Will a conference stand save your greenlight?

Just a few days ago, local co-op game Stikbold! from Copenhagen-based Reign Bros. got greenlit on Steam. Here’s how they got there.

Conceived during the Nordic Game Jam in 2013, Stikbold! was originally not intended for anything else than having fun for 48 hours. But after winning the popular vote at the game jam, the people behind the game thought, ‘Why not try and make this into a full game?’ – and so they did.

Helped by funding from both the Nordic Game Program, and Danish Game Funding Program, they have been working on the game ever since, picking up “Best Game Created With Unity” in the Killscreen Magazine & OUYA’s CREATE competition in the process. And just a few days ago, they managed to get the coveted green light signal, meaning they had been upvoted enough times to be released on Steam through their Greenlight-process,

But what makes a successfull Greenlight process? There are many myths and opinions about how to create awareness and gather votes for your project. But Reign Bros. have been kind enough to share some of their data, and give us their story about what worked for them, and how they reached the greenlit goal.

 

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Most notable in Stikbold!’s Greenlight campaign is probably the vast amount of votes that actually came at the very beginning. “The whole process took about a month,” says Reign Bros.’ Jacob Herold. “We started the campaign at the end of June, and reached the first 75% of the way to top 100 in the first week,” However, past that first week, the game dropped from the Greenlight front page, things slowed down considerably, and sometimes the progress even went backwards. “There were a couple of instances where the percentage was dropping, most likely because we were being overtaken by other games,” Jacob Herold explains.

And actually, the game had not even reached 100% before the team received the message that Stikbold had been Greenlit. They were only at 91 %. “I’m guessing it’s because they (editorial: Steam) ‘stealth greenlit’ a handful of titles, which moved us up. Because we saw no changes in the number of votes.”, Jacob Herold suggests.

 

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Apart from the launch itself, it was an article about the game on RockPaperShotgun as well as an instance where the team posted a couple of funny gifs from the game on Reddit, that had the biggest influence on the number of votes the game received. Despite what could be expected, the team’s visit to this years PAX Prime seemed to have very little influence on the number of votes. “PAX doubled the number of votes for a couple of days, but that wasn’t really an impressive number to begin with,” says Jacob Herold.

Luckily, Herold believes that their visit to PAX might have helped the team in another way. “One guess as to why we got through the process in only a month is, that we were selcted for PAX10, which was conveniently located in Seattle – not far from Valve’s headquarters. And we we luvky enough to have people in our network, who helped us by pointing out the right Valve-guy at a party, so we could spot him later in the convention crowd, and drag him over and give him a demonstration. Now, how much effect that actually had is impossible to say, but I’ll bet that it didn’t hurt our campaign,” Herold tells.

 

Stikbold is scheduled for a PC release in 2015.

Jesper K. Kristiansen

Multi-passionate game developer and journalist. Has been writing about the Danish games industry for more than ten years, and creating audio design for both Danish and International games for almost as long.

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