A Postmortem of
“Epic Battle Fantasy 4”
A look at what EBF4 did right, and a bunch of
stuff that went terribly wrong.
Who I Am
• I'm Matt Roszak, aka kupo707.
• I'm a Flash Game developer,
who mostly works by himself.
• Been animating in Fl...
Epic Battle Fantasy 4
• A traditional JRPG, similar to
early Final Fantasy, or Golden Sun.
• Took around one year to make....
What Went Right
• EBF4 launched without any serious bugs or
other issues.
• Player reception was very good.
• Premium cont...
Testing & Launch
• Open beta testing ensured that the game was
bug free and balanced.
• Lots of data was collected about w...
Player Reception
• EBF4 built on the previous games, and fixed
everything that was wrong with them.
• Very few complaints ...
Premium Pack
• Included a pack of Equips and Skills for $7.50.
• Sold 5803 of them, which apparently is a lot for
a single...
Total Revenue
Kongregate sponsorship: $30K
+ Premium sales: $28K
+ Sitelocked licenses: $4K
+ Ads: $4K
+ Competition prize...
What Went Wrong
• Sponsorship deal could have been better.
• Browsers deleted lots of saved games.
• Data mining was a dis...
Sponsorship
• Picked a performance based deal from
Kongregate, which worked well for previous
games.
• But EBF4 did not di...
Lost Saves
• Tons of users lost saved games due to
browsers and cleaning tools deleting cookies.
• Kongregate doesn't have...
Data Mining
• Used Playtomic for collecting tons of cool data.
• They went out of business shortly after the
game's releas...
Translations
• Added a month to development time.
• No way of knowing how many people found
them useful.
• Distribution wa...
Steam Greenlight
• EBF4 may have been better off as a Steam
game, rather than a free web game.
• Should have focused on St...
Conclusions
• Treat your players well and include them in the
development process.
• Make backup plans; conditions can cha...
Contact

• Email: kupo707@hotmail.com
• Website/blog: kupogames.com
• Kongregate username: kupo707
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A Postmortem of Epic Battle Fantasy 4 by Matt Roszak

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A look at what EBF4 did right, and of bunch of stuff that went terribly wrong.

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A Postmortem of Epic Battle Fantasy 4 by Matt Roszak

  1. 1. A Postmortem of “Epic Battle Fantasy 4” A look at what EBF4 did right, and a bunch of stuff that went terribly wrong.
  2. 2. Who I Am • I'm Matt Roszak, aka kupo707. • I'm a Flash Game developer, who mostly works by himself. • Been animating in Flash for 10 years, making games for 5 years. • I've made games in a bunch of different genres. • Games include Adventure Story, Bullet Heaven, and the Epic Battle Fantasy series.
  3. 3. Epic Battle Fantasy 4 • A traditional JRPG, similar to early Final Fantasy, or Golden Sun. • Took around one year to make. • Contains 60,000 lines of code, • Takes 20 hours to play through.
  4. 4. What Went Right • EBF4 launched without any serious bugs or other issues. • Player reception was very good. • Premium content sold well and didn't bother most players. • Made a decent amount of money overall.
  5. 5. Testing & Launch • Open beta testing ensured that the game was bug free and balanced. • Lots of data was collected about what players did in-game. • Open development meant lots of player feedback and hype. • No major issues with the game itself at launch.
  6. 6. Player Reception • EBF4 built on the previous games, and fixed everything that was wrong with them. • Very few complaints about the game itself, and most players loved it. • Was the top rated game on Kongregate and Newgrounds for a few months.
  7. 7. Premium Pack • Included a pack of Equips and Skills for $7.50. • Sold 5803 of them, which apparently is a lot for a single-player game. • Premium pack itself was done sensitively; Didn't offer unfair advantages or make the free game feel incomplete.
  8. 8. Total Revenue Kongregate sponsorship: $30K + Premium sales: $28K + Sitelocked licenses: $4K + Ads: $4K + Competition prizes: $2K ___________________________________ = Total: $68K = Eh, can't complain.
  9. 9. What Went Wrong • Sponsorship deal could have been better. • Browsers deleted lots of saved games. • Data mining was a disaster. • Not sure if translations were worth it. • Steam Greenlight release was planned badly.
  10. 10. Sponsorship • Picked a performance based deal from Kongregate, which worked well for previous games. • But EBF4 did not distribute very well; Shrinking market, large filesize, premium content, and some compatibility issues. • Had a very high fixed offer that I turned down. • Luckily sorted out sponsorship deal quite early.
  11. 11. Lost Saves • Tons of users lost saved games due to browsers and cleaning tools deleting cookies. • Kongregate doesn't have an API for cloud saving, like some other sponsors do. • Problem gradually lowered the game's rating. • A Kongregate site update even deleted saved games for a day.
  12. 12. Data Mining • Used Playtomic for collecting tons of cool data. • They went out of business shortly after the game's release; had no backup plan. • I should have known how unreliable these services are from previous experience.
  13. 13. Translations • Added a month to development time. • No way of knowing how many people found them useful. • Distribution was crap, so they probably didn't help much there. • Was still an interesting experience.
  14. 14. Steam Greenlight • EBF4 may have been better off as a Steam game, rather than a free web game. • Should have focused on Steam first. • Didn't really understand how Greenlight works. Felt that the web release would help get votes. • Turns out players don't want to pay for a game that is already mostly available for free. (derp) • Got 13k votes. Probably needed around 50k.
  15. 15. Conclusions • Treat your players well and include them in the development process. • Make backup plans; conditions can change. • Don't trust outsiders; web browsers, data tracking services, etc. • Don't stick to the same strategy just because it worked well in the past.
  16. 16. Contact • Email: kupo707@hotmail.com • Website/blog: kupogames.com • Kongregate username: kupo707

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