Steam Dev Days – I didn’t miss much but still wish I would have gone
I’d love to go at Steam Dev Days one day but not for the talks or the foolish hope that it would help me to generate more sales. I’d be meeting fellow devs I’ve been chatting with for some years and it’d might be a good way to meet new people who maybe might help my future games to be published. Assuming my introvert personality wouldn’t get too much in the way, I’d spend my days shaking hands and wouldn’t care about anything said on stage.
Money is short though so I can’t really afford such event or maybe I should say that I decided to put that money elsewhere. It’s just not the kind of money I’m ready to lose in case I fail to shake the “right” hands.
I’ve been keeping track of Steam Dev Days on Twitter and the “important” info I wanted I got but I’m not seeing much value from the event itself (the real value must be during parties).
I understand that VR might become very big in a few years but it’s honestly something I don’t care about. I can’t even afford to buy a VR kit and not all games will need to be in VR in the future anyway. It’s a curiosity I’ll be watching but one I’m not in a position to be part of.
It’s in Valve’s best interest to be part of the first few pushing VR but I feel it will be something many devs will fail to grasp. If you’re rich and can afford the exploratory period then you should totally go for it but if you’re just a modest dev trying to make a living then you should just forget about it. Right now, VR is still trying to figure out how it can become mainstream and what kind of games have a decent chance of becoming moderate successes so hearing about it extensively really does nothing for someone like me.
Steam controller & Link
Well, it’s a Valve event so it’s normal they push their own products. I’m not sure why I should be spending money to hear about it though. Okay, it’s a controller, it’s cool, so what. I’ll read the API doc when I have a game that fits it and it will be that. Turns out that so far the kind of games I made wouldn’t benefit from any kind of controller and that many people without such gadget could still buy my games and make me a millionaire so it just appear as additional icing on the cake that would give me diabetes right now.
Again, Valve has everything to gain by promoting their controller but I really don’t see why I should pay a plane ticket to hear about it.
Asia is a big market
Valve, paraphrased: “Make your damn games for Asia and the Middle East already it’s basically free money”. #devdays
— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) October 12, 2016
And water is wet… It’s nice to know that Asia is becoming a big deal for Steam but it’s not something I can really act on unless I release a game with very few words in it. According to Straker Translations, getting a game like March of the Living translated would at least cost me around $12,000. Conquering Asia would make me a lot more money than $12,000 you say? Well, are you ready to lend me such money then?
As I said before, game development is risk management and right now I can’t afford to risk $12,000 (if you’re rich though you should totally go for it and let us know how it turned out…). Localization is not as simple as doing a quick copy/paste in Google Translate, it also requires some writing skills. My first language is French and I’m not even thinking about translating MotL in French because of that. French probably wouldn’t do much for the game anyway but even by not having to spend a penny I don’t feel it’s an exercise worth doing.
Steam will be updated in a major way soon
Yeah, they posted about that here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamworks/announcements/detail/969787864592003141
I’m curious about the changes but I’d be more interested to influence them than going to a conference to be told “change is coming”. What are the odds that a dev who sold around 10,000 copies of his game on Steam have any chance to have a meaningful talk with a Valve employee though?
I’d love Valve to organize a “I’m doing just okay” panel with devs with modest successes like me. I’d be the first one to submit my name and I think it could be quite interesting and reach many people. Steam doesn’t need to sell “more” games already doing well. They need to figure out how to sell all the other games not doing so well. By now, I’m not sure you can really do anything to make Stardew Valley an even bigger success than it already is. It’s already selling by itself. What you want is to maximize the power of the gigantic library of games not making much money.
When you’re only hearing from already successful devs though you’re only validating what you already have. You might be okay with it but if you’re really looking to make changes to make even more money then maybe hearing from other people might be useful.