You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

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.
34 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
37 comments
Page: «3/4»
  Go to:

micke1m 19 Jan
Quoting: tccoxonHey everyone, dev here! Thanks for the bug reports related to the crash on launch! I'm currently testing a fix on the 'beta' branch of the game on Steam. Since the bug doesn't seem to affect my OS version and hardware, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know whether switching to the 'beta' branch helps or not. Once I've ascertained the bug is fixed, the patch will roll out on itch.io too.

EDIT: If you're still experiencing the crash, an apparent workaround is to add this to the launch-config.json file in the install directory:

 
    "useGLFW": false,

The beta made no difference for me. But the workaround fixed the issue at least. Thanks!
That report pretty much agrees with most I see which is to say that if the Linux share of your sales is above normal then your game probably didn't sell very well. That being said I love their enthusiasm as well as them mentoning that they are using Godot for future projects. I had forgotten about Lenna's Inception, it just got lost in my backlog. I'll have to rectify that.
RedBatman 19 Jan
Quoting: tccoxonHey everyone, dev here! Thanks for the bug reports related to the crash on launch! I'm currently testing a fix on the 'beta' branch of the game on Steam. Since the bug doesn't seem to affect my OS version and hardware, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know whether switching to the 'beta' branch helps or not. Once I've ascertained the bug is fixed, the patch will roll out on itch.io too.

EDIT: If you're still experiencing the crash, an apparent workaround is to add this to the launch-config.json file in the install directory:

 
    "useGLFW": false,

Just wanted to say that use GLFW did work for one time but then it didn't work. The Beta does work but is the any option for v sync anywhere?

Edit: Scratch that managed to get it working I put the workaround in the wrong JSON. The Beta was preventing me from generating the levels and worlds.


Last edited by RedBatman on 20 January 2021 at 12:34 am UTC
I read the bit about no longer supporting Mac, and why. Honestly, the MacOS people really are doing their best to make gaming (and quite a bit of other third party software) suck, aren't they?
For some time now the ranking in terms of how well you can game on (desktop OS) has tracked market share, like 1. Windows, 2. MacOS, 3. Linux. Before Valve got involved, it was a steep difference from MacOS to Linux, we just barely had any games. Then for a while it was a much less steep difference, due to Linux improving both in game availability and in stuff like driver support and whatnot.
But now I think we're entering a time when, purely due to the Mac people perforating their feet multiple times, it's going to be 1. Windows, 2. Linux, 3. MacOS. Like honestly, if a Mac user wants to game they'll be better off dual-booting to Linux.
3zekiel 20 Jan
Quoting: Purple Library GuyI read the bit about no longer supporting Mac, and why. Honestly, the MacOS people really are doing their best to make gaming (and quite a bit of other third party software) suck, aren't they?
For some time now the ranking in terms of how well you can game on (desktop OS) has tracked market share, like 1. Windows, 2. MacOS, 3. Linux. Before Valve got involved, it was a steep difference from MacOS to Linux, we just barely had any games. Then for a while it was a much less steep difference, due to Linux improving both in game availability and in stuff like driver support and whatnot.
But now I think we're entering a time when, purely due to the Mac people perforating their feet multiple times, it's going to be 1. Windows, 2. Linux, 3. MacOS. Like honestly, if a Mac user wants to game they'll be better off dual-booting to Linux.

Actually, the move to ARM will only make things worst. Supporting multi architecture when game engines often have a JIT is not fully trivial either (some probably already have some mobile/arm support though).
And with arm switch, kiss goodbye to proper dual booting... Also, system level cross ISA emulation is another game than process level emulation, you need to properly emulate the target arch, and you have the overhead of emulating devices for the target OS. So don't expect awesome performances out of an emulated x86 Linux either, graphics accel is also limited for those scenarios... So yeah, Mac for gaming probably will reduce more than anything, unless apple can make ipad and mac converge fully on that point. Maybe then they can have a chance to keep devs.
slaapliedje 24 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Nanobang
Quoting: Alm888
QuoteSo the Linux version sold approximately 340 copies…
Correction: now it sold 341 copy. :)

Update: 342
343!

Ha, this looks like another I should pimp to be ported to the Atari VCS.
slaapliedje 24 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: 3zekiel
Quoting: Purple Library GuyI read the bit about no longer supporting Mac, and why. Honestly, the MacOS people really are doing their best to make gaming (and quite a bit of other third party software) suck, aren't they?
For some time now the ranking in terms of how well you can game on (desktop OS) has tracked market share, like 1. Windows, 2. MacOS, 3. Linux. Before Valve got involved, it was a steep difference from MacOS to Linux, we just barely had any games. Then for a while it was a much less steep difference, due to Linux improving both in game availability and in stuff like driver support and whatnot.
But now I think we're entering a time when, purely due to the Mac people perforating their feet multiple times, it's going to be 1. Windows, 2. Linux, 3. MacOS. Like honestly, if a Mac user wants to game they'll be better off dual-booting to Linux.

Actually, the move to ARM will only make things worst. Supporting multi architecture when game engines often have a JIT is not fully trivial either (some probably already have some mobile/arm support though).
And with arm switch, kiss goodbye to proper dual booting... Also, system level cross ISA emulation is another game than process level emulation, you need to properly emulate the target arch, and you have the overhead of emulating devices for the target OS. So don't expect awesome performances out of an emulated x86 Linux either, graphics accel is also limited for those scenarios... So yeah, Mac for gaming probably will reduce more than anything, unless apple can make ipad and mac converge fully on that point. Maybe then they can have a chance to keep devs.
To this day I don't understand why people developed games on the Mac, even as far back as the 80s when the mac first came out. I mean I think most of that just ended up being because people had macs with no games and started to code their own, like in the 8bit days. But they've never been known as 'gaming computers' at all.

Anyhow more about the game, it seems that I too had to use the 'useGLFW: False' on Debian Sid, and then the initial building had a bunch of weird flashing tiles. Fun little game so far, ran into some room with some skeletons, but before that there was another broken character with flashing tiles, I killed it, but the skeletons got me!
tuubi 24 Jan
Quoting: slaapliedjeAnyhow more about the game, it seems that I too had to use the 'useGLFW: False' on Debian Sid, and then the initial building had a bunch of weird flashing tiles.
The glitches are part of the game and supposed to be there. :)
Zaiyurhf 25 Jan
Quoting: tccoxonEDIT: If you're still experiencing the crash, an apparent workaround is to add this to the launch-config.json file in the install directory:

 
    "useGLFW": false,

Can confirm this works for the itch.io version. Can finally play it without using Wine ! Thanks a lot :)
slaapliedje 25 Jan
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: tuubi
Quoting: slaapliedjeAnyhow more about the game, it seems that I too had to use the 'useGLFW: False' on Debian Sid, and then the initial building had a bunch of weird flashing tiles.
The glitches are part of the game and supposed to be there. :)
Is it explained why the glitches are there? I mean to me it looks like just a graphical glitch like the memory is reading the wrong tiles and just makes a flashy weird mess. I kind of accepted it with the rubble at the beginning, but one of the beasties I attacked in the tutorial dungeon didn't seem like it belonged.

Wish I had more time to play it! Seems interesting so far.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.