Everybody knows what I should do but me
Don’t get me wrong. When a player gives me his opinion on what I should do it’s great. It means he cares. Of course he might be completely off the map but he’s trying to help.
On game development forums it’s different however. Forums are what they are, self-promotion spaces where people like to hear themselves talking. It’s not true for everyone but I don’t really expect sincere help there. You need to have a good advice filter when it comes to forums.
One thing in common though, everybody seems to think I didn’t do some homework, that I didn’t already tried a couple of things. It’s just annoying.
“You should do a better tutorial, execution is rough, graphics should be better, there should be more GMs, there should be more content, there should have less PvP, you should run some ads, you should write your press emails that way” and so on. According to these advice it would change everything.
In the first months of Golemizer I was trying to “fix” everything. “Fixing” by following too many advices because I was a noob and thought I couldn’t follow my own idea. I was afraid of making mistakes. Well that’s probably the biggest mistake I’ve made. I knew that most people giving me advice had no idea what they were talking about but doubt was created and I couldn’t help myself but to think “maybe if I do this it would work”. Guess what! It only lead to more mistakes!
I tried something for Blimp Wars release. I went to IndieGamer and started a thread with everything I done to release the game. The answers went from “you did everything” to “you should do a completely different game, here’s how you should do it”. Since the release of Blimp Wars was a failure I had to work on myself to not believe those saying “you should make a whole different game” as what they were telling me was to make a game like Golemizer. Those that told me that I did everything didn’t count the fact that the others that gave me advice on how to write to the press would make me waste hours of emails writing as the game wasn’t covered at all (the advices were from someone that still didn’t covered the game).
Of course, there’s always the possibility of “the game just sucks”. Well the more I discover new games the less I believe that. I’ve seen ridiculous ideas succeed and also good ones fail (not just mine). Success is a mix of a lot of small things that nobody knows for sure the exact recipe. It’s hard to actually believe when you never released a game (if I had a penny for each time I heard that “it will work” I’d be rich already) but then I’d invite those people to actually release a successful game before making such statements.
So no, sorry to tell you, you don’t know what I should do. I just need one hand to count the people that actually helped me. The others were just saying empty words filled with good intention. I can’t be mad at them as they were trying to help me. I can however blame myself for listening to them from time to time.
As I’ve come to realize it always comes down to hopes and expectations. When I look at people on IndieGamer I realize that even if I’m not making profits with Golemizer it is making more money than a lot of people there. It doesn’t mean they aren’t successful. It just means they are happy with less than I am. There it is. Success isn’t defined by the perception of others but by what you expect of yourself. That’s why advice often fails. Few can understand what you’re after.