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'Slay the Spire': Success through Marketability

Casey Yano  (Game Developer, Mega Crit Games)

Location: Room 2005, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Independent Games Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Mega Crit released a rogue-like deck-building game, 'Slay the Spire' into Steam Early Access on November 14, 2017. After a 14 month Early Access period of weekly updates, the game left Early Access on January 23, 2019, and has become one of the top-selling indie games of 2018. But unlike other titles, 'Slay the Spire' didn't sell well in the beginning, due to a low social media presence and lack of press coverage.

This talk shares the process and thoughts on adding value to a game, building a community, and how various decisions factored into making 'Slay the Spire' one of the top selling indie games of 2018. The Mega Crit team thinks the game grew because of the weekly patching, community building, internationalization, compatibility, and design decisions that maximized availability to players and this talk will explain how it all came together to make 'Slay the Spire' what it is today.


This talk will provide examples, decisions, and processes Mega Crit utilized before and during Early Access, and discuss in depth what they believe was and wasn't useful for 'Slay the Spire'.

Intended Audience

This is not a technical talk, and focuses on lessons learned from traditional marketing efforts, and how solid design principles and decisions were made to play on the game and team's strengths.