WHL Launch Sales:
20 countries in 1 week !
Welcome Home, Love has sold in 20 different countries on launch week itself ! We went live on the 17th of March 2017 with no marketing, fanfare or press copies released - and the sales have far exceeded our expectations. We're still surprised it's doing so well (...and at all) in non-native English markets, given how heavily dialogue based this title is, with most clues relying on nuances of wording and language.
For an extraordinarily niche title requiring bleeding edge PC min-specs and an expensive peripheral, we couldn't be happier with the support and feedback so far. For reference, a min-spec PC + Vive/Rift will cost around $3000 AUD at minimum in today's prices - As you can imagine, our target market who can even run this with acceptable performance (incredibly important so players don't get motion sick) is incredibly small compared to other applications.
In retrospect there were things that went very well - Our shipped product aligned closely to the initial vision. If you asked me 8 months ago what it'll look like at the end, we have realised 85% of it as intended.. and we can tell from early versions of design docs. With the player experience at the forefront of all decisions, we did a great job at balancing scope and what's required with what's not, to release within expected timelines. This is in large part due to constant user testing throughout the process to determine what we needed to change or add, and what items I had initially prioritised that users didn't notice or care about. A few in particular came as a surprise to us, and ended up being cut from the release once we heard over and over that it wasn't as important as I thought it was.
Sure there have been other learnings and not everything went perfectly. E.g. When and why to start with Early Access, general lighting and illumination, audio recording set up and mixing, achievement configuration, streamlining the story-boarding and balance testing process earlier etc. It might be quicker to list everything we did perfectly the first time round... Actually, I can't think of anything - if only because I feel absolutely every task can always be further improved or iterated upon, and finding the right balance between shipping, and slipping is a definite art.
I've tracked EVERY SINGLE HOUR of effort spent on this project as we went, over the 8 months period and looking back - lots was done, lots was learnt and while it's been a long journey, learning and growing are why we're in this and what keeps us going. I've already received a lot of good conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org and am always happy to discuss WHL itself (stuck and need a hint?), indie work, producing a title, workflows, VR/AR or tech in general - get in touch ! 🙂