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02-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 114
After reading your blog post, and hearing the complaints from people about shelling out the rather minor cost for the large amount of content that will be available in Arc 2, I feel rather bad for not picking this one up. I love TBS games, but my backlog is huge...

It's heartbreaking when a small team releases something risky, and great, and nobody buys it.

Bought!

Last edited by Ssylex; 02-09-2012 at 11:57 AM.
02-09-2012, 01:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: New York State
Posts: 2,442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebius View Post
Basically, Ravenmark is selling decently, but not well enough that we can support free updates past the Suneater Campaign. We've shuffled things around to allow us to keep making games for awhile.

Here's what we plan to do:

1. The Suneater Campaign - Suneaters will be released at the end of the month, latest in the first week of March. (Reasons in the blog post.)

2. Ravenmark, Arc II - The next Arc and its three campaigns - Deepwood Dragoons, Raven's Dusk and Raven's Rise will be in a separate paid app. The first two campaigns will be available at launch in June with the last to follow a few months after. The whole thing should conclude the Kaysani invasion.
Regardless of what you do differently than initially promised, people are going to grumble, and I'm sure you knew that when you made the decision. I hope the choice to make it a separate app as opposed to IAP DLC doesn't hurt you even more than the choice to renege on further free campaigns does.


So here's my objective feedback on this choice:

When I bought Ravenmark, I did so at the full $5 because I waited for the demo and you, for whatever reason, opted to raise the price at the same time you launched the demo. I am not going to say you ripped me off, after all, your game is hands down the best game of this scope I've seen in years and it fits in my pocket, but I'm also not going to blow you kisses when, even as I write this, the description for Ravenmark states:
Quote:
Replete with 15 campaign missions at launch, many more campaigns as well as new gameplay modes will be released over time as FREE updates to Ravenmark!
A single additional campaign is not "many more", it's one more, and though I have no doubt that many will realize the $5 is a completely justified cost considering the execution and polish for the three campaigns of what is now the first half of the Ravenmark saga, this is the app store, and I fear the rapid reversal on the promises you made at launch are going to keep away a lot of people who otherwise would have come around to buy this excellent title. Additionally, though it will be hard to complain too much because you are intending to make the base game free for the MP update, I have no doubt people will find a way when this all clearly indicates abdication of any plans to introduce more game modes to Ravenmark: SOE proper.

Basically, I question if you gave this title long enough to gather steam. It is a fantastic game that I would argue will have longevity in the app store that most titles cannot hope to have. Yet, in a space of only 90 days you've gone from launching the game with the above quoted promise of future content, raising the price right as the demo came out (which is what sold me), to completely backing off from the promise of future content excepting the one additional campaign.

Don't get me wrong, because I was convinced by a combination of the demo and the promise of future content, I sprang for the game in spite of the unusually high price tag (for the app store) for the existing amount of content, and because I did I will support you in whatever you do to get out the future campaigns. I would much rather spend more money and get more excellent content than sit in my computer chair stamping my feet, "...but you PROMISED!" and wind up with nothing or something of lesser quality. That said, you're lucky the quality of the delivered game lived up to the critical praise in my experience because this future plan is, regardless of the underlying reasons, undoubtely a bit of bait and switch and I only hope that other strategy gamers who haven't already, at the least, given the demo a fair shake won't be frightened off by this rapid course change.

Game Center : "Chip H.". Grand Poobah of Troop "Touch Arcade" in Battle Camp (referral code: hns1w1 )

02-09-2012, 01:42 PM
Heya C.Hannum. Everything you've stated is fair and all I can say is that we're not proud of this decision. We don't like this decision. At all. I know it seems like a bait and switch, but the truth of the matter is that we (and I mean Kev, Brian and I) need to take care of our staff and their families. Hell, we don't even draw salary. I doubt we will until we know that WHS can stand on its own two feet. If we could leave it to gather steam, we'd happily do so.. and add as much free content we can cram into the app. Sadly, we highly doubt that will happen and we needed to make an executive decision.

What I can promise, however, is more quality content done with the same care and pride we've put into Ravenmark in all future endeavours. Like we say on our dev blog - we don't make games for a quick buck, we do it because we love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ssylex View Post
After reading your blog post, and hearing the complaints from people about shelling out the rather minor cost for the large amount of content that will be available in Arc 2, I feel rather bad for not picking this one up. I love TBS games, but my backlog is huge...

It's heartbreaking when a small team releases something risky, and great, and nobody buys it.

Bought!
Cheers for the support! Every little bit helps. =)

Ian Gregory, Creative Director at Witching Hour Studios
www.ravenmark-saga.com
www.witching-hour.net
www.facebook.com/RavenmarkSaga
02-09-2012, 02:07 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebius View Post
If we could leave it to gather steam, we'd happily do so.. and add as much free content we can cram into the app. Sadly, we highly doubt that will happen and we needed to make an executive decision.
This. The Appstore is far too ADD in this regard. If an app doesn't take off fairly quickly, it generally won't ever. Presenting the second arc as a new app will give them another shot at New and Noteworthy/Featured/etc.

And frankly, from the way people complain about IAP here, I'd think people would prefer to pay for another block of content in one go.

Three to five dollars (I'm assuming) for the tens of hours of play that arc 2 will bring is a pittance. If this game were released somewhere other than the AppStore (XBL, PSN), it could easily be sold at triple the price.

Last edited by Ssylex; 02-09-2012 at 02:12 PM.
02-09-2012, 02:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Detroit
Posts: 1,090
Agree
02-09-2012, 02:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,856
...

Sad that it had to go this way as this game provided me with hours of entertainment. Make a "contribute if you feel like it" IAP and I will do my part to help
02-09-2012, 02:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amenbrother View Post
Sad that it had to go this way as this game provided me with hours of entertainment. Make a "contribute if you feel like it" IAP and I will do my part to help
Same. I hope that this never has to go on sale.

GameCenter ID: 0-FeliX-0
Hyped Up For: Wil's Finest Hour
02-09-2012, 04:21 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 118
Volunteer programmers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebius View Post
While Ravenmark is doing decently at market, it's not doing so well that we can aggressively expand and get more programmers to help. I hope you understand. =X
Not sure if it would help, but you might be able to find some programmers willing to donate some time to your cause without pay either because they love the game, or because they'd love to learn. Of course there's management overhead to that, but if there are small things that you can farm out to your adoring fans, that might be a good way to help increase your capacity by some small measure.

While I'm happily employed more than full-time, I'd certainly be willing to spend some of my "hobby" time helping out, just because I'm a fan
02-09-2012, 09:41 PM
There are some questions worth asking here that I invite everybody to think about. The answers you arrive at are not meant to be excuses for the decisions we've made... but it would be great if you could wear our shoes for a day.

1. How many copies do you think we're selling every day? How much money do you think we're making? Do you think this money is enough to pay the monthly salary of 5 very talented programmers and artists, who quite possibly could be working at the likes of Valve or Ubisoft instead of with us?

2. What do you think would have helped us beat the App Store's ADD behaviour of "let's play the next big Tiny Tower / Triple Town / insert-time-waster-here and move on"? Are there any alternative strategies you think we should have employed?

3. What would make you guys more indignant? Having frequent $0.99 sales for Ravenmark (as a whole) to try and achieve unreliable sale spikes, or pursuing our current plan to release the later content as Arc II?

EDIT: On the subject of turning the current game into an IAP-gated free app, I do not know if that is possible without putting current players at the risk of having to pay for chapters they have ALREADY paid for by purchasing the original paid app. If that happened to me, I'd be REALLY angry... But what do you guys think?

RAVENMARK: Mercenaries - Enter the multiplayer war for turn-based tactical supremacy!

Check out the Ravenmark saga on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RavenmarkSaga

Last edited by witchinghourSG; 02-09-2012 at 09:45 PM.
02-09-2012, 09:54 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Burlingame CA
Posts: 2,387
I don't really understand making the "second arc" a separate app rather than IAP. I can't really see the advantage here. Storage space for people who don't want both??

Unfortunately, I block signatures, and I'm not going to go to the trouble to unblock just for this, nor search for your blog, so if you put such content in your signature you have to accept that some people won't see it.

P.S. I love tactical games and turn-based games, but from my point of view Ravenmark was too fiddly and not enough fun, sorry. So maybe I'm not in your target market anyway.