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Experience a world and story unlike any other! This is a passion project made with a deep love for games. For gamers, by gamers.
Experience a world and story unlike any other! This is a passion project made with a deep love for games. For gamers, by gamers.
2,525 backers pledged $61,517 to help bring this project to life.

Looking for Feedback (Mini Update)

Posted by Studio Fawn (Creator)
23 likes

Hey everyone, I skipped the release update since everyone should have gotten an email from itch.io instead (for anyone confused, the keys are linked to the email you used....so for most people that just means making an account with that email). 

I'd really love any feedback anyone has on Labyrinth. One suggestion recently was asking for a manual....which I'll be working on probably this coming week. It should help take the edge off of the starting learning curve. (Also apparently there is a bug hiding the key rebinding screen for some people, which we should have fixed soon).

Also, there seems to have been a bit of confusion with those that don't seem to follow the updates very much. 

Bloom: Labyrinth is NOT Bloom: Memories. 

These are two very different games, that play completely different, with different assets and a very different world. Even the camera angle isn't the same (one is closer to isometric, the other is straight top down). 

Backers here supported Bloom: Memories and bought copies of that (delayed as it may be from the mess of people coming and going). They do share a lot of under the hood stuff though, which is why I went ahead with Labyrinth in the first place (such as save system or merchant system being work we can carry over into Memories later. That type of sharing of base engine and systems between games from the same company is very common in gaming).

"Bloom" is just the IP name....like "Assassins Creed". 

Just figured that needed clearing up. I've seen so much confusion about what was happening lately....this is NOT the release of Bloom: Memories, just a small detour to hopefully help in a variety of ways.

Postmortem 

Anyhow, now that the first bit has passed....time for a postmordem of how release went! -drum roll-

Obviously this time of year was horrible timing for release (sadly, not too many options), and itch was a poor platform to bank on (especially since they deal with more game jam games and different type of audience). So....I think it's safe to say this experiment was a failure haha.

So....time to shake things up and take off the gloves! 

First price drop. I was far too bold in pricing (especially with how important sales are in the short term). It's already been done on itch (not that it matters there too much).

Second, steam! Yup, it seems the best option is to go limping back to the big platform and just help do my part to get Gabe to his 6 billion. Really though, if you think about it....he deserves it, he revolutionized the world with innovative innovation. 

Also, since we are going to steam....it also suddenly makes FAR less sense to criticize them....so....Faucet won't be happening. 

Anyhow, hopefully this next launch in a couple weeks does better....(I'd love to get out a couple weeks before Christmas, but the approval process is a lot more involved). Or I suppose just delay till after the holidays isn't a big deal either.

Time for round two... :) And hopefully the experience with itch will help make the launch on steam stronger than it would have been if we went straight there (bug fixing and sorting out the mess with the Linux version alone has been worth it).

I think this has been a good lesson in how idealism doesn't pay the bills. I got to get a lot more serious if Bloom is going to survive all this.... (hold on tight haha).

Andrew Pam, Roger Yates, and 21 more people like this update.

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    1. Missing avatar

      MarioR 2 days ago

      Thanks for the update. I would also consider the newly announced Epic Games store. I find it to be a happy medium between Itch and Steam. Last I heard the split is 88/12 (dev/store) which is pretty nice. Not a must and I don't know how Epic will handle the influx of devs wanting a new marketplace, but it is worth a shot. Best of luck with Steam!

    2. JimmyM on

      Can't wait for achievements and trading cards (+badges +arts: backgrounds & emoticons)... ;-)

    3. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Venron - Great timing! The store page just got approved a little bit ago.

      https://store.steampowered.com/app/717710/Bloom_Labyrinth/

      Now to get the build ship shape and iron out these bugs / resolution settings ...and get a better tutorialization at the start :)

    4. Venron
      Superbacker
      on

      Let us know when you at least have a place holder on steam so we can wishlist it, gather some eyes on it.

    5. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @David - We're working on getting resolution settings into the options (and windowed mode also). Should be this week.

    6. David Geisler
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi, how can I change the resolution? I have a widescreen and it makes it impossible to play.

    7. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Kaeroku - Yup, I figure for most backers it isn't something they are really that interested in playing...so if they want to check it out and play around a little and see how things are going, at least it can be a nice update for them there.

      And hopefully if people like it enough and are playing it more, they could throw a few dollars for the final push. It isn't really a big deal anyhow, for it to succeed I need to find a larger audience that is actually interested in Labyrinth (I think once it is fixed up, it should be a fun time for those that like this type of game).

      Either way, now we have a bunch of more work done for Memories, so win/win. Just gotta sort out how to finish it up (one way or another!).

      Did you download the version I uploaded yesterday? It should fix the rebinding key interface problem and a few other issues (though apparently it references a different key binding location than the one I made....so on controller the advance UI is unbound). Wait a few more days and I'll have the manual done and all that sorted out :)

      @Drew - Worth a shot. GoG and Steam both take 30%, so not much difference for us really. Just want to make sure all these bugs are sorted out first and the tutorial / manual is in place.

      @Jimmy - You're right, that menu doesn't show very well what is selected, I'll see what I can do.

      Humm, I wonder how well early access is doing for games now aday? It might be a good fit, especially since I'd like to add more features to Labyrinth at some point.

      But on the other hand, I don't want this to turn into the game I'm focusing on a ton (so I can get Memories finished). Hopefully we can get it to a finished state and bug free sooner than that (so far all the bugs are just minor UI stuff and confusion with controls, which is pretty easy to fix).

    8. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      GoG is a great suggestion.

      I downloaded Labyrinth; glad you decided to make a choice to include all backers in your decision, one way or another. My total playtime is about 20 minutes.

      Feedback: you already know about the rebinding key interface not working issue. I found that in Quest and Gauntlet modes, there wasn't a lot of compelling gameplay. Once I figured out the keybindings (the control help screen was very useful) I bound lockpicks to one, dash to another and left chat where it was. I really think that dash should be pre-bound to skill 2 so it doesn't have to be bound by the player every time, but that's relatively minor. Made it out of the first room, continued around. The layout is very much in keeping with the game's namesake: clearly a maze with various goodies as you move around. This is fine.

      What wasn't so great is that in inventory I could not select the other tabs (Equipment, Quiver) only Abilities which starts selected when you hit Tab on keyboard. There's also no default key to fire a weapon, and as I can't rebind keys and can't reach the other tabs I can't actually bind my own key to weapon use.

      So instead of running around fighting enemies, I'm just running around *avoiding* enemies trying to pick up goodies and see how far I can get. That's... okay, I guess, as a gameplay concept, but seems unintentional. I thought at first maybe I had to escape and find weapons, but after making it about four screens in all directions from the starting location without finding weapon pickups, I realized this wasn't likely the case. This would also be fixed by binding "shoot" to a key at the start without requiring a player to figure it out.

      In any case, without the ability to shoot and enemies just piling up behind me and only stopping the chase when their pathfinding got stuck on a wall somewhere, it wasn't all that engaging. Hence 20 mins of game-play total. I might try it again if these issues were fixed, but as it stands it's not worth playing for me.

      It's interesting that you say "even backers" don't consider Labyrinth worth anything beyond a free add-on. Honestly, I don't think backers care much at all about Labyrinth. We all want the original game, this side project isn't something I saw a lot of excitement about at any point. You're the one who wanted to do this side project; based on that I wouldn't have expected backers to want to buy another game, especially since we still don't have the one we already paid for.

    9. Drew McParlan
      Superbacker
      on

      I agree that GOG might be a good backup if you don't like Steam. They have more classic games and your labyrinth game is sort of referring to a classic game. It might get more traction.

    10. JimmyM on

      I think there must be a hints in game how to binding. Or tutorial. Later, maybe, but before release. Manual is the last place a modern player goes.

      Minor:
      - I have a good display, but I can barely see which Main Menu option is highlighted
      - with keyboard/mouse: intro screen demand a click exactly on the writing ("The First Night"), and [space] works too. But on all previous screens [space] doesn't work, only mouse clicks

      P.S. ...One of the main bonuses of Steam (if I see things correctly): you can place your game in Early Access state (even as pre-alpha, only for backers, for example) to continue develop and build your fanbase. And you can release the game twice - first time as Early Access for everyone, and after polishing and correct all mistakes in promotion - official grand-release :)

    11. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Duskwind - Humm, if you can hold on a couple more days I'll have this manual finished.

      Otherwise, cliff notes - basically you are binding abilities to some set hotkeys (they can be rebound). Default is Shift, Q, Space, and left click.

      You open inventory with tab, use 2 and 3 to navigate the inventory sections...and then use one of the hotkeys to bind the current selection to that key.

      So, you seem to have bound the talk icon to one of the keys....and then you should be able to move near a non-aggressive NPC , face them, and use that same key to talk to them (you have to be next to them and facing them, that part is important).

      To get out of the room, use the bone pick in the same manner (equip it to one of the keys, then move near the door...face it...and use the pick). Picks will also auto-face your target though, so be careful about that or it will spin you away from the door to face the target before trying to pick the door.

      There are only a set amount of picks in that room (usually 5ish get picked up)....I wonder if anyone has used up all the picks and gotten stuck....now that I think about it, maybe I should add replenishing picks to Alon in case people run out.... haha

    12. Duskwind on

      It's not clear how to do anything except move around. I can make a Talk icon appear and disappear at the bottom right, but can't see how to actually initiate a conversation?

    13. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Aesgaerius - Thanks :) No worries, I still plan to chug along and get it all done....it is another reason I can't just quit, because I just wouldn't be too comfortable letting everyone down.

      @Indigo - I figure this itch release can be treated just as a learning experience and early access type situation. So really this all seems to have been for the better. :)

      @Alexandre - Hummm, I'll look into the resolution problem. Luckily that seems like a pretty small problem to fix :) I'm pretty sure itch has a way to notify people of larger updates, so I'll throw them all into one update in a few days and the notify for the patch.

      @Dave - Good idea with GOG, once these bugs are squashed I'll try getting it on there too.

      @Klaus - Hummm....butler is the itch.io server upload tool. If you are on windows, the download should have been an .exe of Bloom_Labyrinth_Windows.exe.

      @Jimmy - Thanks for the links :) Game promotion seems to come down to just crossing a lot of fingers (I don't have any money to buy ads or anything like that). So the best I got is just reddit and other social media posts hoping one gets some traction...and then emails to press / youtubers and hope one of them takes a look at it.

      One of the bonuses of steam (at least) is that when you launch they give you a little bit of free promotion on their platform. And then based on the performance, they either let you drift into the backpages of their library....or continue giving you promotion space (though I hear since October they have taken some big changes in direction favoring AAA games a lot more).

    14. JimmyM on

      If you have plans to release the game in Steam, I hope you'll read everything about strategies of game promotion before making mistakes )

      Sorry, I can only recommend russian articles (here - https://dtf.ru/gamedev/24724-gde-
      moi-dengi-chuvak-o-chem-molchit-steam)
      Google translation is awful as always, but core phrases seems understandable (link to translation below, but option "Translate to English" in Chrome works better):
      ( https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c… )

    15. Klaus Ole Kristiansen
      Superbacker
      on

      I downloaded the installer. It does not work. It tries to install something called "butler", and fails.

    16. Dave, Shadowrunner on

      Once you get the known bugs squashed I'd suggest trying to get Labyrinth on GOG, too. While Steam is obviously the larger market, with so many games being released it's very tough for indie games to get noticed there. GoG promotes all of their new releases on the front page so you can hopefully get some sales from people drawn in by the art. Also, since their customers tend to be fans of old school games, a modern take on Gauntlet probably would appeal to many people there. Getting on Gog isn't a guarantee since their staff must first test & decide whether they think it would sell there, but I think it's worth a shot.

      As for feedback, I only played Laybrinth for a few minutes and was a bit confused about the controls. Art style is very nice though of course. I will try again once the key mapping issue is fixed.

    17. Alexandre MANGIN on

      First, thanks for Labyrinth. The artistic direction is amazing and I can feel the love put into it.
      As for the bugs, I can't change the resolution: the game is like zoomed all the time (including the main screen), so I haven't really been able to play yet.

    18. Indigo on

      Good luck for your steam release. I'll sure buy it again if need be, just to show you some support.

      Thanks for all the updates over the years. As previous contributor have said, the dev journal log is already incredibly interesting.

    19. Aesgaerius on

      I second Filip. You did an amazing job keeping it up, and I loved all the updates. If I were to think of "what I got of my contribution", it clearly included a hidden bonus for a great journal log on game dev and Kickstarter. If anything goes away, I would be sad to see the updates the most at this point since I've grown used to them, in a good way :)

      Funny enough, seeing your mention of having to deal with the assets the previous dev left behind gives me bad memories for other code projects on my part time jobs. I suppose it is a common plague.

    20. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @SteveW - Did you check your spam folder? The email should have come from itch.io about being gifted a key (then it is linked to the same email).

      Humm, I'll need to try out that Linux. I haven't looked into a 2ndary OS (but it seems like a good idea for checking on this Linux problem lately).

    21. Missing avatar

      SteveW on

      I never got an email about a key for Labyrinth on itch.io, what can I do? Will we get keys for it on Steam also?

      Regarding testing the Linux version - it's not hard to install Linux, it's free, and it will run on your PC (macOS on the other hard fails hard on that last one - gotta buy an expensive Apple PC to test with that).

    22. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Filip - Thanks :) I've actually considered just moving on many times.... especially as programmers come and go leaving me trying to sort out the half finished mess that's left (I don't have the skill set to do everything...like those Linux crashes, I can't even test the linux version on my machine, so I'm just in the dark on that acting as an inbetween to narrow it down).

      Even thinking about doing that final update "well, see ya later" gives me a bit of a sense of joy :P

      Anyhow, removing the emotion and work load and all that...I still think there is "some" worth in what I'm doing (I hope). Enough to at least pay to get by and finish up Memories (the threshhold for that is so low, but at the same time I seem to fail horribly at reaching it....hah, 0 sales...). Though obviously that is going to be decided soon with how things go on steam (maybe it is just a numbers problem? wrong platform? Not too sure, out of all the downloads I've heard very little in terms of how the game plays...other than some frustration understanding the controls. Though, again, it's understandable since this isn't the type of game that would really cross-over with people who backed an RPG).

      The thing is if Labyrinth flops on steam ....well, I'll have no other choice but to find some other work for a bit (I have to move at the end of January no matter what, so I'll still be recovering and sorting that out).

      But even then, I look at where Memories is....and where the engine is...and I still (maybe foolishly) believe there is some worth there too for the work needed to finish it. The assets are done and almost all of the engine stuff is finished (especially with what we got done with Labyrinth). Seeing "the main show" come together after so many years will be a nice achievement.

      Basically, I still believe in the project...and the work...and that's why I'm still around. Though, if Labyrinth fails on steam I'll probably be taking a lot harder look at if what I'm doing really has any value (that backers didn't see it as worth anything more than a freebee extra probably was a bad sign haha).

      I'm pretty burnt out....sad and tired dominate my mood... but just part of how things go I guess. Hopefully things take a turn for the better in 2019. :D

    23. Missing avatar

      Filip Krynicki on

      Hi!

      This is sort of awkward to say, but I've been reading the updates for this project since the beginning and I wanted to say something. It's clear you've gone beyond the expectations of anyone, yourself included, at the start of this project. It sounds like it's a lot of stress and a burden on you. Maybe that's not the case and I'm misreading it, but it just seems like things are rough for you.

      I can only speak for myself, but if Bloom is a burden on you rather than a project you still feel like pursuing, I would have no hard feelings if you chose to just move on and leave it where it is with Bloom: Labyrinth. You've put more than enough time/effort/blood into the project for what we backed.

      Anyways, good work all this way (and into the future as long as you keep working on it). My heart goes out to you.

    24. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Andrew - That's with the latest version? I forwarded it to the programmer, thanks :)

    25. Andrew Pam on

      When I try to run the Linux version on Ubuntu 18.04 I just get a grey window and the following error messages:

      ERROR: try_open_pack: Condition ' ver_major > 2 || (ver_major == 2 && ver_minor > 1) ' is true. returned: ERR_INVALID_DATA
      At: core/io/file_access_pack.cpp:171.
      ERROR: bind_methodfi: Method/Function Failed, returning: __null
      At: core/object_type_db.cpp:797.
      (repeated many times, then:)
      ERROR: bind_integer_constant: Method/Function Failed.
      At: core/object_type_db.cpp:413.
      (repeated until I close the window).

    26. Studio Fawn 3-time creator on

      @Chris - Faucet was planned to be a criticism of steam / valve / Gabe.....but now that that is going to be our home....wellll, I care far less about making statements at this point and am more interested in just being able to pay rent and finish Memories haha.

      Standing for things doesn't pay very well :P

    27. Chris Rees
      Superbacker
      on

      I read through the update a few times but I'm confused by why Faucet won't be coming. If the plan was to originally release it on Steam, it seems like an even better idea so that all Bloom games are on the same platform. Is it just a money and time issue?