An old man's journal

An old man's journal

In this week's update on the game, we're showing you a sample of the journal in Life Pictures. The journal is where our main character writes the things that he remembers. When starting the journey, his vague memories translate only to sketches in his journal, but as you take pictures and uncover more about his life, he will remember things more accurately. Helping him fill out all the pages in his journal is the ultimate goal of Life Pictures. We hope you enjoy this small sample below, representing the first things the old man remembers as you begin playing! Thank you for reading!

    I was raised by my grandparents. They lived in a place that would now seem out of this world. A place where everything was green, where grass and trees were the norm, not some oasis of nature in a city suffocated by steel and glass. I loved the forest, I loved exploring, running around, being as free as I would ever be in life. I love to remember those days. I wish that when I die, if there is anything beyond, I'd go to a place where I’m surrounded only by nature, trees as far as the eyes can see. I wouldn’t miss the city, I never felt like I belonged. In my heart, I was always the kid running around in the forest.
    When I was old enough to go to school, I had to leave my grandparents and move to the city with my father. It took me a long time to get used to the people, the noise, the air. I longed for the next visit to my grandparents, but when they passed away, I had no place to escape anymore. The only good thing my father did for me was to buy that cabin in the woods. I used to go there as often as I could, it was the only place where I could really breathe. For a long time, it was my real home.

The road to getting Greenlit

The road to getting Greenlit

Since we've just recently been Greenlit by the community - yay! - today's post will focus on our Greenlight campaign, stats and opinions.

Preparing the campaign
First thing we knew we wanted to have ready before kicking off the campaign was a new trailer featuring more gameplay and more about the girls. We also prepared a game description that tried to both explain our game and to make our readers curious enough to want to try it. And finally we've selected our best screenshots to use on the Steam Greenlight page.

First day
If you followed our progress so far, you may know we have more than a couple of months since we've announced the game and posted regular updates, trying to increase visibility for our game. And it paid off when we launched the Greenlight campaign, getting us 294 yes votes in the first day. While some of those were organic votes through Steam, most were from our twitter and facebook followers and friends. This gave us a decent start and a decent amount of comments, which are very important since a lot of voters tend to check the comments section to see other people's feedback.

First week
In the following days we continued to tweet about our campaign, asking nicely for people's support. We also posted the campaign on the Unreal forums, tried to find people passionate about the genre on reddit and on Steam forums and did our best to get featured on a bunch of Greenlight collections. The numbers continued to add up nicely, we ended the week with 433 votes, but there was clearly a slowdown.  As you may notice, if in the first day we had 1125 unique visitors, by the end of the week we only had an extra 714 visitors. Which is really low and started to worry us. We knew from other developers that Steam visibility is very low after the second or third day, but we didn't expect it to go so low so fast. And the major issue was that our social media didn't seem to attract too many visitors - we'll talk more about the reasons in the conclusions section of this post.

Second week
At the end of the first week, when things started to slow down, the awesome community managers at Unreal came to our help and retweeted our latest trailer and Greenlight campaign. Which did wonders on twitter, with more than 27000 impressions, 121 likes and 51 retweets. Unfortunately, those didn't translate very well to votes, we probably had around 30-40 votes tops coming in from that bump in our visibility. Again, social media didn't attract too many visitors to our page. But, every little bit counts! And to help raise more interest, we kicked off a contest where you have to guess a movie title from the game to get a free Steam key. Which also helped a bit, but not as much as we had hoped. By the end of the second week we had a total of 505 votes, so just an extra 72 votes during a whole week. Despair started to get some serious roots in our hearts, especially considering that we'd kind of used our tricks: Unreal already helped us and our contest was up and running with little results.

Third week
If we thought the second week went bad, we were in for a big surprise in our third week. Well, two big surprises actually, but let's focus on the first one, which was that now we had days with only one or two votes, while days with 5-6 votes were the highlights of the week. To say that things were going poorly is an understatement. And just as the number of votes dropped, so did our morale. As the end of the week was nearing, we only had 20 extra votes. The occasional positive feedback was a nice consolation, but nothing we did seemed to work.

Epic Friday
And then the awesome people at Unreal featured us in their monthly #EpicFriday games reel! Did we already say they're awesome? Good, because we'll mention it as often as we can! Besides making us feel great, we suspect that reel had a big impact in us getting Greenlit just a few days later. Our votes didn't seem to be enough, we weren't high enough in the charts, so Unreal featuring us is the only explanation we can find, besides maybe someone at Steam really liking our game! So, yeah, that was the very happy conclusion to what had become a depressing campaign!

The first thing we want to note, as stated above, is that social media coverage doesn't translate well to votes on Steam Greenlight. That probably has to do with the fact that the Steam login system is very discouraging to use for anyone that isn't sitting in front of their PC already logged in the client. It's a chore to login from the browser or even more so from mobile, considering you have to go through writing your credentials, getting a security code, inputting it and only then getting to the page you requested. In an age where people rarely have the patience to read anything else but the title of an article and usually you only get a like or share for anything you post, having such a difficult login process definitely doesn't help driving people to your Greenlight page. We're not saying we have a solution for this, we're just stating the obvious.

But, of course, this doesn't mean you should stop using social media to raise visibility for your game. Quite the contrary, it's your most valuable tool! But you shouldn't limit yourself to only this. While it didn't have a major impact for us, things like a contest, getting included in Steam collections, starting up discussion on the Steam forums and so on, are very important. And we'll say it again and again, every little bit counts, every vote is valuable! You never know when someone tells his like-minded friends or has a huge audience somewhere and shares your game.

As a piece of advice that we'd wish we heard more often: don't despair! Even if things look bad, even if votes don't seem to add up anymore, just keep doing everything you can, even if it doesn't seem to work. Sooner or later, if the game looks like it could shape up into a decent, polished game, you'll get Greenlit. Hell, even if it looks like an amateur work, you might still get Greenlit! So just keep tweeting, facebooking, steaming, redditing, foruming and whatever other words that don't exist! And interact with people on Steam, reply to comments, start discussions, don't engage negative feedback with negative responses, be humble and remember that people's time is very valuable and limited, so be grateful when they spend it giving you any kind of feedback!

P.S. We still have some Steam keys in our contest, so if you want to play Life Pictures for free when it releases, head on to the Steam discussion and guess a movie!