Greg and I have a D&D game tonight. He’s the sucker that’s GMing, so I’ll be staring at stats on my phone and checking email all night while absentmindedly rolling dice for my diva Avandra-worshiping Shardmind ardent.
It’s pretty well established at this point that getting a game into Steam isn’t going to make an indie game an automatic financial success. We know that. We’ve written about how we undermarketed and struggled in Greenlight (Valve’s program for indie games to gain access to Steam), so the odds are even further stacked against us.
Me, being a bit of a numbers geek, have some rough ballparks of development costs for Ossuary. (The game was developed on and off over about three years, so this involved pulling numbers from 2-3 different project management apps and making some wild guesses. It turns out that developers struggling with life and feeling inadequate don’t really want to log their time accurately on tasks. Shocker.)
For a game to really make profit, it needs to do more than recoup its development costs. It needs to make enough to pay for next several games that might be duds and make nothing.
So when you see me being crunk as hell that Ossuary is on Steam, it’s only a teeny tiny little bit about the money. Sure, I want Ossuary to pay for Exploit: Zero Day‘s servers until EZD is making money, but Ossuary being on Steam is unlikely to get Future Proof able to pay two salaries.
My excitement is because, as a primarily PC gamer, I’m on Steam quite often, either playing games or browsing, and to see a piece of work I’ve contributed to there is super cool.
It’s because one of my very important jobs for Future Proof is to build its brand so that we can release eclectic-ass games and people will say, “Oh, a Future Proof game? Cool.”
It’s because different games have different homes, so while Exploit: Zero Day won’t end up on a platform like Steam (since it’s a browser game), Ossuary can. Other games will have other homes, including the mobile storefronts, in books, on tables, and in console storefronts.
We’re not done with Ossuary yet. We’re considering translating it into other languages, and we always love to work in a good cross-reference in new and upcoming work.
And so now, 18 months and one day after the original release of Ossuary, I’m pleased to be able to say it’s available on Steam.