How often should you update in Early Access/in general?


This is a follow-up on the Early Access panel that happened last week during Steam Dev Days 2016 in Seattle. The panel was moderated by Valve and involved developers whose projects did really well on Steam: Rimworld, Darkest Dungeon, Grim Dawn, TerraTech and Don’t Starve Together.

While I found the panel to be a great way of confirming certain thoughts and, in general, to be an excellent motivational example (“success is achieved by absolutely normal developers, no magic involved, all work“), I felt that in one key area – how often should you update you project? – the experience shared was based only on the latter stage of product cycle, when all these studios accumulated huge communities, and thus does not apply to developers looking to launch their first game. Below is the data to support this, as well as 2 practical points I’d like to highlight from the earlier product cycle – Continue reading

Sales regions vs Languages used

A while ago we published the data on the sales of Gremlins, Inc. to various regions, so that other developers could consider the importance, or unimportance, of certain localisations. However, at that time we made a disclaimer that sales to a specific region do not necessarily mean that they happen because of that region’s language: i.e. if people in Germany play in English, then sales to Germany != need to fund the German localisation.

In order to get more clarity, we tracked languages actually used by players over the last month (18/04-20/05/2016) in the game. The database records the last language used by a specific user, i.e. if the same person started in Chinese but switched to French over the course of the month, we have only French recorded. Here come the charts: Continue reading

Sales in Early Access & Full Release (Gremlins, Inc.)


In July 2013 my partner and I started with the pre-production of Gremlins, Inc.. It’s been released on Steam Early Access in October 2015, with the full release just a month ago in March 2016. Here are the facts:

  • It’s a digital board game;
  • It works on Win/Mac/Linux platforms, and is developed on Unity 5;
  • We localized the game into 12 languages (more on how this worked for us is here), total loca cost so far is ~€25K;
  • We spent 4.5 months in Early Access (October 2015 – March 2016) with the price point of €9.99 (adjusted locally, so the overall average price is 60-70% of that);
  • We’ve been for 1 month in full release (11 March 2016 – 11 April 2016) with the price point of €14.99;
  • Current sales of the game are 26K copies, for now the game is Steam-exclusive (no other channels).

Continue reading

WE’RE HIRING! [Game Programmer]


In July 2013 my partner Alexey Bokulev and I started developing Gremlins, Inc., which shipped in Early Access at the end of October 2015, and went out in full release in early March 2016. In the process, we’ve built a fantastic network of collaborators – people who help us create art, sound and music, as well as manage community, and produce specific projects like developing the brands (of the game and its DLCs), art books, you name it, so that right now Gremlins, Inc. is produced by professionals from Vilnius, Kiev, Moscow, Sebastopol, Madrid, Bremen, Paris, Wroclaw, Prague, Rome and Amsterdam: it is no accident that the game is available in 12 languages.

We also assembled a fantastic dedicated team that works full-time on the project, made out of what you could define as multi-instrumentalists: (1) a network programmer with 20 years of experience; (2) a game designer who also programs and acts as the co-producer; (3) a producer who provides creative direction and handles ops, communication and business; (4) a UI programmer who is also an artist and team’s co-leader; and (5) a project manager who is a kick-ass animator as well as QA specialist. The team is based in the Old Town of Vilnius, working out of a modern office where our dogs curl up by the fireplace.

This Monday, after hitting 25,000 copies sold on Steam over the weekend, we woke up and realised that we’d like to add one more teammate: a Game Programmer who would bring additional skills and experience that we need to go cross-platform without killing ourselves (or our players) in the process, as well as to develop our next game with a more structured approach. Continue reading

Gremlins, Inc. – 4.000 copies in Early Access – data

11 weeks ago (October 22, 2015) we released Gremlins, Inc. on Steam Early Access:

Sales Dynamics

Thanks to our release window, we participated in both the Autumn and the Winter sales on Steam. Perhaps due to these events, in addition to the natural effects of the growing community, the overall sales dynamics so far has been positive: Continue reading

Full-time QA position @ Charlie Oscar


Here’s hoping that everyone had a productive 2015! Here at Charlie Oscar, we finally released Gremlins, Inc. into Steam Early Access, rolled out 9 major updates during 10 weeks since the launch happened, and are currently in hot pursuit of the full release of the game in a few months from now.

With an eye on this, we’re looking to hire a dedicated QA Lead – both in-house or remote engagements are possible, as long as the commitment is full-time. Here’s what we’re after, in a nutshell: Continue reading

What we learned in Early Access

It’s been 3 weeks since we released Gremlins, Inc. on Steam under the Early Access program. Here’s a few things that we learned so far:


You probably heard it before: shipping your product is a personal experience that changes one’s perspective. There is a lot of smart people out there who write articles and give opinions about games industry, and even speak at the conferences, but I’d be vary of listening to any of that advice unless it’s backed by specific products that these people (and not their overseas office) have actually shipped.

There are three angles here. Continue reading