Two months since launch

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Chris
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Two months since launch

Postby Chris » Thu May 05, 2005 4:49 pm

Darwinia has now been on sale for two months, which is amazing as the launch party seems like it was a year ago to me. A lot of stuff has happened since we launched and I thought it would be a good idea to bring everyone up to speed.

Sales of Darwinia have been good but not great. That's been the answer that i've given everyone who has asked, and its close enough to the truth. We'd guess web sales in the order of a few thousand units. Enough for us to stay working for Introversion and push on with our other projects, but not enough for us to start hiring and expanding and moving into offices. Or buying Ferarris. On the other hand, sales of Uplink have really shot up since Darwinia's release, which we imagine is because there are loads of people who've still never heard of it until now.

Magazine coverage in the UK has been awesome. Mark and Tom have really outdone themselves this time, netting us far more coverage than an indie game with no marketting budget would normally receive. We learnt a lot from promoting Uplink and this time I think we really got it right. PC Gamer alone have dedicated no less than 9 pages to the game. The reviews have been astonishing, giving us an average score somewhere in the high 80s.

The 1.2 patch for Darwinia has been launched and fixes most of the bugs that caused problems in the initial version. All in all the launch of Darwinia went considerably smoother than the launch of Uplink. We're also happy we managed to launch Mac OSX and Linux versions very close to the initial Win32 version. If I was a polititian i'd say things had improved greatly, but there was still room for more improvement. It would have been lovely for v1.2 to have been the launch version, but the reality is that it would have delayed the launch by another 2 months. At some point you just have to stop working and release your product, or you go bankrupt. This time around I think we launched not quite ready, but we would have released a patch much much sooner if there had been any serious bugs that needed fixing immediately.

Future patches will concentrate on modding facilities, and maybe, just maybe, multiplayer. Or as we've codenamed it within Introversion, Multiwinia. We are keen to point out this isn't quite the holy grail you might think it is....Darwinia does not really lend itself to multiplayer gameplay, due to its indirect unit control and massively overpowerful squaddies. If we went ahead with this project there would indeed be a player versus player battle mode, but this would be just one of many game types, and probably the least interesting.

After much pain and hard work, our new Web Store is almost ready to come online, hopefully within the next month. We've been relying on Worldpay all this time and its starting to show its age...there's no concept of a shopping trolley or checkout, no proper support for currency conversions, and it takes ages for us to get the money out of them. The Worldpay system we use just isn't suited to a company with multiple products. All of that will soon change with a modern web store tied into our very own merchant bank account. Crucially for us we get the money out much faster (cash flow is a huge issue at Introversion...we're only now starting to receive money from shop sales made in early March), and the shipping admin stuff should make Will's job much easier when it comes to posting your copies out to you. It also means we will be able to offer immediate online downloads of all of our products, which we've wanted to do since the very beginning.

We've received a lot of emails asking about the posters. We have every intention of bringing them back, but at the moment we are totally snowed under with work. It's difficult sometimes for me to keep in my head just how many projects Introversion Software are working on at the moment. We plan to launch two posters, both double sided. One side will contain a screenshot from the game in the same format as the old A1 poster. The other side will contain a specially designed (and very cool) graphical image. You'll see soon.

We are blown away by the Mods that have been released so far. The creativity on show is simply astonishing, and its fantastic watching people slowly learning how to use the tools. Some of the best things done have involved horrific abuse of the system to produce something very unusual. Keep your eyes on Icepick's site TheNextGame for the latest on Darwinia mods. Special mention has to go to Stricken Souls by The Goldfish, a quirky and fascinating journey through the Darwinian afterlife which turns the existing game story on its head.

I think that just about covers it. Thanks for listening!
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Postby elDiablo » Thu May 05, 2005 5:27 pm

Go funky new poster type things et al.! \o/
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Postby Adam Black » Thu May 05, 2005 8:16 pm

A score in the high 80s isn't average! It's good!
Let's kick this bitch into overdrive.
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Postby Darksun » Thu May 05, 2005 8:29 pm

...

He said that Darwinia's average (i.e. mean score across the reviews) score was 80.

Silly Adam Black
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Postby edd8990 » Thu May 05, 2005 9:54 pm

Well... congratz on the high 80's... Pity you havent got the sales darwinia deserves...

Has it really only been two months... Felt like aaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggeeeeessssssss longer.
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Postby Starfyre » Thu May 05, 2005 11:02 pm

It feels like a YEAR.
Okay, might've been all the betatesting beforehand, but congrats to IV and I hope sales will increase as soon as the word spreads! :D
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Postby Iris » Fri May 06, 2005 12:48 am

edd8990 wrote:Well... congratz on the high 80's... Pity you havent got the sales darwinia deserves...

Easy there edd8990, Uplink also started rather slowly, I think in fact much slower than Darwinia did, and had less marketing at the time. Even Chris admits that Uplink's sales have been better now than in the past, and still steady after more than 2 years since release. Patience, my boy, patience.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Fri May 06, 2005 1:03 am

Although Uplink went slowly for lack of advertising, no one knew about it. Darwinia has had all sorts of publicity. I think the ridiculous oversaturation of the RTS market hurts Darwinia badly. Uplink was more or less unique and highly adictive. In that respect it was superior to Darwinia (at least in my mind). :)
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Postby NeoThermic » Fri May 06, 2005 1:06 am

It feels like only yesterday when I was at a party getting drunk at absinthe... oh wait, I was doing that yesterday. :lol:

Two months have been slow... which is odd, but intresting.

Woo, I think I'll post more later, I'm watching the election results :P

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Postby The GoldFish » Fri May 06, 2005 2:06 am

Yeah, well, some of us have been SLAVING AWAY for 2 months at certain mods which shall remain nameless.

Uh, thanks, I guess? You make it really hard to be modest sometimes. Hopefully more mods will come along soon, cause it's not *that* much fun playing your own mod.

On a side note, the general theme of this post was: :P
-- The GoldFish - member of former GIT and commander in chief of GALLAHAD. You could have done something, but it's been fixed. The end. Also, play bestgameever!
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Postby Andcarne » Fri May 06, 2005 4:45 am

I can't believe it's only been two months either. All the testing ahead of time probably does it.

Pity the sales aren't what it deserves, but at least you've got enough to keep going, and the only place the numbers can go is up. :)
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Postby xander » Fri May 06, 2005 5:29 am

The GoldFish wrote:...Uh, thanks, I guess? You make it really hard to be modest sometimes. Hopefully more mods will come along soon, cause it's not *that* much fun playing your own mod...


Give me some time, The_Goldfish. We aren't all gifted with a preternatural ability to stay up all night working on a mod while also going to work. And I have a gf to satisfy, and cook for. I will have something for you in a month (or two, or three). :P

By the way, it is nice to know that the game is doing pretty well. I have managed to get a number of friends to buy it, including several that I have not even seen in five or six years.

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Postby LLamaBoy » Fri May 06, 2005 6:55 am

Personally, I've seen the last couple of months fly by; but then again, I've got exams coming up, so there's never any time :P

About the sales figures, you should realise that the times they are a-changing. More people are preferring consoles for their games what with the likes of the Xbox and PS2 and the new handhelds.

Also, what Iris said about Uplink sales may very well hold true for Darwinia. Not everyone is up to date with game releases. New gamers might be on the lookout for eye-catching titles in 6 months.

Anyway, it's great to hear you're still surviving, IV. Just keep me a warm spot in the next beta batch :P
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Postby Dru Lee Parsec » Fri May 06, 2005 4:45 pm

Pity you havent got the sales darwinia deserves...


Well, what can we do about that? Since we're the big Introversion/Darwinia fans maybe we can do a little geurilla marketing.

Let's see if we can each get one friend to buy Darwinia. Let's get the word out! Darwinia must sell a HoJillion copies! :lol:
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Postby Sobek » Sat May 07, 2005 9:45 am

If Mozilla FireFox's constituents can zealously advertize what they use, why can't we?! I say that we(And/or Introversion) could make up stickers, signs, mini-posters and things along those lines to spread the word of IV and indie gaming in general. Once someone see the quality of Darwinia it may open their world to more than just the cookie cutter crap that is manufactured in the wider world and marketed under the banner of: "We spent millions of dollars and three weeks on this, it has to be good!" Bastards...
I live in the US(Until I move to Canada) and I have heard or read nothing about Darwinia. Needless to say, I was rather perturbed with that fact. I understand that IV can't do the international-advertizing thing, but I think those of us here should do something more; even if it is making a Darwinia advert in MSPaint©, printing it out and putting it up on a college messege board... something to spread the word.

I address this question to IV or someone who would know the answer: Have you ever considered a donation system? For those of us who would like to help and have bought a game... and one for each of their friends and family, but has the desire and the means to give more but not through a process that would be wasteful and would still cost you money(CD production costs, etc.)... Just a thought since you're working on your store system at the moment... something to include before you go online with it...

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