New Hosted Game! Nuclear Powered Toaster by Matt Simpson

I am curious if anyone else has had this: NPT just went from 53 reviews on Google to 51. The score remains 4.0, and I don’t notice if any of the ones with words are gone or not. What would likely have prompted this?

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Over my 4 HGs, I’ve had dozens of reviews, mostly 5 stars, disappear randomly. I’m guessing it’s due to either people deleting their accounts, or more likely people simply deleting their reviews.

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Or having them sorted into country specific stores? If I go into app Annie I often see reviews I can’t see in my play account


I continuously track what happens in google, and this seems to happen quite a lot. Never understood why, but would love if somebody could explain it.

On the subject or ratings, sells, etc (earlier on in this thread, and just saying what @Jacic has mostly said… we both discuss a lot regarding philosophy of games, etc, and I guess we have kind of more or less arrived at similar conclusions… well, many other authors here have, or at least are not too different), it is very strange indeed how rating is sometimes not as good indicator as the type of game. So far I have authored/co-authored four games:

-Starship Adventures, with 4 other people… 65 reviews (google), score 3.5. Sales? ABYSMAL (maybe we should just make it a free game…). Possible problems? For sure many didn’t understand the humor in the game, plus the theme of sci-fi captain might not be as popular as others. There have been no new reviews forever…

-Lost in the Pages, with 4 other people, 85 reviews, score 4.0. Sales: I’d say poor. Problems? Maybe many didn’t like the theme of the game? Though, others liked it (and CoG has even used the cover for the HG app!). There have been no new reviews forever…

-Tokyo Wizard, 374 reviews, score 4.1. My bestseller so far, and first solo game. Many structural problems, typos, bad grammar… yet highest overall score. Possibly the theme and anime artwork inspired many potential players?

-Highway Wars, 146 reviews, score 3.8. Far more polished than Tokyo Wizard, a bit longer. In my opinion, a better effort… though it seems to be lagging behind TW in sales (at the same number of months after release), despite also being on steam. Problems? Many complained some of the endings are too short… despite the game being longer than TW. But, this brings us back to those other two threads on game length…

Just… reviewers can be very random (I am an academic, and the true randomness of this has always amazed me… once I was rejected to a conference, then to find out my journal paper on the subject had been given a prize for the best of the year… after that, I have just come to embrace the inherent randomness of human beings!)


Or it could be different group of readers under different “era” ? Tokyo wizard came out few years back , and from that group of readers, i am thinking not many would continue their interest in interactive fiction ( perhaps 40% of those group will sustain their interest after few more years ) hence this group of readers will be able to differentiate the improves effort for your latest game… During the release of Highway War, it could be that the current group of “new” readers have their own interest as compare the group few years back, i notice some had complain the inclusion of global warming and other environmental issue in Highway Wars , perhaps few years ago… people then would had accepted this fact ?? :slight_smile:

Instead of randomness, i would said it is more about the current interest of a new group of fans … even in movie industry , the same occurrence will happen … some movies who had been badly review few years ago, will however find new movie fans who are interest to search and watch past movies, their reviews indicate their opinion is totally differ from those few years back :slight_smile:


You make good points.

To explain my use of words (which were probably not the best, as always)… I have some background in stochastic simulations, which is essentially a way that researchers have of treating variables as being random, as a sort of excuse for not fully understanding every parameter that can affect every variable (which maybe explains why I see reality the way I see it). So, when I say that reviewers are random, I guess that I’m talking about the fact that our perception of them is as them being random. Each one perceives life, reality and games in a different way, but they are hidden to us (we don’t know who they are, not even their age, gender or social background, so we have no idea why they think what they think… we are just left with their “random” thoughts, as we often cannot fully understand them in isolation). But, in my own way of seeing things, the longer the playthroughs, the smaller the chance of hearing “its too short”. Lets say that for 10k playthroughs 50% of reviews will mention this, for 20k maybe 25%, for 30k maybe 12.5%, etc (I have no statistics for this, as it is difficult to quantify this, but a related thread is here on overall length Length of game influences buying?)

But, I actually agree with what you say (and we have talked about this in other threads, which is indeed something we are all having trouble to come to grips with). Basically, readers are changing. Somebody recently posted about their experience reading one of those old choose your own adventure books (about the pyramids), which were the top of interaction fiction for their age. Things like fighting fantasy and lone wolf made those look primitive… but, if you try to read those and compare them to the early stuff in CoG, they look primitive… and the early CoG also looks short by today’s standards (though, I still love Dragon! or even some of the good old fighting fantasy)

And, I do hope that you are right about old games finding new fans… though few old movies age well! (we all remember things like star wars or blade runner, but they were countless sci-fi at the time, which did not age well at all…)


Blinks a few times. Is that really a thing in some countries that people are less likely to accept climate change as a real thing? (I’d say the opposite has happened in my country due to mounting evidence. It’s taught as fact, not theory in universities.) But yes, did see those reviews. Blew me away people saw Highway wars as a political piece, rather than a dystopian fantasy one.

I do totally agree with randomness though. Take starship adventures. Felicity, adrao and Eric all have successful games out, the rating isnt too bad and yet adrao isn’t lying when he said the sales for it are low. Despite having 3 fanbases to draw from, it’s been largely ignored by readers. Granted, none of the authors have published anything sci-fi either so maybe that’s the failure for the crossover. I still find it odd that wizardry which doesn’t have the other fanbases to draw from, and has a lower rating has outsold it by a large margin. Genre seems to be vitally important, and that can change from year to year. (For example pirates were super popular at one stage, now it’s super heroes.)

I think it’s kind of a shame they’re getting overlooked in favour of newer, longer games. Some of the oldies are still my favorites.

Bet they regretted turning you down after that happened!


Well… i start reading HG/CoG last year , started with Vampire House and Great Tournament , Heart of the House was my first actual purchase , but then i go back and purchase quite a number of older title like Tin Star, Slammed ! Hero Rise series and Unnatural etc… i am genuinely like those old games, and i also notice these games also receive some latest review this year … hence proof of new readers for older titles… :slight_smile:

As for movies, in addition of the Star Wars franchise ," I am number four" actually receive quite a number of good review from youtube , where numerous people hoping for a sequel… but unfortunately for them the movie was a bust when it was release and there is no chance for the sequel at all, especially they were asking for the same actor/actress … same for Terminator : Sarah Connor Chronicles (Tv Series) who is still a cult classic till these days :slight_smile:

I think in addition, it also depend on their cultures as well as their tolerance level on numerous social status , such as environmental issue and women’s status in a society , i had notice that the courtly romance and chivalry of the Arthurian era had been view as “disrespectful” towards women , hence the emergence of “damsel” in a story may be seen as “negative” too :slight_smile:

Errr… a certain president from a famous country did boast that Global warming as a “Hoax” till today :wink: i am not surprise his believers will think any story about global warming and other environmental issue has political agenda :slight_smile:


He said he “did not believe” the report just issued this past Friday concerning climate change and its future effects.


Hmmm… not sure whether i am correct but his followers seem the “zealous” and “dedicated” type who will believe or echo on whatever he tell them , so kind of sad when we can’t apply reasoning at all regarding the issue(s) :slight_smile:

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Wow… ok… Kind of disappointing :dizzy_face:


Off topic… but I couldn’t resist…

This famous president of a famous country never said anything like this. It is all “fake news”. Actually, he is a firm believe in climate change, and is about to close down all coal mines in his country. :wink:

(I do hope my attempt at sarcasm/reverse sarcasm is not lost on anybody).

Anyway, on topic now… I keep following all new games that are released, and this issue of topics is also quite an interesting one, how things go in and out of fashion. I have to say, Birth of a Hero is a shameless attempt of mine at going into this… though, my discovery of my old marvel superheros rpg at my mum’s apartment was a big push! Marvel Super Heroes (role-playing game) - Wikipedia I keep the rulebook on top of my desk, and look through it when I’m stuck for mechanics…


And, also on the subject of random reviews… I just got this today for Tokyo Wizard:

“Would rate 5 stars, but a major flaw in the game is that nothing prevents stats from going over 100%, making the game completely broken.”

You just have to laugh! :slight_smile:




It’s just so random and crazy the things that trigger these people, huh?


That’s kind of sad on so many levels. I mean what were you thinking of not anticipating that people were going to hack your game and cause it to malfunction?! You should be able to guess how they’ll break it and preemptively fix it. What a bad game designer you are! :upside_down_face:


@hustlertwo So uh… now that this has been out for a while I’ve been wondering again about that thing you mentioned like, one time once when I gave feedback about one particular NPC and you mentioned that it related to an idea you had for another game called “Hoard” I think it was… Can you talk about that at all yet?

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I remember what you mean. How one of the other TURDs would not be a party member because of similarities to one planned for The Hoard.

I tell you what. I’m a ruthless mercenary, and my beloved (if flawed) game had three good reviews wiped off from Google and then picked up a one star to drop it down to 3.9 overall. If y’all can get it back to 4.0 I can tell you about that character. She was more planned out than most, as she has been a part of this property far longer than 128, Latasha or Elgin.

So I am now officially a paid author! Which is very cool, even if I’m not exactly ready to retire just yet.

Because I’m the sort who loves stats and percentages, I wanted to let y’all see the breakdown from NPT’s first week (it was released on October 25th, so the first royalty statement basically just covers from the 25th-31st). Definitely some surprises here.

Google- 37%
iOS- 36%
Steam- 22%
Website- 3%
Amazon- LOL whut (aka 2%)

This was part of why I wept such bitter tears at the ending of individual app releases. NPT was never destined to be a best-seller, but I believe without the constraints of an omnibus app that is difficult to explain to non-serious gamers (or serious ones, for that matter) without a lot of skepticism to combat, a solo iOS release would have helped it quite a bit more. You tell them they have to download a free app to get it and their eyes glaze over or they recoil in horrror, expecting some microtransactional monster out to steal their data. Still, no way around it.

Steam was the big surprise. Far higher than it seems like most others have had. A couple of guesses as to why:

-Achievements. NPT has a pile of them, so perhaps that appealed to the more videogamey Steam crowd?
-Genre. Sci-fi might be more at home on a platform like that than a casual-studded one like mobile.
-??? Everything is random and unpredictable.


I think you’re probably over estimating what a solo release on Apple would have done for you. For ages, android has been way outselling apple for my games (a trend I’ve heard echoed by a few other authors on here.) but since the omnibus, sales have become more even. Android is still outselling apple, but no longer by the same margin, and I see yours looks similar which makes me think for my game at least, it has increased potential sales since it was added to the omnibus (even though overall sales have fallen this month, but I’d say that’s because they’re old games and there’s been heaps of new releases this year.)

Its a little complicated with mine as they are selling individually, and through the omnibus, but the fact that your sales are fairly even between android and apple makes me wonder if it has helped, rather than harmed yours. You’d have to ask other authors to weigh in on that as it’s only my experience and I don’t know what effect steam sales have on that ratio, if anything, but it is interesting that your sales are almost equal. Amazon is only a small % of mine too .

Anyway congrats on becoming a paid author! :slight_smile:

(BTW this was just to let you know something that I hope will make you feel better about not having the individual release on Apple as I don’t think it’s had the negative impact we initially thought it might have on HGs, actually the opposite :slight_smile: .)