud for you whilst the trailer itself shows gameplay. There's no gameplay footage during the whole video. The text itself is cheap marketing speech. "Sworn to destroy those who stood against him" How many games feature a protagonist who wants to kill their enemies? A LOT. "To liberate Frisia" How many people know what Frisia is? Okay, maybe those two arguments weren't the best, but this one tops it all. "Leaver dea as slaef." No one, except Frisians, knows what it means. Why would you put that into your trailer?

Community above Quality
We've put two pc's next of each other. On one you could play Convoy's demo, and on the other one you could play CotD demo. Guess which one was liked more? CotD was liked more. Feedback was: "Better graphics, smoother gameplay, better sound, funny story, not repetitive". CotD is a waaay better game than Convoy. Your quality exceeds their limit. But why do you think Convoy raised 200% of their set goal on Kickstarter? You can't show your quality to a massive crowd from afar.


I hope this post ignites a spark within Cross of the Dutchman's team. If interested in our research (profielwerkstuk), I would happily sent it your way. Just ask for it.

Just a few more steps

~IronFangz

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Re: Community?

Postby USSGreatePier » 19 Jun 2015, 20:35

Ironfangz wrote:I'm not trying to be salty here, but uhmm


It ain't sweet either, haha! But I have to say, that was a very extensive and comprehensive break down of the situation.

Now, let me start out by saying that it, of course, is not a battle between 2 game developer teams in the end, but the comparison made is definitely a good one. And kind of shocking.

You noted a few differences between Convoy and CotD. One additional difference I'd like to add is the fact that Triangle is simultaneously working on multiple projects, as far as I understand. That also, purportedly, was the reason why a while back the where concentrating on another release, shelving CotD somewhere in the mouldy back reaches of the company fridge. Like I pointed out in the Ambassador's section of this forum a couple days back: this forum is over 4 years old and the original release was aimed at "3rd quarter of 2012"... Check your calendar. Nuff said.

Ironfangz wrote:As seen above, CotD had better chances of succeeding their campaign.


Personally I think the main reason it failed was because of the set goal. They aimed too high for no good reason. If they put €10,000 instead of that whopping €50,000 they would have had a pile of cash to dig in to. Now they got nothing. Neither do we.

And Remco, if you ever read this, don't feel like this is an attack on you personally or your wonderful company. I've seen the stuff you guys and gals produced and it simply oozes quality. A lot has been said about the delays already as well as the lack of updates; I don't really like to kick a dead horse, but the above post by our friend Ironfangz is too well-written, well-researched and interesting to not respond to :lol:

Ironfangz wrote:Community is the crux of success of a game. (...) A strong and active community will attract more and more people, which leads to success. Creating a friendly environment for players to interact with the developers is the key for success for companies such as CotD and Convoy. Our research proves that (...) daily updates and interaction with developers leads to an active community. Simply putting daily messages on the blog takes a little time, but your supporters love it. This is what CotD lacks and Convoy does right.


You've just made an observation which I, for a long time already, have seen as the biggest problem with this project (next to the lack of a finished product). Triangle has seriously dropped the ball here. For a while, Steven_ and especially Bram provided us with regular updates. What happened to that community staff position? Such a freaking important thing. Even if it was just to upload a Picture of the Week or whatever.

Ironfangz wrote:I am unable to comment on the blogs.


That has been mentioned a few times before. I bet the feedback given on new pictures and articles must've been important to the devs when it was still possible to give feedback... But the fact you cannot give feedback now seems trivial due to no new articles being posted. Last one dates from 164 days ago.

Ironfangz wrote:forum: No activity. ((apart from USS, you are amazing))


Aww shucks :oops: But that is supposed to be "amazingly patient", especially since I donated fairly considerably (imho) to the project with nothing to show for.

Pick up the ball, folks.

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 22 Jun 2015, 12:09

USSGreatePier wrote:And Remco, if you ever read this, don't feel like this is an attack on you personally or your wonderful company. I've seen the stuff you guys and gals produced and it simply oozes quality. A lot has been said about the delays already as well as the lack of updates; I don't really like to kick a dead horse, but the above post by our friend Ironfangz is too well-written, well-researched and interesting to not respond to :lol:


I could probably write a book about what we should have done differently in the many years that CotD has been with our company. We probably should have cancelled the game many times over, but as I mentioned when we released the demo, we're too close to the finish to quit now.

Ironfangs - I really appreciate your post, I'm reading it multiple times and will write you a proper reply. As for not responding to your request, I'm sorry. We receive dozens of requests from students and we simply cannot keep up with them.

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Re: Community?

Postby Robert » 22 Jun 2015, 13:11

Hey guys,

Thank you so much for the post. It is great to read that you guys are still excited for our game. First a small introduction about myself: I am Robert and about 6 months ago I started at Triangle Studios where I am responsible for the community/marketing of our games. We recently released our first game on Steam, It came from space, and ate our brains on March 19, 2015 and have been very busy with that game (and Cross of the Dutchman) since that date.

The answer to your question, 'Is it ever going to finish?' is: YES!! It must be destiny, faith or whatever you want to call it, since we are actually planning to announce A LOT of stuff this Friday! We will release our new trailer, new screenshots, press releases and update the website. (new articles, update pages etc.)

I am of course be very interested in your report, but I also do have to apologize that we didn't reply to you in the first place. If you could send the report to me that would be great. You can reach me at: miedema [at] triangle-studios.com and I will definitely take a good look at it! I am sure it would be a great read and give us some insight in what other people think about our game. If you have any other questions or comments you can also reach me directly on that e-mail, or write me at the forums.

Regarding Bram and Steven, they were both interns for our company. They successfully completed their internships in terms of a good grade and approval from their university. We should have communicated to the community that they are no longer working for us.

Stay tuned for more information and hope to speak to you guys more frequently!

- Robert

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 22 Jun 2015, 16:30

Disclaimer

I wanted to make sure I replied to both your posts properly. I'm deleting parts that are very obvious, but do know that I really appreciate you guys taking the time and posting here, even though we have not given you much reason to do so for a (long) while.

Ironfangz wrote:Is it ever going to finish?


As Robert just mentioned: Yes. It's actually complete and we're dotting the I's and crossing (pun intended) the T's.

I used to check this website daily, then weekly... monthly... ... I'm about to say annually.

Front page: No updates
blogs: No updates
forum: No activity. ((apart from USS, you are amazing))


One of the aspects we underestimated a great deal is the amount of time it costs to run a community and a company at the same time. Even with Timen helping me out with the technical stuff, about 90% of all content came from me personally. On a regular day, I'm also making sure that we have enough work for about 15 people and that meant that when news was spread thin, we kept losing track of the website.

We tried to interview both companies. We were invited over to have a conversation with lead developer of Convoy Games (Ikr, that title sounds delicious). But we got no response from CotD. ---> I'll come back to this later.


Sorry we did not reply to your request. As I've stated in my previous message, the amount of messages we get from students, teachers, people looking for a job and even parents is incredible. I could hire someone full-time to answer all these messages and there would still be a backlog. Truth be told, If I was aware that you were doing a project, we would have gladly participated.

The interview showed us their approach to their campaign. It was very simple. Two of the three developers continued working on the game, whilst the remaining developer updated their blog daily. CotD was mentioned during the conversation. They bluntly stated that CotD wasted money on coffee instead of spending it into their game. Ofcourse, this insult lacks context, but allow me to explain. What they tried to say is that CotD pushes their efforts away for a long time, then take it back up again to continue working on their game. These pauses aren't good for anyone.


Kind of stings to hear that people from a fellow studio are talking down on my company. I always have tough time not taking that too personal. I've never actually spoken to the Convoy guys, and don't know them personally. But please do imagine the rage when there are 15 people in an office and no coffee. The comparison is just absurd.

They are correct when they say that pauses are not good for a project, I fully agree. But pauses are needed when you have a burn-rate of about 35-40 euros per month, since we are actually paying the people who work here. That means that last year, we invested another 150k just to make sure we finish the game. Could have gone on a long holiday for even a small percentage of that money.

Importancy of Community
Community is the crux of success of a game. If there is no one to support the game, no one to buy the game... In worst case it will make the company bankrupt. A strong and active community will attract more and more people, which leads to success.


You are 100% correct. It is actually the reason why we started this website in the first place. Heck, one of the most important reasons for choosing to build a game around a folk-legend is because we knew we were able to get ambassadors attached to the project. What we underestimated (several times) is the incredible amount of effort it would take to build a game like this.

Trailers too, during the interview Convoy showed their trailer. Then they googled CotD's trailer for comparison.


I cut a fair bit of your text, but this reply is valid for all of it. I dont want to make this a "defence" thing, since you make some valid points but I will say that I'm still happy with how that Teaser trailer came out. It did not show any footage because at the time we either had nothing, or nothing of the quality what we were looking for. We're still quite fond of the texts and if you hate it, you're probably not going to like the upcoming trailer :)

Community above Quality
We've put two pc's next of each other. On one you could play Convoy's demo, and on the other one you could play CotD demo. Guess which one was liked more? CotD was liked more. Feedback was: "Better graphics, smoother gameplay, better sound, funny story, not repetitive". CotD is a waaay better game than Convoy. Your quality exceeds their limit. But why do you think Convoy raised 200% of their set goal on Kickstarter? You can't show your quality to a massive crowd from afar.


You can't imagine how happy this makes me. Not that people liked our game over another, but that people pointed out those things we deemed most important for our project. We have kept metrics of people playing the demo and have seen that people have finished it multiple times, sometimes taking even more time than the initial run. I really hope this means that people are appreciating the quality and type of gameplay we've chosen. If this is the case, we're in good shape for the full game.

I hope this post ignites a spark within Cross of the Dutchman's team. If interested in our research (profielwerkstuk), I would happily sent it your way. Just ask for it.


Please do share your document with Robert. He has focused on our other game for a couple of months, but we intend to do the very same for CotD. Difference is that we're finally ready to show what the game is all about. We've never before reached that stage in the entire project.

USSGreatePier wrote:One additional difference I'd like to add is the fact that Triangle is simultaneously working on multiple projects, as far as I understand. That also, purportedly, was the reason why a while back the where concentrating on another release, shelving CotD somewhere in the mouldy back reaches of the company fridge. Like I pointed out in the Ambassador's section of this forum a couple days back: this forum is over 4 years old and the original release was aimed at "3rd quarter of 2012"... Check your calendar. Nuff said.


You have a great way of putting these things, but it is correct. I've mentioned our burn rate before. Multiply by 13 and you've got a picture of what we need to make just to break even. That unfortunately means that without an investor, we're funding the project out of our own pockets. We decided for that time and time again, but I don't even want to think about the absurd amount of money this project has cost.

Personally I think the main reason it failed was because of the set goal. They aimed too high for no good reason. If they put €10,000 instead of that whopping €50,000 they would have had a pile of cash to dig in to. Now they got nothing. Neither do we.


Know that, in 2012 - Stretch goals and low targets were not being used. We tought that if we could get the 50k funded, we would be OK with spending the additional 100 - 150k ourselves. We ended up doing that without support of the crowd.

And Remco, if you ever read this, don't feel like this is an attack on you personally or your wonderful company. I've seen the stuff you guys and gals produced and it simply oozes quality. A lot has been said about the delays already as well as the lack of updates; I don't really like to kick a dead horse, but the above post by our friend Ironfangz is too well-written, well-researched and interesting to not respond to :lol:


I don't, and you're correct. Know that everybody in this office knows about you and how dedicated you are. We've often kept going knowing that people like you wanted to see the game finished.

You've just made an observation which I, for a long time already, have seen as the biggest problem with this project (next to the lack of a finished product). Triangle has seriously dropped the ball here. For a while, Steven_ and especially Bram provided us with regular updates. What happened to that community staff position? Such a freaking important thing. Even if it was just to upload a Picture of the Week or whatever.


All I can say is: Sorry. There were good reasons on our side, but It did some serious damage to the project. I hope we'll be able to make up for it. But as you said; we've finally got something to show for.

Aww shucks :oops: But that is supposed to be "amazingly patient", especially since I donated fairly considerably (imho) to the project with nothing to show for.


And that money was received in tenfold when it comes to morale boost. I think you're awesome for sticking around all this time.

Pick up the ball, folks.


Friday.

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Re: Community?

Postby Steven_ » 25 Jun 2015, 13:11

Very interesting topic for a 'profielwerkstuk' :shock:

On the topic of community management/marketing for video games, you could write a whole book on that, as I found out during my internship. One of the main problems is that there is no proven way that always works, there is also some luck involved. I.e. getting featured on a well known website, Youtube channel, etc. You can do everything you can to make this happen (and Triangle did), but there is no certainty that the game will be 'picked up' by the press (unless perhaps you have the right connections). There are hundreds of indie games coming out/being announced every month, and only few get the attention they deserve, pretty much regardless of the quality of the game.

Anyway, looking forward to the new updates :D

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 25 Jun 2015, 14:29

For those people who are lucky enough tho receive Omroep Leo, check the 6pm news today :-)

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Re: Community?

Postby Steven_ » 25 Jun 2015, 18:13

Remco wrote:For those people who are lucky enough tho receive Omroep Leo, check the 6pm news today :-)


Just saw it on Omroep Leo's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo9xuZuB-m0

Awesome stuff and a release date :D

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 26 Jun 2015, 08:30

https://youtu.be/hW0iBXYsH8o

This link is better ;-)

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 26 Jun 2015, 09:36

Aaaand ... the word is out!

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Re: Community?

Postby USSGreatePier » 26 Jun 2015, 10:05

Good news, good trailer :)

Didn't have a Steam account yet (no, really...), but now I do, hehe... I'll figure out how to greenlight the project later today; it seems I need to do a $5 purchase first, hehe :roll:

I'll post a more extensive comment later today also regarding previous post in this thread. Work calls :x blah

Also, just saw you allow forum registration again. Good! 8-)

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Re: Community?

Postby Batroel » 26 Jun 2015, 11:38

Hi there guys!!
Just saw this early morning your future game in steam greenlight. Pretty excited to see more of it, and I love games with real historical background. I hope you get greenlit soon!!
And I want to read that novel! How much time left for the english version??

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 26 Jun 2015, 11:44

Batroel wrote:Hi there guys!!
Just saw this early morning your future game in steam greenlight. Pretty excited to see more of it, and I love games with real historical background. I hope you get greenlit soon!!
And I want to read that novel! How much time left for the english version??


Welcome! We have some news with regards to the novel soon, but I'm afraid an English version is still a bit off. Translation costs make it pretty difficult to finance it, but we're trying to find a way to include an e-book version with the game for those who purchase it on Steam.

USSGreatePier wrote:Also, just saw you allow forum registration again. Good! 8-)


Good to see your reply!

Fingers crossed for the spambots ...

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Re: Community?

Postby Batroel » 26 Jun 2015, 11:50

I would get that ebook! even though I prefer physical books and damn, I missed the kickstarter 3 years ago :(

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 26 Jun 2015, 11:52

Perhaps if the game is a success there is some ground for a physical English version. We had to put all that on hold until we've reached the next stage with the game, so getting green-lit and published might improve our chances for the book as well.

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Re: Community?

Postby USSGreatePier » 26 Jun 2015, 14:11

Remco wrote:Kind of stings to hear that people from a fellow studio are talking down on my company. I always have tough time not taking that too personal. I've never actually spoken to the Convoy guys, and don't know them personally. But please do imagine the rage when there are 15 people in an office and no coffee. The comparison is just absurd.


No coffee? I need to donate some more :lol:

Remco wrote:Know that, in 2012 - Stretch goals and low targets were not being used. We tought that if we could get the 50k funded, we would be OK with spending the additional 100 - 150k ourselves. We ended up doing that without support of the crowd.


Admirable. And no one can ever say you didn't have balls doing this project, hehe...

Remco wrote:Know that everybody in this office knows about you and how dedicated you are. We've often kept going knowing that people like you wanted to see the game finished.


If it takes forum spamming and semi-trolling to keep it going, that's what we'll do, haha... But I'm sure that you, a long time ago, must have thought: "We've invested too much into this project already to NOT release it." Investment as in financial and as in a sick amount of research and labour. I'm very glad to see you've actually picked a date to release this behemoth digital monument of Frisian culture. I just hope it makes a bit of cash for ya. For as far as I know, the game will appeal to people other than those from the Frisian gene pool. Anyone who loves a good fighting game with sweet graphics and music will probably be interested as well despite perhaps not even knowing who that Pier guy even is.

Remco wrote:And that money was received in tenfold when it comes to morale boost. I think you're awesome for sticking around all this time.


Actually I'm here because I have no choice. I've been locked in a dank basement! SEND HELP!! :o

USSGreatePier wrote:Pick up the ball, folks.

Remco wrote:Friday.


Ball detected! And it seems to be bouncing :)

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 26 Jun 2015, 15:35

USSGreatePier wrote:If it takes forum spamming and semi-trolling to keep it going, that's what we'll do, haha... But I'm sure that you, a long time ago, must have thought: "We've invested too much into this project already to NOT release it." Investment as in financial and as in a sick amount of research and labour. I'm very glad to see you've actually picked a date to release this behemoth digital monument of Frisian culture. I just hope it makes a bit of cash for ya. For as far as I know, the game will appeal to people other than those from the Frisian gene pool. Anyone who loves a good fighting game with sweet graphics and music will probably be interested as well despite perhaps not even knowing who that Pier guy even is.


To be realistic; chances are pretty slim that the project is going to break even. But with the release of "From Space" back in March, we've seen that things can go pretty quickly if you end up getting featured by the right people. Maybe after the game is out, I'll write an article about the finances of this project. Would be a nice case study ...

Oh and just so you know: You're the main reason why we've even kept the boards open :-) Most people have moved to facebook and twitter and there is a much higher chance of messages being read by a large group of people, but we knew the people on the board were still logging in every now and then so we kept it going.

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Re: Community?

Postby Thagarr » 26 Jun 2015, 18:51

Ahoy mates, sorry I haven't been around for a while, I haven't had a lot of free time lately. I just wanted to say that I am absolutely ecstatic to see this game up for voting on Steam Greenlight! From what I have read, it has gotten a pretty good reception so far!

I also wanted to congratulate you all on a fantastic job of not giving up! I know some of the struggles you all have faced, and I know it was touch and go there for a while. I can't wait to play the full version, I am sure you will be Greenlit pretty quickly! I have posted a front page article and will use our Twitter account to try and help as much as I can!

I am also glad to see the forum still up and running, social media may be nice and all, but nothing beats a good forum!!

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Re: Community?

Postby Steven_ » 26 Jun 2015, 20:20

Judging on the amount of comments CotD is getting on Greenlight, it will be Greenlit in no-time :O

Over 300 comments in 11 hours, that's pretty impressive.

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Re: Community?

Postby USSGreatePier » 26 Jun 2015, 22:39

Remco wrote:To be realistic; chances are pretty slim that the project is going to break even. (...) Maybe after the game is out, I'll write an article about the finances of this project. Would be a nice case study ...


Would be an interesting read 8-) Let's hope it does well enough to bring a smile to the team's faces, hehe...

Remco wrote:Oh and just so you know: You're the main reason why we've even kept the boards open :-)


LOL! :roll: :!:

Remco wrote:Most people have moved to facebook and twitter and there is a much higher chance of messages being read by a large group of people, but we knew the people on the board were still logging in every now and then so we kept it going.


Like the Facebook page was flooded with news, haha! Maybe I'm getting old, but those social media things aren't really my cup of tea. I do have an FB account (not in my real name, hehe) so I can keep in contact with a few friends who refuse to be social in any other way it seems, haha...

And hi Thagarr, good to see you drop by again! I'm sure you'll stay tuned since the game's actually going to be released pretty soon...

Oh, and I also have voted for CotD on Steam of course. I had to register an account first and also buy some silly cheap game before I was allowed to vote... But comments on Steam are definitely positive. I'm getting myself a sweet Deluxe version, hehehe...

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 27 Jun 2015, 10:13

Woke up this morning to see that we've cracked the top-50 on Steam Greenlight! :mrgreen:

Responses to the game are very positive, which gives a big boost of confidence for the next steps!

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Re: Community?

Postby Steven_ » 29 Jun 2015, 21:24

Remco wrote:Woke up this morning to see that we've cracked the top-50 on Steam Greenlight! :mrgreen:

Responses to the game are very positive, which gives a big boost of confidence for the next steps!


Number 10! I have to say this exceeds my expectations! :D

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Re: Community?

Postby Remco » 30 Jun 2015, 08:12

It's done! :celebrate:

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Re: Community?

Postby USSGreatePier » 30 Jun 2015, 09:52

Remco wrote:It's done! :celebrate:


Awesome! Congratz! :D

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Re: Community?

Postby Batroel » 30 Jun 2015, 12:32

Gratz being greenlited!!! that it took just 4 days is a record!

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