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Lenna's Inception is a top-down Zelda-like action-adventure game with a world that is glitching, with a style that can switch between 8-bit and 32-bit pixel art styles.

It's now been available for a year so Tom Coxon of Bytten Studio has written up a postmortem for how it went, and it was a thoroughly interesting read. First, a refresher on who they are. Bytten Studio was initially just Tom Coxon who previously worked for Chucklefish on titles like Starbound and the multiplayer for Stardew Valley, Coxon was later joined by Jay Baylis who also worked for Chucklefish in the past on titles like Starbound and Wargroove.

To date they've managed to sell 6,800 across itch.io and Steam which isn't a lot for an entire year. However, it's well above average going by the 2019 numbers that Mike Rose of No More Robots put together. Game development for indies is clearly tough and most will likely need a part-time job to ensure they can keep going, something Coxon points out in the Lenna's Inception postmortem.

So above average sales, and thankfully the reception was good overall and on Steam right now it's sat on a "Very Positive".

What's interesting for us here is that 5% of the sales were from Linux, which is again (like sales for indies) higher than the average and higher than the current Linux user share on Steam (see our Steam Tracker). Not only that, 22% of their sales were from the itch.io store too so that's a reasonable chunk and certainly not to be ignored. Here's what they said about the Linux stats:

Also of note is that 5% of copies were bought by Linux users, which is a lot more than the average for games on Steam. I think this comes down to several factors:

  1. The low number of total copies sold means that not many extra Linux users in absolute terms have to find the game to push the relative-terms figure up.
  2. Actually reaching out to Linux-specific gaming press and treating Linux as a first-class platform. I do think that indies have yet to really figure out how to market to Linux gamers, who often get ignored or lied to by larger studios. There are more than enough Linux gamers out there to make your indie game a success; the difficulty, as with all platforms, is in reaching them. The difference is that nobody seems to be marketing specifically to Linux gamers. The first to actually succeed at this could maybe double their sales figures or more.

I did all the coding for Lenna’s Inception on Linux (I like a good terminal), so officially supporting the platform has been almost free. Linux gamers are also very good at fixing your bugs for you!

The figure for Mac was a lot lower: .8%. Most likely because we dropped official Mac support prior to release because continuing to support it became a huge burden.

So the Linux version sold approximately 340 copies which at their normal price of £7.19 that would be somewhere around £2,444.6 (it went on sale once previously, so likely a bit lower). For a small indie developer, that can make all the difference.

Interestingly, they gave purchasers of the massive Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality on itch.io a copy of Lenna's Inception too so a further eighty thousand people have a copy of it. This had a fun side-effect, which seemed to actually boost their sales shortly after on Steam.

Concluding the postmortem: sadly overall Lenna's Inception was not a commercial success but valuable lessons have been learned from developing and marketing it. Oh and Coxon said "Don't sleep on Linux, itch.io, consoles or localisation. They’re important!".

You can buy Lenna's Inception on itch.io and Steam.

Bytten Studio are currently working on Cassette Beasts, an open-world monster catching RPG built with the free and open source Godot Engine and they will be continuing Linux support with it.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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37 comments
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Nanobang 18 Jan
Quoting: Alm888
QuoteSo the Linux version sold approximately 340 copies…
Correction: now it sold 341 copy. :)

Update: 342
micke1m 18 Jan
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: micke1mJust bought it now, the game just crashes instantly for me on Arch.

X Error of failed request:  BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
  Major opcode of failed request:  1 (X_CreateWindow)
  Serial number of failed request:  3230
  Current serial number in output stream:  3232
Odd, works fine here on Arch. Looks like you're using an AMD GPU going by your GOL PC Info. Try the Steam Linux Runtime container -> right click the game -> Properties -> Compatibility -> Steam Linux Runtime.

Tried that and it's still the same. A window pops up "choose your preferred style" and crashes after about 4 seconds.

#
# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
#
#  SIGSEGV (0xb) at pc=0x0000000000000000, pid=21996, tid=0x00007fe0384f7640
#
# JRE version: OpenJDK Runtime Environment (8.0_121-b13) (build 1.8.0_121-b13)
# Java VM: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (25.121-b13 mixed mode linux-amd64 compressed oops)
# Problematic frame:
# C  0x0000000000000000
#
# Core dump written. Default location: /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/core or core.21996
#
# An error report file with more information is saved as:
# /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/hs_err_pid21996.log
#
# If you would like to submit a bug report, please visit:
#   http://bugreport.java.com/bugreport/crash.jsp
# The crash happened outside the Java Virtual Machine in native code.
# See problematic frame for where to report the bug.


I guess it's something to do with Java.
Games made in Java seems to be a janky mess in general on Linux.

More people seem to have issues, no suggestion has worked for me though.
Also tested it on my Ryzen 4000 laptop with Manjaro. Same issue there.

Steam community thread


Last edited by micke1m on 19 January 2021 at 12:22 am UTC
I did buy it at itch.io on launch, and later I got it in the Racial Equality bundle as well. I have really enjoyed it, its very charming and well made! Im happy they are getting sales.
Salvatos 18 Jan
Quoting: NezchanSo the solution here is that game devs should be nicer to Liam, and they've found the road to success.
It’s definitely an easy way to pump up your Linux sales, based on the comments on every article about a game dev discussing their experience selling Linux-native games.

Quoting: NanobangI almost skipped right past this article because the game just looks like something I wouldn't be interested in, but I didn't understand what the headline meant by "not to sleep on Linux."
Same! I also thought the game had failed to see release based on the "postmortem" bit so all in all this was a much more positive article than expected.
BTRE 18 Jan
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
Quoting: micke1mTried that and it's still the same. A window pops up "choose your preferred playstyle" and crashes after about 4 seconds.

#
# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
#
#  SIGSEGV (0xb) at pc=0x0000000000000000, pid=21996, tid=0x00007fe0384f7640
#
# JRE version: OpenJDK Runtime Environment (8.0_121-b13) (build 1.8.0_121-b13)
# Java VM: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (25.121-b13 mixed mode linux-amd64 compressed oops)
# Problematic frame:
# C  0x0000000000000000
#
# Core dump written. Default location: /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/core or core.21996
#
# An error report file with more information is saved as:
# /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/hs_err_pid21996.log
#
# If you would like to submit a bug report, please visit:
#   http://bugreport.java.com/bugreport/crash.jsp
# The crash happened outside the Java Virtual Machine in native code.
# See problematic frame for where to report the bug.


I guess it's something to do with Java.
Games made in Java seems to be a janky mess in general on Linux.

More people seem to have issues, no suggestion has worked for me though.
Also tested it on my Ryzen 4000 laptop with Manjaro. Same issue there.

Steam community thread
For whatever it's worth, the game runs fine for me on Arch with a full AMD setup. The issues in that thread were more relevant before the big update they did last year where they updated the engine/libs. For a while it worked only with the beta (preview) version. I just tried booting up the game to test and it works as expected.


Last edited by BTRE on 18 January 2021 at 6:06 pm UTC
micke1m 18 Jan
Quoting: BTRE
Quoting: micke1mTried that and it's still the same. A window pops up "choose your preferred playstyle" and crashes after about 4 seconds.

#
# A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
#
#  SIGSEGV (0xb) at pc=0x0000000000000000, pid=21996, tid=0x00007fe0384f7640
#
# JRE version: OpenJDK Runtime Environment (8.0_121-b13) (build 1.8.0_121-b13)
# Java VM: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (25.121-b13 mixed mode linux-amd64 compressed oops)
# Problematic frame:
# C  0x0000000000000000
#
# Core dump written. Default location: /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/core or core.21996
#
# An error report file with more information is saved as:
# /ssd/steamapps/common/LennasInception/hs_err_pid21996.log
#
# If you would like to submit a bug report, please visit:
#   http://bugreport.java.com/bugreport/crash.jsp
# The crash happened outside the Java Virtual Machine in native code.
# See problematic frame for where to report the bug.


I guess it's something to do with Java.
Games made in Java seems to be a janky mess in general on Linux.

More people seem to have issues, no suggestion has worked for me though.
Also tested it on my Ryzen 4000 laptop with Manjaro. Same issue there.

Steam community thread
For whatever it's worth, the game runs fine for me on Arch with a full AMD setup. The issues in that thread were more relevant before the big update they did last year where they updated the engine/libs. For a while it worked only with the beta (preview) version. I just tried booting up the game to test and it works as expected.

Yeah I don't know what to say, it doesn't work on my deskop or my laptop. Both AMD systems, one Arch, one Manjaro.

Both are Gnome also, don't know if it matters.


Last edited by micke1m on 18 January 2021 at 6:26 pm UTC
Tchey 18 Jan
I bought it loooong ago, in 2014, time flies !

Good to read some posititve feedbacks about our favorite OS.
logge 18 Jan
Still works for me, and I am really happy that I bought that game as it is and makes me full of joy and fun. And my daughter loves it (especially farting Goldilocks). Maybe that's something with her called Lena todo?
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