March 3, 2014

Improvements I'd like to see on Desura

Hey everyone !

I'm uploading a new patch for my game "Song of the Myrne: What Lies Beneath" and as usual it's a pain in the neck.

I first update the IndieGameStand version, it is an easy, quick and smooth experience... But then, there's Desura [insert dramatic "TA TA TAA" here].

Desura get me most of my sales so I don't want to look like some angry internet troll that rants at anything. I kinda like Desura and they did provide good advices when I started selling my game. But I really think Desura could smooth the process of uploading updates and make some improvements here and there. I truly think it would benefit everyone.

So let's rant !

Updating a game

I have two main concerns with this one. Let's start with the minor one.

First of all, the uploading process. Since Desura offers two ways to get a game you bought (standalone version and a version installed by the Desura's client) you have to upload everything two times...

If you have a shitty connexion like I have and that your game is available on Windows, Mac and Linux, it simply takes forever to upload any update.

I think it could be avoided.

The version you upload for the Desura client si simply an installation of the game... And what's the standalone version ? An installation of the game... in a zip archive. So why would I have to upload two times the same thing when the installation folder could simply be archived on Desura's side ?

You also have to re-write the changelog for each upload, and finish one upload to start the next one. You can't just launch all your uploads and leave your home or go to sleep like you would do with IndieGameStand for exemple.

And then there's my second concern :

On Desura, everything takes forever...

Here's what happen when you upload an update on IndieGameStand :

  • Players can now download the game and even choose which version they want to get
And that's all... Now, let's get back to Desura :

  • You have to wait for a staff member to authorize your new version
While I can understand this verification the first time you upload a game, I don't see why it should be audited at each update. Do they think I'll upload a virus or something ? Only to wreck my own reputation and game ?

  • Then you try to post a news about the update because there's this new cool feature that you think deserves more than a quick sentence in a changelog

And then you have to wait for a member of the staff to validate your news... What ?!

I can understand why they want to check which news will get on the homepage but while the news is waiting for approval (which can take more than 24 hours), players can't read it, even on your game page.

You can't expect to keep in touch with your players with such delays.

All in all it gives me the feeling that Desura doesn't trust indie developers and it's very disturbing since we're his associates.


I have two final thoughts about what could be improved.

Steam Greenlight visibility

I know Steam is a competitor of Desura, but let's face it. Selling indie games without getting on Steam is hard, like really hard. And I think Desura is aware of that.

One think I like about IndieGameStand is that they have a special Greenlight URL field in your game details and put the Greenlight logo well in evidence on your game's store page. I think Desura should do the same.

I posted a news about my Greenlight launch on Desura and IndieDB. It simply didn't get authorized without any explanation.

Desura, IndieDB, etc...

These websites are mostly the same one but doesn't act like this.

If I post a news on one site, I'll probably want to post it on the other ones too... But I can't, I have to copy/paste my news on each website and wait different times for the approvals.

I think they should add some check boxes to also post on the other websites when you post a news. Player reviews should also be shared between the sites.


That's all folks ! Thanks for reading all this.

I might seem angry or against Desura in this wall of ranting, but I assure you I'm not.

I like Desura but each update is such a burden that I try to delay them as much as possible and make one big update from time to time while I'd rather post minor updates more often. It would be easier for me and better for the players so I hope Desura will improve all these points.

Let me think what you think of it, if you agree with me or if you don't (and why) in the comments.