Understanding video game development: Wishlists

In a world governed by algorithms, the success or failure of a game can depend on a simple numerical value.

This article seeks to explain to both developers and players the importance of the accumulated amount of wishlists on Steam and other similar platforms.

 

 

An sea of games

 

With the number of games available growing year by year, having a good game is no longer enough and standing out from the crowd becomes a priority for all developers. There are many variables that influence the success of a game (as well as its failure) but we are going to try to understand one of the most basic ones.

 

 

Wishlists 

 

What does this mean for the player? In simple terms, it is a means that allows you to make a reminder about a game that you visited and were interested in, which you could add to a list of possible games to buy in the future, either because that game has not yet been released or it is simply waiting for a better time to buy it (discounts, seasonal events, etc.) and you don’t want to lose it among this sea of games.

You can find this feature not only on Steam but also on other platforms.

What does this mean for the developer? It is a preview of the interest that your game can generate, a statistic that can be used to calculate possible future sales or even a number that allows you to negotiate with publishers. The number of wishlist that a game has can influence its launch and is a highly valued number.

It also has effects on the different platforms, but we are going to focus on Steam, a high number of wishlists ensure that the platform promotes the game in a “natural” way, it also allows it to be positioned more frontally at events when it is shown on the platform. “If you have many wishlists it is because many are interested and if many are interested, it will be shown to more people.”

The logic seems simple, but it isn’t all that matters, the moment and how those wishlists are achieved also affect, it should be noted that this is between “myth and reality”, because Steam assures that it is not a real factor, but according to the experience of many developers it seems so.

Let’s take a practical example, an indie game may have “100.000 wishlists” but they were collected over 5 years and during the last 3 months before launching, only “5.000 wishlists” were added, the “momentum” of the game was lost and most of those wishlists are “cold…” as a result the launch may not be as effective and that game is in danger of not having much scope.

In the next video Steam explains a little more how it handles the visibility of games.

 

 

The reality

 

As we saw, for developers the importance of players wishlists becomes essential and they are affected much more by their use. 

As players, I believe there is a certain responsibility to help the games we like or are interested in by clicking a simple button, the cost is free and we can help make that game a success.

As developers we have to understand that “wishlists” are important, but it is only one factor among many, being aware that possibly only between 10% to 30% of those wishlists become sales (with a good launch) and that hopefully throughout the life of the game we cover 50% of the total of those wishlists. There are always special cases that break with these statistics and sell much more or the conversion rate is higher but they are just that… special cases.

But then, does having many wishlists ensure success, yes or no?

No, but it does give a good base and opportunities to each game that is presented on the platform, let’s say that the greater the number of wishlists, this becomes a beacon of light in this sea of games to stand out, if they are more recent the light It will be strong, if they are very old the light will be much dimmer…

And speaking of beacon, have you already added our game Beacon of Neyda to your wishlist? No? Well, this is your chance.

Yes, I know, it was a very smooth transition, I hope you found this article of interest, I invite you to follow us on our social networks and be sure to see what other things we have on our blog, until the next article!

Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #9

Welcome back to another development diary, I’m Christian and I’m here to tell you the news about the development of Beacon of Neyda.

 

 

 

Future Demo


Every day that passes brings us closer to the planned launch of our demo along with other news (coff cough Kickstarter).
The Demo announcement it is completely official and will be available in a maximum of a couple of months.

 

What will this demo cover?

The introductory level of the campaign, where all the basic mechanics will be taught and a little of the internal Lore of this universe will be explored, leaving enough crumbs of history so that there is interest in seeing the following chapters.

We want it to be a playable experience of about 30 to 45 minutes but that depends on how much time each player takes to explore and want to search for all the secrets.

 

 

 

 

Development Status


As we mentioned in the previous Dev diary, we continue working on the enemy Spawn system, not only refining the formulas to use but also moving on to the more practical part of animation for the enemies.

The interfaces and internal menus are being updated, again if you saw our social networks we have shown new sections such as a codex, a space for the information that the player finds to be saved and can review it more calmly later.

New scaffolding systems were created for each of the buildings and their upgrades, as well as rework of the main tower of the tower stations (Main base). Currently, restoring the main tower will not only be the main goal to achieve but will also provide a practical improvement to the player for each level restored.

Finally, the specific upgrade system for each building offering one more layer of strategy is already created, these annexes will offer temporary or specific improvements. The simplest example to explain this concept is that of the defensive wall, it can be improved with an extra barricade that will accept the integration of the different cores, giving two effects, first it will give some extra life points to the defensive wall and secondly by combining it with a core, when destroyed, it will generate an explosion that will affect the enemies with the effects of the core it had inside.

 

 

 

 

Future plans?


What does the future hold? At the moment we just want to finish our games in development, and in our short-term future we want to be more active on social media again.

We do not rule out the idea of possibly adding vlogs on YouTube and other platforms to spread more about our experience and the development of the game, although this aspect is less oriented towards our audience of players and more towards other developers or people interested in that type of thing.

We also plan to participate in digital events, although for reasons of budget and focus on finishing our game we believe that this year we will not participate as actively in in-person events. It is true that they can be very interesting but they generally have a high cost in terms of finances and in terms of time.

 

And that’s all for this dev diary. Remember to join our patreon or buy our minigames if you want to help us with the development.

 

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Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #8

First devblog of 2024, sorry for the delays like every beginning of the year and how our last few months have been… we could say that it has been busy, new things to tell about the development and news from the studio. I almost forgot to introduce myself, I’m Christian and I’m going to tell you about all the news!

 


Technology from Neyda world


“Upon arriving on the new planet all the AI’s automation protocols came into progress and the construction of the big city began:”

With a better defined story and a deeper lore, many artistic and design decisions have been adjusted, mainly in terms of the functioning of certain things, for example the energy cores, their use throughout each map or level is going to be a lot more important since there will be a greater variety of machines that use it without neglecting its importance for the construction or improvement of new buildings.

Defining the technological level of a science fiction story can be difficult, our greatest inspiration comes from sources such as alien, cowboy bebop, Trigun among others.
We hope that the final result will be interesting for players looking for a more complex lore in their games, but for casual players, don’t worry, it still has the same game bases of base construction, defending waves of enemies and exploration.

 

(early concept)


Development Status


Progress in development is constant but having to rearrange many of the previous systems to make them more modular has taken us longer than expected. We are currently working on the new enemy spawn system, this new system will allow us greater control, choosing which points on the map can make enemies appear, with what frequency, what type and quantity, taking into account different global variables that will adjust the difficulty of the waves according to the player’s skill.

This also enables other game modes apart from the campaign, for example survival, how long the player can survive with infinite waves and limited resources? You’ll have to find out when the game is released.

Finally we confirm that most of the changes that we mentioned in the last couple of devblogs will be able to be tested in the future demo to be released, we are still defining how much it will cover and what the experience will be, but our goal is to have a free demo so that everyone can try it and give us feedback on the game.

 

(Yeah prototype of one of the enemies in 3D printing)


The Ghost Creative team


Many players see the development of a video game as something linear, which is why I have been very careful not to mention possible release dates, since being an indie studio our life is not so linear or stable (if you have read the previous devblogs or follow us from the beginning you will know it). That’s why I wanted to share a little about the team.

We are currently 6 people working on the game, mostly from Argentina, although our studio also has roots in the neighboring country of Uruguay.

We hope to slowly build the team as we finish this game. Currently looking for pixel art animators to complement the work of our wonderful artist Franco.

We are also very happy because our musician and audio specialist Leandro has taken a few weeks off due to the birth of his second daughter.

We are a small team with great ambitions, remember if you want to help you can join our community or follow us on social networks.

Remember to join our patreon or buy our minigames at launch if you want to help us with the development and thank you very much for your patience, we are finally moving forward in the way we wanted in the development of the game.

 

 

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Follow us in our Discord community for news and development progress.

Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #7

Okay it’s been almost 2 months but Christian is here! Hi! Today I bring you a summary of how development is coming and what has happened in these almost couple of months since our last dev diary.

 


Why the delay?



Let’s get to the point, because we are working on the game… yes I know you would think it is a stupid answer, but if you have seen the previous dev diaries, you will remember that we have had a lot of problems working on the game in the year… To be able to maintain the studio we accepted other jobs and made small progress on Beacon of Neyda, slowly but steadily, but we did not get the funds to finish it and after many rejections even our motivation waned a little.

Luckily several things changed and finally for almost 2 months we have been 

working full time on Beacon of Neyda. History, mechanics and designs in general have already been defined and we are working on creating the best possible game, we still have limitations, we have not ruled out the idea of a kickstarter and we have opened a patreon, we do not know if it will work or if there are interested parties but we would appreciate all the help possible.

Finally we have plans to continue working for the next 6 months without interruption to finish the game. Don’t forget to join our Discord to find out the latest about our projects.

 


Development Status


In the previous dev diary we mentioned that we were going to change the construction system, but to achieve that we had to rewrite a lot of code, and it is something that we are almost finishing. After definitively modifying and fixing our drones, we have worked on the new construction/upgrade system and how the player interacts with everything.

In art, the work has been exhaustive, the amount of environmental assets for the new levels are on a very good track and the new elements with their animations are also on the right track.

As for audio, new music tracks are being worked on and we are playing with the idea that narrative elements of the game are not only through the visual of the environment, but also have the possibility of adding specific narrative audios.

which brings us to the point of the translations and languages that the game will have, at least in text we hope to start with the game translated into at least 5 languages at launch.

English – Spanish – Portuguese – Italian – French

As far as audio is concerned, English and Spanish, if possible… but the latter is not yet defined.

 


New award won


To close this new dev diary I would like to share with you that we won a award, we have been relatively quiet about the game without taking it or sending it to events since we are working on it. But we did a test by sending our game to ExpoVit, a small-scale video game event where we won an award for “Best Story and Narrative.”

That makes the entire Ghost Creative team very happy as it shows that we are on the right path with what we are working on for Beacon of Neyda.

That’s all, maybe we’ll have some more updates next month, but we’ll probably take a couple of weeks during the holidays and the new year.

Remember to join our patreon or buy our minigames at launch if you want to help us with the development and thank you very much for your patience, we are finally moving forward in the way we wanted in the development of the game.

 

JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Follow us in our Discord community for news and development progress.

Dev Diary 1 – Road Map – Pixi Poxi

Hi everyone, welcome to the first Dev Diary of Pixi Poxi, my name is Christian and I will be in charge of telling you about this game.

To begin with, Pixi Poxi Autorunner Lab is a game that was born several years ago in the past when Ghost Creative Studio was just starting out, but it was forgotten after the studio focused on other projects. But personally, for me, it was always a small passion project that I knew I would revive at some point…


Road Map

 

And that moment has come during this year, first with a proof of concept built for mobile and then with an improved version, designed for PC with a demo to see what the public thought. In general, the feedback was good, which reignited my interest in bringing to life the game that I had imagined back in 2019.

This roadmap shows what I have planned for the game. Please note that the entire studio is currently working full-time on our main game, Beacon of Neyda, a side-scrolling strategy game where you have to survive waves of enemies while creating your base and exploring a post-apocalyptic world. Therefore, I am developing Pixi Poxi in my free time. My idea is to slowly add the missing test chambers and conversations between levels to add a narrative guide to the game.


Early Access


For the reasons mentioned above, I will start with an early access, which will be available in the coming weeks, as I am finalizing the last details such as achievements and Steam integrated elements in the game.


Test Chamber 4


After the release of the early access, I will start working on the new test chamber, 10 new “electrifying” levels with a more industrial setting. At the current pace of work, it will probably take me a couple of month for each new update depending on various factors. Ideally, I would have more time to work on this project and add someone else to help. Therefore, I am announcing that I generated a Patreon for the studio is available. The focus is simple: to complement our studio maintenance expenses and concentrate more on having time to develop our games. Everyone who joins will have their names in the game credits and a game key when it is released.

And that’s all for this first dev diary. If you want to talk about ideas for the game or see more things about the development, I invite you to our community!

 

JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Follow us in our Discord community for news and development progress.

Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #6

It’s me Mari… I say Christian and as I anticipated in the previous dev diary we have returned to work more energetically in the game and I come to tell you a little about this.

 


Neyda world


“When the Artificial Intelligences tasked with terraforming the desert world of Neyda rebelled against their creators, the world’s settlers were forced into war with the machines. With all communications destroyed, the people of Neyda fought alone to reclaim their world.

Decades later, the survivors of the war continue the fight against the last robots, still infected by the AI’s orders of destruction. Meanwhile, something new may be awakening in the sands of Neyda…”

With this basic premise we advance in the creation of the world and its places, what scenarios the player can visit and what secrets to discover… from the outer zone of the capital city, its industrial zone, its commercial districts in the interior to the mega beacon structure.

As you can see, the sketches are already underway and we have many plans of what we want to achieve with each new scenario.

 


Development Status


First of all, if you follow us in our Discord community, you have found out that our game is to be added to wishlist on new distribution platforms and if you had not found out, what are you waiting for to join our Discord community?

Secondly we have started to work on solving certain issues that we found in the gameplay, some things that simply did not work in the tests we carried out, for example the interface to build, something that many of the players found confusing in its initial use.

We add more details to reach an alpha with a playable demo but we still need to improve the flow of the game.


Possible kickstarter???



Despite working on the game again, our financing situation is still insecure and we are seriously considering the possibility of a kickstarter to solve the lack of resources and once again restore attention to our game. It is something that we will surely discuss during the next dev diary.

We also plan to start a small closed test of the demo during the next month, from Steam we have lists of keys to give out… so stay tuned for news in our Discord community

And that’s all for this month.


JOIN THE COMMUNITY
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Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #5


Christian here again! Hi! Today I bring you a summary of how development is coming and what has happened in these couple of months since our last dev diary which was a while ago… so let’s get down to business.



What happened?


Getting to the point, lack of financing, that’s what happened, since we couldn’t secure any stable source, we had to carry out other types of work and actions to maintain the study. This left us with little time for the game. In addition, our studio has a particularity, despite being a small studio (5 people), we generally take care of actions that larger studios would do.

An example of this is participating in different events both in our country and in other countries, helping to generate a local community with different actions, such as talks or events. Which also absorbs a lot of our time and sometimes even part of our budget.

Does this mean that the game died?… No, quite the opposite, although it is true that we still do not have a fixed budget to be able to work on it full time, we have been making small advances in development, but again they are “boring” advances since they are difficult to show.


Development Status


Firstly, new trailer, I think it shows the idea of the game better, secondly we have a new logo. The old one was fine, but to generate promotional material and take it to events it did not look good. Thus the new logo was born, no longer in a pixel art style but I think it works just as well together with the main art image.

The third action that we were carrying out was the update of the engine where the game is created, this is a task that can take a while and always generates errors that developers have to deal with. So why did we do that if it brings so much trouble? The answer is simple, we need to keep the version of the engine we use updated so we can port to consoles without much difficulty.

A request that we had from several fans is that the game be on multiple platforms at the time of its release and it is something that we are fulfilling as well. Other things we did was update the general lighting system for interiors and some advances in the creation of art assets.

 


How is the development going from now?


Again I want to close this blog entry on an optimistic note, we hope to have very good news soon. That means finally having the time to work on the game as it deserves, but in the worst case scenario we’re still going to move on and one way or another we will finish the game.

If you follow us on our social networks you will also see that when we are working on other jobs we always create a mini game and launch it. If you play our other games, share them and leave us your opinions it also helps us a lot to continue.

…And that’s all for this month. Hopefully the next blog post won’t take so long.


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Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #4

 

Christian here! Hi! Today I bring you a summary of how development is coming and what has happened in these couple of months since our last dev diary.

 

 

 
 

Development Status

 

Our last dev diary was in December where we announced that we were going to stop development during the holidays and that we would return in 2023.

But what has happened since then? the answer is a bit complicated, we have returned to the development of the game but very slowly, we are still dealing with some funding issues but the biggest problem has been the bureaucracy. I’m not going to bore you, but in the last month and a half we’ve had to deal with a ton of paperwork, taxes, and other things to get our studio to accept funding for game development.

We’re optimistic about how the game will progress from now on but putting that aside, where have we progressed in the game?
Well, we have made progress in the creation of more underground sections, while we have improved our lighting system (the day and night cycle) that we had to deactivate for a while. Among other minor design tweaks and tweaks to the pre alpha build we have on sample. And speaking of pre-alpha…

 

 

 

Thank you so much!

 

Thanks to a fellow indie developer we had a great validation moment for our game. We know the concept is good, but other than a few closed tests or small event shows up to now the game hadn’t been shown to the general public, and that changed with the Splatter Cat video. Despite having several bugs and being Such an early version of the game, he played our pre alpha version and we had very good feedback both from him and from his community, something that has helped us a lot. But since then he has not been the only youtuber interested in trying our game and we also thank Dan Field and Only Indies among others for showing interest.

So thank you very much everyone!

 

 
 

Public demo?

After getting some extra attention and many questions, we still can’t secure a public demo, yes we are going to work towards that goal but we can’t announce a date yet, thanks also to the support of the new followers, the people who joined to the community and that he has added the game to his wishlist. It honestly means a lot to us…

And that’s all for this month.

 

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Last blog of 2022

Ghost Creative Studio world logo

2022 has been a particular year for our studio a year of new projects and joys but also of challenges and a lot of work. Ghost Creative Studio 2022 Recap.

Continue reading

Beacon of Neyda Dev Diary #3


It’s almost the end of the year and maybe this new dev diary is a bit late but it’s going to have to count for two. Christian here again with news about Beacon of Neyda.


 



“Best Art”


For a few months we have a pre alpha build of the game that we use to participate in events and thanks to the wonderful work of our artist Franco alias “Pelado” and the small team that we have in general we have won two awards so far. Something that makes us very happy because if we achieved that with a job in pre alpha, can you imagine what we could achieve with a final version?

Having said all this, we currently have a new pre alpha version which will be receiving adjustments and maybe you can see it in an event in which we participate or in a closed test that we organize (Follow us on our Discord community to find out about it). For now we do not have any candidate versions for a public demo and it is something that we will only think about during 2023.

 



Development status


As I mentioned before, we have a new playable pre alpha version. With a simplified exploration underground, the integration of general and individual upgrades.
For example one of the problems that we detected is that games with this “2D defense style” is that you have the main character that moves from one corner of the map to the other several times and the movement is slow and tedious when expanding your domains a lot. Therefore, one of the first upgrades that you have access to is about movement, allowing you to move much faster through your domains and it is not the only one, future upgrades will focus on the movement of exploration outside your domains, making it a more dynamic game.

Being in such an early stage of development of the game we have been integrating support for multiple languages, because yes, we have already integrated a simple dialogue system in the game since we want that when expanding the game it is an element with which we already have as base and not have to integrate it at the last minute.

The “Beacon of Neyda universe” is growing every day and we want to give interesting lore to whoever is looking for it and great gameplay to whoever just wants to play.

 



What will happen during Christmas and New Year?


We have been working on this project and others throughout the year and the team deserve a break for the great work they have done, we still haven’t gotten full funding for Beacon of Neyda so we have only been working part time on the project “best case scenario”.

Therefore we will take a few weeks off, that doesn’t mean that our social networks will not be active but at least until next year there will be no big news (which could be… I can’t say anything else)

We hope 2023 will be a great year for Beacon of Neyda and our team. We hope you have a happy holiday and see you next year!


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