When we first interviewed the chief of marketing at Vasara, Heidi Mäenpää, about Stardust Galaxy Warriors, the game was on Steam Greenlight. While the game was successfully Greenlit and ready for release a half year later, the process took longer than anticipated because the team was reassembling and reorganizing their marketing team a couple of months prior.
“The Greenlight campaign earlier this year took a bit longer than we anticipated, but that was partially because we had a lot of changes in the marketing department during last January and we didn’t really have a following at the time when the campaign was published.”, Mäenpää explains, and then continues to elaborate on how things could have gone smoother:
“Next time we will make sure we have enough people to get through Greenlight faster, or see if Steam can come up with more developer-friendly options for publishing games.”.
But still, the biggest challenge for the young studio, was to prioritize and figure out what to leave out in the final version of the game, Mäenpää says:
“Still I think the biggest challenge for us was deciding what things to leave out from the final game. We had a lot of good ideas in the beginning, but in the end I think we were able to tie the best elements into one, neat package and can be proud of what we achieved.”
It is usually said that creative works are not released, they escape. And despite having a smooth launch without game breaking bugs or major areas that needed polish, the team at Vasara had a lot of arguments about the release date.
“We learned that there is never a perfect moment to ship a game. We had a lot of arguments in the past on whether or not the game should be published now or in a few months, or even years.”
“Like with any art form you just need to stop at some point and let people judge your work; it will never in your mind be actually finished, so getting your game out there is much better than spending years polishing a product which is actually good enough already.”, Mäenpää explains.
While Vasara didn’t end up postponing the game for years, the team did learn that it was worthwhile to let the composer create a fitting soundtrack instead of rushing on this part:
“We learned that it is good to let the composer take their time when creating the soundtrack, as the feedback on it has been mind-blowingly positive! We owe a big thanks to Matias Lehtoranta for his work, the game would be a completely different experience without these great tunes.”
As is rarely the case, the work doesn´t end just because a game is wrapped and finished. Vasara is hard at work making updates for Christmas, giving the fans of Stardust Galaxy Warriors new features to play around with in time for the holidays.
“We are going to publish a free Christmas patch for Stardust Galaxy Warriors next month, which will include Steam Achievements, a new Challenge mode, some visual polish, a brand new level and music. We will be keeping the updates of the game ongoing as long as the community wants, and see where it takes us.”, Mäenpää tells us, and continues to conclude that:
“So far it has been really encouraging to see people really enjoy the game, so we hope we can keep making the game better and better. It was also great to see many Linux players getting the game on the first day the Linux version was published!”
Stardust Galaxy Warriors has been available on Steam since the 10th of November and features couch co-op for up to 4 players.
Denmark’s largest games industry conference for Nordic game developers returns on December 7th to discuss the future of business in the games industry. The lineup of speakers includes as Ex-King Tommy Palm, Christine Thaarup, Steffen of Betadwarf, and many many more!
Tickets are limited and can be booked here.