There are three reviews and they are all negative. Maybe the only reason he didn't make money is it's just not a good game.
'not glamorous, tiring, Lather, rinse, repeat, over and over, and it will suck'
Looking at the Steam page for this its genre is listed as a clicker, a review points out there's literally no progression for the clicker gameplay part, that's a bad clicker right there because those are usually all about the progression.
You can't make an oversight like that up with narrative, if the gameplay is driving away the player then you can have the most amazing narrative in the world, most people still won't experience it because they won't get past the bad gameplay.
- Life is Strange
- Gone Home
- What Remains of Edith Finch
It's probably my favorite indie genre and when done well it's a lot different than anything else out there.
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- SOMA with the monster interactions turned off (they don't bother me, but with interactions it's not strictly a narrative game)
and moderate recommendations for
- Dear Esther
- Ether One
- Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
The tricky part is that they must make up for the absence of other game mechanics.
Myst, in a sense, is a narrative game with puzzles. Strip the puzzles away and it wouldn't be so hot. It's a risk to reduce a game to its story, as that story must hold on its own.
Sure, there could be a really amazing story inside that book, but who wants to go through the pain of constantly being stung to read it?
The point here not being that "narrative games are bad by nature" but rather that a lot of them sabotage themselves by using the "narrative game" excuse to keep off-putting/shallow gameplay mechanics in the game and then expect the players to "soldier through them" for the supposedly amazing narrative that's waiting along that way.
Narrative games are an old genre with its roots in text adventures that focuses on telling a story almost to the exclusion of other gameplay elements. If they do include other elements it will most likely come in the form of an environment puzzle, I find.
If you read the reviews for this specific game you will notice that they all point to very similar game breaking bugs which would make me even less likely to try the game. Why would I want to try a game that doesn't allow me to save more than once ever?
I have 500+ games on steam, I buy games I never play and this game is giving me every signal not to buy it.
A user perchance manages to discover this game's Steam Store page and sees that its reviews are Bad; I would certainly expect that they would remain incredulous to the prospect of playing. Whereas if the reviews were Very Good or better...
Moreover, it's in Steam's interest to keep bad games from being discovered. They don't profit more by exposing their customers to a deluge of poor product. Reviews ought to influence discoverability.
According to the Steam hardware survey, about 1% of users own a VR headset. This paints a pretty grim picture about what an average VR game can expect to make on Steam.
However that's what you could expect an average game to make. You make exponentially more money the more standard deviations you are from the average.
A few things that push you in the direction of success: an obvious and interesting hook, a compelling trailer, some basic marketing, and quite obviously fun mechanics. I have not played his game, but I can tell from a glance that it is missing the majority of those requirements.
It may be survivorship bias, but I can back this up with experience. I made a good-but-not-great VR game that hit all those major success points, and combined the PC and PS4 have grossed us mid-six figures.
Which platform brought in more sales?
Can I value all my hobby projects at $60/hour too? Over a million USD accumulated losses during my adult life so far...
I disagree - the story doesn't really tell you that. All the story tells you is that OP didn't really do any research (see
"As far as I’m aware, Fruit for the Village is the first VR clicker game to exist as a published title." - maybe there's a reason), didn't publicise his game ("I really only showed it off in the 6–8 weeks before it launched"), and made a pretty crappy game (see steam links - 3 reviews, all bad, one was even free. Game breaking bugs not resolved 6 months later). Any one of those things should be enough to sink a game in the current market, but all 3, and you're just asking for failure
I currently work for Star Gas, which is a northeastern USA based company that delivers heating oil to over 600,000 customers with revenue of about 1B per year (but razor thin profit margins of about 55m per year).
My half of the rent and utilities is currently $1000 a month. A car payment, phone payment, insurances of various kinds and some food and entertainment spending cap out at about another grand per month, so $2000 total. With no overtime and after taxes, you start out at about $2200 a month in post tax, very reliable income. If you are willing to do 10-12 hour days, you can pull in about $4000 a month with no college degree and, to my experience, no crazy office politics or externalities.
It might not be enough to support a stay at home spouse, 2 kids, 2 range rovers, a large mortgage, vacations and shopping, and a robust family medical insurance plan, but it is definitely enough for a normal apartment in a normal suburb, driving an older vehicle and enjoying some westernized habits like eating at a restaurant or doing lots of christmas shopping :)
Thanks for asking, because I actually left tech sales completely for this field instead and I am pretty happy with the forced change of industry so far (oracle laid me off!!!)
I've lived off of less than $300 in Thailand and Chile before, but that's basically enough to afford only food and a room... and in my case in Chile, food and a tent in the mountains!!
Plenty of families in the UK survive off much less than that. Median income in the UK is less than it...
Still, I acknowledge that it's very hard to spend a year of your life on something and only end up with $700 in-pocket.
Vr chat pushes boundaries. It plays with the medium in a fashion that is only available to that medium. A VR computing environment would be pushing boundaries. A VR mirrors edge might be pushing boundaries (kinda; its more like mirrors edge was a game that imagined what vr would be like, and executed that vision under pc constraints. Now that vr is actually available, transferring over would be the obvious thing to do). A vr god game might push boundaries, if they do it right.
But cookie cutters and VN’s? I don’t see how you'd get anything out of vr in a straightforward port. By the time you actually got the medium doing something useful, it’d probably look nothing like an “incremental narrative game”
EDIT: One other thing I forgot to mention. Having the space to play and dealing with the wires is a huge frustration I saw my friends deal with. Every time they wanted to play they had to spend over an hour setting it up to just play for an hour or 2. That is unless you had a dedicated space for it. I hope no one wants their living room cluttered with wires going across the floor and VR accessories laying around.
About 25-40% of the population becomes nauseated , which is a problem for a consumer product. That's higher than roller coasters. VR is just not going to be the Next Big Thing. Simple overlays in AR, maybe.
The author expounds on an appraisal of hypothetical money, if one imagine's that he paid himself all labor costs to perform the work.
He spent several months working on a video game that didn't do well, and made zero dollars.
Did I lose $6,000 dollars on a hypothetical bitcoin I never paid for in August, when the value dropped last week?
No, I left the $10,000 dollars in my bank account, and I still have $10,000, and/or whatever real goods or services I purchased with said money.
These sort of entitled-clueless individuals wouldn't pay $6 / hour for an UpWork contractor to make a game 10x better than their crap.
This is sensible: otherwise you might owe taxes if your employer company collapsed and you weren't paid, but without having income to pay it.
The amount of time is not nothing and his hourly rate is reasonable.
It is not wrong to say he lost it
(Unless they're famous people for their particular talent category)
But making money from indie games is tough in general, it takes a long time, execution is difficult, and marketing is needed. Can even apply to just general making money from app stores or software. Need to have a good idea, execute, market, and stand out from the rest. App stores though give you some boost in discoverability.
This point needs to be fleshed out more. What is say the Oculus App store not doing that the iOS app store is? As a user (not a developer) of both, I'm not seeing a difference.
There are 3 reviews, all negative, with show stopping bugs even 6 months after they first reviewed it. Poster says he didn't market it until 6 weeks before release. This is just shovelware, unfortunately
Where do you get that from? He writes about his own faliures and even goes on about how he failed to play test sufficiently and did a poor job of marketing. How does that come off as blaming others to you?
If a friend told me a group lost $10k making a game over the weekend, i'd freak out