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Play Our "World Domination" game prototype!

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slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
5 like this post 0 people
18/05/2020 11:31
Thanks for the thoughts everyone! Been quite busy so didn't manage to go into the ins and outs of the names.
We've taken your thoughts into consideration, and we've also been generally thinking about our target audience, defining features and main game appeal.

Based on these, we're currently most inclined towards the below name, defining words and game pitch. To keep it short I won't be going into details why the suggestion is as it is, but I'd just like to list it here, and see if you guys like it or not, or something specifically bothers you with any of it, and I can then follow up more if needed. Just one of our main points for reference - "simulation" is what describes the game and what it is about best in one word, so we've worked around that.

* Note there still might be some words choice changes, as I'm just off the meeting, but we really like the general concept of where it's at now

Game name (shortest possible): Simpocalypse
Extended name (primarily for better steam searches): Simpocalypse: a post-apocalyptic simulator

Shortest possible pitch:
A post-apocalyptic civilization simulator

Extended pitch:
a) A civilization simulation game in a post-apocalyptic setting, where you expand to become a global empire.
b) A civilization simulation game in a post-apocalyptic setting, with the ability to control time. Expand your settlement to become a global empire!



How do the name and pitches sound to you?
* you can also just like /dislike this post to show a quick reaction smile

Any feedback appreciated smile
Vixthra
Traffic Value: $2,179.00664 Slovenia
2 like this post 0 people
18/05/2020 13:09
Haha, now that's a name! grin Short, original.

As for the pitches I'd go for "a" (idk about that time control thing, unless ofc it ought to relate to some game features, but I'd still go with a simpler version).
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
2 like this post 0 people
18/05/2020 13:53
Yeah the timelapse feature will essentially allow you to use up idle/stacked up time in sort of a "fast forward" fashion, the next prototype version should have the basic of this ready to give you a feel - should be pretty cool smile

And the pitches in some cases have to be short, sometimes longer. Depending where we need them. But we want to make sure even the shortest ones hit the main point of the game and be attractive and create curiosity from people.
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
3 like this post 0 people
27/05/2020 17:50
We've settled in on the name Sympocalypse as it resonated well with most people and it self-explains what the game is about quite well.

A basic landing page for it is ready at https://www.simpocalypse.com/
We will work on SEO here and use it to build up our audience of marketing lists over the next few months.

Lastly, a much more detailed prototype is now available to play at https://gamexgames.com/game/simpocalypse

Please try it out, and give your feedback here or directly from the in-game menu. Don't worry if you don't consider yourself a gamer or don't particularly like such games, in fact having YOU play it and give us feedback is arguably even more important! smile

We are starting to gather more play testers from various channels, and building a community on our discord channel.

Next week we are discussing the next roadmap goals, which are focused on releasing a pre-alpha version within the next 10-20 days, which will be shared to much larger play test groups already.


So feedback especially during this first week is really important to us, so please try the game out if you have a few minutes smile
Crimson
Traffic Value: $1,274.48527 Romania
1 like this post 1 people
27/05/2020 17:53
Simpsonapocalypse xDgrin
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
5 like this post 0 people
27/05/2020 17:57
Lol, when you start the game we should add the simpsons theme song, just to mess with people smile
dguy
Traffic Value: $15,993.01608 Canada
3 like this post 0 people
30/05/2020 16:22
It's a nice game and sucks you in fast. Once it starts growing it keeps you busy but once problems develop then it can get a little frustrating repairing or figuring out what you broke.

I think the most difficulty people will have is figuring out what the programmer wants from his players
druth8x
Traffic Value: $22,417.44153 United States
4 like this post 0 people
31/05/2020 03:27
I'm lost as to how to start.
dguy
Traffic Value: $15,993.01608 Canada
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31/05/2020 17:11
Start scavenging first off. Then your priorities are food, water, and shelter. Every home you build brings in more workers.

I'll leave you at that
richiem
Traffic Value: $283.24108 Philippines
1 like this post 0 people
01/06/2020 01:54
I've managed to figure it out and make everything working on my 4th play. grin
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
4 like this post 0 people
01/06/2020 16:49
Thanks for the thoughts!

Yes indeed, the on-boarding is really the main issue right now to make it approachable/understandable, which is key if we are to grow more of an audience of playtesters etc.

Those who managed to stick through it generally had very positive feedback on the general direction of the game, but it simply isn't widely approachable yet.

We had a longer meeting about the next steps earlier today, and improvements to this will be at the forefront for the next two weeks, in short:
- adding a starting story
- better objectives/tutorials/explanations, less punishing balance
- more UI/UX improvements
- Some more graphic/design improvements (not final)
- more incentivized and meaningfull conquering system plus adding viability to an economic approach
- many more improvements to combat/conquering being more engaging
- we'll also be reworking how some buildings work to give a more consistent experience across the board

These are primarily aimed at being able to reaching and maintaining more playtesters, so when we reach towards our main target audience end of this period, we'll have the best chance of getting as many of those on board to become our core community going forward.
dguy
Traffic Value: $15,993.01608 Canada
1 like this post 0 people
02/06/2020 03:34
My thinking is you might want to toss in a lurking unexpected danger


...like a pandemic tongue

or an insurrection
richiem
Traffic Value: $283.24108 Philippines
0 like this post 0 people
02/06/2020 04:28
Yes, some sort of uncontrollable event that happens once in a while.
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
2 like this post 0 people
19/06/2020 11:17
We've released a much-improved pre-alpha version! You can try it out here: https://gamexgames.com/game/simpocalypse

Our Steam page is ready as well, so we can start gathering the very important wishlists and market the game up to its launch! Make sure to wishlist the game if you have Steam here:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1351500/Simpocalypse/

Main changes from last post:
- a ton of bugfixes, usability improvements, UI/UX improvements
- starting story/onboarding much improved, giving the game a bit of a cinematic/exciting feeling at the start
- More intermediary objectives, slightly improved balance
- research system works a bit differently now
- Demand/supply system implemented, with user trades affecting the price as well as overall market cap increasing over time, allowing user for bigger buys/sells


The main goal for this update was on improving above points as much as possible in a short time, as we introduced the version to our core audience on reddit, where we received quite a great general feedback so far!

Balance was not changed much and the game can still feel to have a quick learning pace, and not clear enough guiding, but that will be further addressed in the next set of updates. This milestone was primarily aimed at our core audience to get a bunch of playtesters, and get feedback on the core mechanics. So UI/UX/Onboarding/balance will still receive a ton of improvements!

We'd appreciate it even if you'd check it for a few minutes, and let us know if the very first minute of the gameplay feels much better now?
hopvscape
Traffic Value: $2,036.3384 Peru
1 like this post 0 people
19/06/2020 17:14
Now I like more. It's more understandable. I can continue playing wink
Hoppa61
Traffic Value: $73,032.40453 Netherlands
0 like this post 0 people
21/06/2020 11:47
My first thoughts:
I went fullscreen and the X was in front of the date.
I choose for 20 citizens. I assigned 17 explorers and 1 each to food/water and wood.
Took about 2 minutes to figure out that by hoovering on the above amounts, I could see that I was in the minus for all three.
I ended up with 8 citizens and 4 scavengers on water/wood/food.
After clicking Research and researching/building a house, I found the objectives button.
When I hoover the objectives button, nothing happens.
Sometimes I see a text appear and quickly disappear. Make the time longer that it appears. I saw something about a waterpump, but couldn't read the whole text.
Now, playing the game start to flow more.

Most important tip (I would say):
Make the objectives more central to lead the way for the player. Especially in the beginning.
mkganesh
Traffic Value: $199.10914 India
0 like this post 0 people
22/06/2020 12:53
My thoughts about the game and suggestions for improving.
The game was simple and design was good to keep you engaged and come back.

Suggestions:
1. In the main screen itself below the resources if you can show what the current gain / loss of the resource it will be easier instead of hovering over the resource.
2. When there is a building upgrade available, it would be nice to see the cost that will be incurred once the building upgrades before upgrading.
3. I was able to avoid some building like Hydro / Nuclear plant as it could add additional risks.
4. I was just able to keep adding rain collectors to keep up with the pace without adding pumping stations, may be a restrictions of how many rain collectors per pumping stations can be added.
5. In the research screen when there are no points available, clicking on some upgrade could give a message of no points available instead of nothing happening.

Bugs:
1. The connectivity bonus reset on refresh of screen.
Hersix
Traffic Value: $4,424.50705 Uruguay
0 like this post 0 people
05/07/2020 15:31
Thanks for your reply @slosumo, just read it lol grin
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
5 like this post 0 people
21/07/2020 12:52
Thanks for the above thoughts, completely missed replying before smile

Just a super quick update on development.

Right now I'm working on finishing implementation of the "World map" and some new late game mechanics it'll offer. Our other programmer is doing a full combat rework to make it more intuitive and interesting, all while marketing and design improvements are being prepared.

You can check a quick video overview of the world view here:
https://youtu.be/obLrWE0Onc4

We'd appreciate a like on the video, as youtube is one of the marketing channels we'll be using as well going forward!

There's recently been a bigger change in our release strategy due to some 3rd party changes, which I'll explain more about end of next week. I'm planning to write a bigger update anyway, as by then the game will have its next bigger UI rework done, and be a better time to show it off!

Things are overall progressing well, there's just a lot to do still. The past few weeks has mostly been "Under the hood work", which will compound to a ton of visible changes very quickly smile
slosumo - Administrator
Traffic Value: $28,438.4426 Slovenia
6 like this post 0 people
31/07/2020 12:13
Status update on Simpocalypse development

Wishlist Simpocalypse on Steam!

We're working hard to get an alpha build ready for around 10th August, which will be a far more refined version, with major UI/UX changes as well as much more defined features and progression!


Main changes since last update:
- 3rd tier of conquering/progression layer added, which now rounds up the main game loop neatly
- major UI/UX simplifications and a significant overhaul of the design & UI. We will continue to further simplify the look and feel of the game to make it feel “less text based”
major research tree extensions and design overhaul
- The groundwork for a combat UI and flow rework was setup, for to feel more natural and be more graphical. Combat will feel completely different with the next iteration!
- Basic structure for procedural biome generation has been setup, which will allow us to display fresh and “authentic” looking maps & areas when conquering territories, zones and even battles itself, that tie logically to any bonuses of an area.
- A ton of other smaller but important changes were done: preload & loading screen, play menu overhauled, bugfixes, balancing, timelapse changes etc. were done as well.


TLDR: A quick visual update of some of the main changes so far already implemented:

https://imgur.com/nJsXyH6


Launch strategy changes and general design goal thoughts


After much deliberation, in early July we decided that we would proceed with an In App Purchase (IAP) model for the game, which would be more focused on mechanical novelty and depth, as our main target audience was on online platforms, primarily Kongregate. We decided that was the most sure way to launch the game as soon as possible, and build on it and expand it to other platforms with time (i.e. Steam). An IAP model was something we have the most experience with, and one we had most certainty of the game being profitable. We decided over a premium/paid version, which would show more promise on platforms like Steam.

However, just after our decision on that we received news that our main goal platform Kongregate (main driver for an IAP model) was unexpectedly and suddenly closing doors to all new game uploads effective immediately. I will not go into details of this, but their decision surprised thousands of devs and users of their platforms, and even apparently many employees received words of that with a lay off. After this news and further research we concluded that the best way forward for Simpocalypse is to follow a premium plan, meaning we are focusing our launch primarily on Steam.

This alters our design goals, as due to a much wider and less niche audience on Steam, we want to focus more on making the game more marketable & approachable. This means less focus on extensive game depth and mechanics, and much more on on boarding, (marketable) visuals, a more “casual” experience, and generally speaking more focus on polish, look and feel of the game, for it to be much more marketable and able to reach and satisfy a wider client base on Steam. A premium version, also allows us to present and design some of the game's features at their full potential and not “make them worse“ for IAP purchases – ultimately delivering a much better potential game experience!

Such a change also allows us to focus more on quality, as we don't need to waste time balancing the game around IAPs, but can focus primarily on delivering a great core experience players will love paying a few bucks for. Also there's much less need for “game servicing”, support, analytics, and much more development time can be focused on the actual game experience and marketing. Additionally it also allows us to use many more of various Steam promotional tools, reach streamers and media more easily.

So while Steam is a new market for us we are now expecting more from, its potential upside is also much higher if the game does well. This also changes our launch strategy in such a way, that we have to launch the game finished, and pre-market it as much as possible. Initially our plan was to launch much earlier on sites like Kongregate and ArmorGames (in August) – now we can focus on finishing the game properly for the Steam launch, which we are aiming for end of September.

This gives us time to properly polish the game and to continue marketing it, especially as we being our Alpha tests (and later Beta). The amount of premarketing and on-launch quality plays a big role for Steam visibility.

We will be focusing all of our channels for promotion of the paid Steam version – one of the main sources we are excited to see in action, is the use of tons of 3rd party web game sites via iframe integration. There, we will be giving access to a free demo version, with slightly limited gameplay (progression, Quality of life, performance, and some limited content), which will be heavily incentivizing those players to download the Steam version. As we found with an IAP based game WarClicks, getting randomly/virally integrated on 3rd party sites brings almost 0 benefits/revenue, and we've been thinking of how to make such virality into our favor. With an easily accessible/sharable demo version of a quality game we think this will be a perfect opportunity to drive a ton of traffic to our steam version.

Recently a game in the same niche has applied the same concept and has done amazingly well on Steam. The developer contributes a lot of success to marketing in such a way on 3rd party sites.

This is just one of the ways we intend to grow our steam wishlist and downloads to hopefully a critical mass, that can help us get to various trending pages to drive additional traffic and sales to our game. This focus on Steam also comes with another benefit – the sales are typically compacted in a shorter timeframe after launch, compared to a much longer tail with IAP games, where players tend to spend more in the game after the game continues to deliver more updates and keeps servicing their players. That in in general requires a far bigger investment upfront to prepare and much more upkeep work. However with this change of strategy & sales model we aim to make the project profitable within months. It also means we need to invest minimum resources for its upkeep, and shortly after its launch we can focus on developing something new again.

So far development is going well - we're up to date with most estimates and are happy with how the quality of the product is coming along. We're continuing to slowly develop our community and gather wishlists, both of which we'll begin skyrocketing in mid August after our alpha release, and that's whne things start gettign really interesting smile
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