Offworld Trading Company has been out now for six weeks, and it’s been a fun ride. We’ve seen some great early impressions. We spent three weeks in the top 25 of Steam. We’ve seen popular Let’s Play videos from Northernlion, quill18, Ohmwrecker, and Arumba (although apparently we have to wait until after Early Access to see one from TotalBiscuit). Day spent an entire Friday streaming thirteen games of Offworld to around four thousand viewers. We’ve seen the fans compile extensive strategy guides. We’ve seen players log well over 200 hours of play. I was on the front page of Reddit with an AMA. We’ve seen the metagame go from thinking that Offworld Markets are overpowered, to that Hacker Arrays are overpowered, to them being fairly balanced (with the help of some game updates).
However, the most surprising thing about Offworld so far, at least to me, is how my wife has taken to the game. My wife had, before last month, never played a real-time strategy game or even a tycoon game. Indeed, Leyla had never played any PC games at all besides Civ4, which she obviously tried just because I made it. Civ is, of course, turn-based, so it’s the type of game that a non-gamer can enjoy easily. Offworld, on the other hand, is real-time, intensely competitive, fast-paced, and fairly intimidating for new players. Nonetheless, after first seeing the game, she just kept playing and playing and playing. Soon, I would notice that Leyla was playing when I was away from the house. Then, she started asking each night if, you know, we could play some more Offworld. Furthermore, she got bored pretty quickly with single-player and even team-based comp stomps and began to play online multiplayer. Even more amazing, she got pretty good at it! I’ve attached her multiplayer stats below, and she has been winning roughly 1-in-6 of her games, which means she is doing better than average considering we almost always play 6- or 8-player free-for-all games like this one or this one (which have only one winner).
I should also add that in most of the games Leyla has won, she was using a trackpad; because she is not a PC gamer, she is usually playing the game from the couch without a mouse, which – needless to say – is not the typical setup for competitive RTS play! (I have begun training her how to use a mouse and WASD.) Also of note, we released Offworld 40 days ago today, which means that, with a total of 162 games played, she is averaging FOUR multiplayer games PER DAY. Here is one of the games she won that was saved on my Twitch channel:
On top of all this, Leyla is taking an active role in popularizing the game; for example, she helped setup a multiplayer match with quill18 and Arumba – which she almost won! She also started streaming the game and has developed connections throughout the Offworld multiplayer community. She discovered who the best players are (such as Zultar and Pbhead) and opened dialogues with them to help balance the game and improve the experience with our first few updates. From talking with them, she came up with the idea to start a Twitch tournament for Offworld, both to crown the best 1v1 player and to spread the game via streaming (registration is open until Thursday). Remember, Leyla had almost never played PCs game at all before six weeks ago, so to call these development unexpected is an understatement. I’m both proud of her and overjoyed that she found Offworld so much fun.
UPDATE: Two days after this post, Leyla beat an all-star groups of players, including Zultar, Pbhead, and SMG, during the Mohawk Games weekly stream. The video is up on YouTube: