PR Day

Hey Folks!

Bit of an early news post today, as we have dinner plans for later and I won't be around at the usual time.

NEO Scavenger continues to do well on the market. There was finally an uptick in direct sales here (yay!), and Steam seems to be quite strong still. One of the cooler surprises was finding NEO Scavenger on Steam's main capsule! And I'm happy to report that I still saw it there today.

The Steam main capsule is a pretty coveted spot for any developer. It pretty much means front-and-center to millions of users each day, so it's about the best marketing one can get. It's also not a guarantee to get that spot, as I learned when asking if I could be promoted there. So it's very cool to be "allowed at the grown-ups' table at Thanksgiving dinner," so to speak.

Most of today was still spent catching up on messages, press requests, and other PR. I also managed to swoop through the tech support forums. We're starting to accumulate a list of bugs already, so it looks like we may be ripe for a patch when I'm back from vacation. Fortunately, they still seem to be mostly minor or uncommon (or both).

I have to say, I'm a little surprised to see NEO Scavenger still being praised as strongly as it is. I think the initial wave of excitement has given way to impostor syndome again, where I wait for someone to pull the rug from beneath me. I think part of it is that the game's simple graphics always lulled people into lowering their expectations. And now, with critical acclaim and good user reviews, I'm worried they'll be disappointed.

Fortunately, that other shoe hasn't dropped yet. But it hasn't stopped me from feeling nervous :) Despite that, however, all signs point to NEO Scavenger being a solid entertainer. I'm thrilled that people are enjoying it so much!

Apart from that, not much else to report today, so I'll see you all tomorrow!


Banjo's picture

Congrats again... can't say that enough, even though it seems odd for me personally to be treating NeoScavenger as "new" after 2+ years here! :)

One thing I felt compelled to say, though, was that it was the art style that actually attracted ME most to the game... enjoying the gameplay came later! I still love the look (and resulting feel) of the game (great sprite art, solid interface, right balance of text vs imagery) and wouldn't trade it for a different (arguably more "modern") one for anything.

Oh, and I just realized that not only did I buy more indie games this year than AAA titles, as well as playing MANY MANY more hours of them than the big boys' "blockbusters", nearly a third of my gaming time this year was spent playing (or modding/messing with) NeoScavenger! No joke! :D

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

matsy's picture

I would like to echo that it is strange to see the game as new! Really surprised at the reported influx of people buying it!

Can I ask, what feature you were most disappointed about not getting in to the game?

dcfedor's picture

Yeah, it is a bit weird to see the game as differently on this side of launch. Maybe there's an analogy with hiking/climbing: each step is incrementally further, but the big view everyone cares about is when you crest the top!

I love the art style, too. It's maybe a few incremental steps below my ideal, but the overworld map and item art is pretty much what I prefer if given a choice in other games. The views in games like Ethan Carter are astounding, of course, but pixel art feels more enjoyable to me. Maybe it's the fact that it reminds me of toys? Or maybe it hits the right balance of real vs. suggested detail?

@matsy, I'm not sure if I could pick just one. I definitely had planned on there being more vehicles, for example. ATVs, pickup trucks, bicycles, etc. I wanted crafting of firearms from individual parts. I wanted more DMC places to visit. More traps. More skills and flaws. Seasonal tile artwork...

Plus, there are several systems I think would've made for better mechanics and to make my life easier. Things like separating hunger from nutrition, fatigue from sleep deprivation, and mental states such as hallucination. I never managed to make attack modes deliver conditions to the target. And making items have conditions like creatures do would've been cool (e.g. wet, torn, burning, faulty, etc.)

I think probably my biggest regret is not having a larger variety of meaningful endings. I had a few other paths in mind which ended very differently than the current ending, albeit less satisfying or conclusive. I think it would've been cool to add them, as some raised interesting questions about the story's premise.

On the other hand, having a deadline probably made the game better overall, since it forced me to triage more effectively and polish things that needed it. I'm just glad I'll have the opportunity to make more games :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

matsy's picture

I think with a game like this there is an endless possibilities, and like you said you've got to stop at some point!

Great news that you will be able to, I've really enjoyed reading your blog!