I contacted more than a 100 publishers for my game


#1

Title: Behind the scenes of a solo dev … a side that no one sees or talks about.

I’d like to mention something I’ve been going through the last couple of months…
I just want to come out and say that I’m going through some very bad depression, I’m just feeling terrible inside but I just can’t stop because I have a dream to get to.
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You might know by now that I’m creating probably the biggest game made with Gdevelop “Miko Adventures Puffball” …
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I got in contact with lots of publishers but unfortunately I was faced with rejection from every direction (more than 50 companies replied back, some didn’t even care even after a follow up and some just disappear) but I’m still trying… It was such a disappointment because some of them have games similar to mine with much lower quality.
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all companies liked the game (a lot) but it’s just not in their list or they’re just too afraid to take the risk at a new idea or a new IP from a solo dev, and some of them think it’s a kids game which is not true at all.

Miko Adventures Puffball has such a deep story that will only get deeper with future sequels, try to think about (Parallel universes) a concept that you rarely find in games these days, I tried to explain to them a lot, but of course once they decide something, it’s impossible to change their mind, they respect you I’ll give them that, but they won’t change their mind.
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Then I contacted marketing agencies and they like the game a lot but what do they need you may be wondering?
Oh nothing just 5000$ to start working on marketing + other stuff … yeah that makes sense, I’m a solo dev who is just starting and they need thousands to start, totally makes sense (of course I’m joking).
This is just an example of what it’s like out there, no one cares about people starting out even if they have something great, quality doesn’t matter.
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What I decided is that If no company won’t support my game, I won’t stop, I’ll just keep pushing forward until this game is out this year, and I’ll be marketing it solo which is going to be a nightmare.
I’m sure I can make this game go far, 2 years of my life can’t be just for nothing … right?
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I’m taking it one step at a time, and I’ll get there one day I’m sure about it…
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Yes I’m feeling down, actually I’m feeling terrible … but that can’t stop me.
I need to finish it to start showing the world what I’m capable of.
I have so much passion in this and rejection won’t stop me.
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So … you might be wondering, do you need to contact publishers for your game?
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Short answer: don’t even bother with publishers unless you have the next COD or Assassin’s creed or GTA, etc …
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The answer I like: Let me just tell you this … 99% don’t care about you or your game.
Send to publishers just for the chance for that 1% … you might get lucky, it’s all about luck.
It has nothing to do with how hard you work on your game, what is the game idea, how polished your game is or how unique it is.
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Which made me think … how many great games got buried down just because they were rejected?
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It sucks out there, but it won’t stop me from making my dream a reality, it will take 5 more years? I’m in … 10 more years? I’m in …
I’m lucky just to be doing and working on something I love.
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Depression will go away eventually, and I’ll get back to work.
I remember 3 years ago when my sister told me when I started in game dev and I was crying (actual tears) because I felt so down and I didn’t know how to solve a problem in the very first version of Miko and I felt so down and terrible, she just entered my room and said: “It won’t solve it self, you have to be there to solve it”.
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Since then I just … never stopped …
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Just wanted to get this off my chest …
Happy face has to be out there all the time but it’s not always the reality …
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Everyone…
Get ready for the biggest reveal of a game made with Gdevelop soon :heart:
Love you all :heart:
See you all at the release soon :heart:


#2

I am sorry you have to go through this, I don’t know what depression is like but it surely is painful. I hope you’ll manage to make your game a success even if you have to go solo. Who knows, if it works well enough, publishers might change their minds?
If you need any help from me (with optimizations, complex features, etc) you can count in me! Good luck, and stay determined!


#3

Keep your head up buddy! You’re creating something wonderful and it’s obviously coming straight from your heart. And when you start to get down, think about how much you’ve learned and grown as a game developer since when you started. That’s something that no amount of rejection can take away from you. I know depression isn’t solved that easily, but maybe it can be a start. And what if you self published a small “prequel” game including the first few levels. Maybe it could pick up Steam (stupid pun intended haha) and get you the attention you need from a publisher. I don’t know much about any of that obviously, but I can tell you’re not one to give up easily. You got this!


#4

Thank you so much man … like honestly I mean it :heart:
thanks for believing in what I do for all the years and always following and helping when I need you :heart:

Exactly I’ll just keep pushing, Miko will go far someday.

For sure, as you know the current game is near compilation but I’m positive that I’ll need help from you and everyone in the community in the next project as it’s going to be truly something that raises the bar on the things that Gdevelop can create, I have so much more to create with this engine.


#5

Thank you so much for such amazing words, you’re 100% right.

I agree 100% with that :heart:

I can do that but I decided not to because it can hurt the game more than it will help, that’s why demos stopped a long time ago, you get fewer sales on release because players already played the game so they don’t feel the urge to buy the full game when it comes out, I tried doing that with the old game and it hurts it so bad.

you see only a few companies do it these days like Capcom with RE:Village or RE 7 for example, which is nice but this is Capcom you know… a multi billion company.

What I decided with my games is:
1- Giving players the full experience on release.
2- You get what you pay for.
3- Polished games that requires little to no updates.

I’m seeing stuff like early access which is 95% turns out to be terrible and it’s a nightmare these days on markets like steam, so many unfinished games just sitting there blocking actual great games, so I decided not to go that route at all, I don’t even really believe in game jams (I know a lot will disagree), it’s a great thing don’t get me wrong but if a true full finished polished product not coming out of it (which happens 0.5% from all the ideas that come out from most game jams) then I don’t think it’s worth the effort, I just like to concentrate my efforts into 1 single idea and making the best version of it as much as I can.

Honestly thank you so much for believing in me :heart:


#6

I’m sorry to hear publishers reject your game. And I hope you all good!

First thing what came to my mind is that publishers want to see numbers. Numbers are everything. How many followers = possible buyers you have. I looked at your Gamejolt likes and followers and Itch ratings of the Miko’s Adventures. I don’t know do you have any other sites or social media where are more followers, Reddit for example? But what I saw is that you don’t have the numbers on Gamejolt and Itch to get publishers attention. I mean there must be something you can show to publishers “look, 10 000 people are waiting my game to be released! And there will be more!”.

Okay, it’s not that simple, but I think you have very good game there. There will be time when everyone notice your game! Keep it going!

Take care!


#7

We have a blog on GDevelop website, there is an article about Publishers if you haven’t read this ones.
And the blog is open to everyone, you are free to write an article and we i’ll review it with you and add it on the blog, this can help your game to be a bit more knowed.

Here you can submit your article. or share with us a document on a collaborative platform like google docs, it more efficiency to make suggestions and reviews.


#8

Coincidentally, I just watched this the other day. Has some great advice and really shows how great Devolver Digital is. All the GDC talks are wonderful and I would one hundred percent recommend them to anyone even REMOTELY interested in all the different aspects of game dev. https://youtu.be/mAI5W7Y5H28


#9

Have you tried publishing it on Kartridge of Kongregate? It would be a great fit there.


#10

Hey!
Sorry that you have to experience this. Publishing is very hard and the sad truth is that, as you said, absolutely no publishers will accept to publish your game as long as you’ve not already proven that it is a hit game.
Publishers are not interested in indie games because it’s usually hard to market.

Gaming is a jungle full of great games that got forgotten or buried down. You have to go and do the publishing by yourself or get some help from people around you. My recommendations:

  • Go on itch.io to start. Maybe Steam, but only after you have very good feedbacks on itch.io
  • For Steam, you’ll have to create a business. Check how to do it in your country, it’s not necessarily super expensive.
  • Get as many testers to try your game. Make them play to the first level. Note all their feedbacks, all the things. Fix all these feedbacks. The first level must be perfect and fun. Ask them “did you have fun?”. If the answer is not “Yes totally”, go back to your game and improve it, try new stuff. Release new versions. Release demos. Release as much as possible and listen to tester feedbacks.
    • I know this seems obvious, but you must be ready to listen to harsh feedback and fix it.
  • When you have something where people love your game from the first seconds to the end of the first level, adapt the rest of the game so that it’s as good as this.
  • Then ask all your testers to put great rating on itch.io, release it on steam, ask all your testers to put a great rating.
    • Then spend all your time marketing your game, social medias, forums, maybe even try some paid ads with the early revenue you get?

It’s great that you have a great vision for your game. Be ready to change a bit your plan, try multiple stuff and see if you can gather interest by yourself around your game. The rest will then be easier.

Good luck and stay safe!


#11

@4ian Thanks a lot for the detailed answer, testing is something I’ll be sharing here in the community soon (I’ll be posting about it today or very soon), but not from inside the game levels as I don’t want to spoil anything from the main experience, It’ll be just a small part of a level or something just to test the game mechanics and to see people reactions on everything, I’ll make it available for like 3 weeks (maybe a month or when I have enough data) before I remove it.

About steam:
I actually managed to pay the fee finally and I’m working right now on getting the page ready and soon I’ll reveal it and focus everything and every page I have to get people to Wishlist the game because in most cases, Wishlist = sales so this is something I’ll be working on for sure the next (4-6) months.

About itch:
the very first version of the game I released in Jan 2019 got a ton of good feedback so that’s why I turned my focus to steam now and of course the game will be released on itch too but steam will be the main target.

This is something I’m actually working on now full-time and the accounts are getting bigger each day now, and I’ll focus all the pages when Wishlist on steam is ready, I’ll go with paid ads more but when I have a page (the steam page) that people can go to and Wishlist the game not just hit like on the video and stuff, more call to action, ads with purpose not just for numbers.

Thanks a lot 4ian for taking the time to write a detailed answer like this, I have always been a lone wolf and I believe I can make this one work if I keep on pushing forward, no giving up only pushing forward until Miko go far and without any publishers, I can make it happen.


#12

@RapaGameZ

I thought so too but it really isn’t the case with publishers, if you don’t know someone from inside the industry then most likely they won’t accept your game.
And the proof is that I managed to convince a lot of them but then suddenly someone would contact me that the game does not fit or whatever … when it clearly fit perfectly and I just convinced one of them and they love it but then rejection with no reason.
They’re weird … that’s all I can say about them.

I’m gone from Game jolt a long time ago, didn’t like it and will be removing my account from there soon (I forgot about it) … about itch I do have +1500 downloads, many good reviews from people, about social media I have +1200 followers on twitter and on Instagram +450 (it’s kind of new and It’s getting bigger day by day), but all that doesn’t matter to them, they never asked about numbers, they just see you as an alien infiltrating their company, therefore you’re rejected…

To be perfectly honest, I could be sending them the next official GTA or the next COD and they will reject it just because you’re an unknown solo dev to them, 99% of the time it has nothing to do with you or your game.

And I was so professional with all documents needed, game pitch, factsheet, screenshots, gifs, gameplay video, game build … everything.
But it doesn’t matter …

But at least I learned from the experience so +1 to Gryffindor I guess :thinking:
I’m going in solo, Lone wolf all the way :heart:


#13

@Bouh That’s actually a cool idea, I think I might do that but not now, let’s leave it when I release the game and I get the full experience, I have a lot to share from my experience, I’d love to share it.
I’ll get in contact when I’m ready…
Thank you for letting me know btw, very cool idea.


#14

@bennich Devolver Digital is great, crazy people over there but it works with them.
Thanks a lot for sharing :heart:
Always like to watch GDC talks, most of them are very inspirational.


#15

@Orbinho Kongregate is a great website but they specialize in F2P only that’s why I didn’t send the game to them as It’s going to be a paid title, but thanks a lot for sharing this suggestion.


#16

No, you got me wrong. Kongregate is great but what i meant is the “kartridge” platform which is owned by kongregate. They publish paid games there. You better check it out:
https://www.kartridge.com/


#17

@Orbinho Oh yeah yeah I forgot about this one, I actually released the old game there, I might consider releasing puffball there too, thanks for reminding me, I totally forgot about it.


#18

Hi CorianderGames,

If your interested, you can contact us. We normally make Visual Novels but we plan on releasing a game late this year that use G-Develop. If we feel your game is align with our goals, we can discuss publishing it :D. Our Visual Novels are currently on Steam, Itch.io, Nintendo’s Wii U, and Kartridge.

Sincerely,

Brave Rock Games


#19

@Brave hi, sure we can talk.
Is there an email I can contact you with? website?


#20