There are success stories of indie games, which some players may classify as the result of hard work or perhaps just luck, sometimes being a mix of both. This is what I personally believe has happened to an indie developer, who, according to what he said in a Reddit post, did not spend a single cent on the development, promotion and publication of his game, which has reached 35,000 copies sold in the first month after its release on Steam.
This is the game Dwarves: Glory, Death and Loot, which on its Valve platform page, the developer describes as a combination of classic role-playing games, roguelikes and auto-battlers, in which you must create an army of dwarves. fully customized and lead them to victory. “Create strategies with up to 10 beardies in this Annihilate orcs, fight trolls and fight dragons: there will be glory, death and enormous amounts of loot,” invites the game description.
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A very well received technical alpha and demo
In his publication where he tells his story, he indicates that he is not good at telling them, so he prefers to simply provide “some concrete data on his development. Starting with something that astonishes, ensuring that his game was created with a total budget of $0, even receiving donations from the prototype published on itch.io, which served to cover the $100 Steam fee.
“I’ve been programming for about 15 years and have been doing game development very casually for about 7 years. This was the first time I put a game on Steam and sold it. When the idea for the game came up, I was really just thinking about creating a little game for myself and maybe some friends,” he says.
And among the data he provided, he says that after installing Unity, he published a prototype/technical alpha on itch.io on August 31, 2022, then sharing the link on Reddit, having more than a thousand downloads in the first 24 hours. So due to this success, he continued posting on relevant Reddit channels to find people to try out the free demo game, setting up a very basic Steam page for the game in November 2022, as he thought “there could be potential to sell the game.” ”.
Generating interest thanks to streamers
Technical alpha that a couple of streamers started playing, creating a lot of interest among their fans. The publication highlights SplatterCat, who has more than 100 thousand followers on Twitch, resulting in more than 2,500 people adding his game to their wish lists on Steam. Something very similar to what happened when, after launching the technical alpha of itch.io as a demo on Steam in December 2022, it was started to be played by a Chinese streamer on bilibili, uploading videos that at that time exceeded the 500 thousand views and which generated an increase in traffic to the demo, although not many wish lists, since the game was only available in English.
And from there it was a great journey for the developer, since among other things, a Spanish YouTuber made a video about the game, which generated about 500 additional wish lists, leading him to translate the game into Spanish. Furthermore, he reached an agreement with a Chinese publisher (April 2023), exclusive for Chinese regions with Gamersky and was contacted by around 15 publishers, deciding to also translate the game into Chinese. This was mainly due to the successful bilibili video.
A successful launch
This is how on the day of launch, Dwarves: Glory, Death and Loot had more than 3,000 users who added it to their wish lists and sold around 8,000 copies in the first 24 hours, reaching a maximum of 2,382 users. concurrent on August 22, 2023.
“I became a “Next Hot” game in several countries a week before launch and two days before on Steam’s global charts. Approximately 1 month after launch, the game has a total of 50,000 wishlists and 35,000 copies have been sold.” indicates the developer.
A story that complements a publication on the site How To Market A Game, telling experiences with social networks such as Instagram or TikTok, and that in its publication on Reddit has generated very positive responses from users who are just beginning the path to creating a game . Among them, one tells him that: “This is an excellent role model for people, storytelling skills be damned. I love the art style you chose. I’ve started to dive into creating a game and I also want to make sprites/2D. Great achievements for your success.”
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