I always like looking at the capsules for the top selling games because they set the visual style for all other capsules on Steam. Familiarity sells on Steam and if you can make your capsule look like other capsules you can quickly tell shoppers “I am just like this other extremely popular game also on Steam.”
Nothing makes this point clearer than simulation games…
Simulation trend continues
Almost all simulation games have a clear design rule: vehicle you are simulating on one half of the capsule, clear, bold sanserif font on the right listing out what you are simulating (just in case you couldn’t figure it out by the picture.)
Ranch Sim is definitely an outlier and good for them. However, I get serious Firewatch vibes from this capsule which is strange that this endlessly-replayable simulation game would want to tie itself to a game in a completely different genre. I am not saying they are copying the work of Campo Santo, it just seems that they are really capturing the mood of it.
Putting Text On Capsules
The jobs of a capsule are to get people to click so they can view your page and potentially wishlist your game.
Many games use text to lure people to click. Shoppers are exposed to your capsule dozens of times and if they see the same one over there is a chance for familiarity blindness. But, by adding some text advertising something new, it might be enough to get a reluctant shopper to click again.
Here are some examples of text to say “we have been updated”
I like how Nebuchadnezzar ads the actual game mode that is included in the update: “now with sandbox scenarios.” Ranch Sim again doing something interesting by saying “New Update.” But isn’t that a bit redundant? Is there such a thing as an “old update?”
It Takes Two and Little Nightmares II decided to add the review scores. Both of these games are linear adventure games which rely heavily on press and PR so it makes sense they would tout their accolades.
League of Maidens also takes the interesting approach of adding the price right there on the capsule “Free”
The Room 4 Old Sins
Branding and consistency is important for your franchises. I really appreciate how consistent The Room series has been with their capsules. If you played the series before, there is no doubt what you re in for when you see that serif font and the mysterious object located in the bottom right corner of the capsule. Be consistent!
Home Sweet Home Survive
I had never heard of the Home Sweet Home series (or HSH as they call it). However this top selling sequel means that some people must like it.
I am just highlighting this capsule because when I first looked at it I swear it said FISH Survive and figured it would be a fishing simulator told from the fish’s perspective.
See more capsule analysis
If you liked this Spring 2021 edition of the capsule review, be sure to check out my previous ones:
Also! If you want to learn how to get a great looking capsule by hiring the right artist, and writing a killer artist brief, check out my class all about How To Make A Steam Page.