Crea Development Streams

After two years of intermittent streaming I (Jasson) am finally committing to a schedule. I am really excited about this schedule and sharing development with more people. Spread the word and be sure to join – the first scheduled stream is tomorrow!

Siege Games Channel

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1PM to 4PM PST

Mega Monday – Miscellaneous work on Crea including features, new content, and bug fixes.
Workshop Wednesday – Work on workshop (modding) support and once workshop is live this will be dedicated to teaching and helping with modding.
Feedback Friday – Come provide feedback for Crea and watch me implement feedback into Crea!

Unscheduled Streams

I often spontaneously stream various aspects of development. The best way to be notified of these streams is to follow this stream and @SiegeGames.

Sales in the Brave New Steam World

Steam is quickly transitioning from a tightly curated store to an open market where more games are being released than ever. This has triggered many to debate about the indie bubble bursting or if there even is one. Regardless of all of this, the truth is that being a successful indie developer is still the same – make a good game and get it noticed. Developers simply must look elsewhere to find the visibility that Steam once granted. This has left many developers wondering how much visibility does Steam still offer and how well can a game still do when launching on the service.

Last month I was one of those curious developers when I released Crea on Steam Early Access. I had very little idea of what sales would be like. In the past a few developers have been open with their sales figures, such as Hitbox Team and David Pittman of Eldritch, but nothing for this quickly changing Steam world. I want to continue this spirit of open development and share what  the first month of sales on Steam has been like for us. First some context is needed before we get to the sales figures below.

Crea launched on Kickstarter in July 2012, shortly after the popularity of games on Kickstarter exploded. We managed a successful campaign of $28k thanks to some news coverage, Kickstarter cross-promotions and heavy Kickstarter traffic due to Ouya’s and Castle Story’s campaigns.

After the Kickstarter campaign we kept our community updated but otherwise stayed very quiet while we worked on our game. We remained quiet even a year later when we released an alpha version of Crea through Humble Bundle to start getting player feedback as early as possible.

daily_humble_sales

Working with Humble has been a great experience. While the number of sales was sometimes, well, humble, this stream of income was crucial to keeping food on the table while we worked on Crea full time.

cumulative_humble_sales

It was not until the launch of our Greenlight page in October 2013 that we finally began attempting to make some noise. We reached out to a few youtubers and some news sites; however, by then Greenlight had lost its novelty among news sites, and we mostly went unnoticed. Despite this lack of coverage, Crea was Greenlit by February 2014. Our next goal was to get Crea ready for Steam Early Access.

We continued to incorporate our beta testers’ feedback to improve Crea. We spent most of the month of May preparing for the Steam Early Access release. With the help of the wonderful Mary Kish we made a new game trailer and reached out to as much press as we could. I also put Video Game Caster to good use and contacted many youtubers about Crea. We got some great responses from small to medium-sized sites and youtubers but we did not get any coverage from any large sites.

Now we get to the interesting part! What do sales look like for a game launching June 3rd, 2014 on Steam Early Access with little press coverage?

daily_steam_sales

So far these sales have been great! We made $500 in the first hour of being on Steam, and $18,000 in the first week. Sales have slowed down since the excitement of our initial release, but have continued to bring in at least $300 per day. (All numbers are gross profit.)

We decided to not participate in the Steam Summer sale and we expected that our sales would drop during this time. However, as you can see, our sales actually got a small boost during the sale.

Crea was featured on the front page of Steam for Mac and Linux – which is amazing, but even with this prominent feature their sales still have only accounted for 20% of our total sales.

crea_steam_frontpage

To put everything in perspective, here are all of the gross sales for Crea – including Kickstarter, Humble Store and Steam. Of all the money we’ve made from Crea over the past two years, roughly 35% of it has come within the last month.

cumulative_sales_modified

At this point, we’re very happy with the sales and all the positive reviews of Crea on Early Access. These sales mean development funding for many more months and enough to hire an additional developer. So while the Steam marketplace may be becoming more and more diluted with games, it’s still powerful enough to bring a significant amount of sales to a relatively unknown title such as Crea even in Early Access. We hope that this information can help shape the expectations and plans of other indie game developers. May it be a light for you when all other lights go out.

Crea Launching onto Steam Early Access

Being caught up in a whirlwind, I forgot to post that Crea is now live on Steam Early Access. Thanks to our wonderful community and its new members we have 100% positive reviews! Everything is going wonderfully.

We are fighting obscurity but with everyone’s help it is only a matter of time before we overcome it. Speaking of which, we are featured on the front page of the Steam store for Mac and Linux users. You’re next Windows!

crea_steam_frontpage

Crea’s Future in Early Access

Crea has come a long way over the last two years. The progress is clearly visible and the improvement is undeniable. Now with Crea coming to Steam Early Access we are in some ways entering a new stage of development. There is still a great deal of work remaining before Crea is considered complete. I don’t have everything planned out between now and 1.0; however, I’d like to share with everyone what I do have planned for the near future.

The top priority for Crea is stability. I know that multiplayer is crucial and I would love to get it to a stable place. Additionally there are still some game crashes that occasionally occur along with many smaller bugs. Before moving onto the next major update I would like to resolve most, if not all, of these issues. Oh, and a new boss and standalone server are in the works!

The focus of the first next major patch is improved modding support. The addition of Steam Workshop support will allow modders to share their work more easily. I will be listening to modders feedback and adjusting the API accordingly.

The second update will likely be one of the largest updates Crea will ever see. Movement, exploration and combat will all dramatically evolve. The goal here is to free players of the current rigid movement. These changes will consist of new movement options, possibly a new “Exploration” talent, new character animations, and new combat controls. All of these will require much experimentation so keep in mind though that these plans may change. More exact details will be revealed once development of this update is underway.

Beyond this, things begin to get fuzzy. There are many things I know need to be done but their priorities are unknown. Here is a list of at least some things to follow (not in order):

  • Revisit Crafting Interface
  • Balancing existing content
  • New content (boss/monsters/items)
  • More gather skills to speed up mining
  • Dungeoneer NPC and Dungeon System
  • Grafter NPC and Grafting System (Weapon upgrading)
  • More Steam Features (Achievements, Cloud Saves, Trading Cards)

Crea will leave Early Access once these features and likely a handful more are done. Development on Crea is a very iterative process that uses everyone’s feedback to help get it to be what I envision.  If you have any suggestions or feedback, please post it in the forums. I value player feedback very much and if there is something I deem urgent I will always make room for it. However, please keep in mind that I am the only full-time member of the team, and it takes time for me to get around to addressing every issue.

I am looking forward to seeing how the Steam Early Access release helps the world of Crea to continue to grow and improve.

Crea coming to Steam Early Access

We finally have a release date for Crea’s Steam Early Access launch – June 3rd. That is 1 week from today! This is indeed exciting times, worthy of a party llama.

partyllama2

 

Once Steam approves it, we will have our coming soon store page up. In the meantime, we invite you to start participating on Crea’s Steam Community Hub. When the store page does become available we would love for you to write and rate reviews, good or bad, to let potential players on launch day know where Crea is at now.

Oh also expect a juicy “Whats next” post soon~!

Massive Update and Sale Incoming!

Prepare yourself! Crea just received an incredibly massive update. This update has been in the works for several months and we’re very pleased with how it has turned out. Here’s a highlight of the features and changes.

  • Full multiplayer support!
  • New spear and wand weapons
  • New monsters and new Paragon monster type
  • New Cartographer NPC with Maps
  • New Bamboo Forest biome
  • New character progression via infusions
  • Redesigned main menu
  • Customizable controls
  • Heaps of improvements due to player feedback
  • Multitude of bug fixes (50+)

This is already available on Steam for those that have claimed their Steam Key from Humble and the DRM-free version has been sent off to Humble and should be available soon.

Not only is the game bigger and better than ever, but we’re also putting it on sale to celebrate! For 24 hours only, Crea will be featured on the Humble Store’s Spring Sale. The sale kicks off at 10AM PDT on Sunday, May 18th. Once the game launches on Early Access, it will be at it’s standard price of $14.99, so don’t miss the chance to get it an awesome discount!

For those who want to experience the full might of the patch notes for this update, you can read them here.

 

Upcoming Steam Early Access Release

We are planning out and working towards the Steam debut of Crea. This is truly an exciting time – something I have dreamed of for years! We will be making use of Steam’s Early Access with Crea while we finish up the game. Though before we even get to that we wanted to add more content, a few more features, and clean some things up. As of right now we are planning to release Crea on Early Access in mid to late May. Here are some of the changes we’re working on for this upcoming release.

The most important of all is that multiplayer will now work. It has been far too long that multiplayer has been semi-functional. There have been some dramatic changes to the code to make this possible. We are doing lots of internal testing to ensure it works. However, our testing can only take us so far and consequently we will look to our omega testers to help out.

Another large change we will make is to the main menus. In truth, these menus were always intended to be placeholders. We are now working to streamline them such as reworking the character creation colors to be much simpler.

Treasure!

The treasure chests now promise tasty loot. Before the items found in a treasure chest was very random which made finding some items very difficult. With this new loot system in place many more items are found in chests and there are reserved spots for different item types.

Control Settings

Some of the remaining changes include:

  • More monsters
  • New weapon types with their own upgrade trees
  • An entirely new way to customize your character
  • Fancy Maps
  • Game options with control bindings
  • Much more!

As you can see, this is going to be quite the update!

We will be releasing an early version to omega testers to help us iron out the kinks – especially with multiplayer. You can setup Crea to be omega testing now on your Steam account. You will see a download queue up on Steam as soon as it is available! We will of course make an announcement when it is up and available – stay tuned!

GDC 2014

gdc

Jasson is currently at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, networking with other indie game devs from around the world and spreading the good news of Crea. He’ll be back next week!

Big News: Greenlit! Update! Upcoming Livestream!

February is the shortest month of the year and yet so much has happened for Crea and the team. It has been awhile since I shared an update so there is much to tell.

crea_greenlit

The biggest news of all is that Crea was Greenlit on Steam! Our current plan is to release on Steam Early Access in May. Launching onto the Steam store is a huge opportunity , so we’re taking this time to polish up the existing content and new content as much as possible.

Even though Crea’s Steam release is months away, you can still play Crea on Steam now. Your Steam key for Crea can already be claimed on your humble homepage. This enables us to release updates more frequently, fix issues quicker and most importantly gets you the latest updates automatically.

Speaking of updates, we just launched a new update – v0.7.4. This update focuses on resolving issues, making many engine optimizations and implementing players’ feedback. Here’s a quick highlight.

  • A dozen multiplayer issues have been fixed
  • Underground cave system is now multitudes better enabling underground exploration
  • Made several optimizations to help alleviate framerate loss
  • A new monster, Venfear, has been added
  • Birds will now appear in peaceful plains

venfear_flying

Lastly, to celebrate Crea being Greenlight, Crea fan Wookiee will be hosting a 24-hour livestream on Saturday, March 8, from 12Pm GMT ( that’s 6 am EST / 3 am PST). Kelley and I will join the livestream around 10 am PST. Wookie will be giving away 24 copies of Crea and an ASUS 680 graphics card! We hope you’ll stop by so you can see how Crea is looking these days. Check out this forum thread for more updates. The livestream will be hosted on Wookiee’s channel, twitch.tv/pocketwookiee .

Last month, Kelley, Aaron and I moved to Portland, Oregon. It was quite a trial thanks to a huge snowstorm that hit the area the day we were moving. Even with the roads iced over and 20 car pileups shutting down half of I-5, we managed to get here in one piece. Between snow flurries we scurried back and forth from the moving truck to our new apartment on the third floor.

snowy_wasteland

We’re settled in now with super-fast internet. I’ve been streaming Crea development again and will be doing more soon! You can find my livestream here.