Hello guys, it’s still Giovanni here. I would like to talk about the process which led us to the evolution of Victory into what’s going to be our next game and the subject of this dev blog: Racecraft.
Victory has been our first important game. We have built our tech and team around that, also putting lots of expectations on it. The main issue on Victory was that we fought and argued with each other during the whole development to promote our individual game design vision and choices. As a result, we made a lot of mistakes.
Victory, inspired by the glorious Sixties racing era, was a brainchild of Luca Garattoni. He came up with the brilliant idea of creating a block-based car, with three blocks whose combination would allow players to create an incredible variety of cars inspired to designs of different racing ages.
This was also powered by a really powerful customization engine with painting, stickers, templates and lots of other elements, allowing racing enthusiasts to generate tons of cars. On top of that original idea, we added more “role playing” mechanics and the result was a major frustration in players, who were forced to level up to get better cars.
Victory was conceived as a free-to-play game and this allowed us to get involved with Gamersfirst, a US based publisher specialised in these kind of products,. Finding a publisher was a real blast for us, because at that time, free to play was looking like a great opportunity for a group of dev rookies!
Unfortunately, we made lots of mistakes, enormously complicating gameplay and mechanics to embrace the free to play business model.
It was a blood bath!
A few months before the scheduled launch the publisher shut down, making us indie once again! It was an hard blow, almost lethal, but we closed ranks and remembered about the “never give up!” meaning of Vae Victis.
So, we started to build our platform to self-publish Victory and that was a great opportunity to deeply understand how important is marketing because we didn’t have any budget for that.
Despite our lack of promotion, Victory monetisation was quite acceptable: 1% of paying users and an ARPPU around 15 USD. What was making things so complicated was the skyrocketing price of user acquisition which was too expensive and unsustainable for our pockets.
In the meantime we were lucky to pass Steam Greenlight and having the opportunity to eventually put our game on Steam.
We became really sick of the free to play business model after one year of Victory, because game mechanics are very difficult to balance, especially in sports games, where fairness is crucial for competition. Ruining the player experience is even easier in racing games.
There’s more left to say about the transition from Victory to Racecraft… so continue following our dev blog and don’t forget to get in touch with us on Facebook we will be more than happy to answer your questions and carefully listen to all your feedbacks.