13 December 2011

People Like It

One thing that pleases me is that almost everyone who plays King of Dragon Pass likes it. If I recall correctly, only two people took us up on our money-back guarantee for the boxed copy. (One said he was a Christian and objected to the magic, which seemed odd given how we made an effort to promote the magical land of Glorantha.)

The relative percent is about the same for the iOS version. There have been a total of 6. Refunds are handled through Apple, but I know one person simply couldn’t get the game to work on their iPod touch.

One thing I was curious about was whether our sale lured people in who didn’t like the game. This chart shows that there’s no particular correlation.

The chart also includes the number of gift purchases and redemptions. The numbers aren’t the same — either people are waiting to send out the gift, or people forget to enter it into iTunes or the App Store.

(“Gift This App” appears in a popup menu in the App Store, if you know someone who has an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and needs a Christmas present.)

Ratings are also quite favorable. The current version has been rated 93 times, of which 85 are 5 stars. (5 are 4-star and 3 are 1-star.) And the reviews have been really good as well — 93 out of 100 on Metacritic.

11 December 2011

A Skilled Leader

I’ve seen a few questions about the named leaders, so I’ll amplify a bit on what’s in the manual.

By the way, named leaders are considered nobles (thanes), and are counted as such in the Clan screen.

Each leader is rated in seven skills. These are actually numbers, but rather than report them as 3.3 or 5.12, they’re categorized
Very Good

Normally any skill less than Good isn’t listed, to make things easier.

In the normal course of events, leaders gradually improve, until age 50. Elders may lose their Combat edge as they get older. (Once in a while characters can lose — or gain — skill in other ways.)

So what are those skills good for?

The quality of the advice someone gives depends on their skills. For example, Vordessa (with Very Good in Animals) can probably give reasonable advice about situations involving cattle health. But someone with a Renowned skill will probably have additional insights. The game favors the best advice, so depending on the situation, Vordessa will more often be giving Combat advice (since it’s Excellent) rather than Animal-related advice.

Leaders are sometimes explicitly tested in their skills. For example, the “Uralda’s Blessing” heroquest is hard because the quester must have a good enough Combat skill to survive the biting things. Or an interactive scene may let you pick who fights a duel or acts as an emissary. Depending on the situation, the game may only let you choose from characters who are likely to succeed. For example, if you won’t succeed unless you have a good bargainer, the “pick leader” dialog will only show characters above a certain level. (What skill is tested is not always obvious, and in fact more than one skill may be important, so you might want to sort the list several ways before picking.)

Leaders are also tested when they act as the clan’s agent. When you pick a response, somebody actually has to perform (or lead) the action. For example, this OSL code

Response 5: “We will go with you, but your clan will owe us a favor.”
# Calculate clan relationship bonuses
test Bargaining vs. Bargaining d5 + 1 + n, bonus: b

means that the leader with the best Bargaining skill makes the test on behalf of the clan. (The second “Bargaining” indicates that certain treasures or magic come into play.)

So the skills are quite important. You want leaders on the ring who can give you good values in each of the seven skills.

On the other hand, you also want seven different religions represented on the ring. This matches Orlanth’s first ring, and thus gives magical benefit. There are also times when a leader’s religion gives you additional options, like in this OSL code

[UroxOnRing] Response 6: Conduct a ritual to sense Chaos.

So picking a clan ring is a tradeoff.

Finally, no discussion of clan leaders should leave out their personalities. Everyone is an individual, with an aptitude for poetry, hatred of elves, or a solitary streak. This will color their advice (as they can’t resist from promoting their agenda), or drive their actions. Check out any statements a leader makes when you tap them in the Reorganize dialog, or watch for trends in their advice.

05 December 2011

Regional Variation

As I’ve mentioned before, King of Dragon Pass is big in Finland (right now in the App Store it’s the top selling Role Playing game and top grossing Strategy game). Finland has remained our number three market (after the far more populous USA and UK).

One change since last month is that Germany is now #6 and Singapore is now #10. The number are all close, but since this is total sales, this may be statistically significant.

The map makes it real obvious that we have very few sales in Africa or Mongolia (not surprising), but also none in Brazil (which does seem odd to me, since there is an App Store).

One item of interest is that sales in different regions don’t move in lockstep. The chart below shows currencies, not countries, so that data is easier to read. In most regions, you can see revenue jump at launch and when we had a birthday sale. But Norway instead had one huge day around 18 September, almost certainly due to a review. And in the second week of October, sales declined in the US (and countries where Apple doesn’t offer local currency sales), while they increased in Europe (at least the Euro-using countries). And the sales spike in late November (which I believe was related to the news about our Universal build) didn’t affect our big markets outside the US.