Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Stage3D stats for DN8:Pulse

That's quite a bland title for us isn't it, sometimes I guess we've got to be a bit literal.

Anyway DN8:Pulse has been out for 23 days now, so we've got some figures to share.

Thats some nice pie

No exact figures I'm afraid, more on that later. So, out of everyone who loaded it 81% had the best time ever, shit they loved it, they likened it to seeing the birth of their child.

14% were stuck with software mode, 2.7% were playing it on a site where wmode="direct" wasn't set ( I assume that for the most part that was shovelware sites who just blindly put up any game, I mean who cares if it works or not, they still get the ad rev, and if a games broken it's not the portals fault, it's those lame devs not checking their own work. And it seems after writing that I'm a lot more bitter about it than I thought ). Coming in last place is players without FP11 even installed, with 1.9%, which is much higher than I would have thought.

This is what we're looking at with stage3D right now then, only 80% of your target audience is going to be able to play it as intended ( Software mode is just poo and not worth entertaining ). Factor in that we all pretty much live and die by our ratings on portals, that's 20% of people thinking you suck so hard 'cause their machine can play WoW but not some shitty free Flash game ? Wow, that must have been coded badly, 1/5 for you. Now I mentioned above how 81% loved it so much they were willing to kill Helter Skelter style for you, but that's not true is it. At best you're looking at 80% of people who actually play a game really liking it ( And that's on a big fat hit, not a niche bullet hell shooter set in space ), so that of course is reflected in your overall rating.

It's like doing a AAA game for Kinect, you're reducing your audience before you even start and then you've got to hope everyone who does get to play it love it. DN8:Pulse is a good little shooter, but it's far from the best thing ever, I'm aware enough to understand that.

Ok, I don't want to give out exact figures for the number of players, as that's TurboNukes information to do what they like with, not for me to hand over ( That's like saying how much a game got sponsored for ), but even picking up a daily first on NG, and sitting on the front page ( And getting a great review on JIG ), it's done woefully badly. I mean really badly. It's had a lot of plays, and the average play time is 12mins, which I think is pretty good ( over 34 million baddies have been turned to pixel dust ), so people who have played it seem to like it, just no one has played it. It's currently on 98 sites but the traffic is just dire, and it's taken a while to spread to that many sites.

In terms of selling it, we couldn't have had less interest if we'd made a game about kitten genocide. Not one single site lock sold ( And only a couple of approaches for them, neither panned out ). We could say that a bullet hell in space is always going to be a hard sell anyway and it may not purely be because of stage3D, and I think to some extent that is true, but stage3D really hasn't helped it.

Anyway, time to wrap up this tale of woe. It's far from all bad, I'm really pleased with the game and I got to work with some really cool people to get it out of the door, so that's a major win right there. We've got the Android version 95% done and I got to take a crash course in ND2D and Away3D. In terms of performance, yeah it's blown, but quite a lot of players have really enjoyed it, and that's what it's all about.


PS. Look out for some info about our next stage3D game soon. Yep, we started it whilst DN8:P was under bidding. I'm never going to be a business man am I.

Comments (7) -

  • oos

    5/24/2012 2:41:56 PM |

    Over 80% is not bad imo.. we did a stage3d game some 6 months ago, and of the people who had FP11 installed then(~60%), only ~50% had a proper gpu to get the acceleration. Don´t know if Adobe have loosened up on the blacklists since then or if it´s pretty much down to the target audiance?

    And for what it´s worth, I really enjoyed it! :))

  • FlashMush

    5/24/2012 2:54:59 PM |

    80% Does seem good, still surprising people don't have FP11. Like oos, I thoroughly enjoyed it! =p

  • Echo

    5/25/2012 2:15:28 PM |

    Sorry to say but I'm not sure Stage3D had much to do with it, nor the fact it was a space shooter - the game was just not good at all.

  • Squize

    5/25/2012 3:02:52 PM |

    @oos cheers mate. Wow, you hit stage3D early :) Adobe were going to cut some slack to cards going back to 2006 in 11.2 but that's been delayed for some reason. Also word is the wmode thing will be going, which will help a lot.

    @FlashMush ta mate. 80% is better than we all thought to be honest, but getting the game spread ( Never mind sold ) has been murder. No one wants to touch it.

    @Echo brutally honest there mate :) Fair enough. The main point of the post was to give some figures out to the community rather than bemoan people not loving my game. As with all my games, I like it, and that's all I can do, make games I want to play myself and hope enough other people agree. If they do, then sweet, if not, well I've still got a game I'm proud of.

  • Kevin Newman

    5/31/2012 5:07:01 PM |

    I'd be curious to know what would happen if you blocked users from using the app in software mode, instead of actually trying to fall back to software rendering (which in my tests is unacceptable - oddly, especially with 2d engines - maybe the iPad mul fix that's been making the rounds will help in software mode?). Is that something the portals would block?

    In upcoming version of Flash, you'll be able to tell the user exactly why they can't have HW acceleration at least (doesn't help much now I guess):

    • Kevin Newman

      5/31/2012 5:20:49 PM |

      I just check the game out - it's pretty fun! In software mode (I turned off HW acceleration in the Flash settings) though, the input gets lost after a few frames requiring me to repress the directional keys, which is frustrating - that's the big killer more than the slowness. It looks solvable though - maybe detect SW mode, then reduce the number of particles or something like that, it actually runs better than I would have thought overall. A better frame-skipping algorithm might help too.

  • Squize

    6/4/2012 5:17:59 PM |

    Hey Kev. Originally the game didn't allow you to play in software mode, it brought up a screen saying "Sorry, but it'll suck" < Slightly paraphrasing there.
    My rational was that it really would be bad, to the point that I didn't want people to play it at all in that poor state. Well, we got slaughtered over that, players would rather play a game in a dreadful state than wait for it to load and then be told that their PC isn't good enough. A valuable ( And obvious with hindsight ) lesson learned there.

    As to supporting software mode properly with frame skipping etc. It didn't occur to me, as I didn't want anyone to play it that way. I thought sw rendering would be so bad that there would be nothing to salvage, but yeah when I tested it properly after the outcry it was much better than I could have expected.

    It really comes down to, in this case, how much good money you throw after bad. We actually sold the game for a loss ( And I don't mean factoring in my time at £x, I mean the graphics and the music cost more than what we sold the game for ), it's not spread well at all and it's pretty much off everyone's radar now.
    With all that in mind it's better just to let it fade away than try and fix the software mode issues. It's been a really good learning experience all round, I'm glad we did it and as a game when it's full screen at 60fps its really good, but it's time to write it off as a failure in terms of traffic / profit.

    Thanks for your comments mate.

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