The game is Mountain Sheep’s first title for the PC platform, and is a very ambitious third-person open world action adventure RPG (yeah, try to say that 3 times quickly). Previously, the company has seen great success on mobile platforms with games such as Minigore and Ice Rage, but PC is a new field for the team.
I sat down with Liisa Lähteenaho, chief people officer, and Timo Vihola, the creative director, to talk about how they got through Steam Greenlight as quickly as they did, and what experiences they have gained along the way. Hopefully, this story will be the beginning of a great weekend for you, and remember to check back tomorrow for our first “This Week on Social Media” article!
Getting Greenlit in only 4 days is quite an achievement. What do you think made Hardland get Greenlit so quickly?
We think that the most important reason for this is our amazing gamer community. Hardland was first opened to a closed group of pre-alpha testers in late May 2014. There’s been 4 pre-alpha versions so far, a bit over 100 testers, and we’ve received good feedback from them which has helped improve the game.
Since last January we’ve had regular “screenshot Saturday” posts on Twitter and shared the development process on TIGSource forums. Kotaku also did an article on Hardland which generated over 40 000 views – that was a big part of the visibility.
If you had to give some sort of advice regarding getting thought Greenlight, what would it be?
Try to build awareness and a community beforehand – don’t wait for gamers to find your game from the piles of games posted to Greenlight.
Once you’re ready to launch the Greenlight campaign be sure to put heavy emphasis on the slick presentation so the game looks as good as possible. We also had a thread on TIGSource, regular updates on Twitter and Facebook. TIGSource is a good place to get feedback because it’s full of game developers like ourselves.
Have you received any funding for the game? And if yes, from whom?
Yes we have, from Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation). We greatly appreciate it!
You have previously developed games for mobile, but Hardland is PC game. What has been the reason for moving to the PC platform, and has there been any challenges along the way?
The move to PC had a few reasons. First the most important reason: This is THE GAME we’ve been waiting to make but postponed a couple of times because of other smaller projects where we could build experience and technology. In January of this year we thought it’s now or never.Also at one point we tried to have several projects in development simultaneously (porting, game updates, new games) but that didn’t really work out and was quite stressful. Focus is really important and that’s what we did here – we are not developing anything else alongside Hardland.
We might have done another premium game for the iOS if the premium market was more healthy, but it’s declining so quickly that with our development budgets it doesn’t make much sense to make those projects.
As for challenges: There’s been lots of new technologies to learn but learning is fun and the team is talented. It’s been one of the smoothest projects we’ve had.
Anything else to add? Some advice for Nordic game developers in general?
In games industry it’s crucial to keep learning because the technology moves so fast. Keep playing and have fun!
Have you had any experiences with getting through Greenlight as well? Feel free to share them in the comment section below!