FE Status Report at 2 weeks

By on November 6, 2012 5:32:19 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Fallen Enchantress at two weeks

Big_battleFallen Enchantress has now been out two weeks. So far, we’ve sold about 50,000 units (give or take).  This is somewhat below Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion but, obviously, far far ahead of War of Magic during the same time frame. 

The biggest obstacle has been reviews.  It’s hard for niche titles (and make no mistake, fantasy turn-based PC games are niche) to get coverage. There’s only so many reviewers to go around and the last thing we want is a drive by (i.e. rushed) review.

Tomorrow or Thursday we expect to release v1.01 which has a long list of fixes and tweaks that we’ve found. Probably the most obvious change will be performance which dramatically improved.

The Map Pack

We will be releasing our first-ever DLC for a Stardock game.  It’ll be an interesting experiment to see what the demand is.  Paul Boyer and I have designed a series of hand crafted maps that will be going up for sale in a week or two for $4.99.  If sales of this are strong, we’ll look at doing additional DLC packs.  A game like Fallen Enchantress lends itself to content centric DLC and so we’re anxious to see what people are interested in.

The Expansion

We have an expansion planned for early next year. I won't spoil it except to say that it’s going to re-design the way champions are handled in the game. We want the game to generally move towards the power of your champions be a reflection of the power of your civilization.

After the expansion, Stardock will look at where things stand.  We have 3 game development teams at Stardock.  One is on “Game X”, One is FE related stuff, and one is on mobile game development.   Since we’re not likely to get as many reviews as we’d like, we’re going to be relying heavily on word of mouth.

Version 1.1

We very much want to do a pre-Christmas update to FE.  That version will be heavily AI and balance focused based on player feedback. We’ll have more details of that as we get closer. Right now, we’re focusing on getting v1.01 out the door.

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November 6, 2012 5:38:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Fallen Enchantress at two weeks
Fallen Enchantress has now been out two weeks. So far, we’ve sold about 50,000 units (give or take).  This is somewhat below Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion but, obviously, far far ahead of War of Magic during the same time frame.

Is that sold as in -sold- or does that include the giveaways to us WoM early birds?

Quoting ,

We have 3 game development tams at Stardock.

Alright, who cast Stinking Mud on your keyboard?

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November 6, 2012 5:43:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Paul Boyer and I have designed a series of hand crafted maps that will be going up for sale in a week or two for $4.99.

Would these also include hand crafted map stamps? You know to make more random maps.

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November 6, 2012 5:44:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I'd shell out $5 for a map pack. 

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November 6, 2012 5:46:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cool!  I am certainly inclined to consider any DLC favorably because I appreciate the way you guys handled the customer appreciation after E:WoM and I think you have a very good game here, which could turn into an all time favorite with continuing development.

 

edit:  although fwiw, map packs wouldn't have been my first choice (unless they were story driven or somehow provide a really unique experience like a scenario), because I generally prefer random maps in games of this genre.  

 

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November 6, 2012 5:48:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i just want to say, if a DLC pack was only maps, i wouldn't buy it. To me, this sort of game is best with randomly generated maps, it being an unknown is the big draw for me. I've not even touched the built in maps, and i don't really care to.

 

I'm a big supporter of DLC though, there's plenty of things i WOULD buy. Like, rather than complete maps, new quests, wildlands, interesting encounters etc, that would appear in random maps. I get hugely for games with random maps because i like discovery, and having more possible permutations for them is something i'd pay for.

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November 6, 2012 5:54:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Paul Boyer and I have designed a series of hand crafted maps that will be going up for sale in a week or two for $4.99. 

Keep 'em coming. I am willing to support this game and will personally buy the DLC. Stardock's conduct over the EWoM/FE affair has been nothing short of exemplary and will be rewarded at the very least in the case of one particular customer. It's not a matter of money, but rather a matter of principle. Keep up the good work. Besides, it's always good to support a local Michigan business .

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November 6, 2012 5:58:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

We have an expansion planned for early next year. I won't spoil it except to say that it’s going to re-design the way champions are handled in the game. We want the game to generally move towards the power of your champions be a reflection of the power of your civilization.

Whooa... Do we get the legacy system back? Nothing made me go to war faster than the AI taking out my Kin in WoM.

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November 6, 2012 5:59:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You've got my $5, even if I never use pre-made maps.  I would hope there would be a little additional content besides the maps, but it doesn't really matter.

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November 6, 2012 6:00:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Honesty Frogboy, I as a lover of FE wouldn't buy a map pack - especially at $4.99. I haven't even played the ones that have came with the game. I'd rather play random maps. If you added maybe a couple new civilizations that had their own special things that would be sweet and it would be worth $2.50 each.  

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November 6, 2012 6:01:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be honest I'm avoiding telling anyone about FE until the bugs are fixed - I figure I'm doing you a favour!

I tried playing a game of 1.0 and found that there were just way too many bugs - apparently I can tolerate them when I am beta testing but in the supposedly released version it just frustrated me, particularly as more than half of the many bugs I experienced were things I had already reported in beta.

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November 6, 2012 6:02:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

The Map Pack
We will be releasing our first-ever DLC for a Stardock game.  It’ll be an interesting experiment to see what the demand is.  Paul Boyer and I have designed a series of hand crafted maps that will be going up for sale in a week or two for $4.99.  If sales of this are strong, we’ll look at doing additional DLC packs.  A game like Fallen Enchantress lends itself to content centric DLC and so we’re anxious to see what people are interested in.

DLC that provide just tid-bits like map pakcs is not so much my cup of tea. But real (mini-)Expansions that push the game forward are the way to go  

 

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November 6, 2012 6:21:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'll grab the map pack since you guys gave me the game for free, but I honestly hope for something a bit more in a DLC, because the randomized nature of maps is what I feel make the game more interesting than hand crafted ones (even if they are good and LARGE - please at least be large) where you'll basically know the landscape before hand. I honestly don't think you'll be able to get a lot of sales for map packs except for the "just to support" types like me.

My ideal DLC would be something along the line of different graphical tiles for empire/kingdoms (and I don't mean just a redesign using the same objects in the workshop, as in with new objects that you can build on). I'd definitely be happy to pay for something of that nature.

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November 6, 2012 6:24:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I'd agree with Xadie. Maps are randomly generated so i don't really feel the need to buy more. However, if you make a DLC that actually gives content/features, count me in!

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November 6, 2012 6:35:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sure I'm down for map packs. If it helps support making all those free updates easier for you and supporting other projects then yes go for it. (just don't go overboard like some other companies have with dlc ok) 

I thought you were going to announce game x this year... Maybe tell everyone around Christmas.   Lot of people will be happy with this announcement. 

 

Also down the road don't forget dlc multiplayer. (If you want to add it last and do expansions first I am ok with that). Some friends over on the Kerberos boards keep bugging me about it. Just keep it in the back of your minds. 

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November 6, 2012 6:41:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also would these hand crafted maps also include more Tatical Maps?

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November 6, 2012 6:41:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Make a quests, items, monsters, and random events DLC and people will buy it. The map DLC will mostly be bought by a few people who want to support the game no matter what, because I don't think people actually play pre-made maps. I wouldn't pay $5 for something I never use. You can get full on games for $5 on a Steam sale so... it's not really gonna be successful. You shouldn't judge how interested people are in DLCs for FE just by the sales an uninteresting DLC (map pack). Go directly to an interesting DLC with interesting content and see how it does, and just release the map pack for free as part of 1.1.

The expansion you're talking about should also focus more on tactical combat, because it is the most complained about aspect of the game. Perhaps implement a siege mechanic or something else to make combat feel diversified.

And please say Game X is GalCiv 3!

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November 6, 2012 6:50:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I have been playing constantly since Beta 4. Truly great game! I will buy anything you send out...keep it coming! I hope this game catches on over time and hand-crafted maps would be terrific. I hope there are enough loyal fans to keep a team working on this game and DLC for years.

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November 6, 2012 6:50:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Hmm - on the fence about the map pack. Need to think it over. I do want to support SD but I'm not sure I'll actually use them.  [e digicons](\(\[/e]

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November 6, 2012 6:57:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Congrats on sales. They've been earned as so more.

i'm not keen on DLC but have no beef against it where the core games remain content rich. And where DLC does not unbalance MP to a game of credit card swiping. But still the fee based DLC news was surprise to me fore there had been much talk a year and more ago about free DLC being SD's strategy for avoiding DRM. And the extra free content being labors of love from the developers to the fans. 'Course Impulse is gone, that changed things up. If the game remains rich in content (and i'm confident it will), then i might even find some DLC that interests me. Particularly a 2D Sprite version of the game. Or some other option for less graphics, more epic play. Which brings to me to final thought...

Is intriguing news to me that there is a team working on mobile games. i hope this includes games for tablets. i'd love to have a full-featured 4x TBS running on a tablet !!  As well some 'lighter' games. Time-stallers and games for playing while most the brain processes some heavier thought. And a "mix-tape" of old classics revisited (all those little games that used to come with the OS. + a selection of the PC arcade games.. the line breakers, makers, droppers, matchers, majongs, and stuff. A collection of PC Arcade games optimized for play on 7-10" tablets. 

Thanks Stardock for sticking with Elemental. 


Oh, and as others have said.. my un-keen motivation towards DLC changes as i grow more interested to support continued development. i've been of this mind back when the news of the free games came out. i waited till the day after the deadline for free games came before making my purchase. so i'd be paying for E::FE's development. But you went and extended the free-date so i got the FE free. i'm not complaining But i am more minded towards DLC now. 

Anyhows, great news, great work, nice plan 

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November 6, 2012 7:06:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think hand-crafted maps won't do well as DLC, but other DLC might.   I know personally, I would be interested in DLC provided it added to the sandbox, but I really dislike pre-crafted maps (random is always best)

 

Saying this not to pooh-pooh, but to get future content if the original content sells poorly (which I suspect it would).  

 

Perhaps you should put up a poll listing your DLC ideas and see what the players here really want?  I think forumgoers , as a general rule, are much more likely to buy DLC than gen.pop.

 

 

 

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November 6, 2012 7:08:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wouldn't buy map packs - why would I when the modding community can create them for free. I however would buy DLC that expanded the game in other ways.

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November 6, 2012 7:29:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Mistwraithe,
To be honest I'm avoiding telling anyone about FE until the bugs are fixed - I figure I'm doing you a favour!

^^ This ... I've already had 3 friends on steam, one being my brother, ask me about the game because they see me playing it and I told them it's worth the investment, but if you can't deal with the bugs wait until I let them know it's good to go.  I know for a fact my brother would love this game, but with the bugs he would get frustrated, and he is currently in college and money is tight.  I would get this game for them as an Xmas gift, but not until I am satisfied with the bug fixes, last thing I want to do is recommend a game my friends will be frustrated with.

If the DLC offered more than just maps, like a few new units, abilities, addition of Dynasties (since's it's already technically there, mostly), I would easily spend between $2.99 - $7.99 depending on the content of the DLC.  If it were up to me, based on the fact the game has a random map generator (and I agree with Emperor_Nero), I think a $2.99 price point would be more favorable for a Map pack, but if you start adding in more Factions (with new models), creatures, champions, gamemode options, then you could push your DLC's in different ranges.  Eventually, with enough DLC's then you could package them as a group price.  Every person plays the game differently, and wants to see different content, so I think having a variety gives people the flexibility to pick and choose what they want, and then when it comes to the sales (especially on steam) it can be packaged together.

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November 6, 2012 7:30:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I too don't have any interest in map packs, but i would be very interested in a quest pack or Item pack or something that can be dumped into the game to be thrown into the world during random generation.  I love randomly generated things, anything that is created out of my control so that i can discover it really peaks my interest.

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November 6, 2012 7:37:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

How about a crowd-sourced funding approach for some of the more "off the mainstream" thoughts.. SD proposes a small feature set, those who are interested pitch-in the pre-order cost. If there is enough interest to fund short development of some of these wilder ideas, then SD assigns a flex team to produce it. And fans can collaborate on the forums for various feature sets they'd like to see. Where there appears to be requisite support, the fans might ask SD to look into making it so. And Fan-Funded DLC might have some potentials beyond what i say here. An intriguing thought in this day and age.

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November 6, 2012 7:45:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

The Map Pack
We will be releasing our first-ever DLC for a Stardock game.  It’ll be an interesting experiment to see what the demand is.  Paul Boyer and I have designed a series of hand crafted maps that will be going up for sale in a week or two for $4.99.  If sales of this are strong, we’ll look at doing additional DLC packs.  A game like Fallen Enchantress lends itself to content centric DLC and so we’re anxious to see what people are interested in.
It should be pointed out that part of Stardock's stellar reputation is based on the fact that you don't do DLC. Suddenly changing that - and charging $5 for a map pack, which is pretty excessive - is going to cause people to worry that you're headed down Paradox' path, potentially even excising content to sell it and breaking game features to sell new DLC as they have.

Now, granted, you do have a lot of customer goodwill to burn from the free FE thing, but burning it away this fast might be a bit unwise.

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