So What Happens if the Game Doesn't Sell the Way You Would Have Imagined? / by Xiaosong Shang

Hello everyone! Sam Martino here.

So obviously, we are not a mega-successful, multimillion-dollar video game studio, but we are still going strong have three years. I want to write this so other indie developers understand it is okay if your game doesn’t become the next huge things, these things are stepping stones for even better greatness.

We spent a full year and a half developing Ashes of Kanaka, we put our hearts in souls into that game, we wanted to make it the best that we possibly could. I know I talk about some of our downfalls in a previous blog, but all of our predictions and analysis led us to believe that Ashes of Kanaka would be a huge commercial success. This was our first game, the odds were stacked against us, and it honestly requires a lot of luck to make it in the game industry. Ashes of Kanaka in its first year did not break even, we didn’t even know what to do because we thought that Ashes of Kanaka was it, that there was no way up after all the time and effort we had put into it. We all sat down and talked about what to do, we looked at what went wrong and where we could learn. I cannot stress enough that everything you will ever develop is a learning experience, and your games will only get better and better. As a developer, you just need to keep trying and eventually you will land on an idea that will make your company. We understood that RPGMaker was not the way to go if we wanted to keep making games. Everyone in Dogwood took it upon themselves to learn 3D and grow and improve from where we were.

Sometimes things just aren’t going to work out exactly how you want, but how you handle the situations is what will make you a better game developer. I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to learn everything I have, had I given up after Ashes of Kanaka I would have never learned Maya, Substance Painter, Unreal, or all the other amazing programs. Even as we continued, trying to get better and better, I look back on the projects we worked on to where we are now. Seeing Static, I could have never envisioned we could create something as beautiful as this. Dogwood has gained and lost members over the years, but those that have stayed have grown with us and I am forever proud of everything we have created. I hope that as those of you reading this work on your projects, you’ll treat everything as a learning experience. You can always get better, and what you are working on will always be an amazing project no matter what the critical reception is. Ashes of Kanaka was so close to not even making it on Steam, but we continued to persevere and eventually we were able to get over the hurdles always put in front of us. I will never forget that we had one player, Mark, who would always reach out to our Facebook page and tell us what he thought of Ashes of Kanaka, the things he would find, knowing that even one person loved what we did, it made it all worth it. As long as you can have one person that believes in your dream, it will all be worth it.

Next time, I will talk about stress working in the industry, a very hot topic as of late.

As always, please reach out me at with any comments or questions. I always over hearing from you guys!