From: Milano, Italy
Seeing that this thread is still alive, I add some thoughts of mine, for what they are worth.
Would a more polished AAR have been more effective at promoting the game?
The beauty of your past AARs, MarkShot, is that they give the
perspective view of a player and the stream of conciousness and the lack of a professional marketing brochure style are their peculiar charm. The game features are very well pointed out with reference to the actual action of the replay and make up a more interesting and agreeable reading. Let the publisher public relation department write what they like: they fulfill other aims and give other perspectives which may all the same be useful. I don't see a competition here.
Of course, a downloadable PDF would be welcome.
I remember an excellent presentation of the Airborne Assault system you wrote after RDOA, and I am sure it was available in the early days of the HTTR forum near to a list of improvements written by Arjuna, but I cannot find it any more.
That presentation was very well written and very informative and I was immediately hooked. It might be still valid for BFTB adding some reference to the hugely improved AI (a sledgehammer on the attack when clearly superior in force, and very flexible and responsive at the strategic level). I don't think somebody other could do much better in conveying the concepts that make this system unique.
Another thing we have discussed in terms of promoting products is the use of 3-5 minute multi-media tutorials illustrating some of the basic aspects of the game: giving orders, micro/macro-managing, following the action, ... What do you think of that idea?
Multi-media tutorials might be nice but I wouldn't expect too much from them. They could be an alternative to a demo if you don't trust in it, but as far as I am concerned, I found the RDOA demo very good.
I understand that you are making a soul-serching analysis to find out why the COTA success was inferior to your expectations (at least in sales, but it was very well received in the reviews).
I think Airborne Assault is and will remain a system addressed to a niche market. Most players like to control everything and there is nothing inherently bad in this: it is simply their way to play. I still remember the glassy look of the clerk of the shop where I bought HTTR (a nice youngster not at all dumb) when I told him HTTR was the best wargame he sold that year. As you well know, even TC2M seems to suffer the same inconvenience in spite of the beautiful graphics (even if this last system, while very good, is not yet as polished as AA, especially in the UI and the strategic AI, which are still rudimental). It is simply not possible to please everybody.
On the positive side, AA is an addictive system for those who like it, and many of us will buy the next releases automatically without a second thought. Yes, I know somebody will absolutally need the campaign, the mines, the desert, the steppes, or whatever else. I too would like them. But most will buy them with or without the campaign, with or without the mines, and so on; and they will do it knowing that the first ones to love this system are the developers and the beta testers and that they will do their best to continually improve it.
Anyway, I'm not a marketing expert and might be totally wrong.
< Message edited by Renato -- 2/26/2007 4:58:42 PM >