The Hopes & Fears of Bringing Hades to Steam – Developing Hell #04

The Hopes & Fears of Bringing Hades to Steam – Developing Hell #04


[TYPING SOUNDS] DANNY: Previously on
Hades Development Hell. – Our fourth game
is called Hades. It’s a narrative
driven roguelike. DARREN KORB: I think having
people know what we’re working on
really changes the vibe ’cause we
get to see sort of people’s reaction to
the stuff that exists already in
the game. GREG KASAVIN: Hopefully
with these big updates we do get people to come
back and re-engage with the game. It’s really
important to us ’cause that means we
get the feedback that we want so that
we can make the next one a good one, and around
and around we go. [MUSIC PLAYING] It felt like we blinked,
and all of 2019 had flown by. And
kind of thought it might go that way with
the early access development thing.
It definitely keeps the pace around here
brisk because we’ve always got
our eye on trying to wrap up the major
update that we happen to be working
on and know sooner does that one
come out, that we’re already planning the
one after that. And turns out you
can get through a year pretty quickly going through
that kind of process. So we got through
eight major updates in our first year of
early access development. We had The Chaos Update.
We had the Good Times Update. – The Beefy Update,
where you fight Theseus and the Minotaur,
and the shades of Elysium. We did The High Speed
Update, where we introduced the Olympian
Hermes and all the sorts of movement based
and dash based powers. – In August we had
The Big Bad Update, which introduced
the final area of the game, the
final boss fight, all kinds of other
stuff like that. We celebrated our
tenth anniversary. We went to PAX. All
kinds of wild stuff in August, and
announced that Hades was going to
be coming to Steam later in that
same year. – The next two updates
after that were most focused on
kind of the game’s replayability in
two parts. The Superstar Update
was about making sure the game was
highly replayable for all players
for a really, really, really long time
And we did that by taking inspiration
from games like Slay The Spire, with their
ascension system, and other things like that
to try and put together a heat ladder, where you
take each of the weapons, which are kind of
like our version of our game’s classes,
and slowly advance them through the ranks
in order to get bounty which you use to then
upgrade your weapons. – And then we had the
Welcome To Hell Update in December of 2019,
where we introduced legendary keepsakes and
deeper relationship building, and all kinds of stuff people
had been asking for for a long time. AMIR: Legendary Keepsakes
are where you get close to someone,
they give you, like, a stuffed animal.
That allows you to summon people
into your run, and that was also
really fun because that’s the
combination of all the things that were working really
well for us in Hades. Which is like, when the
world, and the mechanics, and the gameplay, and
the structure, and all that stuff
comes together to make you feel
like you’re playing a uniquely Supergiant thing. [MUSIC PLAYING] So prior to the Steam
launch, the things we knew we had
were a game that some of our
most hardcore early adopting fans
really, really liked. A game where they
enjoyed our early access and
being a part of it, update on update,
a game that we had the sense from
our internal playthroughs and from the playthroughs
with the community, that was getting
better every time. But there was a chance that
the feedback we were getting was not necessarily
representative of, like, all players. And I
think for us, there is always
sort of this question of, you know, well,
what will happen when it makes
the next jump. That was the first
worry. Second worry, of course, was,
will fans sort of accept it for
what it is? Will they accept the
decisions we made to that point,
that we made because we thought it
would make for a better game overall, for a
better development process, allow us
to learn, allow our fans to
learn with us. So there’s definitely some
fear that like, even if the game was, uh–
Was kind of acquitting itself well and
representing itself well, that, you know,
for whatever reason player may not, like,
accept it on Steam or may try to express
their displeasure with some of the
decisions that we’d made to that point with the
tools that Steam gives you. – All of our games have
been on Steam, and it’s– I believe it’s our
single biggest audience in total.
So our games have been on all sorts of different
consoles and different computer
platforms, mobile devices, stuff like that.
But all of our games are on Steam, and
that’s where we have quite a dedicated following
from over the years. So we knew bringing
Hades to Steam was going to be a
big deal, though when we were starting
out, and knowing that we were going
to make an early access game for the first
time, and also on top of that, an early
access roguelike game. If that’s all you
know about what we’re working on, it’s–
And you’re a fan of our previous games
that are known for being these kind of compact
experiences with a discrete beginning, middle,
and end, the idea of Supergiant making an
early access roguelike is actually pretty
concerning on the face of it. It’s like,
what, that’s not what I want from these guys.
They’re known for their kind of atmosphere
and their beautiful artwork, and their stories, and
their kind of, like, intricately woven narrative
and gameplay and all this kind of stuff. Why are
you making an early access roguelike? That sounds like
you can’t do any of the stuff that you guys are normally
good at in that kind of format. Knowing we were going to
do the early access thing for the first time ever,
that was something where we knew full well
we needed to kind of learn to walk
before we learned to run. So we did
not want to start that process
in front of what’s historically been our
biggest audience, for whom there’s
only one chance to make a good
first impression. It made much more
sense to us to start our early access
in a place where we knew that some of
our most dedicated players would definitely
be there, help us, help give feedback, and
while we kind of learn the ropes,
improved our development process,
actually kind of managing early access ’cause
it’s so different from a production
standpoint, how we work now compared
to how we worked in the past, and
also just straight up make the game way better
through that process. We, I think through
the course of those eight major
updates, I say we more than tripled
the size of the game. What folks got when
we first launched in December of 2018
versus what they got in December of 2019
is, like, I think quite a substantially
different game, a game that’s–
Now we could safely say is the biggest game
we’ve ever made already. – And we also had
a sense that the decisions we had
made to that point were very consistent
with our values as a studio. Like we
didn’t announce the game for Steam and then pull it
or something like that. You know, we had
announced the game for the Epic Games Store.
We had explained our reasoning for doing so.
We had talked about how it would be coming
to Steam eventually. And now we’re doing what
we had talked about. And even just doing what
we said, though, it doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t
be angry about it. They have every right
to be however– To feel however they
want. People are very emotionally attached
to games and to the platforms they play
games on, and I think a common
kind of affliction of all creators and game
developers is to focus on the part
that worries you, even in the face of
overwhelming evidence that things are probably
going to be okay. And so, you know, we knew
there was a lot of demand for it.
We were excited to meet that demand.
We just couldn’t have guessed how that
was going to go. [MUSIC PLAYING] – My name is Caitlin
Sales, and my official title is
office assistant. My main touch point
for Hades is usually the Discord and also
our actual website support ticket system.
There is sort of, like, an element to community
stuff that does feel a little bit like
a watch position, just because if things
come up or people are having issues, or
people are being particularly loud
about something, it’s my responsibility
to escalate it to make sure that it gets seen.
I think one of the most common responses to our
game usually tend to be that they want to
see really specific gods. As we’ve updated, we’ve
added more and more from the Pantheon and
from Greek mythology. You know, you’re dealing with
a source material that has literally thousands
of years of fans. People want to
see Hercules, even though in
our game– DANNY: He’s not a
god, right? – He’s not–
Well, uh, well– [LAUGHING] I’m actually a big Greek
mythology nerd so it’s like you’re asking
these questions, and just opening a Greek mythology
can of worms. I took ancient Greek in college
A) because I like mythology, but B)
because it’s not an oral language, so
I didn’t have to take an oral test.
So people really want to see Hercules,
who in our game would probably be Heracles.
Before we added the weapon aspects,
especially some of the not more minor gods,
but not on the Pantheon gods, like Nemesis
occasionally cropped up. I had someone recently
send us a ticket requesting to see Iris,
who is the goddess of rainbows. And they were
like, I don’t know, maybe she just
makes rainbows when you’re fighting,
or, like, gives you a completely random
boon when you need her. And it’s a sweet idea.
I don’t know what the likelihood of it is,
but I think it’s a sweet request. My favorite
Greek myth character is Hermes, but I
think my favorite– He’s one of my
favorites in the game for sure. Achilles,
Athena, Dusa, DANNY: Did I read
on your bio, this was months ago now. – I played Athena. DANNY: Yeah, yeah. – Yeah. I have played Athena.
I didn’t look anything as cool as our Athena, but I
wore these, like, eight inch platform shoes so
I was 6’4. It was really fun.
Yeah, I think probably Achilles and Chaos.
Chaos, they are also my favorite. I just
sort of like vaguely threatening
mentor figures, I think is really what
it is. Like Achilles is full of love,
but he’s also a famous Greek warrior
who killed a lot of people, and Chaos is
the literal concept of chaos, who
definitely seems to care for Zagreus,
but how much can entropy really care
about you, you know? [MUSIC PLAYING] – Okidee. Greg, you have to
take any structural changes. However, that
moment should work. GREG: Launching on Steam
is quite a big deal for us, ’cause it
starts– There are just so
many details that go into it. One of
the things I was quite busy with
was just preparing our Steam page
itself for launch. The Steam page is
kind of your hub, making sure
players know what kind of game you
have, what’s interesting about it, and
provide answers to all the questions you
anticipate they might have. We worked with a
gentleman named Shaun Finney to
create this new trailer-esque video
that we launched right alongside the
game on Steam, and it’s kind of the
biggest such video we’ve ever made.
Normally we would say, like, oh, man. A trailer
should never exceed about 90 seconds, but this
was like a full three minutes long,
kind of going through everything that there is
about the game. – You guys need to
watch it here, so I would come up, because we are
going to lose Josh. – Walky, walky, walky. – This is too fast. – Your part. Agreed. – And the gun shouldn’t
be in shotgun mode. I like this part. – Alright, so then, from
the structural changes, just going through section
by section, I think that it was good. I thought
it had the right stuff, and it went
in the right order. Structurally, the only part–
Like, let’s say we’re going to keep our feedback to
what he actually shows in each section, we do
the timecode stuff. – Yeah. – Structurally, only the
weapon part felt like way off to me,
in terms of like, it was like, so, so,
so, so fast. – Yeah. Showing all the
weapons, similar with like all the gods, we just
don’t have time for it. So it’s probably like,
show two and then have some, like, and
many more, you know. When you’re on Steam,
you’re not really there to, like, bask in
the cinematic experience of some
slow, atmospheric trailer. You just want to know
what are you getting, what does it look
like, what stuff is in it, and ultimately,
you know, is this a game– Is this a game for me?
That’s your question. – The decent chunk
of the footage that he’s chosen
for obvious reasons, ’cause it’s cool,
like, when you look at it. – It’s explosive. – Yeah, it’s just like, oh,
there’s a lot of stuff happening. There’s a part at the beginning
of the reel when you have, like, two guys to fight, and
the part that he’s chosen, which is one that’s
room is full. – Sure, we should call
those out. – We can call those out
specifically, yeah. [INTERPOSING VOICES] – He also made some
choices that I thought were really good. – I agree, ’cause he chose
some fights that were like when he shows the Nemesis
aspect, for example, that’s where I was like,
this is pretty– – Yeah, so, again,
I just want to make the distinction that
we should identify the specific parts that
are cluttered as opposed to giving him the feedback
that it’s all too– – Totally. I totally agree
with that. I think one of the part is for the weapon.
If you want to show the weapons, don’t have
a lot of other shit happening. Just like have
the weapon shooting and like– – Yeah, the sword nova,
you just want to see it like, hit one
or two guys. – Yeah, exactly. – So in addition to
all the stuff that’s just kind of standard
on a Steam page, for early access games,
there’s a whole why early access
type of section. It’s a whole big kind of–
It’s almost like an interview format that
you have to fill out. It’s a Q&A type of
format, and we wanted to fill
that out in thorough detail so
that, again, anyone, you know, with kind of
particular questions like, how far along
is it, when’s it going to be done?
There are things like are you going to raise
the price when it’s done or change the price
in some way. All those things are
covered in this FAQ type of format.
And then we also have to prepare
our Steam forums. For us, we really
wanted to pre-empt a lot of that
discussion by introducing ourselves as
soon as the game launched. We had a technical
support FAQ so any questions about can’t
get the game to run, anything like that, we
start gathering that information and putting
those answers out there so the commonly
brought up issues can get
resolved quickly. And just trying to
be active and attentive in there
as much as possible. If we’re going to
officially accept feedback on Steam, then we should–
Then we should have a process there, too.
So it’s kind of like derived from–
It’s not– It lacks the formality of
Hades feedback in Discord. But it has the recommendations
of like, hey, at least do these things.
And we’re going to moderate more heavily than
general discussions. It’s important to us,
and being present to respond to concerns
or answer folks’ questions before there’s,
like, any community to answer those questions.
I think it’s just an important part of
this type of launch. – It’s been really
important that we kind of read everything, and that
we look at everything, and that someone on the
team has seen it all. Because we don’t want
to miss anything, ’cause we know that any
player out there who gives us a note is
probably representative of, like, dozens, or hundreds,
or thousands of other players. – I want to take
the stance of let’s build up our
Discord here. I’ll take, you know
one bad actor out of a hundred good
ones as a consequence of, like, growing
the community. ‘Cause we’ll just ban
that person. – Someone who gets into
that, ’cause they clicked to expand it, like
they’re already pretty– – It’s too much– – excited about it, like
if they get into it there, it’s fine. It’s
mostly, like, if it’s– [INTERPOSING VOICES] join our Discord is
the first thing in the extras section
that you saw– – Yeah, tell us what you
think about our business decisions first, yeah,
then we’ll hear about it. But it’s just tucked
away enough, yeah, to where hopefully it’s–
And also, obviously if it is bad for
some reason, we just remove it, right? – Yeah, if we’re getting
flooded, we can just turn it– – Just walk it back? – Yeah. – The first thing I look at
is actually just store traffic. Are people coming to
the page? Where are they coming from? Are they coming
right away because of our messaging? Are they
coming at a slower clip because someone else is
talking about it or because it’s being
featured on the platform in some capacity?
And then the next thing you look at is the
raw wishlist number but also the relationship
between the number of unique users coming. And the
wishlist is also really important. Got a
good trailer, got a good store page, hopefully
you’re converting those eyeballs at a
pretty high clip. And if you aren’t
converting those into wishlists, it can be a
whole bunch of issues. One could be price. One could
be availability elsewhere, maybe they want
to play on a console but the Steam page is
the only thing that’s open. Or maybe you need to
go back and rethink how all those marketing
assets are built, because you’re not telling
a story that is engaging customers in
your product long term. – Hades has been localized
into English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean,
Russian, Brazilian Portuguese. We’ll just cut the other
languages I didn’t count. [LAUGHING] I forget how many
languages it was. It was, yeah. I think
that was all of them. Polish. I am sorry, Poland.
I’m sorry. WILL: Yeah, the Epic Game Store
was, as a new storefront was really focused
in on western audiences. And Steam, being such
a mature platform with a ton of different
currencies and payment processors
bringing in China and Korea was
a real big focus. And so adding localizations
was a big part that we decided to do there
in the last phase. So that was one of
the ways that we looked at the data
that we saw before launch and where
people were coming to the page from. – So that’s all a whole
bunch of stuff that doesn’t even, you know,
it doesn’t even come by– It doesn’t even say
anything about all the work we were doing on the
game itself. It’s like, Here’s another really
critical milestone for this game, and
what happens now is absolutely
going to influence kind of everything
that happens from here on out.
If this is a total disaster, our
lives are going to be a certain way
for a long time. If this goes wonderfully,
it’s also going to change things. So it’s
kind of going to be a lot of work no
matter what, but I’d rather have the
work on the positive side of things
than on the disaster side of
things. And so we just tried to prepare as
much as possible and anticipate as many
of the issues as we felt we
might run into, of which there were
many, many. And just kind of
hang onto our seats. – What are you doing
over here, Greg? – I’m setting up a
couple of new discussion forums on
Steam before things get too hectic.
I just set up a technical support
discussion. – You’re just waiting on the
game to go live before you do
the post? – No, I’m going to do
the post right now. – Oh, nice. – Yeah. So, it should,
if I refresh now, it should just
show up here. – So the old release
by an app, and check the
pricing, you’re– – Yeah, the bill is
all saved, yeah. – Pricing looks good.
This is the gift copy set up. Alright. Publish now. [TYPING] Test my typing. [TAPPING] It’s up. Greg, the game’s live. – Game’s live? – The game is live. – Congrats. – It’s live, huh? -We haven’t announced it
yet though, right? – No, not ’til
right at 10:00. – No, that’s at
10:00, right? – It’s just a
soft launch. – It’s live! [INTERPOSING VOICES] – It’s live. – Sweet. – Launched a video game,
and now I’m trying to launch DLC. – If you’ll hear. – Which one? Who? What? – Will you download Hades
off of Steam and just make sure it plays? – I mean, I have
it on Steam. I was playing yesterday
through Steam. – You mean a different– – Just uninstall it and
download again. – Got it. – Just in case. – And then, how do I– – So we have two
bundles for Hades. We have the Hades plus
soundtrack bundle. – Ah, the DLC. – Which I’m about to
set live right now, which includes the
game and the soundtrack, surprisingly. – I see. Install. – With awesome Jen art,
and then we have the Supergiant collection bundle,
which is also going live today, which has
been live but was taken down so
that we could retool it, and now
we’re going to relaunch it with
Hades in it. – No user reviews. – You going to be
the first? – Where’s my mom
when I need her? – Yeah. – So we did a year of
early access updates. And I spent some time
this morning just, like, looking at what the
game looked like before it entered early access–
[LAUGHING] on the Epic Game Store.
So these are from the first year of development,
just screenshots taken a couple months apart.
Our first attempt at our opening room,
and all sorts of other random stuff. What Asphodel looked like
at the very beginning. [LAUGHING] And it’s just like, seemed
like a good time to remind ourselves of where
we started with it. – Is the nostalgia
helping you through the stress of launching
the game today? – No, honestly it’s just
giving me something to do because Greg and Will
are doing most of the things. [LAUGHING] – So I was like, I want
to give myself a– I’m going to look
at old speed chats. GREG: I’m just going
to re-upload a copy of the
trailer just in case, like, as a new trailer
we could always swap it. The only
difference should be the thumbnail’s correct,
but maybe it’ll magically fix the
quality for, like– – So this is the
realtime users. – Same reason why– – We got lot of them.
They are all from Eastern Europe.
[LAUGHING] – ‘Cause they’re awake. – ‘Cause they awake,
ready to play. People coming in from
Facebook and Twitter. We’re off to the
races. We’ll see how far it goes. GREG: Launch day at
Supergiant, I think have a tendency to
be pretty anticlimactic ’cause they’re just
kind of busy. My fantasy of it
is the nice, you know, champagne toast huzzah,
you know, congratulations. Pats on the back
all around. We did it. We got there.
But it’s just– It just never goes that way.
It’s just people at their, like–
Or you go into it expecting a bunch
of stuff to go wrong and to try to deal with
it as quickly as possible. So we had some
kind of complicated stuff with the Hades
launch insofar as we had a big and
exciting special offer as part of the launch,
which was that we were giving away
our previous game, Pyre, completely
for free if you pick up Hades. And it’s
a giftable copy so we wanted to
make sure that if you already, you know,
you’re a fan of Supergiant, you already have
Pyre, there’s still some value there. You
could give the copy to someone else. Mechanically
it makes it a little bit different because
the copy goes into your Steam inventory
rather than being added directly
to your library. So we had to
manage some issues around that, and
some communication around that. Some folks
would be like, where’s Pyre? I don’t have it.
It’s like, oh, it’s in– Don’t worry. It’s right
there in your library. Sorry. Not in your
library. In your inventory. Yeah, things like that.
We also launched our soundtrack, which
like the game, the soundtrack itself
is not done. But our soundtrack
already has close to like
two hours of awesome Darren Korb
music on it. So you’re basically, like,
launching a bunch of products at
the same time, and managing the communication
around that, and basically, you know,
checking for any customer support issues,
and addressing them as quickly as possible. – Caitlin, what are you
setting live? – I’m going with
Instagram first. – Nice.
[LAUGHING] – It’s the most stressful
because you can’t do it from the computer. – You have to do it
from your phone? – Yeah, you have to do
it from your phone. – Amazing. – Yeah, its truly
the texting generation ability. [LAUGHING] Same copy as Twitter.
It tends to be– – Whatever’s on the
social media? – our base language
for social media. – Nice. – And then after this
I’ll have to do Facebook net as well. And continue to monitor
Instagram, Facebook, and back to our
Discord, where we’re getting a lot
of very good-hearted people, and also where
we’re getting a lot of our reports of
potential issues. – Yes. – And then transferring
that to our communications channel to make sure
that the things that go wrong
can get solved. – Can you tell me what
you’re working on, Darren? – Trying to find the
DLC of the soundtrack on my computer.
Steam says I have downloaded it, and
it is installed. But that does not
appear to be the case. Just trying to get
to the bottom of that. – So we gave ourselves
an hour to make sure everything is
working, and we’re getting some of
the first feedback, which is it’s
mostly working. People are able to
purchase the game on Steam and get
their free giftable copy of Pyre,
which is cool. That’s something we were
interested in doing, you know, partly
because we thought it would be a great
competitive offering and way to
get a lot of players into our expanded early
access. And also you know, anyone
who might be skeptical about early access
can get one of our finished games, and
maybe that will help them feel like it’s worth
taking a chance on. – I don’t, I’ve never
had a giftable thing in my Steam library.
So I’m trying to check if I received a giftable
copy of Pyre. And I don’t know
how to do that. Hey, Will. – Yeah. – I’ve redeemed Hades
after redeeming Pyre. – Yeah. – And I went through
with it, and it said– And I haven’t, I don’t know
where to check for a giftable copy of
Pyre. – It should be in
your inventory. – OK, great. – Computer A. – And there’s Pyre.
My new item, Pyre. I can gift this.
It’s a gift copy. – Who’s it going to? – I don’t know, man.
I’ve basically made every friend, even
before I worked here, I basically made everyone
I knew play our game, so. – Rolling. – We’re looking at
a cool thing. – Let’s hope it’s
still there. [LAUGHING] Just hope it’s
still there. – Ready? One, two, three. – Hey! [CHEERING] – Wow. – It’s gorgeous. – Look at that. – Nice. Got a takeover. We took
over the whole thing. – We took it all over. – Nice. Nice work. – It is belong to us! – So it’s been three hours,
four hours since we started all the
Steam activity, and game’s up. People are
purchasing it. It’s in the Steam
top ten right now, and there is the weird feeling
that I’ve come to identify as a
type of sadness. [LAUGHING] Which is we’re
running out of things to do. There’s
plenty to do, like actual stuff to do,
but we’re running out of things to do today
on the launch. So yeah, now we
just kind of sit back and watch how
people receive it, and see how
that all goes. So yeah. Back to
waiting. [MUSIC PLAYING] – Are we, we’re meeting? – Yeah, we’re meeting. – I think we put the
fears in Slack. And I need to
pull those– – Oh yeah, we did. – out of the strategy
channel real quick. [TYPING] So I will overview
the fears. Then we’ll go through
them one by one. And then after that,
JP can leave. [TYPING] – Camera stays, though? – No. – It’s ironic that an
early access launch would, like, be more
stable than, like, a full game release. – I mean, I’ve talked
about that in our– – Yeah. – bigger meetings. I
think it’s actually, you know, that’s extended
to everything, right? – Yeah. – The game being stable
and playable at all points in development, unlike,
you know, when nobody, if we don’t force
everybody to do playtests. – Yeah. – No one plays it,
and it’s not stable. Or, yeah. It would
have only been Steam, specific Steam things,
which other than the person who tried to
run it through their Steam link– [INTERPOSING VOICES] to a Samsung TV– – I missed that one. – and then it mostly
worked, except the volume buttons on
the TV, like, triggered, like, caused
an error. – Probably sent a
bunch of great data to Samsung, though. – Yeah. – Yeah. Alice’s comment
was funny, that somebody else tried to
run it on their, like, refrigerator. [LAUGHING] On their, like,
smart fridge. – In their Tesla while
going down the highway. – Yeah, exactly. – So the first step
was, would people give the game a chance,
given some of the heat around the Epic
Game Store, on Steam? – So what’s our
review on that? – It seems like the– – I think it’s just
scrolling within bounds. – Yeah, it’s– – That’s what I
would say. – Didn’t spill out of the
discussion forums. – Not even a little bit
in the reviews? – No. Yeah, very, yeah.
It’s just kind of like it’s there. It continues
to be there. It’s not–
It didn’t kind of go off– Our fear was that
it would go off the charts, and kind of
be worse than expected, and it was
not worse than expected. – There’s literally one
review about it so far, right? – It’s one review. – Just that first guy? – There’s a lot, but
Greg has been– [INTERPOSING VOICES] – Well Steam reviews is just,
there’s only one. – Yeah, well, clearly,
I mean, knock on wood, but
it clearly has not substantially affected
the reviews at the moment. – Yeah. – So that’s very,
very good. The initial momentum
of the reviews is probably telling,
like I think if your reviews survive the first
day, unless you then go and do something
boneheaded, it’s probably likely to sort of
hold the line relatively speaking. – Yeah. You have, like,
the incredible mess of like,
hey, people think this is a really good
game, so I’m not going to review it negatively. – Yeah, and some people
that are– I think when a bunch
of people do like something, like it
happens all the time with MetaCritic also, it
always goes down. Like, there are become–
If people really like something, it creates
a backlash of people who go in
with intent to not like it, and then
they do that and stuff. But it still
just sort of bounces out. – That part has been
our experience of bringing our games to
all sorts of platforms. – Yeah. – Right? It’s like as soon
as we do it, the– – Yeah, and– – A lot of the frustration builds. – It’s nice. There’s a
handful of reviews of people who just bought it,
and then immediately wrote, I have put 300
hours into this game. And here is my review– – I see. of it, and that’s– – ‘Cause they’ve been playing
the other version? – They just write about
Theseus in there, which is– – OK. I see. AMIR: So the game comes
out on Steam, and has a really good
day one, and we’re like, cool, that
was a really strong day one, like,
people seem happy. Everyone can play the
game. It was one of our most stable launches.
The user reviews are starting to look pretty good,
but it’s really early. And then on the
second day, it did as well as
the first day. And then on the
third day, it did as well as
the first day. And then suddenly,
you start to have the sense like,
oh my god, it’s like almost embarrassing.
It’s like, OK, hold on a second now. [LAUGHING] [MUSIC PLAYING] – It was quite
amazing to see that like, hey, our early
adopter fans, turns out they are
representative of like a larger audience.
They are just fans, and a lot of people
wanted to play a lot of Hades. And
that was starting to show up really quickly,
in a matter of days, in how the game
was performing and in how customers
were talking about the game, and then how people
started talking about the game on social
media, and forums, and our Discord. And then
suddenly, you know, you realize, holy crap, we like
really have something here. – The really eye popping
thing among numerous eye popping
things that happened after the Steam launch
was the reviews of the game were really, really
positive. For the first couple
of days, we told ourselves that
this is just the reviews coming from
people who have enjoyed the game in
early access thus far that were just there to
support us, and thank you folks so much. We really
appreciate that support. But we just couldn’t
really believe that those kind of review
scores were, like, really happening
to us, because they are better than
any of our previous games. It was shocking.
I was shocked, and I continue
to be somewhat shocked by it. – The part that was,
like, truly and utterly shocking,
the performance is great, everything
was good, was the 98%
overwhelmingly positive review score, which
was higher than any of our
previous games. And we are a
studio who has been really privileged
and blessed to release games
that people think really highly
of, and, you know, we always want
one of our games when it comes out
to have the potential to be someone’s
favorite game. And Hades was, like,
turning out to be like a lot of people’s
favorite thing from us. Anyway, it’s
not even done. – I do think players
are reviewing some of the promise
of the game. You do see that theme
sometimes, of like, oh man, it’s so
good, and it’s not even done, right?
So they’re probably imagining ways in
which it might get even better.
So a really important question is, will we
as a development team live up to
whatever those expectations are that
we’ve created? But on the other hand,
hopefully again we’ve been very upfront about
what is still to come about this game. – The user reviews
were nutty. We were so excited
and then very quickly just got into the
game developer place, or into the
Supergiant place. I dont know it it’s the
same, which is like, God, what happens
if it goes to 97? Like what will
it mean? That’s ’cause the
actual, like, meaning behind it,
whatever, if it was a lower or higher
number, is like, you didn’t fuck it up.
A whole bunch of people really, really
like it. They’re really, really happy with their purchase.
They’re really excited to see where it’s going
to go. They have faith in you as a game developer.
You, like, earned it. You earned it from them.
They didn’t have to sit down and write you a review.
They didn’t have to do any of that, but
they did. And you totally made sure
that they had a worthwhile experience
with the time they spent on your game, which
is, you know, never to be taken
for granted. So that part of it was
really, really nice. And so I think
when that started happening it’s like,
oh my god, I don’t know. Like
what does it mean? What does it all mean?
And, you know, We’re asking each other
what it means. It means that it is possible
that a decade in, that this is some of the
best work we’ve ever done together, which
would be crazy as an idea. Like, it would
be crazy ’cause it, like, validates the whole point,
right? Which is like, you know, if we could do this
together for a really long time, it would be meaningful
and make stuff that is meaningful to
other people, which is cool. Which is
really cool. [MUSIC PLAYING] – Hey, it is Saturday,
August 17th. And I’m red in the face
because I just got back from a run.
And while on that run, as tends to be the case,
I had an idea. And it was that oh
damn, we haven’t been filming nearly enough
stuff, because we are starting to
do some real important work toward a
dealing coming up way down in
December, but that’s how far ahead we
have to plan. This particular deadline
is the launch of Hades on Steam,
much sooner than December 10th, when
it will be launching, is the announcement,
which is coming on Thursday this week.
Day after my birthday. It’s going to be
a busy week. So today I started
putting together our Steam coming
soon page here in the comfort
of my what passes for a home office
place, where I’ve been doing a
great deal of work while at Supergiant
Games since the good old Bastion days.
So let’s see what we have so far. I’m
going to turn this thing around. [TYPING SOUNDS]

100 thoughts on “The Hopes & Fears of Bringing Hades to Steam – Developing Hell #04

  1. The shills release on steam, I hope it doesn't sell well and people forget about these epic exclusives assholes.

  2. Is that the guy who used to do gamespot reviews? That voice is familiar

  3. I usually don't follow game developers but you guys have really stuck out to me. I love to watch these kinds of videos about you guys and playing your games! I own 3 and while I haven't played as much in Pyre and Transistor as my new favorite game Hades they still are really immersive and I marvel at the level of details you guys put in.

  4. I'm happy that Epic paid SuperGiant, that they could be in a smaller test environment, kind of like itchio, a secluded walled off garden where they could build the foundations for releasing to a wider audience on Steam, who were then much happier to experience such a complete and fully realized package, that did turn out for the best in the end.
    I'm no fan of Epic, I find their methods and store itself inferior compared to either Steam or GoG (and I mention this because I'm sick of the wide systematic bias against Steam and towards Epic that I constantly see in media), but I don't blame devs who need some security in their work.
    This is the best result of this whole situation with Steam & Epic that truly benefited everyone.

  5. Their Discord is great. My game wasn't launching when i bought it. Asked them in the server. Got a solution in under 20 minutes.

  6. What a cock tease at the end -.-

  7. Guys, I think Poland has a different flag 🙂

  8. I love this series. Keep it coming!

  9. I hate that they are trying to make excuses for the exclusivity still like saying they didn't want a bad first impression on steam. Being epic exclusive for a year gives you a bad first impression with steam users. At least be honest and upfront and say hey sorry it just comes down to the money. It would help us pay our devs and staff and will give us funds to make a much better game overall and while it sucks i would 100% understand.

  10. I love Super Giant games, but not into "rogue-likes" unfortunately. So looking forward to whatever is next.

  11. I legit didn’t buy it on steam because I thought I’d have to restart. Then bought it just because I love this company, and there was my epic play through save 🙂 good work guys! Deserve all the love

  12. Great series around Supergiant, it's very special to be able to see a glimpse of behind the scenes from one of your favorite devs.
    Just recently watched the previous Developing Hell videos, since I wanted to play the game for myself before watching any footage whatsoever. It's amazing to see the progress and different issues during different times of the early access development and makes me appreciate the game even more.

  13. We're going to get an episode on the development of Pyre, right?

  14. This is one of my favorite developers and this series is making me care even more for the games, cheers and keep it up!

  15. This is absolutely my favorite series of docs! I was so excited to see a new video on Hades.

  16. Their perspective on the EGS is really good, they had to do it for funding but also understand why some people could be upset.

  17. I have a 105 hrs on this game, it is by far one of Supergiant's best games, either #1 or 2, with Bastion IMO. I haven't even left a review yet but there's no way at this point I would put a negative review, I'm just honestly waiting for the game to be completed before leaving a positive review to be able to properly talk about the whole game in general. I know people who are big fans of this studio that are just waiting for this game to leave Early Access as well, so these are all things to consider.

    As for the Epic exclusivity I feel the way Supergiant handled it was very well done, it was an EA game (extremely EA) and I think most people don't feel that they "missed out" on it because of this, because playing a game that's barely been started feels more like work than anything so it made sense and most people I think could realize that it also helped with funding, so no harm done IMO if it comes to Steam a year later in a much more polished state for the majority of your audience and fans.

  18. Wow that conclusion, almost crying saying stuff! They are doing a REALLY good job, at every point. This studio is a HUGE exemple for many others… I was addict to their universes but this game.. Wow. Already more than 100 tries and I'm still on it with great pleasure. Just, awesome. Keep it up guys, you rock!
    Also for Noclip, really good videos, this is very interesting to see all that stuff!

  19. Most reliable studio out there today. You know when their name is behind it, you're getting one hell of a video game

  20. It's a shame it went exclusive for a whole year, because early into it's dev cycle, I was actually quite interested in the game itself. When I heard it was going EGS exclusive, well, all that excitement just vanished, and was replaced with ire and disappointment. I had lost faith in the devs, because of their poor decision, but it seems like they can literally do no wrong, thanks to the reviews and fans ignoring anything bad, which also disappoints me, because it shows that bad practices will thrive, if not kill off the actual good and healthy business practices.

    That said, I'm sticking to my principles, and I do not seek to buy any game that has gone EGS exclusive. I would rather spend my money on other games that don't vie for exclusivity (bought exclusivity before anyone jumps), and the devs that willingly and want to give me the time of day, those are the devs I will cherish and hold up high on that pedestal.

    I might buy SuperGiant's next game, but only if it launches on Steam day 1, and not go exclusive to EGS, but if it does, well, that'll be another dev team put onto the "never buy from ever again" list, like I've already done with Gearbox and Ubisoft.

  21. The bit at the end… It's amazing to have a glace at what developers go through not just development wise but setting up steam page, social media, it's not easy

  22. The woman who is a Greek mythology fan, kudos! Keep up the great work and your love for culture!

  23. The end gave me the feels. I love this series so much. Every game they make is one of my absolute favorites.

  24. That closing conversation with Amir is fantastic. The exact dream, I can totally sympathize.

  25. I haven't been keeping up with this series or Hades, but just happened upon this video, and I am really glad I did. Great stuff!

  26. 17:27 idk if he is sick or smthing but he sounds like a great youtuber.

  27. Thank you for this documentaries! Do you guys planning to do something about doom Eternal development?

  28. Absolutely wonderful video. I adore Supergiant, everyone there seems really cool.
    6 years ago I wrote to Supergiant because I didn't know how to make sense of Transistor's story, and Greg himself decided to write back to me and clear some things up. I still have that email archived. Awesome team!

  29. "Camera stays tho…..?"
    "No."
    That was the most alpha "No" I've ever heard.

  30. I think there was more backlash that Hades was an Epic exclusive on Steam for almost a year than the launch on Steam

  31. Always had a feeling Supergiant were great people; you can feel it in the inspired craft of their games and in the stories they tell. I'm glad noclip gave us the opportunity get to know them a little more. What a great achievement of human spirit and hard work and perseverance this has been for Supergiant. Congratulations for the big anniversary and many more.

  32. This has been such a informative and inspiring series! I may or may not have cried at the end :’) Congratulations to the supergiant team. Def gonna pick this title up sooner rather than later <3

  33. Dude, is Pyre still free if you get Hades?

  34. "but how much can entropy really care about you?"

  35. the game is double "Overwhelmingly Positive" on steam
    ive never seen this, ive also never heard of the game before

  36. Thank you for this entry to the saga of Hades and Supergiant games. I will definitely buy it whenever it shows up on consoles.

    And as an aside, it boggles the mind on just how good and consistent they have been in their ability to create stylized aesthetics which are not only different from game to game (as well as be distinctive in a sea of stylized games) but to do it successfully without straying into the realm of traditional realism.

  37. Danny I’m so proud of you man. The Developing Hell series should get an award or some serious recognition for your chronicles these last two years. This particular installation hit the feels in so many ways.

    Keep up the excellent work noclip – love the Hades out of y’all

  38. I am so happy Noclip partnered with super giant to make these in tandem with the development of the game. Such a cool experience to be a part of.

  39. This feels like the same video as the first Hades video

  40. man the ending about validation
    its just like they finally prove their very vision to the world

  41. Can't wait for the PS4 launch

  42. My heart! That ending. I'm so happy for these guys!

  43. The first episode convinced me to pick it up on steam and I've barely put it down since!

  44. Hope that Epic Games check was worth it

  45. Danny always knew this game was gonna be awesome. He's got the magic eye.

  46. Hades is a fun game with a reall satisfying gameplay loop!

  47. Anybody else instantly fall in love with Caitlin when she started nerding out about greek mythology?

    An another note, kinda hope they don't add achievements to the steam release because then I'm gonna have to buy and play the whole game again =P

  48. I want to play HADES too 😀 sadly my PC is a potato 🙁 I hope it gets released soon on PS4 at least.

  49. I don't know if it's something about relative camera positioning, or something about the folks being interviewed or the way they're saying it, but for this series, and only this series, whenever there's been one of the fixed-camera staff-member-talks-to the-camera/viewers segments, I've found myself nodding along involuntarily – like it was a conversation in real life – at every point in a statement when I ordinarily would nod to show a person I was still listening without interrupting. This is, as far as I can remember, the only work during which I can recall this happening.

    Am I just going nuts, or has anybody else had that kind of reaction?

  50. I just wanna know who dislikes these videos? Is it because they went to Epic Games Store first? Do you not like their games? Do you not like Noclip? Why?

  51. Can we get footage of their desks transitioning from seated to standing height? It's important! 😀

  52. what a treat. Love this series.

  53. GameSpot was bad ass when this dude was an Employee…. cool to find him here doing his own thing. I'll be signing up for Noclip as a Patron soon. NoClip is a awesome love these documentaries

  54. These videos are just making me more and more excited for the inevitable console release. I hope it's soon!

  55. Really interesting seeing the behind the scenes of a steam launch. Great series!

  56. I got the game when it was announced, wish I could just have the steam version without buying again, but if it helps them I cannot feel too bad about buying again (I have 4 versions of Transistor, which one of them is the Limited Game version).

  57. Hades is releasing on Steam finally. Got it.

  58. that is an oscar worthy last interview, right in the feels.

  59. So hapy for them

  60. I love this game so much

  61. Competing on the free market is now considered stunning and brave. Thanks Epic.

  62. Most of the backlash of and for epic games exclusives is because those games where announced for steam and usually sold on steam (like metro exodus) and suddenly was no more

  63. Dear SuperGiant!
    Please release the damn thing two Switch! Pyre as well!
    Thank you!

  64. Wait wait wait…… you telling me that if you make a good game people will like it, tell their friends and your game will be successful? Quick Supergiant, tell everyone else!!

  65. Now onto the switch, pretty please 😉

  66. Is it weird that the moment where I was like "WOAH!" was seeing the RTJ hoodie? x)

  67. One of the most Creative and Inspiring gaming studios of all time. Hope nothing but the best for them in the future.

  68. I fully admit that I waited to get this game as much as a friend raved… I'm not super fond of going back and replaying certain types of games too soon.

  69. One of my favorite reviewer in early Gamespot years (2000) was Greg Kasavin. I think he reviewed the first 2 Max Payne on GS.

  70. I hate rogue-likes.
    This game is awesome.

  71. The passion this dev gives off is so amazing, those last two minutes were a testament to the love and emotional connections the developers have to their creations. I wish the studio all the best, can't wait for the 1.0, gonna snatch it as soon as its officially released.

  72. Transistor was the first Supergiant game I played and I absolutely loved it. I waited for Hades to come to Steam. Would have purchased it sooner.

  73. Could you ask them why they turn achilles to a gay. That was the most social justice , netlflix move from their company

  74. Nah not after taking the deal. Catch you on the next one.

  75. The ending before the credits……😥🥰

  76. It’s nice to see the development team and staff take the time to give us a peek into the crazy difficult world of making a video game. Thank you NOCLIP.

  77. Not a fan of when they are talking about bringing their game to steam they aren't bringing up the exclusivity deal they made with Epic a year back and how that might have made players avoid the steam release. For me I think that would have been the main worry people would have chosen that reason not to get the steam game but I'm 6.30 mins in and no one has mentioned it at all. Edit: I would have liked to have seen an acknowledgement of this worry somehow but if the worry was acknowledged but never made known through these videos then that ruins the point of these videos in that regard. Edit 2: Just got to the 8.30 mark, man I feel like a tit now.

  78. I know this is not SGG's Youtube Channel or video, but I have to get this off my chest.

    The whole argument around the 7th minute mark about Early Access being on EGS because you didn't want to "scare away" your audience on Steam smells like hot steaming BS, you took Epic's money, that's the end of it, perhaps you needed it, perhaps you didn't, I am not going to judge you for it, but that whole section trying to justify the act of going timed exclusive just a poor apology at best, delusional at worst.

    I was ready to pay full price for the Hades until I heard about EGS exclusivity, but more to the point, many other people were too, just about everyone I talked to that would have liked your game or are fans of your previous work, and from the dozen or so people, literally only 1 person bought it, some people are now holding a grudge, and I am just wondering how can you even justify "shaping the game with your players" and at the same time, alienate your largest player base, your own words, not mine.

    These leaps of logic are just bizarre, because now, I have to play a game, shaped for the taste of others, who clearly have fundamentally different values to me. Like people are different enough from each other and games can be a common ground, but if they were careless enough about the exclusivity and the kind of message it sends, what else did they not care about but I do?

    It doesn't have to be the case, I could be in love with the final product but the idea alone is enough to leave a bad taste.

    At least releasing the game on GoG would have earned some good will back, but even that seems too high a bar for SGG to clear now.

    I am not angry, I just feel let down, being alienated first and then being treated like a dumbass is just a turnoff in a time where there too many games to play.

  79. This somewhat confuses me. They are saying steam is their biggest platform and they were worried about the steam release possibly getting blow back from the epic deal. If whatever epic was giving/paying them wasn't enough so they didn't have to worry about the steam release why do the deal? It worked out which is good, but it sounds like a gamble they took when they didn't really need to gamble at all.

  80. There are many fans and gamers that will not fault you or hold a grudge for you choosing to take Epic's money and launch exclusively on the Epic game store, but I feel like I gotta say that it is really disingenuous when you pretend the reason for that was because you didn't want to showcase the early stages of the game to Steam's enormous user base. Just be honest… No one believes that is the reason you launched exclusively on EGS and quite frankly it is a little insulting that you're trying to convince anyone of that. Y'all make great games and y'all seem to be very invested in correspondence with and feedback from the community so just be honest with us and I think you will find many of us much more forgiving than you might imagine. However, if you make the same decision concerning EGS exclusivity again, I think you will find that the community's forgiveness does have its limits. Y'all were like literally one of, if not the first exclusives on EGS, so you didn't have the advantage of seeing the community's reaction to these practices, so I think many of us are willing to give you a much wider berth than other developers who were well aware of what the community's response would be but went ahead and signed the deal with the devil anyways. With all that being said though, I gotta congratulate you guys on making an EXCELLENT game, for being (mostly) up front and honest with your community, and having the integrity to even address and talk about these issues instead of just pretending they don't exist like so many other developers/publishers are doing. It's clear you guys still have your souls intact and have not traded your integrity for short term profits. As an avid fan, I'm very excited to see what's next with Hades and beyond!

    Edit: One more thing I wanted to say after continuing to watch the video: I really appreciate the transparency and honesty of allowing an outside entity into your studio to film a relatively off-the-cuff experience of what you guys were going through during different points in the development process. I realize that a lot of experience goes into making things look "uncensored" and completely transparent when in fact I'm sure Super Giant had ultimate say over what is and is not included, but regardless, I don't feel this is anywhere close to as "scripted" as something like your time inside Bethesda's studios or other enormous entities that clearly are using every ounce of their corporate prowess to show their companies in as pleasant a light as possible, despite their heinous and downright disgusting behavior.

  81. Sounds like that egs exclusivity deal was more trouble than its worth.
    Good.

  82. Great vid and great company.

  83. i love hades so much! so cool to watch this video

  84. What it means Amir? I was on the game since day one on the Epic Games Store because I loved every single experience you guys at Supergiant crafted for us fans since your beginning. You guys put your heart and soul in every single game and it's so obvious even without the wonderful NoClip docs that give us a small window into the creation of these gems. Thank you Supergiant for putting your all every time and thank you Noclip for giving us a glimpse at the humanity of one of my favorite developers ever.

  85. There's someone who looks familiar in the team, is there an ex giant bomber?

  86. I have Hades, played it, enjoyed and decided I want to experience full version, so… finish it 😛

  87. Great doc once again!
    I really do love this game and i'm glad it came to Steam, and it was interesting to see the dev side of things, did't know it made them so nervous but i can understand why one would be.

  88. 18:42 No problem. I am more then happy to play this game in my native language <3

  89. Have really enjoyed watching the developing hell series. May be this will open the doors for other game studios let Noclip to do the same thing.

  90. Jen Zee is such an incredible artist.

  91. 37:45 this dude seems so consumed with making the best game he can, and I just love his approach to it. Like he just wants to keep making games. He must've started out as an engineer. Passion from learning and doing.

  92. Hey, congrats, Supergiant!! You guys remain one of my favorite devs. I'm really happy for your success and look forward to what you still have up your sleeves.

  93. I was so excited for the Steam release! I've loved all of SGG's games and I love rogue-likes/rogue-lites, so I definitely love Hades! You guys are awesome!

  94. Wow, so it was true. You CAN smash the like button, I just never watched a video I enjoyed that much that I had to STRONGLY click my mouse, to really, deeply, thoroughly, obliterate that mfing thumbs up.

  95. "How much can entropy really care about you, ya know?" BIG. MOOD.

  96. In my view, the reason why games receive the "overwhelmingly positive" review score is this: players form a mental model of the game when watching the trailer, reading the description, looking at screenshots, etc. Their mental model informs them how the game might be enjoyable to play, thus setting the expectations. Games with high ratings a) meet these expectations, and b) filter out the players who might not find the game enjoyable.

  97. I love this series and I love this game, can't wait for more

  98. Girl you can totally do instagram from the computer. Just change your browser agent

  99. Очередная живенькая и ламповая документалка от «Noclip». Занятно наблюдать за тем как копошится работа над игрой внутри студии со взглядом изнутри, а не вне. Уютненько в целом.

  100. They couldn't more obviously tip-toe around the Epic Exclusivity deal.

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