Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good News and a Question

Does anyone remember Oneiro? Because we started working on it two years ago, and then it sort of faded away. But we're back on track!

The good news: We have enough money for all the art and music. Because you guys rock. I cannot thank you enough for the support, the donations, and for buying Jisei and Kansei. You are absolutely wonderful.

The question(s): Is art and music enough? What we have right now is enough to make a complete story that I'm confident you'll enjoy, but I know that a lot of people want more than that. I've been thinking of creating a "deluxe" version of Oneiro that includes bonus material. What might that include? More CGs, sketch galleries, commentary, voices, and anything else you guys come up with. Maybe it would be a lovely physical release complete with pretty packaging. The deluxe version would sell for $15 like Jisei or Kansei, while the free version would be...free. Is this something you would be interested in? What sort of material would you need to make it worth buying? Would you never buy a deluxe version if the free version were available? (I'll release a free version no matter what, so don't feel bad telling me if this is the case.)

In the end, I want to be able to share as much free stuff as I can with you guys. Making games is how I make a living, though, so I have to find a way to share with you, continue to survive, and pay all the team members fairly for their work. It's tricky to find the balance, but I'm willing to experiment with different models to see what works. I know it's weird to say I'm going to charge full price for a game that's free online, but I've seen a lot of TV shows that stream free online and still sell DVDs at full price, so I'm willing to give it a shot if you guys are interested.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

A bonus guy, please? It's been a tactic deployed lately, where you have a really hot guy you can't date unless you purchase a deluxe version... For my part, it works really well on me. xD

$15 is a little much for the deluxe version... even with voices and more CGs, since basically some of the game is already available for free. It also depends on how long it is - if it's Jinsei length, $15 is definitely too much. I'd happily pay $10 though, since I love otome and wants to support you.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a bonus guy. That would be cool, although I'm not sure how much extra work that would cause for you. Or maybe an extra or bonus ending for each guy? Voices would be great and extra CG's are always nice. :)

As for the money, I'd definitely get a deluxe version. Especially if a deluxe version was the only way I could get a bonus guy! $15 honestly doesn't seem that steep to me, though others might disagree.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I probably wouldn't pay for a deluxe edition, even if it had something really fantastic like bonus scenes. I'd rather save my money for a game that doesn't have a free version

snowp said...

I probably wouldn't buy the deluxe version unless it had a substantial amount of extra story and a few extra guys. The bonus material you mentioned are nice, but not enough to make me buy it when basically the entire game is available for free. I hope you will include a gallery and music room like in kansei though.

Alizz said...

For me, since a free version would be released, I wouldn't buy the deluxe version since money is always of an issue. However I think that if the deluxe has extra story, or you know, something more playable, I would buy it especially to support you guys.

Anonymous said...

I think a free and deluxe version is a great idea, and the extra guy thing would definitely make me more likely to buy deluxe. But I agree with snowp--just a gallery and a bit of bonus material would not be enough to get me to buy the game. Maybe stagger the pricing? I don't know how other people would feel about this, but maybe $2 or $3 dollars for a cheaper version and $8 or $10 for a deluxe version? $15 just seems like more than I would usually be willing to spend.

MewJounouchi said...

I love the idea of a bonus guy (or if it's not too much trouble, bonus guys). If there are going to be a substantial amount of bonus material in the deluxe version I wouldn't even play the free version and I'd wait to buy it.

As for the pricing, I wouldn't say 15 dollars is too much because I did spend 17 dollars on Yo-Jin-Bo...but that game had more guys so.

I'm satisfied with the suggestions you gave for the bonus material, and a physical release would be awesome!!!

Ugh I feel like I'm not being helpful at all xD I'm just so easy to please.

Annalyn said...

I'm pretty cheap with my money, so I'd probably just enjoy the free version. If I enjoyed it enough, and there were enough additional elements, I might buy the deluxe version - but not for $15. The bonus guy idea mentioned in comment #1 might be enough to pull me in. Still, I'm more likely to spend my money on games you don't provide for free, like Kansei.

I was super happy to read this post, though. I look forward to seeing Oneiro come out!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the voice acting should only be available in the deluxe version? Since you need to pay the voice actors and such I think it makes sense to support them through the proceeds of the deluxe version.

Anonymous said...

I'd say a bonus guy and extra scenes/events/story would be the best motivation to get people to actually pay.

I honestly don't care about voice acting. I'd rather have more CGs, more events and other content than actual voices.

I also thing $10 would be a good price.

Shin said...

Bonus guys will be totally great.
And also hidden scenes/events!
For bgm, I don't think extra one/more bgm will change my thoughts. As long as the bgm is nice and suitable/fit the scenes, it's ok for me.

Maybe you could made the game as a demo, if the game is interesting enough, people would like to buy it. (At least that's what happens in my area countries) :3

I'm looking forward to the new game~
*starts saving money* XD

Anonymous said...

I'm not one for buying games, but I have played all of your free games. Another free game would be lovely, and i do like the idea of a new guy/storyline added to a deluxe version. Definately do something unexpected. Like an "omg i didnt see that coming! i love it!" moment. And a background/ poster maybe? xD

Anonymous said...

i like this idea but maybe cheaper?

raeredfern said...

I would play the free game but if I liked it I would put down the cash just to support the release for more stuff. The only thing I ask in return is pretty box art or a postcard with game art on it.
If the game is longer then a couple of hours $15 sounds good to me.

Thanks for all your hard work!

AĆ«rendyll said...

Hmmmm, it depends on what gets added to the Deluxe version for me... More CGs is definitely nice, so at least do that. Another idea is to give epilogues to the routes of every guy that you don't get to see in the free version? Kind of like the extra scenes you could unlock in Re:Alistair++, maybe? Except they might be longer/more into the future... Just make sure that you don't break the story with any added/removed scenes!

I think an extra character could work, but (don't slap me for this) personally I'd be more likely to buy the game if there was a girl route in the full version. I'm pretty sure I'm a minority on that front, but seeing how there's just not a lot of good girl/girl stuff out there I thought I'd suggest it anyway, even though I know none of Sakevisual's works have ever involved non-straight relationships (as far as I know - I haven't played all the VNs yet!). I guess it's just wishful thinking on my end, because I just love the visual novels you make. But don't make it just an extra character route, if you want to have guaranteed sales - not everyone will like him(/her)! Also, it might be a good idea to have the bonus character appear in the free version, just not as a route. That way people know more about what to expect in the full version! :3

Also, I'm not a very rich person, but when I love something enough, I like paying for it, if it's not too expensive. Though I'd say go with 5-10 USD for a game that's under 3 hours! I really loved Jisei a lot so I don't regret buying the game, but 15 USD for just 1.5 hours is overpriced in my opinion. 5 USD per 30 minutes is just too much. There's commercial videogames that charge more or less 1 USD per hour, so in comparison visual novels are already pretty expensive, even if it's understandable why. I think 2.5-3 USD per hour would be a better way to determine the pricing, but that's just me...

Anonymous said...

I would buy a deluxe version. I like supporting Otome games to help the creators...so that they can make more games! I think the idea of extra CGs sounds cool.

Tacinn said...

If it would cost $15 for the deluxe I think it should have a lot more content than the free one. Like maybe make a small demo version of it for free and then the full game could be bought. To make it worth the $15 though Aerendyll makes a very good point. I'd like to be able to buy a game that I could play for hours.

It might sound a little mean, but I see some other developers charge $15 for a game that's about the same length as RE:Alistair. If I'm going to pay for a VN it'd be great if I could play it for like ... 12 hours XD

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I remember playing Meine Liebe for that long. Though that was mostly because I couldn't read all the kanji and so was stumbling along. That game has 6 (or was it 5?) guys you can go after, so to get them all takes a while. Plus I vaguely remember not being able to meet one of them. There's a certain way of triggering it and I never could figure out how to trigger the initial meeting with that one guy. I didn't buy it though >.> I played it on a ROM, but I'm sure it cost about the same as your standard Game Boy advance game :X

I would be willing to pay $15+ for a game of that length. Bonus stuff doesn't always entice me, but plenty of content usually does lol

Anonymous said...

15 bucks is probably too much if the story's going to be basically the same.

Anonymous said...

I probably would buy the deluxe version if I could, but as some already said, money is always an issue. The idea with an bonus guy sounds nice, too, but i would include something like a secret ending as an addition.

So all in all, I would totally agree with making two versions. ^^

Anonymous said...

I like the earlier anon's suggestion about only including voices in the deluxe version, or maybe only dialogue in the deluxe version. No voice, or possibly just sounds, like in the newer Zelda series, for the free version. If you're definitely planning on recording voices, that is. It will make the deluxe version seem much more robust than the free one.

Extra characters/storyline is always enticing.

Also, for me, a physical copy of the game makes it much easier to hand over more cash than just a simple download. In my mind, downloads are so insubstantial, and I believe that's why so many people populating the internet associate "downloads" with "free" ... Hope that helps. Also, thanks for all the games so far.

Anonymous said...

If the deluxe version was just add-on to the free version then I would spend no more than $10. If the deluxe version was CD-based and you could not add deluxe content to the free edition then $15 would be reasonable.

J-chan said...

Let us date a laaaa~dy~ in the deluxe version! I'd be all over that. Overall I think it's a good idea! Maybe it could be $10 online and $15 (plus shipping) for the physical release, which could probably come with some physical bonus like a little art book or something?

Kaeru Ranawa said...

I would buy it for 10 or 15$... but only if there was a very substantial amount of bonus material. Like...

1. Extra bits in the plot in general, things like unlocking more about a particular guy.
2. A bonus guy
3. Voices, CGs, music room

But I think the most important out of these 3 is the bonus plot bits. Like, lots of them to make it worth it.

I'd buy it partially because of those things and partially to support Sakevisual!

LilyasAvalon said...

I'm actually surprised people are being so cheap. Seriously? $15 is suddenly expensive? Then again, I'm lucky enough to live in Australia I suppose.

I'd happily pay MORE than that for the standard game itself considering how much effort, work and consideration you put into the game. To be perfectly honest, I've always been surprised you're otome games haven't been pay to play considering the level of work and dedication put into them.

In any case, I'll happily buy the deluxe edition, and I'd be even HAPPIER with the edition of a bonus guy. <3~

Annie said...

I don't know... I mean, it's obvious that you guys deserve to get paid for all the amazing work you do. But I've always hated the feeling you get when I receive a game that has optional "bonus" content. Even if I finish the free game completely, I still feel like I have to purchase the full version because I'm missing out. It's not the same as a completely free game, and it's not as fun as a game you have to pay for, either, because you know you could have experienced a lot of the story without paying. It's an uncomfortable middle ground where you're not getting the full benefits of either option. If you need the money, I would honestly prefer it if you just made Oneiro a commercial game.

Yun said...

I'll only buy the "deluxe" version of a game if the extra route/bonus scenes in the game are worth the 15$, like if it has the best routes that's not in the free version.

I certainly wouldn't pay extra 15 bucks for sketch galleries or voices ( not a fan of voices, unless they're really really good, which sadly often isn't the case).

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of different opinions here, but I guess I'll toss mine into the bunch. Not sure how to organize my thoughts, so straight list. Hope it doesn't come across too cold.

1. I am not particularly a fan of voices in visual novels, not even professional done ones. Normally, I just click at my own pace and disregard them anyway. I think the suggestions of a bonus guy + some extra cgs sounds like sufficient extra content.

2. I am not personally bothered by missing out on some content that is not pertinent to a complete story, so having a paid version with extra content doesn't bother me as long as what is there ties up nicely. What is free is free, and I think you are generous for giving us anything at all.

3. . . . would I buy the deluxe version? Unlikely. This actually has nothing to with cost, and everything to do with method of payment. I *DESPISE* buying things online that's not from a source where I can use a giftcard like Amazon or iTunes.

This is for many reasons including that I don't keep a credit card (despite being of legal age to do so) and I hate giving away my name and address (to anyone online). So I wouldn't do so if I had an option to play a free version.

I've noticed that I'll buy some things up instantly if I see in it person, yet if I see it online, I'll spend a long time only considering it.

Though, I think I'm getting away from myself. Online versus In Person might be an interesting poll in the future . . . I can't remember if you've done a poll on that subject or not. Good research maybe?

My teal deer two cents.

Alice Aubury said...

I would totally buy the game for $15 I have had fun with all of your games so far.

If you had a deluxe version extra CGs would easily get me to buy it. (or maybe a mini-art gallery)

I'd play the free game but if I liked it I would buy it for sure even if no extra content was included.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind buying it if it has what other people have been saying: a bonus guy (or bonus guyssssss *u*) who of course would have a different route (or routesssss) plus extra CGs, extra stories, or mini-games. ^__^ this would make it more awesome than the free version and people would prolly go buy it if it's better than the demo with lots and lots of extras that can't be seen in the free version! ^u^ but i think that a mini-game would really be nice (much like Konami's TMGS mini-games such as pillow fights for the school field trip and chocolate-making for Valentine's :P)and would make my money worth it :D

ChaosMorning said...

I would be willing to purchase the deluxe edition if it was to include those bonus features (Especially extra CGs and scenes).

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of comments already (and a lot that I agree with). I may be a bit late, but I'd like to share my opinion too.

Bonus scenes and extra CG wouldn't really be enough to motivate me to buy a deluxe version if there is a free version available (unless it was cheaper than $15). Put in a bonus guy and there's a good chance that I'll buy it. Put in multiple bonus guys and I wouldn't even hesitate getting the deluxe version immediately (^_^) Although I realise that that would be a lot of extra work.

Voice acting, minigames, etc. might be a nice touch, but in the end I feel that the content (and length) is more important.

Owning a physical copy isn't something I'm particularly interested in, unless it contains e.g. an artbook or prints. In which case I'd be willing to pay more than $15.

Honestly though, I would probably end up purchasing the deluxe version eventually anyway, since I really want to support you guys.

Chaoticblu said...

Personally I find most "deluxe" versions of things (games, anime serious re release etc) a waste of money for me. Normally they do not have enough added content or interesting content to be worth the extra buck (Oooh , it has "clean opening" yeah that constitutes re buying the same anime for $10.00 more.)

Of course I am talking about when I buy something in the first place, THEN a deluxe version comes out. In the case of having 2 versions of this game readily available, here's my criteria:

1. Reasonable price. $15.00 is ok I guess, for most people. But I do not have a steady income so I will be passing and choosing the free.

Assuming I could afford it, to make me spend that $15 the game would have to have things such as:

1. Voice acting. That would be awesome as long as the acting was good. Don't do it unless you have good voice actors! Otherwise you'll just get people upset and feeling let down and ripped off.

2. Added endings/ added characters. BIG BIG incentive for me. If nothing gameplay wise is different, there is NO point for me to buy a so called deluxe version of anything. Something has to be added to make it different then the original. And for me I want added story; if it was a movie I'd want added footage/director's cut.

What I don't really care about:
Added CG's - Pics are great, I love to unlock them but new pics are NOT enough to make me spend money on a v novel. CG's are just a nice added thing to collect. They do not contribute to the story. They do however contribute to gameplay in that you unlock them by getting to certain points in the game. But that would be part of adding extra story content anyway.

So that's my 2 cents. You can really do what you want though as I can't afford to spend $15 on a game right now. I'm not buying consol games either right now. But yeah, if I was too, the deluxe version would have to be pretty damn special.And not just pretty with new CGs.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I probably wouldn't buy a deluxe version if it just had a bonus guy and a couple of extra CGs for each route. Like someone said before in the comments, when I pay $15 for a game I expect a few hours of content, not just one =/ There'd have to be something vastly alluring about the bonus guy for me to spend $15 on him - I would be willing to pay $5-10 for him, but not $15.

Personally, I don't tend to pay attention to voices; even in Jisei, while the voices were professional, I still found it a bit jarring. So that won't draw me into buying the deluxe version.

If you had to have a deluxe version for $15, I'd say that you should include a lot of content to make it worth it - otherwise, you may as well just keep Oneiro free.

Chaoticblu said...

In regards to the Anon above me,

Actually, it would be nice if the voices were optional. So you could toggle them on or off. That alone wouldn't get me to but a deluxe version, but coupled with added story content and I may consider it worth it. I agree with the Anon above me, one extra guy isn't enough to spend $15 on. 2..maybe. 3 would be even better. Or possible a female option. Or that could be a whole 'nother version, 'cause you would have to have more than one female.

Kinka said...

Huh, I wish I could buy.

But there are two things that usually make me unable to buy otome games, no matter how much I want to.

1st is - money. For 15$ I can buy Mass Effect 1&2 from normal shop these days, and it's a bigger and longer game. And a first-person shooter, to boot.

2nd is - bank account. I don't have one and I'm unable to get one on my own, as my parents will never let me. So I'm basically unable to buy it, and I hate it. The dream come true for me would be if the otome games sellers would accept payment by the SMS.