Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Shadowhand coming on 7th December, New trailer!

Before I go any further in talking about the card-battling RPG/Adventure?Visual Novel/Unique game we are publishing called Shadowhand…check out the trailer..

If you have not heard of the game before, its an interesting mash up of a whole bunch of genres. The basic card game is solitaire, but revved up to the max with power-ups, special cards, and a unique ‘combat’ mechanic version, all wrapped up in a cool story about an 18th century highway-woman with two identities. I recommend checking out our website with more information about the game here.

Shadowhand is being developed by Grey Alien Games and published by me. The game was originally planned to come out about a year ago, but the games scope changed a bit which pushed it to January, and then…well to cut a long story short, it took longer than expected, but the end result is truly awesome and I’m very excited that we are about to release it to the world.

Oh yes…I haven’t mentioned yet that the release date is now 7th December. Thats a proper, public, its going to happen release date, even if I have to break down jake’s door with a bat-leth and grab the final build from his desperate claws to upload it to steam…

Shadowhand will be extremely interesting as a publisher (although TBH I am moving away from publishing games directly now), because it represents a unique experiment. The developers (Grey Alien Games) have a lot of game development experience, but that experience has mostly been in casual games, of the sort normally sold by the big casual sites like Big Fish games, and back-in-the-old-days, RealGames and Yahoo Games, IWIN and so on. It was all those years ago that I first met Jake, who was selling games through those sites (and eventually went to work for a big casual games developer) at the same time I was selling Kudos and eventually Kudos 2.  There was a time back then when a decent, experienced indie game dev could make a reasonable liviung from making casual games and selling them direct, and also through the big portals for casual games.

All that changed with the consolidation of casual games publishers, combined with a shift for that game style to first facebook, and then mobile. This led to lower revenues per game, lower game prices, and a miniscule revenue share for the actual game developers. Suddenly the smart money was in ‘hardcore’ games on steam and GoG, instead of the ‘mass-market’ casual games often sold to ‘soccer moms’.

Thats a long history to explain why the developers behind Shadowhand have so much experience, but so few well-known games on steam. The problem was, selling on steam was ‘different’ to selling casual games through other portals. Also, the level of polish, game design and user experience often demanded by casual games was often actually higher than the typical indie steam game. This is especially true now, where most games launch into early access with bugs ahoy and placeholder stuff everywhere.

So together, me and Jake hypothesized that he could take his design skills and experience of user-interfaces and game-polish, and bring that sort of game design to steam gamers with a suitable theme. The idea for shadowhand was thus born. If it works, it proves there is a gap in the market for taking what casual games do best, and applying them to serious hardcore game designs for the steam audience.

I strongly think its going to be a success.

Shadowhand will be out soon for $14.99, 10% off at launch, and you can add it to your steam wishlist right now, (which might be a good idea, as you will get a reminder on launch day). If, in the meantime you have a need for some similar entertainment, Grey Aliens previous game ‘Regency Solitaire’ is already out on steam…

(Nothing to do with me, this is a game Grey Alien Games made and sold themselves).

6 thoughts on Shadowhand coming on 7th December, New trailer!

  1. Looking forward to Shadowhand, been a long time coming :)

    One dev question, you mention above…
    “Shadowhand will be extremely interesting as a publisher (although TBH I am moving away from publishing games directly now), …”

    What you say ‘moving away from publishing’, are you saying that you’re moving away from directly selling on your website in favour of Steam? Or just publishing other’s work?

    Best, Matt

    1. Just publishing other peoples games. I think I’ll always be selling my games direct to gamers as long as some people are happy to do that. I think giving the customers that option is a good idea for decent-functioning markets, and also I get more of the money that way :D

      1. Glad your still selling direct from your own site as I intend to do the same based partly on your advice in a previous post. Better to control your own distribution than put all your eggs into one basket by depending solely on a third party.

        Good luck with Shadowhand!. And Jake’s such a nice guy, he deserves success.

  2. Jake is a very nice guy and I wish success for both of you with the game!
    It is interesting indeed that do we have a gap there or not. My personal vote is that (unfortunately) this game won’t be a “big success” tho it depends on what we call a success.
    I feel like the Steam audience will recognize the “casual touch” and avoid it, while the “casual audience” won’t find the game on steam or will find it overwhelming. At least my feeling was this after the trailer. Too complicated and raw for my casual player friends, but at the same time the graphics somehow remind me of Hidden Object games.
    Very interesting! You must have a much better market understanding than me, so… I really would like to see how it ends eventually!

  3. The offical website says it is coming on GoG too, but’s upcoming list does not show it. Can I still expect this game on Good Old Games?

Comments are currently closed.