Pteroglider Postmortem + Full Version is now Free

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by codeminion, May 18, 2008.

  1. codeminion

    Indie Author

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    Hi. On my blog I wrote a short postmortem of one of our older games - Pteroglider - and we decided to make the full version of the game available for free. You can read it here: http://codeminion.com/blogs/maciek/2008/05/pteroglider-full-version-free/

    Here is also a direct download link for the full version (11.2 MB): http://www.codeminion.com/blogs/maciek/files/Pteroglider_Full_Setup.exe

    Please note that the game requires DX 9.

    Some screenshots:
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/screens/4.jpg
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/screens/5.jpg
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/screens/8.jpg

    And movies from the game (about 4MB each):
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/movies/Pteroglider_Stage2.avi
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/movies/Pteroglider_Stage3.avi
    http://www.codeminion.com/pteroglider/movies/Pteroglider_Stage4.avi

    I hope you can learn from our mistakes. Cheers!
    Maciej
     
  2. MindToy Games

    MindToy Games New Member

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    Failure can sometimes be a good thing. My second game for Stormcloud Creations, Conquer, was a very good example of this. After the success of Interstellar Trader, my head was a bit...shall we say, full, and I thought, "Eh, probably anything I make, people will buy!".

    After investing 4 months and about 1/2 the profits of Trader into the game (to the tune of $1,000+ USD), I released Conquer, what turned out (in retrospect) to not be a very good game. It was too simple, and limited in gameplay, and a bit buggy too. I sold 4 copies total in 3 months, then pulled the plug on the game in disgust.

    I learned a very valuable lesson though. :eek:
     
  3. elias4444

    elias4444 New Member

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    I downloaded the game and tried it. Yes, the controls were WAY too advanced for a casual game (I couldn't seem to coordinate well enough to navigate and shoot at the same time).

    However, the graphics are really nice, and the game itself seems pretty solid. Did you ever consider fixing the control scheme and re-releasing? I think if you dummied down the controls and took a more typical scrolling-space-shooter approach to the game, it could have been a decent seller.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  4. gonative4

    gonative4 New Member

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    I liked the controls alot. The reason I liked them was because it gave me the ability to control the ship and the gun separately. I think this game is great.
     
  5. codeminion

    Indie Author

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    Yes :). We've considered upgrading Pteroglider many times, but we always felt that our time would be better spent on other projects. Ones that were properly designed and suited for the right market from the start. Perhaps one day we will make something like this, but it is not in our plans for the next year.

    Thanks for the kind words. This in one of the reasons we didn't want to make the game dumber with normal controls. There is a small amount of people who enjoy the game and they would be very disappointed if we stripped out our only USP. Basically that is also why we have decided to make the game free.
     
  6. codeminion

    Indie Author

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    One more thing. Does anyone know any good sites to submit free downloadable games? So far I have submitted Pteroglider to GameHippo.com, but I'm sure there must be many similar sites to share free games.
     
  7. Pallav Nawani

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    The controls work well.

    The postmortems are always a good read. It would have been great if you went more in detail about what you learnt about shooter mechanics.

    Its a good game, well polished, but too fast for me.
     
  8. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Nice read but really could of done with more details.

    I actually remember wanting to check out Pteroglider around the time it came out as it was competition for my Xeno Assault games. Though I couldn't actually get the game to run back then. I had DX9 installed but I remember having all kinds of issues playing games that required DX9 and I had a fairly decent spec PC at the time. Just tried it and I've got to say it's really nice visually. I think going with DX7, improving the GUI and adding some kind of basic story would have seriously improved sales (not convinced controls were *that* big an issue)

    The control scheme is identical to the one in my latest game.
     
    #8 Nexic, May 19, 2008
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  9. chillypacman

    chillypacman Guest

    It's a pity, something tells me had you released the game today rather than three years ago and maybe cut down on the difficult it could have been quite successful.

    I agree with whoever it said that it might do better in a japanese market. It's very asiany, though that might just be because all those arcade shooters tend to be fairly difficult games.
     
  10. JoshuaSmyth

    Original Member

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    Funny, this was the exact control scheme I was tempted to use in my next game.

    I took my my 2D shooter game, refactored the control scheme and went "Gees, this is really hard, I have to really redesign the levels and the enemy movement patterns otherwise everyone will just get owned"

    Good Read, I like shooters - Would be nice to hear of some more success stories in this genre though :)
     
  11. codeminion

    Indie Author

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    I'd be happy to expand on the article if I knew what you'd like to hear.
    I hope your game does better than Pteroglider. Judging from the feedback we received after launching the game the control scheme was the single most important issue that made most players unable to enjoy the game.

    But I am sure that the control scheme could work fine provided you have proper balance with first levels extremely easy and some good rewards to drive the player while he is learning the hand coordination necessary to play the game.
     
  12. Nexic

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    I agree, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the controls themselves. It's just that the tricky controls mixed with a high starting difficulty made it unplayable for most. When you can't win at a game you tend to try and justify it with something like "these controls are stupid!" rather than "i'm not good enough". My game is doing nicely with those controls, and titles like Crimsonland, Alien Shooter series, and RIP did well with the same setup.

    As for details I guess I meant that the article felt a little short. I don't know what specifically I'd like to hear about, just generally more of it.
     
  13. Pallav Nawani

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    I am not nexic, but I'll tell you what I'd like to hear.

    I'd like to see you talking about things like these:

    When I played pteroglider, I noted that the player's ship was too wide, making it difficult to avoid bullets. That added to difficulty. Generally, in harder games, the player's ships are smaller.
     
  14. oNyx

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    >I have a feeling this game would have done better in Japan.

    The competition is pretty stiff. There are really a lot of excellent dōjin titles. Additionally, this one doesn't feel very Japanese. The hitbox is huge, far too much inertia, a life bar, it's impossible to play it without getting hit once (hard is ok, impossible is not), no quirky chain/combo system, doesn't work with a joypad, etc.

    The graphics are excellent though. Even if those blue bonus thingies look more dangerous than anything else on screen. It's really sad to see those things go down the drain.
     
  15. codeminion

    Indie Author

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    Theoretically we could do some simple fixes to the game and try to re-launch it and check how it does on different markets, but frankly speaking currently our quality bar is much higher. I think that our progression can easily be seen with Pteroglider -> Magic Match -> StoneLoops -> Saqqarah. Today we wouldn't feel comfortable releasing a "Pteroglider-quality" game even if we know we could earn a few bucks this way.

    Releasing the game for free was the only thing that came to our heads other than letting it cover in dust in some dark corners of our hard drives. This way we can at least use the free game to get some more traffic to our website. So I'd like to repeat my question ;) Does anyone know some good websites to submit free games?
     
  16. oNyx

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    Hm. Traffic and backlinks. You could release the assets under some "give me a backlink and put me in the readme and credits" license. If someone creates something good with it it's your win. And even if a hundred people only create some crap games with it, you'll still get a bunch of backlinks.

    Personally I don't have any use for that kind of stuff right now, but I've often seen how everyone and his dog jump on any free content they can get.

    It's worth a shot perhaps. It's almost free after all. The only price is a bit of time and some traffic.
     
  17. aiursrage2k

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    Glad to see there are at least 32 people out there that enjoy shooters! :D
     

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