Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Fech The Ferret: A High-Speed Platformer

 As a fan of platformers, I was excited to try Fech The Ferret and it definitely did not disappoint. The fast-paced gameplay and electronic music soundtrack really set it apart from other games in the genre, and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the experience. Developed using Unity3D by the small team Aucritas!


One of the things I really enjoyed about Fech The Ferret was the parkour elements, which allowed me to explore the different interconnected zones in the game and discover new high-skill routes to try. The level design was top-notch, with each zone feeling unique and offering a variety of challenges for the player. The rhythm-based cave levels were a particularly nice touch, adding an extra layer of challenge to the game and keeping things interesting.

The main character, Fech (a pink ferret), was a charming and likable protagonist, and I enjoyed following his adventure as he woke up in a strange forest and set out to discover more about the region of Marmocle.



The story, while relatively simple, was engaging and added a nice layer of depth to the gameplay. It is impossible don't think about Sonic (by SEGA) playing this game! If you are a fan of the Sonic's Saga, probably you have to play it! It is already translated in English, Italian, Spanish, French and German. With a free demo on indiexpo to play on your PC. It was also included in the best indie games released during December 2020!

Overall, Fech The Ferret is a fun and engaging indie game that is sure to appeal to fans of platformers and electronic music. Its unique blend of fast-paced gameplay, colorful graphics, and catchy soundtrack make it a standout title in the genre.

I would highly recommend giving it a try if you're a fan of the genre or just looking for a fun and enjoyable gaming experience.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Become the Monkey King in The Crown of Wu

The Crown of Wu is a captivating adventure-action game that takes players on a journey through a fantastical world inspired by the traditional Chinese tale Journey to the West. In this game, players take on the role of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, as they fight against enemies and overcome obstacles in order to retrieve the stolen Crown of Wu.

What is Journey to the West...?

Journey to the West is a Chinese novel that follows the adventures of a monk named Xuanzang as he travels to India to bring back Buddhist scriptures. He is accompanied by three supernatural beings: Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing. Along the way, they face many challenges and obstacles, including fighting demons and monsters, and dealing with greed and temptation. The novel is known for its humorous characters and depiction of Buddhist practice.

But back to this indie game! It was developed by Red Mountain and already published on PlayStation 4 &5! This project has been launched by only students and former students of Trazos participate, directed by our trainer: José Carlos Montero. Students and ex-students of Trazos belonging to different areas of the School participate in this project, such as Video Games or Digital Illustration, in such a way that collaborators have the opportunity to work as a team within a professional environment , approaching the work model that they will find once they enter the industry.

The game's combat system is easy to use and grants players incremental powers as they progress through the levels, making it accessible for players of all skill levels. Players can harness the powers of air, fire, earth, and lightning to defeat enemies and navigate through the dangerous world.

The combat system is fresh and intuitive, and the various powers allow for a range of strategic options in battle.

In addition to combat, The Crown of Wu also features platforming elements that require players to jump, run, and parkour their way through the game's levels. The puzzles and challenges become increasingly complex as players advance through the game, making for an engaging and satisfying gameplay experience.

Developed using Unreal Engine.

The world of The Crown of Wu is a blend of old and new, drawing inspiration from Chinese mythology while telling a new story of Sun's journey from anti-hero to hero. The game's antagonist, Zhu, is waiting to fight and kill you, adding a sense of urgency to the plot.

One ​​day Sun woke up and with great pain he was able to see how chaos and devastation reigned unopposed around him. His crown was gone. From his old prison he watched as everything collapsed around him, it was time to reclaim his crown and restore order. 

The game's levels are varied and beautiful, with a range of environments and locations to explore.

Overall, The Crown of Wu is a thrilling and immersive adventure-action game that combines fast-paced combat with challenging puzzles and platforming elements. Its unique setting and plot make it a stand-out title in the genre, and its easy-to-use combat system and incremental powers make it accessible for players of all skill levels. If you're a fan of adventure-action games, or just love exploring new worlds inspired by mythology, thenThe Crown of Wu is definitely worth checking out!

You can already play the free version on indiexpo website uploaded by the team of Red Mountain!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Skydancer: The Epic RPG for Futuristic Samurai and Lethal Martial Arts!


Skydancer is an RPG indie game, developed by Uran & Polakko,  that stands out from the usual stereotypes of the classic JRPG genre. Set in a dystopian future in post-atomic Japan, the game follows the story of Tatsuke Sanji, a futuristic samurai equipped with a lightsaber and a mecha arm, and Shin Tanaka, a master of a deadly martial art known as "Denryoku jutsu". Together, they must save the world from a cyber-apocalypse and restore order to the chaotic island of Neo Tokyo.

One of the most notable features of Skydancer is its innovative use of the directional keys in combat. Players can use these keys to create more powerful combos and deal more damage to enemies in a single turn. This adds an element of strategy to battles and allows for more dynamic and engaging gameplay.


Skydancer
 also boasts a "chessboard like" level up system, similar to the one seen in Final Fantasy X, which allows players to customize their characters and progress through the game at their own pace. The game also includes a fully custom menu and a tutorial that explains the various gameplay mechanics in detail, such as the protoshell system and the fatality system.

In terms of language options, Skydancer is available in Italian and English, making it accessible to a wider audience. It was developed using RPG Maker 2003, and the developer's attention to detail is evident in the well-crafted world and characters.

Overall, Skydancer is a unique and engaging RPG that offers a fresh take on the genre. Its futuristic setting and focus on martial arts combat make it a must-play for fans of dystopian futures and fist-fighting action.

Monday, January 2, 2023

2022 vs 2021

indiexpo saw approximately a 20% decrease in users and new users in 2022 compared to the previous year. This means that there were fewer people visiting or signing up for the website in 2022 compared to 2021. One possible reason for this decrease could be the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns in many parts of the world in 2021, which may have resulted in more people staying at home and spending more time online.

However, despite this decrease, the number of sessions increased by 20%, with more visits to the website in 2022 than in the previous year.

This suggests that even though the number of users and new users may have decreased, those who did visit the website were returning more frequently.


The average duration of sessions increased by 26%, meaning that users spent more time on the website during each session. This could be a sign that users found the indie games interesting and decided to spend more time browsing it. The bounce rate, or the percentage of users who visit the website and then leave without visiting any other games, decreased by 11%. This means that users showed more interest in the website and browsed more games before leaving.

Direct traffic, or the number of users who type the website's address directly into their browser, increased by 39%. This means that there was an increase in the number of users who visited the website by typing the address directly, likely because they already knew about the website or had heard about it previously. Referral traffic, or the number of users who reached the website by clicking on a link on another website, increased by 43%. This means that there was an increase in the number of users who discovered the website through links on other websites.

When analyzing the geographic location of indiexpo website players, it is observed that traffic from China decreased by 28%, while traffic from America, India, Germany, and France increased by 12%, 53%, 112%, and 15%, respectively. These data show the website's spread to different parts of the world!

Additionally, the number of online games played increased by 24% in 2022 compared to 2021, and also the games downloaded increased by 35% in 2022!

In terms of analyzing traffic acquired by the Indiexpo website, it is important to mention the sources from which the majority of users come and how these sources have changed over the two years. For example, there has been an increase in direct and referral traffic, while organic search and social network traffic have decreased. By providing more detailed and complete information about the indiexpo website's situation and its performance over time, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the website's progress and identify potential areas for improvement.

Talking about specific games, we can see that games like Kingdom of Pixels 2D MOBA, Towerland,  uploaded during the 2022, were the most played during this year. Also Il Viaggio del Saggio, a Rpg Maker game still only in italian, gained a lot of players!

Overall, the data for the indiexpo website in 2022 shows a mix of both positive and negative trends compared to the previous year. While there was a decrease in the number of users and new users and a decrease in organic search and social network traffic, there were also increases in the number of sessions, games per session, average session duration, and direct and referral traffic.

By considering all of these factors and taking into account possible external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to get a more complete picture of the website's performance and identify opportunities for growth and improvement!

Friday, December 16, 2022

indiegames Rewind: The Best of 2022

Rewind 2022 video with the Best Indie Games of this year!

Celebrating the games, developers, players and gamers that made 2022.

Discover the best indie games and free games uploaded during the 2022. 






The games showed are ALL FREE on indiexpo website!

in order of appearance:

by Red Mountain

by Rioweb Entertainment

by Dead Pixel Games

by Christoph Minnameier

by Arcap_Creative

by Dustb0

by Patience

by GameBucks Studios

by MyMadnessWorks

by Hammergames

by Big Loop Studios

by QTX

by Valkyrie Initiative

by Papacubec

Saturday, September 17, 2022

User Stories: 16 Bit Nights - Is it still possible to promote a game using Facebook Groups?

I thought about also sharing with you guys a recent marketing experience with 0 funding, mostly because I assume most of us do marketing ourselves so it automatically becomes part of the game development.

So during this post, I want to: 

  • point out the importance of knowing your target audience;
  • the importance of having good promotional material;
  • my personal experience with Facebook groups promotions;
  • some Facebook algorithms.
Ok, let`s start! 



First-round

I recently remade my Steam thumbnail and what better way to get some promotional material than this?! Also please note that this information is strictly resuming to Facebook groups.

I first posted in pixel art theme groups on Facebook. Why? Because I try to aim for the target audience and what better way than to start on a place where people love pixel art (since the game is also pixel art) and here are the results from day 1:

  1. Pixel art + 35k members = post got 330 likes 30 comments 17 shares​
  2. Pixel Art 29k members = post got 111 likes 25 comments​
  3. Pixel Art Heaven = post got 136 likes and 22 comments​
Results: 1 follower and 20 new wishlist additions.

Conclusion

I am not some high tec guru dark star fapfap button Wizzard master developer, no, I am just like most developers so when I start to see so many like per post I was very excited, normally my posts on those groups get per average 20-30 likes, I was having high expectations for a wishlist so I was a bit disappointed when I saw only 20 new additions. It can also be the fact that some of them already had my game on wishlist since I posted there before from time to time about the game. Anyhow it was a good result and I strongly recommend you make smart posts, for example, I only stated in the post I made these pixel art banners but I did not put any links in the description so people actually asked for a link and only after that I edited and added the link, so try hard not to be a hit&run poster. Also if you want to keep your post up, respond to comments a few days after so that your topic gets bumped up. Please also consider I did not include the private messages received based on this.

Second round

So why haven't I posted in all FB groups the same day?

Because of Facebook algorithms, for example, even though I made the new custom text for all posts, I did have the same 2 pictures uploaded and if facebook sees you post the same comment too many times it will automatically warn you and mark your posts as spam. The second day I decided to target Xcom players because my game is heavily inspired by Xcom, I am not talking just about some art and 1-2 mechanics, no I am talking about the overall game design and the majority of features, heck, my game is basically Xcom in real-time.

Xcom

And note that I posted same 2 picture but I adapted the text, Here are the results:

  1. XCOM players 4k members = post got 80 likes 50 comments​
  2. XCOM: Enemy Withinposting 400 members = post got 14 likes 3 comments​
  3. Xcom 2 2k members = post got 40 likes 8 comments​
Results: 10 followers and 80 new wishlist additions

Conclusion

Based on pixel art communities results, I was expecting around 8-12 wishlist additions so when I saw the results it was clear for me, I first yelled some mumbo-jumbo spartan DarkStar Sailormoon Voltron lines in a weird language then I realized that even though the pixel groups were A LOT bigger then Xcom ones and that I got more engagement on them then on Xcom ones, the more I get closer to the target audience the bigger the conversion rate is. So I strongly recommend hard research on the target audience before starting marketing. I believe it is the same s**t with wishlist conversion rate into sales, as in if you get wishlists from giveaways and from people who meh or are casuals the conversion rate will be lower, and the more genuine wishlist audience you got the more the conversion rate will grow.

Third round & forth round

At this point, I included both 3 and 4 rounds of Facebook group marketing because the results are non-existent. Round 3 was aiming toward casual gamer groups and round 4 was aiming toward Indie Game developer groups and other small pixel art groups, same promotional picture + adjusted text. Please notice how huge are some groups, how small, and how that factor is truly not important when it comes to smart marketing and knowing your target audience.

Results:

  1. Indie Game Promo IGD 56k members = post got 9 likes 3 comments
  2. ​Retro Indie Pixel Game 9k members = post got 12 likes 1 comment​
  3. RTS game lovers = post got 2 likes
​and other groups not worth mentioning because of results

Conclusion

And for the casual gamer audience, I targeted PC gamer(more than 30k members) group, steam gamers, and so on BUT and it is a strong BUT here, I got 1 or 2 likes per post in these groups, now you are going to say "awww then this is a waste of time I will ignore those groups" and after you say this I will strangle you because you know nothing, Jhon Snow! Why? Some time ago I made TAURONOS game and that game had casual players as the target audience, the thing is that I got good love on this casual player audience group for that game specifically because that was its target audience.
So in conclusion: Know your target audience & do not be a spammer that does hit&run, be smart about it and you will avoid wasting time on promotions that will bring no results. Time is very important. Now I am not saying not to post in Indie game development groups but I am saying do not post in Indie game development groups unless you have too much time.

I will make some more posts during the week in other groups but I estimate the main goal was already achieved.​

Overall:

  • always make posts in target audience groups otherwise you would just be spamming;
  • adjust the text to each specific group, don`t be lazy or hit&runner, put a bit of soul into your post;
  • respond to all comments, it helps when people see you care and it also gets your post bumped back up;
  • put quality/polished promotional material;
  • have a call to action, either by asking for feedback or support for your wishlist, it is all up to you on what you need;
  • do not post in all groups in a short period of time or Facebook will mark you as a spam post;
  • do not post the exact content on many groups or again, Facebook will mark you as a spam post.
Aditional:

  • I also used ads a few times this year and I must say the conversion rate for Facebook ads is totally not worth it. It brings some traffic but most its from fake accounts.
If you got any suggestions/feedback on what I did wrong please do let me know.

Tauronos developed by Popa Cristian/16bitnights
Also please do not think marketing resumes only on Facebook (I am talking now to the newbies, not to the veterans who obviously know this). If you enjoy this post I will try to share my marketing up-to-date experience for all social platforms and marketing-wise related stuff such as email marketing, PR, marketing plan 1 month before release, and others.

I am not perfect and this is just my opinion & personal experience. I originaly posted this topic on TigSource.

- Popa Cristian/16bitnights

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Why my game was removed from indiexpo?

Are you looking for your game page but you can not find it?

Probably your game was removed! But... Why?

Probably it was removed because:

It was reported by users for one of this reason:

  • Broken Link
  • Spam or misleading
  • Sexual content
  • Violent or repulsive content
  • Hateful or abusive content
  • Infringes the rights of another user or developer

Usually the first reason (broken link) is the most common. Checking your email you can find one or more alerts (ignored).

Or the link to download your game is just a link to a website where it's not possible to download the game (easily and fastly).

Another reason could be that you didn't reach more than 15 players in 30 days and the staff evaluated to remove the game page.

But no worries! You can upload again your game!

Fix the previous issues or try to share your game page to reach more players and... Good luck!

It's all part of game!