So that’s another release done! We really want our players to see the potential in our game. We have HUGE plans for expansion and we hope you can see how, once we expand our team of artists and developers, our core game mechanic will deliver a rich and exhilarating experience. We plan to release content so fast, you won’t be able to keep up!
“we’re asking our players to stick with us until we can coalesce the emotion, playability, graphics and experiences that we know we can deliver”
We released a bit too early the last time but we needed draw a line under initial development! We’d been working for so long and hit the usual plateau that happens close to the end – when you have so much left to do that you think you’ll never be finished! But we were suffering from “just one more thing” syndrome. If we hadn’t released then, who knows how long it would have been!
So we took out some content that wasn’t finished, built it, tested it, deployed it, grabbed Liz, went to the Winchester and waited for all of this to blow over.
Not so much. We sold quite a few copies, but got a lone, negative review. And you know what, it was pretty accurate. We’ve paid close attention to all the feedback we received along the way and this last release fixes some issues. The main problem cited was the lack of tutorials/instructions – we can see how that would be a problem!
When new people buy and try, it’s not as clear-cut an experience. We did have other people test the game before we released of course, but there’s always that “confirmation bias” when you’re in the room with them and (even subconsciously) nudging them in the right direction, offering advice, suggesting what to try next. We’ll be testing all new content with a more clinical eye from now on.
We’re going to add a series of videos and some in-game info that gets you started. We’ve added a Training Academy with full instructions and a chance to practice spells before you have to actually fight anyone, which could be handy!
Our other problem is that, as a small team, we don’t (yet) have some of the key artistic skills required to make the game look as beautiful as the version in our heads. Believe me, the very next people we hire will include amazing artists, who can make the core concepts behind this game shine the way they should.
Our negative review had some encouraging bits. They said that (with some work) we’re onto something. We definitely know we’re on to something with this game. Who WOULDN’T want to feel like the most powerful magician/superhero/god that ever existed? We want to focus on how it FEELS. That’s our #1 priority. Do you feel AMAZING when playing in our world.
“The battle roars on all sides as you trace your clenched fists so precisely through the air time and again, the fluid motion taking less than a second, before releasing the spell energy and having a flaming ball of devastation flare up in your hand. Your smile replaces theirs.”
We’ll get there, no doubt (visuals will be a huge part of that from now on). But we’re asking our players to stick with us until we can coalesce the emotion, playability, graphics and experiences that we know we can deliver.
In the office, we have a page on the wall that says:
Fun > Code > Graphics > Life
It was to remind us how to prioritise our time. Would you agree with it?
Probably the most debatable piece is that we put Code ahead of Graphics (and perhaps that we missed out “Audio” for no good reason!). We know that the graphics REALLY sell your game (and players don’t care about code as long as everything works) but we wondered, what’s left once you realise that beautiful game isn’t really worth your time because the development just stops and can’t react fast enough to become the game you WISH it was? We’ve seen how DLC, patches and expansions can take SO long to deliver. We wanted a solid platform and architecture that would let us add new stuff as fast as we could think! It’s our dream to work with the community and external content creators to build every experience imaginable. Our architecture means we can go from concept to combat very quickly!
So, in the words of our team, who have just shouted in at me, “what the hell am I writing this for instead of getting on with some development?”.
Slán go fóill