It’s easy to forget what the gaming industry is really made of. Wandering around the circus of publishers, intermediaries, marketing firms, press specialists, media managers and project analysts, stores and promotions, bundles and candles, it’s easy to forget that the gaming industry is, first and foremost, made of gamers.
And it wasn’t developers or publishers that showed up this weekend to play Nuclear Dawn, it was gamers, and the whole thing was awesome. The elephant definitely noticed Nuclear Dawn, for the past four days.
This past weekend, we saw Nuclear Dawn skyrocket to the top 20 of most played Steam online games, with a sustained player volume that had us calling the server providers constantly, to make sure that there wouldn’t be a shortage mid-festivity.
The dust is settling now, but player volume on Nuclear Dawn remains ten times what it was before the big promotion, and the influx of feedback and comments on the forums is incredible. Over 150,000 players worldwide tried Nuclear Dawn this weekend, and judging from the compliment/complaint ratio, most of them liked it.
Heartening as the response was, this was also an great opportunity to gather feedback from all kinds of players, even those who would not have usually even looked at a hybrid FPS/RTS. Trying to focus on the negative more than the positive, we learned all kinds of new takes on Nuclear Dawn’s gameplay, and already devised some fiendish ways to make things better for every player.
It will be a while since we get this much of the industry’s attention, and we tried to make the most of it, taking notes on everything from the style of play that people prefer, to complaints on control options.
So many players running the game at once definitely helped us gain more perspective on the areas of the game that need more attention, and which ones we plain got wrong the first time around. We were also still surprised at how, in spite of a lot of… passionate feedback, the core of the game drew little to no criticism, which goes to prove that if you put enough love and attention into your game, people will complain about the colour of the doorjambs and orientation of your furniture, but they’ll still stick around and party all night long. For four nights.
We’d like to take this space to thank everyone who participated in the free weekend, with special regards to those who took the time to drop by the Steam and InterWave forums to let us know what you thought of the game. It was great, we look forward to seeing more of you soon!