I got good news and bad news. The good news is that Shadow Regiment is now in beta testing, and we’ve been getting mountains of good feedback from our testers. I’d think that we’re probably about two weeks from putting Shadow Regiment up on bidding on FGL.
That’s the good news. As for the bad news, well…
Aetherpunk has been out for five days now. According to Mochibot, it has averaged about 3000-4000 views a day, with a grand total (so far) of about 15000 views as of the writing of this post. Now, that might not seem so bad, but the fact is, five days after release, Master of Fortresses had about 20 times as many views, and was reviewed much better. By comparison, Aetherpunk has been pushed off the front pages (if it ever made it to them at all) and has has been downvoted into the lithosphere.
It hurts, it hurts a lot, to know that a year’s worth of work is being disparaged by people for, sometimes perfectly valid reasons. It hurts to know that we’d be lucky to hit the first milestone of our performance-based payment plan, and it hurts that 39 Games, who gave us a sponsorship when nobody else would, is probably not even going to make that money back. I want to be angry about it, but I can’t, I have no right to be, especially because, as far as I know, a very large part of the problem with Aetherpunk (and there is, for the most part, only one major issue) was my design decision.
I’m not saying that the people at Mochimedia gave us an unfair deal or anything. They were easy enough to work with, and helped us with our launch-day issues very promptly. Their tech support was helpful, and if I had a choice, I’d work with them again. The thing is, I probably won’t, not for a long time.
The fact seems to be that people hate spending money in a game which they think should be free. Even when they can get a fully featured game without spending a cent of their money. Maybe they don’t realize that we have to make money somehow, maybe they don’t care. The fact is, we’ve been catching a lot of hate for putting premium content into Aetherpunk, hate means downvotes, downvotes means that we get kicked off of front-pages quickly, getting kicked off of front pages means losing views. The sponsors on FGL knew this, which was why none of them really tried to bid on Aetherpunk, we did too, but we figured that it was good enough to bring in enough to make back the money we’d lost on a sponsorship.
So we aren’t going to be using Mochicoins again, not for a while. It’s no fault of theirs, it’s just that we need to make better games, or different kinds of games, before we’re able to try this sort of thing again.
Until then, we focus on Shadow Regiment, and we win our pride back.