1. Steam sales and bundling will quickly become the bane of Indie developers « FULLNOVAZERO
    April 13, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    […] in a Box’s recent Postmortem for Waves is an eye-opening account of the limited amount of funding and time that true, one-man indie […]


  2. DC_Volo
    April 14, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    I bought your Waves game today cause i tried the demo and find it really good and fun.
    Seriously, it’s a good work and all good works need to be paid.

    Thank you for made that awesome game 😉



  3. SF
    April 17, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    Just got here from a link in the gog.com forums, I do agree that your advertising has been fairly bad, I hadn’t heard of the game before and despite looking through the indie section on steam from time to time i never really noticed it.

    Off to download the demo to see what the game is all about i guess.


  4. JPorch
    April 20, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    Hey, first of all congratulations on getting a game out here. That’s something to be proud of. I found out about Waves from a link to this post someone put up on reddit. I just wanted to say that I read this here then decided to check out the game. First of all, the postmortem is awesome, and I think that being willing and able to communicate your thoughts and experiences is great for indie developers and gamers alike. Also, I wrote up a review/first impressions from my initial messing around with Waves, so feel free to drop by and let me know if I’m off base on anything (I admit that playing for an hour might not be long enough to really grasp everything, but I wanted to give an honest opinion on what I’d experienced in that first hour). I totally recommend the game to people, so hopefully that will net you another sale or two.


    Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing what future projects you may have in store for us.


  5. Sean Norman
    May 3, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    I’m launching a search marketing start up in the UK – A couple of things came up reading this I think might help you…

    A good – and free – thing you could do would be to load the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This should give you an idea of how many people are searching for terms relevant to your game. It’ll help give you an idea of how many people look for broadly relevant terms such as “arcade games” and targeted terms such as your brand name. If you do this, Make sure you have exact match turned on when you use it or you’ll get all variants of that phrase included in the count.

    Some other ways to boost your traffic and results would be to register social media accounts and have your blog posts syndicated to them automatically. Also look for other bloggers you could do guest posts for. There are probably some decent directories you could list this website in for free as well, although depending where you go, your mileage may vary.

    You could also send a stronger signal to the search engine software about what your site is about when it comes to your website. Try to use some of the terms you’ve uncovered from keyword research in title tags, pahe headers, links to other pages on the site, image file names and in the alt=”” section of the HTML source code. Above all, make sure anything you write still reads naturally, and ask your webmaster about this if you don’t know how, Hopefully they know how to optimise a site for search engines already and can help you out.

    The more links you have to this website, the stronger signal you send to search engines that you have relevant content for the different search terms. You want to send a clear signal to them about what your site is about by using search phrases throughout the site and by building all manner of links to your site. For the most part, more = better.

    That’s how you get free traffic – adwords is another traffic possibly. You mention you haven’t had much success with it. Adwords traffic converts better, but you’d need to advertise under for searches you think are most relevant to your game and cheap, which means targeting low traffic terms to begin with. I would advise you to contact someone who knows what they are doing if you consider this again.

    If this has been helpful and you want any more free advice, drop me a mail and writingandranking@gmail.com and I can go into more detail.


    • BCS
      October 4, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

      Oh, wait, this thing works with a gamepad? Hot damn! I’m an idiot, I was playing it keyboard and mouse. I’m going to plug in my Xbox controller and give it a spin.

  6. Dave
    May 28, 2012 @ 4:23 am

    That’s a shame. Waves is an excellent game. I’d never have guessed it was made by one guy, let alone a guy who doesn’t have an artistic background. As I play it, I frequently marvel at just how well it’s designed (in terms of mechanics, but also visually). I assume it was made by a dedicated team of 5-7 people or so, with lots of testing and tweaking.

    Still, everything you say about advertising and exposure must be true. I myself discovered it only a few days ago, and that was only after almost grudgingly trying the demo. I love a good twin stick shooter, but somehow Waves wasn’t on my radar until recently, and even then only dimly. I thought I’d try it on the offchance that it was good, but I wasn’t expecting much – I don’t even know why. Once I tried it, it didn’t take me long to realise that it was fantastic.

    Perhaps another problem for you is that it’s a type of game that’s best played with a gamepad. I haven’t tried it with keyboard+mouse, but I’m sure the experience is rubbish compared to how well it works with a gamepad. A lot of PC gamers are prejudiced against gamepads, so I’m guessing that a lot of people see the game and either
    (a) try it with keyboard and mouse, and find it frustrating, or
    (b) say ‘pffft – that looks like a console game’, and don’t try it.

    Also, I just watched the trailer on Steam, and it definitely doesn’t do the game justice, as it makes the game look really one dimensional. Obviously the problem is that it’s a mechanics game, not a content game. Even other twin stick shooters often have more varied backdrops, settings, and enemies.

    But there are a couple of things you could have done to the trailer to improve it, imo:

    -You should have zoomed and cropped more. No need to show every shot at 100% zoomed out level. That would have made the trailer less static, and would have shown off some of the fine details of the graphics and mechanics. As it is now, the 100% zoomed out view, ironically, obscures much of the action, since it’s too low res to see what’s going on. Some really zoomed in shots with slow-mo incpororated into it (including the slow-mo audio perhaps) would have been quite dramatic.

    -something to break it up: text slogans, press quotes, a scrolling list of achievements, etc. Look at the trailer for Ion Assault, for example, and how interspersing it with a few carefully chosen quotes breaks up the monotony.


  7. Shay Pierce
    May 28, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    Nice article, I found it on Gamasutra originally.

    Random thought, I would consider making your turn-based RPG fully of random-generative content rather than hand-made content. In other words, borrow from the roguelike formula. Maybe obvious since roguelikes are in vogue these days…


  8. Adam Roberts
    July 15, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    This post made me buy the game. Simple as that. I’ve heard of the game from various game websites, but this post drove me to add it to my cart – the reason I hadn’t previously is that Windows is not my main OS – but eventually I intend on installing Windows as an alternate OS – so eventually I’ll get to play it 😉 (My Windows machine is super old and probably can’t fun that game…)

    And now I’m eagerly anticipating your next release! If you ever need any web help (HTML/CSS) hit me up! 😉


  9. Petr Heinz
    July 15, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    I have never heard of your game as well (came here from http://indiegames.com/2012/07/waves_gets_postmorted.html). It’s a shame considering I am in your target group (and will buy it in near future).

    Have you considered trying to be a part of some indie bundle? Humble Indie Bundle (porting to Mac & Linux is necessary), Indie Royale or many others…

    I think it would be worth trying – if not for the money from bundle sales, than from the press coverage your game gains. There is still time for your money cigars and money hat 🙂

    Best of luck,
    Petr Heinz


  10. Petr Heinz
    July 15, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    Just now noticing that this is YOUR webpage – there is missing a visible link to buy the game in the article. Saying your game hasn’t sold very well and then making the reader jump through hoops to buy it isn’t really a great marketing strategy 😉

    You could also give out your game to indie-game-people massively followed on Twitter in hope that they will like it and write about it. Notch’s tweets have the effect of DDoSing servers he mentions 🙂


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