Cosmic Star Heroine for Nintendo Switch |OT| Three Planets. Fourth Platform.

Oct 25, 2017
6,502
Yeah, ultimately I think our elevator pitch (game concept, title, first impressions, overall quality, etc.) just isn't strong enough for the game to be an indie blockbuster. It's a good game that some people love and many aspects are very strong, but getting people to check it out in the first place can be difficult. I'm still hopeful that the Switch version will sell enough to fund development of the next game. And I think our next game has a much better shot at grabbing people's attention: Rx Machina (Memorable title that's easy to remember) and the quick pitch "The doctor recommends more mechs" or the longer pitch "It's Persona crossed with Trauma Center crossed with Mechs crossed with original turn-based gameplay."
Don’t be afraid to drop names like that in the storefront blurb. People might roll their eyes at Dead Cells calling itself a RogueVania with Souls-lite combat, but when I read that I instantly knew what it was and impulse bought it. If CSH had “Chrono Trigger meets Phantasy Star” in the blurb it might’ve helped on day one when the game was at the top of the list.

Maybe not. I dunno. Just irks me to not see this game crushing it on the eShop.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,826
It's all about visibility. The game was on the top of the New Releases list for a day or two in the middle of the week & then a flood of new releases knocked it off the top. No mention or promotion of the game by the platform holder and we've only had one big (100k+ subscribers) youtube channel cover the Switch release so far.

In contrast, Octopath Traveler has been heavily promoted by Nintendo for months including 2 highly publicized free demos. I mean, it's literally a 1st party published title so of course, they're going to promote it, but it should be obvious that a small indie team like ours doesn't have that kind of marketing muscle unless a platform holder decides they want to promote us.



Dead Cells had already sold around a million copies on PC by the time the Switch version came out so it was very well known AND it was officially coming out of early access when the Switch version launched. Cosmic Star Heroine's combined sales across all platforms is well under 100k so it's much less known.



Nintendo promoted Hollow Knight heavily at E3 with a "It's out NOW!" announcement at their press conference.
Hope the port can do well for you in the long run. I pre-loaded the game before launch. I haven't actually started it yet (want to beat Octopath first), but wanted to support the release early on. I'll grab the physical too when it launches next year. I really hope your Persona-ish games comes to fruition. I love the structure of the Persona games (my screen name/avatar should be hint enough) and really like the concept. I wish you guys the best.
 
Oct 25, 2017
286
Yeah, ultimately I think our elevator pitch (game concept, title, first impressions, overall quality, etc.) just isn't strong enough for the game to be an indie blockbuster. It's a good game that some people love and many aspects are very strong, but getting people to check it out in the first place can be difficult. I'm still hopeful that the Switch version will sell enough to fund development of the next game. And I think our next game has a much better shot at grabbing people's attention: Rx Machina (Memorable title that's easy to remember) and the quick pitch "The doctor recommends more mechs" or the longer pitch "It's Persona crossed with Trauma Center crossed with Mechs crossed with original turn-based gameplay."
I can understand, man. But it's all a learning experience and I hope the game sells well enough for you guys to move on to the next game. The idea sounds great and I'll definitely check it out when it comes out.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,906
I've had this game on my wishlist as soon as it was added to the eshop but I haven't bought it yet and I'm not sure if I will or when I will.

I wonder if one reason the game hasn't taken off is because of the recent-ish release of Octopath Traveler and how long that game can be. I've been playing Octopath fairly steadily since release and I'm nowhere near done. Then there is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with DLC updates including NG+ which can take up a great deal of time.

I find it very unappealing to juggle multiple rpgs at the same time because each game has it's own mechanics and gameflow to master.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,022
Really good stuff, tho imo there's an huge nosedive in quality on the very last dungeon, both on plot and balancing departments.

Alyssa, Chahn, Dave and Psybe is clearly the best team. Psybe is literally a monster, love him and his race concept. Really like how different every character feels like gameplay wise, but i didn't got the playstyle of some chars very well, i guess.

Played on the 3/4 difficulty and it was smooth sailing, no grind required. Some day will try to replay in the hardest one haha
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,269
Hardest difficulty is really great. The first battle itself ensures you learn the system. The only other battle that I found a little tight was the one against the 3 mech spider enemies in an early dungeon. Still, it was all really satisfying. I really liked some of the abilities like Songs and Drones.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,339
Clarke is a monster. With the regen stashe he single-handedly shaved off about 40K HP off a robot boss with his scaling lightning ability.
 
Oct 27, 2017
53
Thanks for the thread OP. This one fell off my radar before the initial launch, but it's perfect for the switch & I didn't even realise it was coming. On the second planet now and enjoying it. Running Alyssa/Dave/Chahn/Sue, but I want to fit that bounty hunter in there somewhere when I get him full time. Enjoyed the RE2 homage as well.
 
Nov 1, 2017
427
Yeah, ultimately I think our elevator pitch (game concept, title, first impressions, overall quality, etc.) just isn't strong enough for the game to be an indie blockbuster. It's a good game that some people love and many aspects are very strong, but getting people to check it out in the first place can be difficult. I'm still hopeful that the Switch version will sell enough to fund development of the next game. And I think our next game has a much better shot at grabbing people's attention: Rx Machina (Memorable title that's easy to remember) and the quick pitch "The doctor recommends more mechs" or the longer pitch "It's Persona crossed with Trauma Center crossed with Mechs crossed with original turn-based gameplay."
So im guessing you gave up on that potential Xb1 port.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/cosm...hrono-phantasy.1359357/page-10#post-233742818
 
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Oct 25, 2017
4,008
Paris, France
Yeah I checked yesterday and was disappointed to not see the game among the Eshop charts.
Probably the victim of the "too many releases" issue (in that case it can indeed be an issue).
How do the "game of the day" highlight work ? Is it a financial deal with Nintendo ?
I hope the game will get more exposure, it deserves the success and it should find it among the switch users demographic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,390
Really good stuff, tho imo there's an huge nosedive in quality on the very last dungeon, both on plot and balancing departments.

Alyssa, Chahn, Dave and Psybe is clearly the best team. Psybe is literally a monster, love him and his race concept. Really like how different every character feels like gameplay wise, but i didn't got the playstyle of some chars very well, i guess.

Played on the 3/4 difficulty and it was smooth sailing, no grind required. Some day will try to replay in the hardest one haha
I don't know that I agree that's the best team. Most of the characters seem pretty viable. I would say Arete and Finn are the clear weak members. But all of the others can be pretty busted. Personally I really like Clarke and Sue. I actually am towards the end of the game now (I assume anyways) and I am having a hard time deciding who I want my team to be.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,765
Oct 27, 2017
3,448
How do the "game of the day" highlight work ? Is it a financial deal with Nintendo ?
If it's the thing on the EU eShop, I doubt that it's a financial deal. There has been many really small games that has been highlighted there. I think it's more a way to highlight older game releases that might have flown below people's radar.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,097
Edinburgh, UK
I’m sad that the game isn’t taking off as the deva hoped. I bought it on Switch as soon as it came out, but will probably take a while to get to it - due to holidays, finishing Octopath and then Spiderman. It’s a tough time.
 
Oct 29, 2017
261
This game is sooooo good!
About 3.5 hours in, playing on Heroine mode.
The fights are hard but fair.
Had to retry 3 times at 3 different occasions but that was my fault alone. (Those frigging Helicopter robot grab things….)
I would love if the insight menu option would be something that happens during gameplay, like a skit or something.
maybe something that happens while you run around.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,765
I would love if the insight menu option would be something
The insight menu option was something I literally added to the game at the last minute (don't remember the exact date, but checking my emails, I got the art asset for the menu option 4 days before the game's launch on PC/PS4). If I had more time, I would have expanded upon it (and after launch, I was so burnt out that I didn't want to add anything to the game).
 
Oct 29, 2017
261
The insight menu option was something I literally added to the game at the last minute (don't remember the exact date, but checking my emails, I got the art asset for the menu option 4 days before the game's launch on PC/PS4). If I had more time, I would have expanded upon it (and after launch, I was so burnt out that I didn't want to add anything to the game).

They work well enough! Hope you will expand on it in future games, maybe in for of a skit or something.
I love the game and it scratches the jrpg itch even better than octopath for me.
Lot's of Grandia vibes ....love it!
 
Jan 29, 2018
1,236
I decided to start this yesterday morning and ended up playing for five hours. This thing moves! The pacing never lets you get bored. I got stuck in the factory for a short while until I finally grasped the Hyper system and it's been smooth sailing since then.

If I had any complaints it's that in the opening hours I had trouble telling Beardy McSunglasses #1 from Beardy McSunglasses #2, but I figured it out. :)

Oh, and the music is really great.
 
Oct 29, 2017
261
yeah there are a lot of sunglasses/glasses wearing males so far. A pattern? Don't mind it though
the Music is great as mentioned by many other's in here.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Nightclub Scene. Catchy song!
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,022
I don't know that I agree that's the best team. Most of the characters seem pretty viable. I would say Arete and Finn are the clear weak members. But all of the others can be pretty busted. Personally I really like Clarke and Sue. I actually am towards the end of the game now (I assume anyways) and I am having a hard time deciding who I want my team to be.
Sue and Z'xorv are pretty strong and i don't remember exactly why i picked Chahn over them. I guess she had more synergy with other members.

Alyssa is easily the most OP in the end but i don't remember if you can even put her out of the team.

Orson had some good damage with his buffs but it looked like he needs like 4 turns to do the damage Alyssa or Chahn did in 2. Maybe i did something wrong as i didn't tried much haha

Clarke is another strange fellow, his skills felt more like problems than solutions. I legit didn't get his gameplay, but also didn't tried enough i guess.

Arete was sorta strong in the beginning but get outclassed early, yeah. Agree with Finn being weak.

Lauren is also strong early due to status attacks being relevant in the first half of the game. Towards the end, pure damage is king tho and status get obsolete imo, then bye Lauren.

Dave is a nice support early in the game, get sorta weak halfways but then he learns the ultimate healing skill and it's hard to not pick him after that.

Psybe is easily my favorite character gameplay wise. He is great doing and healing damage, and can do basically everything. Dude is OP af.

The thing is that towards the end, Alyssa get so strong that anything turns viable with any team, which can be a good or a bad thing depending your point of view.
 
Oct 30, 2017
107
I've been checking every day and it doesn't look like we're going to break the top 30 unless something big changes.
I've been checking every couple of hours every day since it launched just to get an idea of how the charts move around.

We're definitely not gonna chart in the top 30.


Yeah, ultimately I think our elevator pitch (game concept, title, first impressions, overall quality, etc.) just isn't strong enough for the game to be an indie blockbuster. It's a good game that some people love and many aspects are very strong, but getting people to check it out in the first place can be difficult. I'm still hopeful that the Switch version will sell enough to fund development of the next game. And I think our next game has a much better shot at grabbing people's attention: Rx Machina (Memorable title that's easy to remember) and the quick pitch "The doctor recommends more mechs" or the longer pitch "It's Persona crossed with Trauma Center crossed with Mechs crossed with original turn-based gameplay."
Our elevator pitch is strong / strong enough, just look at how excited people were for the kickstarter and how much buzz that got.

What we have here is a very good, solid game but it's been a year+ since it launched initially. Generating the same kind of buzz as an actual brand new game with a (solid, quality) port isn't gonna be as easy of course.

And while certainly it's easy to (cherry) pick counter examples of games that launched on Steam and, a year later, came out on Switch to great success, I believe those tended to already have been massive hits before. A massive hit is gonna do well when ported to a new system, of course.

Something we've always known is this: we make modest, niche games that appeal strongly to a relatively small but welcoming target audience. A niche within a niche. That was always our strategy since we conceived breath of death VII. We're never going to have a mainstream appealing game as long as we focus on 2D turn-based RPGs. We don't have the resources to battle against stuff like Octopath or even a number of other indies in production values for that matter. We make good games that can reliably sell "decently" and we gotta tailor our strategy to that. We could try and make a much bigger production to try and gain a lot more appeal and thus sales, but obviously that would require a far larger budget, and probably a lot more time. In other words, a much bigger risk that could sink us entirely if it doesn't play out perfectly. That said, there's nothing wrong with designing our games with the idea of it being approachable such that someone less super into RPGs could get into.


Anyway, I think CSH is gonna do pretty decent on Switch considering what the realistic market for it is. Ain't gonna be the next Dead Cells but it's not gonna flop either. Can't wait to get it on Xbox One, and I can't wait to do the Switch physical stuff too! (I already did the manual, cover, label art, etc etc!)
 
Nov 1, 2017
427
No, LRG are working on the XBO port and last I heard, things are going smoothly. I'm not expecting many sales there though compared to other platforms since it'll most likely be the last major port & it doesn't have the home/portability of the Switch version or the cross-buy of the PS4/Vita version.
Great to hear, im still patiently waiting and im looking forward to buying it day 1. You might get lucky on xb1, not many turnbased rpgs on the entire platform and the commuity gets really excited anytime anything comes along that can slightly fill that jrpg void....if a game like this can generate hype on the xb1 reddit....https://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/8wqg7n/another_jrpg_comes_to_xbox_one/ ....then i would imagine cosmic star heroine has huge potential to make a splash.
 
Oct 27, 2017
299
Hey werezompire and bstiernberg, I just dropped in this thread to comment on the game and saw you both posting in here, and it seems as though you both worked on it. If so, I just want to thank you guys for making a game that seems like it was created just for me. Really, I've been wanting an RPG like this for years. I grew up on games like Lunar and Cosmic Fantasy, and this game scratches that itch perfectly. I bought it on Steam, but never got around to playing it. When it came out on Switch, I made sure to preorder it and have now put about 4 hours in. it truly is perfect for me, and I love everything about it. The music is amazing, the battle system is really unique and fun, and I love the characters and their banter. And if the game is truly between 12-20 hours, it hits the sweet spot for me, too. I love RPGs, but don't really have the time these days to invest 60+ hours.

So, again, thanks for such a great game. Really excited to see what you're working on next.
 
Oct 25, 2017
286
I've been checking every couple of hours every day since it launched just to get an idea of how the charts move around.

We're definitely not gonna chart in the top 30.

Anyway, I think CSH is gonna do pretty decent on Switch considering what the realistic market for it is. Ain't gonna be the next Dead Cells but it's not gonna flop either. Can't wait to get it on Xbox One, and I can't wait to do the Switch physical stuff too! (I already did the manual, cover, label art, etc etc!)
Did you guys make a Nintendo Switch channel for the news feed? I found a bunch of games because of that. Having another way to advertise the game may not be a bad way to go if you haven't done it already.
 
Nov 17, 2017
68
I’m sad that the game isn’t taking off as the deva hoped. I bought it on Switch as soon as it came out, but will probably take a while to get to it - due to holidays, finishing Octopath and then Spiderman. It’s a tough time.
call me crazy but I think its the icon artwork that is "un-selling" the game. It just seems bland. It doesn't convey the fun of the game. Not trying to be icon elitist.. but it seems. off ?
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,502
Did you guys make a Nintendo Switch channel for the news feed? I found a bunch of games because of that. Having another way to advertise the game may not be a bad way to go if you haven't done it already.
I have it on mine, but not sure if that's just because I bought the game.
 
Oct 30, 2017
107
Hey werezompire and bstiernberg, I just dropped in this thread to comment on the game and saw you both posting in here, and it seems as though you both worked on it. If so, I just want to thank you guys for making a game that seems like it was created just for me.
Thanks for the kind words :)

Did you guys make a Nintendo Switch channel for the news feed? I found a bunch of games because of that. Having another way to advertise the game may not be a bad way to go if you haven't done it already.
Yeah there's a channel for it.
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,765
Got more up-to-date sales figures and the game is tracking in the same ballpark as the Steam version at this stage of its life (ignoring Kickstarter stuff). A little lower than the Steam version but the Steam version dropped off hard after the first week so if sales are more consistent over time on Switch that'll be nice. In any case, not bad for a year-old port with minimal marketing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,269
Our elevator pitch is strong / strong enough, just look at how excited people were for the kickstarter and how much buzz that got.

What we have here is a very good, solid game but it's been a year+ since it launched initially. Generating the same kind of buzz as an actual brand new game with a (solid, quality) port isn't gonna be as easy of course.

And while certainly it's easy to (cherry) pick counter examples of games that launched on Steam and, a year later, came out on Switch to great success, I believe those tended to already have been massive hits before. A massive hit is gonna do well when ported to a new system, of course.

Something we've always known is this: we make modest, niche games that appeal strongly to a relatively small but welcoming target audience. A niche within a niche. That was always our strategy since we conceived breath of death VII. We're never going to have a mainstream appealing game as long as we focus on 2D turn-based RPGs. We don't have the resources to battle against stuff like Octopath or even a number of other indies in production values for that matter. We make good games that can reliably sell "decently" and we gotta tailor our strategy to that. We could try and make a much bigger production to try and gain a lot more appeal and thus sales, but obviously that would require a far larger budget, and probably a lot more time. In other words, a much bigger risk that could sink us entirely if it doesn't play out perfectly. That said, there's nothing wrong with designing our games with the idea of it being approachable such that someone less super into RPGs could get into.
Is it possible to do a different art-style? Like say something like Hollow Knight which is 2D with layers, and also done with a few people? Having an RPG with that art-style would be so unique and amazing, that I feel like you'd have a shot at a million seller. You already have talent in coming up with great combat, so I can only imagine how cool such a project could end up being.








call me crazy but I think its the icon artwork that is "un-selling" the game. It just seems bland. It doesn't convey the fun of the game. Not trying to be icon elitist.. but it seems. off ?
Yeah, the icon artwork is quite poor and looks cheap. Even some of the environment art looks poor imo.
 
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werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,765
Is it possible to do a different art-style? Like say something like Hollow Knight which is 2D with layers, and also done with a few people? Having an RPG with that art-style would be so unique and amazing, that I feel like you'd have a shot at a million seller. You already have talent in coming up with great combat, so I can only imagine how cool such a project could end up being.








Yeah, the icon artwork is quite poor and looks cheap. Even some of the environment art looks poor imo.
We've considered different art styles in the past. The problem with something like Hollow Knight is it only really works with a side-scrolling perspective & all our experience is with top-down games. Side-scrolling turn-based RPGs have been done before (Child of Light being a recent example) but I'm not sure it's the best way to go.

Personally, unless we get offered an opportunity to work on a big revival, I'm leaning towards the opposite approach - rather than get in an arms race with other developers have much bigger teams & more resources than we do, focus on gameplay, story, and working efficiently. Focus on doing a few things expertly rather than a lot of things pretty good. If we could release a game a year on average, then each game doesn't have to sell a ton for our business to prosper.
 
Oct 29, 2017
28
I played through this game last year (bought it Day 1 on Steam) and to me the unique battle system, the great pixel art and soundtrack were by far the game's biggest highlights. The setting is just top notch and right up my alley. If I'm honest, I do have to admit that I found the story and most characters forgettable at the time, and it's only confirmed now that 1+ year passed and I couldn't summarize the plot. The gameplay and audiovisuals are top notch, but I never felt any emotional connection to the story. Also, it was just mentioned in this thread but I find the artwork does not give this game's amazing in-game 2D visuals justice. It makes it seem like you can expect one of those many cheap RPG Maker games on Steam, but it's so far from that. It's all personal taste of course, but I find this Alyssa design done by a fan way more appealing, for example.

Overall a great game and I double dipped on the Switch to support a developer I've appreciated since BoD VII. I'm excited for the next one, you guys deserve success.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,339
Hey werezompire and bstiernberg, I just dropped in this thread to comment on the game and saw you both posting in here, and it seems as though you both worked on it. If so, I just want to thank you guys for making a game that seems like it was created just for me. Really, I've been wanting an RPG like this for years. I grew up on games like Lunar and Cosmic Fantasy, and this game scratches that itch perfectly. I bought it on Steam, but never got around to playing it. When it came out on Switch, I made sure to preorder it and have now put about 4 hours in. it truly is perfect for me, and I love everything about it. The music is amazing, the battle system is really unique and fun, and I love the characters and their banter. And if the game is truly between 12-20 hours, it hits the sweet spot for me, too. I love RPGs, but don't really have the time these days to invest 60+ hours.

So, again, thanks for such a great game. Really excited to see what you're working on next.
Finished the game last night, read your AMA, and I just wanted to echo this sentiment. This is an amazing achievement for such a small team, and I wanted to express my gratitude for delivering such a memorable experience. The term "fun romp" kept popping up in my mind during the playthrough. Having played both games back-to-back, I would put my enjoyment level with CSH on par with Octopath, something with much higher production values but I dare say a more formulaic approach. You maximized the limited resources you had, and it managed to shine through where it counts, in the combat system, the set pieces, and the varied cast. At this juncture I'm sure you're sick of feedback and would like nothing more than to move on to your next project, but I hope one day in the not-too-distant future you'll consider returning to this unique universe you've created. I would be 100% onboard.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,269
We've considered different art styles in the past. The problem with something like Hollow Knight is it only really works with a side-scrolling perspective & all our experience is with top-down games.
I see. Definitely wasn't thinking of side scrolling, but like a 2D character running around in a 2D background world (similar to old FF games but without 3D characters). But I guess it's not as easy to do, esp working out how to animate the 2D characters in that space. Thanks for the response.

 
Oct 25, 2017
2,640
Found a glitch (and the work around) this morning.

In chapter four right before you enter the night club, you have to enter the doors and then an event occurs. If you enter the doors all the way to the left, after the event you will be stuck in the wall and unable to enter the nightclub.

The solution is to enter a different building first, so that once you are stuck you can save, close CSH, and then reload your save. You will exit the other building you entered, with the event having already occurred. So now you can just walk in
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,008
Paris, France
Got more up-to-date sales figures and the game is tracking in the same ballpark as the Steam version at this stage of its life (ignoring Kickstarter stuff). A little lower than the Steam version but the Steam version dropped off hard after the first week so if sales are more consistent over time on Switch that'll be nice. In any case, not bad for a year-old port with minimal marketing.
Good news
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
5,292
UK
Yeah, ultimately I think our elevator pitch (game concept, title, first impressions, overall quality, etc.) just isn't strong enough for the game to be an indie blockbuster. It's a good game that some people love and many aspects are very strong, but getting people to check it out in the first place can be difficult. I'm still hopeful that the Switch version will sell enough to fund development of the next game. And I think our next game has a much better shot at grabbing people's attention: Rx Machina (Memorable title that's easy to remember) and the quick pitch "The doctor recommends more mechs" or the longer pitch "It's Persona crossed with Trauma Center crossed with Mechs crossed with original turn-based gameplay."
This pitch sounds amazing to me!
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,387
To the developers werezompire and bstiernberg :

I encountered a bug. I apologize if you guys are already aware of this. I'm going to go ahead and spoiler tag this, just in case:

At a certain point in the game, you need to purchase a dress. You're supposed to pay either 9000 credits or obtain a voucher. Talking to the "tailorbot" gave me no option to purchase the dress or give the voucher (which also couldn't be obtained elsewhere in the town). It turns out the dress was automatically given to my character and I was able to continue the questline without doing anything to obtain it myself.

Just a heads-up for a future patch. Sorry again if this is already known about!
 
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werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
1,765
What's everybody's favorite combat abilities? Favorite character playstyles? Least favorite? Trying to decide what I should keep in the next game and what we should ditch.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,339
I like Lauren's skillset and playstyle - emphasis on speed and situational damage, with status afflictions. Very rogue-ish. Assassinate was hard to set up though, so she wasn't super viable toward the end of the game.

Sue and Z’xorv are solid DPS characters. Love setting up counters and uppercuts with Sue, while Z'xorv's more reckless attacks fits with the character.

I couldn't figure out how to use Arete very well, but I'll try her out more this playthrough. Same with Psybe, but I'm in the minority in that I think.