Our plans for the future.

Heya all!

This is Ian here, the creative director and designer of Ravemark. I know it’s usually Kev that posts on our developer blog here and responds to your comments (I tend to hang out at the Touch Arcade forum page here), but I thought it best that I share with you guys our plans for the future and the changes we’ll be making in our line-up. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as Kev made it out to be. =)

Before I get into it I’d like to that everyone for the incredible support and feedback we’ve gotten over the past few months. It’s heartening to know that so many of you bother to keep in touch with us and help us as we endeavour to make Ravenmark a quality game we can be proud of. We could not ask for better fans. I’d also like to thank the local support in Singapore we’ve gotten thus far from friends, family, media and people that simply believed that we could make a product of Ravenmark’s quality!

It’s with that glowing thought that I’ll move on to more serious issues. Ravenmark, thus far has been a critical success however we look at it – from glowing reviews from major sites to a 4.6 star average on iTunes. I can honestly say we could never dream about the response its gotten so far. Unfortunately, being a critical success doesn’t necessary equate zomgawesome sales. I can safely say we’re making a comfortable amount to keep us going, but it’s not enough to expand so we can get you guys more content in a timely fashion. Keeping that in mind, we’ve reorganised our future line up of updates and games to keep us going.

Here’s what we plan to do;

1. Suneaters Campaign

Suneaters is well on it’s way, assets are done we’re putting together the missions and balancing the armies. Along with the campaign comes a number of UI and game mechanic improvements. Notably, you can now track the paths taken by the various factions on the world map as they trapeze across Eclisse. The main reason for the delay is that the Kaysani army functions distinctly differently from Estellion and we took some time to ensure that the experience was fun and manageable with Swarms. You can expect it roughly at the end of February, latest being the first week of March.

2. Ravenmark, Arc II

If you’ve played through the Ravenhood Campaign, you’re aware that the story ends on a cliffhanger with more questions than answers. Now, Arc II of Ravenmark intends to answer those questions and (perhaps) ask a few more. Previously, we had intended to release Arc II within the current app as a free update. Sadly, we can’t can’t afford to do that and we will be releasing it as a separate app for a small sum to keep us going.

Included in Arc II are:

  • Deepwood Dragoons – Where we follow Thaddeus and Dwight into the Lyri Barrens and see what dangers they face from both allies and enemies alike.
  • Raven’s Dusk – We return to Calius’ side, as he deals with the situation dropped on him in Ravenhood; and Rook Harper as he fights to the teeth to defend his people.
  • Raven’s Rise – The dramatic conclusion to the Kaysani Invasion.

At release, players will have access to Deepwood Dragoons and Raven’s Dusk, while Raven’s Rise will follow a few months after. We’re targeting a June release for Ravenmark, Arc II.

3. Ravenmark, Multiplayer

Some time ago, we promised to add a skirmish function to the current version of Ravenmark. After many a long discussion we’ve decided against this. Ravenmark Multiplayer will be its own app. There’s many reasons why we’ve taken this path, but here are a few of the main ones:

  1. Our game is asset heavy – Having the skirmish mode in a ballooned app isn’t very appealing to people. Moreso for those with devices of a lower capacity.
  2. Game Balancing – Taking a page from Starcraft, we feel that the single and multi-player game should be balanced differently since both experience are vastly different.
  3. Support for a separate app is easier – We figured no one would be keen to update a 700ish mb app just for game balancing.
  4. It needs to be sustained – Unlike offline/single player games, a multiplayer game requires a lot of attention to be kept running. Income from point 5 would help keep that support alive.
  5. We can use a freemium model – This allows people to enjoy the game at no cost while giving a player that wants to invest in the game new experiences. We intend to make it such that bought content adds to experience rather than overpower non-paying players. We’ve mentioned many a time that we aren’t here to make “stupid” money, we hope to provide you guys quality content that you see value in paying for.

Ravenmark MP will include asynchronous multiplayer, hotseat multiplayer and a skirmish mode to test your chops against our annoying evil AI. We haven’t started work on this version of Ravenmark yet, but we hope to have this out in the second half next year.

4. A new untitled project (set in the Ravenmark world, Eclisse)

As you can tell, we’ve got a lot on our plate as it is. Aside from all that madness, we also have another game brewing in the design stages that returns us to Eclisse, Ravenmark’s home campaign world. If everything goes as planned, we’ll start work on this with an expanded team to bring you guys a new game. It’s aimed to be something lighter and easier to play. We’ll give you guys more information as it comes together.

___

So! Lots happening in the months to come. I hope that you all will continue to support us as we take this journey. It’s not going to be easy, I’m certain – but you guys are worth it.

Once again, everyone here at WHS is thankful for the support you all have gladly given!

 

Cheers,

Ian

Creative Director

  • Bob

    Sounds like a plan!!

    You go girls!!

    Haha, Bob

    • kevin

      Haha – thank you for the support Bob :) means a lot!

    • http://www.ravenmark-saga.com Ian (Tebius)

      Cheers Bob! =)

  • Yuri

    It’s a pity that:
    1) there will be single-player games. A VERY bad idea, if you ask me. Maybe you should reconsider that: just additional campaigns, returning players to the familiar characters.
    2) there will be no skirmish, but hope the freemium style of the non-campaign game will work.

    So, I’m surely disappointed only of parting the story/single-player part of the game. PLEASE, RECONSIDER THIS IDEA!!!

    The only good idea is tracking the characters’ progress on the world’s map.

    “…the first week of March…” At least, it will be my holidays.)))))))))

    (Edited by Ian to avoid spam.)

    • http://www.ravenmark-saga.com Ian (Tebius)

      Hi Yuri,

      I’ve edited your comment so there isn’t a wall of short comments. I hope you’ll take the time to put together full messages from here on end.

      Also, I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say with point 1. Point 2 needs to be done to make sure we have enough cash flow to keep making games. And yeah, I’ve always liked the idea of having an idea of where in the world everyone is. =)

      I guess you’ll have a lot time to finish the Suneater campaign then!

      Cheers!

      • Yuri

        My opinion on point 1 is stated in the next post. As, I’ve said, I’m not disappointed with making the whole multiplayer part of the game a separate app, so there is no complaint about your work in this way. Keep going. I’m only angry (really) with the single-player part of “Ravenmark”.

        Ok. I just write on emotions. That’s why I’ve posted a small message a minute later I posted the big one.

  • Yuri

    The idea of making Arc II a separate app is bad, because… it’s just like as if I’ve finished writing the first part of the “Matrix of the seventh sky” (my post-apocalyptical novel on which I’m working now) and proceeded to the third part, having told people: “Well, I have to keep going. Just buy the second part as a separate book”. What the hell??? It just proves, that you want to make “quick” money. Hope you”ll think it over until June. For example, because for some people (and I’m not an exception) it will be rather perceptibly. I don’t have even A LITTLE MONEY and, as I’ve said before, I don’t think I’m an only gamer in such financial state.

    • http://www.ravenmark-saga.com Ian (Tebius)

      Heya Yuri,

      Well, the other option is that we keep it as a free update and close our doors later this year due to financial constraints. This wasn’t a decision made easily or with the intent to make a bag of money. We’re not charging for Arc II so that I can buy a Ferrari.. it’s so we can keep making games.

      • Yuri

        Well, “the hope remains with humans, even if there is no way back” (from “Matrix of the seventh sky”). Hope something will change until June.

        • Yuri

          Could you tell me why do you call yourself “Tebius”?

          • http://www.ravenmark-saga.com Ian (Tebius)

            It’s my nickname I use for everything online. =)

      • kevin

        Just to add on to what Ian said – if you wrote your book and there were photocopies of it everywhere … and all you wanted to do was to ensure to your fans you were around to complete the entire series .. what would you do? Ian, Brian and myself have not taken a cent in salary/perks etc from this company since day 1. In fact, when we buy our employees food, take them out to the movies etc, it still comes from our personal money. Like Ian said – we can give you the content for free, but we will close down extremely soon then. It’s your call. We would love nothing more than to give everything away .. you should know us by now based on our replies and interactions. Keep that in mind the next time you say we are only in it for “quick money” …

        • Yuri

          I understood. You don’t have to blame me.

          • kevin

            lol dude – im just being straightforward. no one is to blame. from all the messages we’ve exchanged .. you know i tell it like it is … so dont take offense to what i say dude. we literally discussed this for weeks before coming to this hard decision .. believe me it was not easy.

          • Yuri

            Let the force be with you, guys.

          • kevin

            if only we had death star type budgets then … :D well, give us a chance alright? im sure you realize by now we’re trying to be different, and genuinely from the bottom of my heart – we are sincerely trying our best :D

  • Bob

    Quick money is money too you know!!

    In case you didn’ t notice:
    ” money makes the world go round”

    Anyway, good plan, no problem on the issue of later release of the Campaign
    , its not like this game is the only game i play.

    Sincerely, Bob

    • Yuri

      For me, however, the only game I fully enjoy. It’s bad that money rule the world nowadays.

      • Yuri

        It would be nice if the Arc II as a separate app was called conformly to its status as an additional story.

        • Bob

          Your right Yuri, it is sad that money rules the world, but that has been the case since, ehhh
          always……….

          anyway, i agree with you that Ravenmark is the best game i have been playing lately, but i/m out of campaigns right now….lol

          cya around,

          Bob

          • Yuri

            It wasn’t so in the Soviet Union.

  • Yuri

    Oh, just got the idea: you could release the second arc in the main game (it seems like there are no gameplay differences between the parts of the game), but as an additional PAID content. It would keep the story united. and you wouldn’t have to make the clone of the main game just with another story.

  • Jere Krischel

    A few thoughts:

    1) make arc II IAP instead of a separate app if you’re going to keep the same combat system.
    1a) put in an IAP tip jar to let folk show their appreciation
    1b) put the Suneaters campaign as IAP

    2) Please don’t go freemium on us. Have your lite version of Ravenmark MP (limited to say, a few maps, max # of players), and have a full version of Ravenmark MP. “Great Little War Game” did a pretty good job of that.

    3) Ala “Legends Of Yore”, offer in-game sponsorship -> pay $x, and get one of the grunt characters named after you (give your “little people” custom names – leave the major characters alone, of course).

    • kevin

      hahaha .. i love #3. personally, if we make enough to complete the games – i’ll be content. most of your suggestions are creative-based, so i’ll let ian chime in on them, since this falls under his decision :) but the suggestions are all great and we will definitely consider them :D

  • Jere Krischel

    One more thought – haven’t seen anyone do this yet, but sorta reminds me of stuff like the humble bundle:

    Set a revenue target for some portion you’re building (IAP, or the whole app). Promise that after you hit that target, you’ll lower the price to $0.99. Set another revenue target at which you’ll set the price to free.

    You don’t necessarily have to give exact $$ amounts, but report regularly on what % you are towards a given goal. So let’s say you say “Arc II is going to cost us $300,000, and we want a reasonable 10% profit, so we’ll charge $2.99 until we hit $330,000. If we make $1,000,000 in sales, we’ll drop it to free.”

    Anyway, just a thought, best of luck to you all in making the finances and the game work!

  • Jackpot777

    I think they all sound like good ideas.

    I have played through the current app (its excellent, but I have told you guys that already!) and if you need to change your approach to release a second app and a freemium mp model to enable you to continue to develop apps like this, I will certainly support you. Based on the time I have spent playing it (let alone how much I enjoyed playing it), Ravenmark is excellent value. I’ve paid £40 for console games which I have then spent a lot less time playing.

    Obviously balance is an issue in an mp game with that model, but you’ve already said you will look to address that which is very reassuring.

    Some people will of course continue to confuse the need to run a business with the desire to be greedy, but its’s clear to me that the latter isn’t the case here.

    Good luck with the new endeavours! I look forward to seeing the results.

  • Yuri

    Making a separate app for just the second is just stupid. The best way is to make it an IAP content, but I think the Kaysan campaign must be free, however everything depends on you guys, but I hope you’ll listen to us and make future campaigns an IAP content.

    • kevin

      well, before you say stupid, try to understand:

      we are NOT charging for the kaysan campaign. not $1, not $0.01. its free.

      with regards to your IAP question, this is what brian had to say:
      “On the subject of turning the current game into an IAP-gated free app, I do not know if that is possible without putting current players at the risk of having to pay for chapters they have ALREADY paid for by purchasing the original paid app. If that happened to me, I’d be REALLY angry…”

      do you understand that its more of a technical issue of not being able to stuff everything into the app (not that we wont try though)

      cheers!

  • Yuri

    Making IAP system doesn’t mean that the game must be free. For example, in “Highborn” only the first campaign is free and the rest one or two must be bought. And Arc II can’t be called a full-cost sequel, a “Ravenmark 2″, it’s just the next part of a big story. That’s why I state that making two identical games, just with different campaigns, is unwise. I think you should reconsider that.

    • Yuri

      You have just to block new campaigns with the price and that’s all. You’ll have to spend some time and maybe money on that, but it’s much better than making a separate app for each new campaign. If that happens there will be no epic game “Ravenmark” – there will be separate pieces of it: “Ravenmar 1-2-3-4-5-…” It’s much worse than making “Ravenmark” an IAP game.

      • kevin

        let me see if i can look through apple’s documentation or get some advice from more seasoned developers :) never hurts to ask and understand. your suggestion could definitely work (provided we have the capability!) but its something i promise you i will research this week …

        • Yuri

          I just hope that you’ll keep “Ravenmark” a united app, as it is really possible and profitable for you.

  • Sam

    Guys,

    Great work! I’m looking forward to it. Have been keeping track on your progress, excellent update.

    You guys really impress me by answering some irrelevant comments. I don’t think some people understand you have a business to run and yourselves to feed.

    Good luck, you have my full respect & support.

  • Yuri

    “…answering some irrelevant comments…” Seems like it’s about me.

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