How to Wishlist games on Steam and why it’s important

We’ve written before about why reviewing games on Steam can help out your favourite game studios, and today we’re talking Steam Wishlists, and why they’re also important.

Are Steam Wishlists ACTUALLY important to developers?

In some instances yes, definitely, and in other instances we think so, yeah.

This sounds complicated...

Like most companies that own game distribution platforms, Valve isn’t open about how their store’s various chart algorithms work, or what they’re looking for when choosing to promote titles.

When you look at the games that perform well in the charts or are featured in the Update News pop up, they tend to be games that either has a fair bit of a following already, or are from well-known publishers and developers with a dedicated following or a large ad budget. It’s likely that these games have high Wishlist numbers, but we can’t know this for sure and we don’t know if Valve uses these in relation to either the charts or Update News features, so it’s a bit of a black box.

We’ve heard completely conflicting reports on how Valve interprets this data too.

Some developers we’ve spoken to have claimed that a Valve rep told them that 5000 is the number of Wishlists needed for a game to be taken seriously when it comes to featuring on Steam. Others told us that the person they know at Valve said it was closer to 10,000. Others have claimed it’s much more like 50,000.

We’ve also been told that Valve doesn’t care about Wishlist numbers at all. And others that it’s the only metric Valve uses. And we’ve been told that Wishlists are part of a mix of data Valve uses.

So are Wishlists important when it comes to Valve providing featuring? “We think so, yeah”, but honestly we can’t know for sure.

But you said that Wishlists were “definitely” important!

They’re really important to us as a studio.

While Valve doesn’t tell you what it does with Wishlist data, it definitely encourages developers to use this feature of Steam. To quote their documentation, using the Wishlist feature “gives you a sense of the level of interest by potential customers and a way of notifying interested customers when your game releases or goes on discount”.

These two elements - gauging the interest of our titles, and directly notifying people interested in our products - help us make decisions about our games.

For example: so long as you’ve verified your e-mail account with Steam, and that you’ve opted-in to receive e-mails, Valve will send you a message whenever a game on your Steam Wishlist launches, or leaves Early Access.

This helps us to get as many people buying our games at launch, which definitely has an impact on how high we climb up the “New and Trending” and “Top Selling” charts, which in turn helps reach more potential customers who happen to see the game in these sections during this period.

So we’ll make decisions about our marketing activities ahead of a launch that are based (partly) on how effective those activities are at increasing our Wishlist numbers on Steam, so we can make that launch splash as big as possible.

Should we do another season of the podcast? Should we put money into Facebook advertising? Should we give out alpha access to our game? If something increases Steam Wishlist numbers, then it’s a good indicator that we should do it.

Valve will also e-mail you if a game on your Wishlist is currently discounted, and again this is great for us because people who are price sensitive can pop a game of ours on their Wishlist, and keep track of its price until it reaches the point where they’re happy to jump onboard.

It helps with other areas of our business too. If we have a game with a lot of Wishlists, it might be a good indicator that there are a number of people who are interested in buying it, but aren’t yet convinced it’s worth the asking price. We can use this data to help decide if the solution is to add more content to the game to increase the value proposition, or to rethink how we communicate the game’s value, or to simply put the game on sale.

Alright, I’m convinced, how do I add a game to my Wishlist?

It’s really easy. 

First, make sure you’re logged into Steam, either here via a web browser, or via Steam’s mobile app, or the Steam desktop client.

Second, navigate to the game you’d like to add to your Wishlist (like our upcoming Mars Horizon), and click the “Add to your wishlist” button that’s just beneath the screenshots carousel.

Third, double-check your e-mail preferences to ensure you’re receiving the right e-mails from Valve.

If you ever need any more help with this, Steam has a great guide all about it, and if you have any questions for us specifically, pop on over to our lovely little Discord.

Thanks for reading!

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Can you handle the pressure of managing a space agency?

We have been busy working away on our upcoming title, Mars Horizon and now we want you to help us!

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Do you want to get your hands on an early access alpha build of Mars Horizon? Well today is your lucky day! We are looking for people to take part in an alpha weekend of our game and get your thoughts on how it is coming along and what else we can do to improve it?

The Alpha will start on Friday 19th July and close on Monday 22nd. This also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the moon landings!

Interested?

How to get involved?

Step 1: Sign up and add your email address to our system

Step 2: Wait for your confirmation email

Step 3: Then, when the codes arrive we'll send you a Steam code 

Step 4: Log into Steam and redeem your code (there is a guide on how to do that here)

Step 5: Download and install Mars Horizon

Step 6: Launch rockets and send someone to space!

Step 7: Fill in the feedback form

Step 8: Get a free copy of the soundtrack when the game launches

On Monday 21st July at 10:00 (UK Time) the keys will expire. The feedback form will close at Friday 26th July at 12:00PM (UK Time).

So what are you waiting for? Get involved now!

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Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Is that Dark Future? In the Skull Sale?

Check it out! We are delighted to be a part of the very awesome Skulls for the Skull Throne sale in it’s third year!

Check that out! Dark Future: Blood Red States on the main header! Woooo!

Check that out! Dark Future: Blood Red States on the main header! Woooo!

You can take advantage of all the great offers (including 25% off of ours!) over on the Steam page specially set up.

If you want to watch Dark Future too, we’ll be doing a special stream at 19:00 (UK Time) head over to the Dark Future page to have a look see!

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Dark Future: Blood Red States is now live

It’s finally here! Dark Future: Blood Red States is now live on Steam!

It’s been five years since we first announced the game, but it is here and it is roaring into life!

And… as a special thank you to everyone we’c launched it with a massive 25% discount! So instead of the normal £19.99 you can get it for £14.99 (however, this isn’t going to be around forever so don’t miss out!)

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As well as this we will also be releasing…

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For those who have been with us since the beginning you can take a look at the evolution of this project right from day one! While not adding anything new to the base game this DLC includes:

  • Eight different playable builds of the game

  • The initial pitch videos for the game

  • PDFs describing the builds, their development state, and the thinking at the time about the game

We’ve also included, as a free gift:

  • A PDF of the original rules to the board game Dark Future

  • A PDF of the original expansion, Dark Future: White Line Fever

  • A PDF of the Dark Future novel - Golgotha Run

All of this for just £10 (But do note you will need the full version of the game to access this content)

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We also will be releasing the super awesome sounding soundtrack to the game, by Matthew Walker. This 46 minute, 13-track album can be downloaded in WAV or MP3 (whatever you audio persuasion!)

It will be £4.99 (But do note you will need the full version of the game to access this content)

Click below to buy it now

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Dark Future: Blood Red States Date Announcement and New Trailer

Since our last update there’s been a lot of activity around Dark Future: Blood Red States. So we thought we’d do a mini round up for you all!

To add to that list we have two more bits of news:

We have a new trailer

First things, first we have ourselves an awesome looking trailer that we think sums up the carnage and mayhem of the game perfectly. Check it out below and let us know what you think:

Release Date

For the eagle eyed viewers on the video you would have noticed we included the release date of the game. It will be coming out on Thursday 16th May 2019. If you don’t want to miss out on when it is coming out make sure you pop over to steam and push that wishlist button!

Finally, just a massive thank you to everyone on our Steam Community and everyone who took part in the Beta Weekend! We appreciate all your support!

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Dark Future Beta Weekend - 11th - 14th April

Explosive carnage, action strategy, cars doing things cars shouldn’t and the big empty that can only mean one thing, Dark Future: Blood Red States is nearly here.

For those of you who don’t know, our next game is scheduled for release this year, it's based on a classic Games Workshop board game (with the same name) and sees you step into a dark, dystopian world filled with danger everywhere. You battle through different missions to earn enough money for upgrades and unique skills in this action strategy game.

Our Beta Weekend, starting on the 11th April, will let you have access to a spercific part of the game, giving you a good overview of the gameplay and customisation options, and hopefully, wetting your appetite for the games launch

I want to be involved! How do I sign up?

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It couldn’t be simpler:

  • Step 1: Visit this link and add your email address to the system

  • Step 2: Get a confirmation email

  • Step 3: We'll send you an access code

  • Step 4: Log into Steam and redeem your code

  • Step 5: Join our Discord which we’ll be running over the Beta for help, support and questions

  • Step 6: Step into Dark Future: Blood Red States

  • Step 7: Explode cars and be exploded lots

  • Step 7: Fill in the feedback form

  • Step 8: Get a code to get 5% off the game on launch
    (and it works with any other sales we MAY or MAY NOT do *heavy wink*)

That’s it! (Told you it was easy)

The beta runs from Thursday 11th until Monday 14th April at 10:00 (UK Time) when the keys will expire. The feedback form will close at 12:00 (UK Time), so make sure you fill it out to your discount code.

Final note… if you haven’t already wishlist the game now on Steam by clicking this handy link below

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

The European Space Agency and Auroch Digital are working together on a space exploration game

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The game, already supported by the UK Space Agency, puts you in the role of mission control as your journey to Mars

Auroch Digital are delighted to announce the involvement of the European Space Agency (ESA) in its upcoming game Mars Horizon. This support will help add a extra level of authenticity and realism to the game, coming out on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch this year.

Design Director Tomas Rawlings said “Working with ESA is a massive bonus for the Mars Horizon universe. Having access to real launch control specialists who can explain the real life pressures and challenges they face will help make this game as authentic as we can. With the upcoming ExoMars mission in 2020 this is a fantastic time for us to be working with the agency as they put the final stages of preparation on this launch. 

The involvement of the ESA is a double win for the gameplay as we’re not only getting to talk to people planning actual missions to Mars but also the people who plan the strategy of the agency itself - all of which we’re planning to use to help shape the gameplay. To say I’m excited by this partnership is an understatement, I’m (excuse the pun) over the Moon!

We have also had such great support from the UK Space Agency who as a member of the ESA introduced us to them. It will help launch this title to the next level.”

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Mars Horizon is a hybrid management and Mission Control turn-based simulation game that puts you in control of a space agency as it attempts to head to Mars. The game takes you away from the role of pilot and into the behind the scenes world of space exploration. Using real life missions and vehicles the game is built around recreating the optimistic and authentic journey to Mars.

The game is scheduled for release in 2019 and you can find out more about it on the Steam page or via the game page.

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Three Indie Companies doing Coop Games, decide to do Coop for real

In our latest blog we thought we’d talk about a new collective being formed by independent board game companies.

In the increasingly competitive space of boardgames, three small studios have decided to work together instead and help each other create and distribute games to players.

The three companies are: 

  • Underground Games, whos games include Jagged Alliance: The Board Game and the co-op time-jumping and storytelling game Castle Von Loghan,

  • Auroch Digital who are currently kickstarting the space-themed game Mars Horizon: Blast Off! and who created the unique dark-humor take on the US political scene, Elections of US America Elections.

  • Joining them are newcomer Bos Taurus Diceworks who are working on an as-yet unannounced major IP title

This cooperation is more than an business decision - it is the attempt to have a different answer to the current trend in the games industry as a whole, where the larger companies gobble up indie developers and the remaining indies compete for an ever smaller part of the revenue. Instead of competition, the companies choose cooperation based on shared values and ways to run a business. The three companies also have called on other independent developer to join their cooperation and push the envelope on how games can be created and brought to players.

All companies originally met though digital game development but as all had a passion for board games, meeting at a recent conference they realised that they were having parallel experiences and realised there was much more to be gained by working together than working apart. In addition with underground Games being located in the major market of Germany and Auroch Digital & Bos Taurus Diceworks both being based in also major market of the UK, having a foot in each makes sense. Between the three companies they realised that there was a wealth of design experience, art talent and production skill - however each time one of them needed to solve a problem or improve a process, the learnings from this were only sitting in one place. By working together they realised they can share best-practice from manufacturers to how best to approach board game expos.

Jan Wagner of Underground Games said, “I have known and loved the works and the people of Auroch and Bos Taurus for a long time and all of us have worked as independent studios for a long time. For us, this cooperation goes far beyond simply helping each other become more visible in the market or reaching out to new players: We want to work with people who share the same values, the same love and the same passion for creating great games and truly build something in the spirit of sharing and growing together instead of competing.”

Dr Tomas Rawlings of Auroch Digital added, “There are a lot of shared interests but more than that shared values; we want to make amazing games for our players but we’re also committed to building up the parts of the boardgame experience that don’t always get a focus - from customer support to seeking better environmental standards for the materials used in making games.”

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

Prototype to Kickstarter - The story of Mars Horizon: Blast Off!

It’s funny how things work out at times. When you start working on a project you think you have a clear idea of where it’s going and how it’ll pan out. It’s not often though that a pen-and-paper prototype can get so much interest and good feedback that you end up running a Kickstarter for it. But here is the tale of how that came to be...  

A playtest that made us think twice

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So for those who follow our content will have heard of Mars Horizon. That game is still progressing well. (And is looking pretty slick so far. We’ll have some more news from this is coming very soon!)

Now it’s quite common for when we’re testing a gameplay idea for us to revert to good old fashioned pen-and-paper. This project was no exception. There were many prototypes that we built at various points to test different ideas. One of these ideas though, shone out above the rest.

Would this work as a standalone game? Could we make a full card game out of it? And so it began…

Fail-Safe Testing

The video game has always been intended to be an authentic look at what it would be like to run mission control. So we have been working with the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to make sure that what we were saying was correct.

We decided to pop along to their very nice offices and take along the prototype. There we met their informal lunchtime boardgame club (I know… very cool!). To our delight we had the some great feedback, including how great this would be as a physical game too.

That idea stuck with us, so we went away and did some more work. We also decided to demo the game at two boardgame events - just to sanity check our thinking. City of Games in Bristol and Dragonmeet in London. Both times we had the same sort of feedback.

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What is the game like?

The game puts you in the hot seat of a space agency as it attempts to get a mission to Mars.

You managing your resources and invest in buildings, technology and vehicles to get there before anyone else.

The more missions you complete, the more research, money and prestige you can get. But, bigger missions need more funding and getting there before the rest of the players requires some calculated risk taking…

What does it share with the digital version?

The key thing it shares is the theme - getting the first crewed mission to Mars. It shares an art style and the missions listed are actual space missions - past and future. It also shares a bunch of gameplay ideas on the way rockets, vehicles and facilities work.

But, over time the card game has created its own life that has emerged from the extensive testing and iteration. So each is its own thing.

They are sister games both proudly carrying the Mars Horizon title and logo.

How can I get my hands on it?

So we are going to be Kickstarting the game. If this is your first time to the concept we’ve come up with a handy guide to explain everything as simply as we can.

If you are already on Kickstarter you can follow our page now! You'll get all the latest information as soon as it comes out.

When is Mars Horizon digital coming out?

There is a ton of really awesome stuff going into the digital game at the moment (including some awesome reveals, like the one below) and the development team working on it is bigger than ever.

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We are getting loads done and it is looking more and more like it’s ready for some serious testing soon. So we hope to have a firmer date for you soon… keep an eye on the Steam page where we will update everyone with the latest news!

Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital

The Year In Review 2018

First off a big Merry Christmas to everyone from all of us here at Auroch Digital. We’ve had a bumper 2018 and there has been a world of stuff that has gone on here so we thought we’d give you a quick rundown on what you may have missed…

January - A month of us talking to the world! Nina Collins spoke at PC Connect about the how we translated Ogre from a tabletop game into a digital game, while Peter Willington was on a Digital Discovery Track panel talking indie publishing. In the same month Tomas Rawlings spoke at Gamesforum discussing what happens when games intersect with the real world. We were also a part of the Global Games Jam in Bristol too.

February - We made a big announcement and launched our third Kickstarter campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (A!CT) which was successfully funded and reached four of its stretch goals! We also went down to City of Games to show off the paper and pen prototype of the game. for the eagle eyed amongst you… there might be another good reason to click the follow button on our Kickstarter page for January 2019 👉 *HEAVY WINK* 👈

March - We started the month off right by completing the Kickstarter campaign for A!CT and getting a whopping 218% funding from your awesome people. It also coincided with our announcement of the PS4, Xbox One and Switch versions too. Tomas also wrote about why Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis is a seminal real-time strategy game with a massively influence today.

April - A!CT became the obsession for the studio and as we all got fitted for new robes and cultist gowns, we decided to give the website a much needed face lift. You are looking at it now - ain’t it pretty?

May - Due to the overwhelming success of the A!CT Kickstarter we launched the project on PledgeManager letting those who missed out a chance to back the game too.

*insert Thus Spake Zarathustra music* We announced the super awesome mission control, rocket building and space management strategy game… Mars Horizon. With some support from the guys at the UK Space Agency the game looks at the reality of space exploration and trying to land the first manned mission to Mars. We did a Podcast series about it too… have a listen!

June - We carried on with A!CT and Mars Horizon got a spot in the BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine, while Tomas Rawlings got a nomination for the Lifetime Achievement Award category at the 2018 SPARKies tech and digital awards.

July - Ogre players stretched their creative muscles in the screenshot submission contest for Ogre to celebrate Origins Game Fair 2018. There were some incredible entries, including the winning entry, of a recreation of Coronado Island for their Invasion of San Diego scenario!

We also appeared at Develop, with Tomas talking about the “Steampocalypse” and Nina talking about the benefits of working for an Indie company.

August -  A!CT started taking shape and we had some really cool pre-alpha shots to show and a very early look at the game on Steam with Lead Designer Adam Carter-Groves. We also completed the trifecta of promotion with the launch of the A!CT podcast series.

We also had some lovely journo folks down to have a go on a few of our games including… the long sort after Dark Future: Blood Red States.

September - We said goodbye to our old Community Manager Jake and said hello to our new Marketing and Community Manager Matt in what can only be described as a seismic monumental moment for the company. (Take one guess who is writing this article…🙄)

However the big news from from September was...

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics came out on steam by the way this month. Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

October - We asked you for your thoughts on a brand new project we are working on, currently called “Project War Strider”. We wanted to talk to you about robots, what are the coolest robots, what settings should robots be in and how your robots should move.

In amazing news, we had over 450 of you reply so a massive, massive thank you for that. If you want to stay in the loop, make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter and keep an eye on the blog as we will talk more about the results soon.

In sad news, no one really wanted a 1950s robot detective game #heartbreak

November - We launched our brand new podcast series where Matt Davies and Matthew Walker interview some key people at the studio on the ins and outs of video game development. As well as ramble on about chocolate bars and Civilization. You can grab Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3 now (there will also be some special episodes for Christmas so don’t forget to subscribe!). Also an interesting look at our Twitter data told us that 99% of our fans are dog lovers - so that’s a thing.

December - ...and here we are! December 2018. A whole year done and dusted! Again as we said before a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us and followed our stuff throughout the year. If you’ve bought one of our games in a sale - thank you. If you’ve listened to a podcast - thank you. If you’ve liked or shared a post of our - thank you.

2019 is sure to be another bumper year and we are really excited to be releasing A!CT on the Switch, Dark Future: Blood Red States and Mars Horizon - as well as another exciting project (all will be revealed soon)

Till next time!


Auroch Digital

Marketing and Community Managment for Auroch Digital in Bristol, UK.

Find us on Stream Mixer.com/AurochDigital or more regularly on @AurochDigital