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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Somewhat

The Shape On The Ground VS The World

So our new game, The Shape On The Ground - Steam Edition will be released in less than a month (wishlist here!). And I'm sorta freaking out.

See, I might have a bias against the Steam platform audience. It is a huge audience, varied, and includes people who might have wildly differing expectations of the same product. Which brings us to TSOTG.

What You Hear VS What I Said

One thing I took from reading about neuro-linguistic programming a few years back, is the idea that you are responsible for getting your idea across clearly and correctly. Some people will understand what you say in a certain way, because of their own cognitive biases and their own load of some words and phrasing. But basically, it is up to you to make sure you've communicated what you meant.

And this fact, in relation to TSOTG, is freaking me out. Not that the game is revolutionary or anything. it even a game? You walk around a 3D environment in search of dioramas, in order to answer questions, in order to get a vague esoteric reading. It's like a personality test with extra steps.

I resorted to call it a 'software' and state on the store page that "This software isn't a game", hopefully to help manage expectations from potential players.

Negative VS Positive

Because what it boils down to is : I want to avoid negative reviews based on this misinterpretation. Look, negative reviews based on a bad technical experience with a game is fine (you've encountered a bug and couldn't finish the game, that is very fair). But thumbs down reviews on indie games because 'you didn't get it' hurt the game a lot. If you could not see the entertainment value in my software, I do not expect you to be the best spokesperson for it, so a negative review will just muddle the waters even more. Sometimes, the mature thing to do is recognize you weren't the target audience and leave the game be.

So it's all up to me to make it clear what sort of software / game /experience TSOTG is. And I believe I did my best to present the title in its most honest light. And those negative reviews will be unavoidable, to some extent (seriously, some people buy a game without reading the store page, and I'm like....hey, it's your money but maybe read up before you commit?). So yeah, freaking out a little.

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