Monster RPG 3 Port-Mortem
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-03-30, 11:47pm
Today is 1 year since the release of Monster RPG 3, and I think it's time for a "post mortem" on this game I poured my soul into for four years. Many developers would consider it a massive failure, but in most ways I'm still reasonably happy with the final result, all things considered. It could have gone a lot better, but I'm trying to be happy in my reality where nobody owes me anything and each person who picks up a copy has given me a small gift that I am in no way entitled to, despite working very hard.

It's painful to say this, but "M3" has only made about $500 across all stores the past year. That's a few hundred copies sold. Suffice it to say that since we released our first commercial game in 2010, the landscape has changed drastically for indie developers. Visibility is nonexistant for many of us with the flood of new game developers all making releases competing for "shelf space." The gamedev skills I've learned over the past 20+ years mean nothing now that point and click tools exist for every task. If gamedev were construction, today the houses are already built and whoever does the nicest paint job and decorating sells the most games. Most gamers don't care about anything else. But I had a mission with this particular game beyond sales, so I can't be mad about the financials anyway.

Probably the most depressing part has been the lack of feedback I've received since release. I've had about 3-4 short comments, and that's all. It's hard seeing something you put so much into not being played or discussed. But from the analytics I receive from various stores, it seems that people simply don't get very far with the game. It's a sign that it's not that good, which I can humbly accept.

My judgement cannot be relied on because I thought this one was better than all the others. It's a small sample, but if 200-300 people have tried the game and never told anyone about it or reached out to me, it's not doing it for anyone. Or at least not many. That was something I anticipated though. I made this game for a specific purpose and a small subset of people. So far though, I'm not sure it has reached any of them.

On the positive side, I had a lot of fun making this. I learned an incredible amount. I believe I did most things the right way, so I have nothing to be ashamed of here. People just aren't concerned with some of the things I focused a lot of effort on like optimisation and efficiency. But that's OK. I'm currently having a lot of fun building a new project, which hopefully people like, but if not, that's fine. I don't make games that will sell, I make games I want to play.

At the end of the day, even though I'm not earning anything, I'm working my dream job so I can't complain too much. I can learn from this release and try to do better next time. Maybe it'll be a hit, maybe not. I honestly don't think I have much control over that. Monster RPG 3, like all of the other games I've made, was supposed to be my dream game. Looking at it now, it falls short in a lot of ways. So I still have work to do until I make one that I'm completely happy with, if that is even possible. Until then, I'll just enjoy the process.

If you'd like to check Monster RPG 3 out, it will be $1 on iOS/Mac and Amazon this week.
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