I just realized


So I’ve been digging and actively searching for a certain type of game genre lately, namely deckbuilding roguelike games. I believe I’ve played nearly all of them by now, and it took me a long time to truly get bored of each one.

A couple days ago I realized, though… SFT is exactly that, a deckbuilding roguelike. You have randomization, start with similar cards, have a skill tree. You have a limited amount of actions per turn and get to build your deck around a certain strategy using the shop and destroying cards. It even takes part in space and has FTL reminiscence. So I really wonder what prevented me from ever realizing that this is exactly the kind of game I’ve been digging lately.

As for the general popularity of the game, it seemed way lower than, say, Slay the Spire or Dream Quest. What went wrong?

Is it because you’re not playing against Monsters with HP bars that play cards from their decks themselves?
Is it because of the “social” component (multiplayer) that the game started out with? May it be the lack of classes (although you do technically have four), or its complexity? Difficulty? Maybe the controls? Lack of content? Marketing? Bugs? I really, truly wonder and am astonished why it more or less “flopped” (or held me in for less than two days).


Dream Quest is at least 4 years old? Slay the Spire looks really good. At the end of the day, some games stick and others don’t. We got a lot of exposure for SFT for being our first non-mobile game, relative to previous efforts but it wasn’t ‘other-worldly’ in the realms of Slay the Spire. That kind of success is extremely rare to be frank. Right game, right place, right connections, right time. SFT wasn’t a flop sales wise (otherwise hex gambit wouldn’t be in production right now). “Flop” on the indie spectrum is akin to 0-100 sales. Slay the Spire’s numbers are ‘retire for life’ money (assuming a small dev team). That’s a dream but highly unlikely for any game we make in our lifetimes.

Design wise, I really loved the premise of SFT. But if I had to do it again I’d certainly try to smooth out some rough edges in the gameplay loop. The mechanics felt to “raw” with a theme put on top in some parts vs having theme+mechanics be more cohesive. Tad too tired to delve into that atm. Marketing wise, selling food in space isn’t as strong a hook as ‘battle monsters in a dungeon’ in certain markets would be my guess. Even the elevator pitch for SFT is a hard sell because it definitely was “out there”. And for being a game so “out there” it did ok.


Thanks for the insight!

Rereading my post, I think I should clarify that I didn’t mean to bash the game (I do not think it lacks content or is too difficult) nor make false assumptions about its success. (To me, it merely didn’t appear to have “blown up” and get the free exposure through recommendation on various gaming sites or subreddits, unlike most deckbuilding roguelikes seem to.)

Huh, interesting. What did SFT start out as? This sounds like you forced the cooking theme onto it very late in design development.

If it wasn’t for Hex Gambit, I’d now suggest you to rid the few bugs and make the marketing material resemble its deckbuilding design a bit more, and you’d be good to go, considering people will get tired of Slay the Spire after beating it (like my friend who was hooked for three days and then abandoned it, lol - that’s why I haven’t bought it yet) and be looking for more.