"I was quite happy with the launch and I wanted to show my gratitude to players who’ve bought the game so I’ve kept adding things and reacting to the feedback. Looking back, it seems to be the right strategy."
- Creator of Human: Fall Flat Tomas Sakalauskas on how player feedback helped in refining the game.
In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun published today, developer Tomas Sakalauskas shares some lessons learned after publishing Human: Fall Flat, which may be useful to developers wanting to see their games succeed after launch.
Human: Fall Flat is a physics-based puzzle game that launched in 2016 and has recently appeared in the top ten grossing games of the week on Steam.
It's continued to remain in the top ten, which may be in part because of Sakalauskas' eagerness in listening to feedback.
The addition of co-op mode in 2017 was influenced by the community around Human: Fall Flat. "Everything happened spontaneously, reacting to the feedback of play-testers, players, streamers, and viewers of those streamers," explains Sakalauskas. "I didn’t plan co-op mode initially but it was added because of numerous requests."
Sales did well enough to support his one-man studio, and he notes that continuing to show appreciation for his fan base ultimately proved to work out. "I’ve kept adding things and reacting to the feedback. Looking back, it seems to be the right strategy."
"It’s the same advice that I’d give to anyone who is just starting their game: listen to your players," Sakalauskas advises for any developers wanting to see their games live on after release. "Players were never taught game design – they simply feel there’s something good or bad but it’s not their job to come up with the solution."
Not all feedback is heeded, however. "You are the game designer and you make decisions. I try steering the design towards player requests, building upon the positive feedback and avoiding pitfalls exposed by the negative complaints."
Be sure to read the entire interview with Sakalauskas over at Rock Paper Shotgun.