Struggles, Launch & Competition
It's been 9 months since our last devlog and here's everything that has happened, our thoughts and where we are going forward.
Oh, and we have a neat new trailer, check it out:
These are the things we're gonna talk about:
- Working with ITCH & Marketing while developing
- Setting realistic scopes
- Getting past the finish line
- The future, release & competition
Working with ITCH & Marketing while developing.
We really underestimated how much time and effort it took, to actually market your game while developing simultaneously. We uploaded our first demo to ITCH about 10 months ago and actually got pretty good feedback. With thousands of downloads, lots of community engagement and generally good feedback on our devlogs, we wanted to keep it going. However all those things took away from the development and design of the game. Even if the hours used on ITCH & Marketing weren't that many, just changing the way you think and what mode you're in (posting & developing) can drastically affect the work you get done.
After much consideration, we decided to instead focus on finishing the game, then giving ourselves time in the end to entirely focus on getting the word out there, talk about the features and market the game. Which leads us to this moment in time, where the game is (almost.. soon.. so very soon) finished.
Setting realistic scopes
You've never really done with your game. When you think you're done, you're still missing optimization, you're still missing those few animations, you find new places to put sound effects and you find a new interesting mechanic you want to incorporate somehow. We think there's a maturing process as an Indie Developer when you release your first title. Knowing exactly how long some things take to build, accounting for bug fixing time, knowing how to deal with unforeseen delays.
When we first released the demo, we had been working on it for 3 months, we had all the mechanics completed, half the levels built & all the bosses sketched out. We thought (by applying some quick math) that another 3 months and the game would be done. But polishing, fixing, redesigning and testing took way more time than expected.
Getting past the finish line
The biggest eyeopener was that polishing and fixing things actually took almost the same amount of time - as building the game initially. Luckily we never had anyone to answer to except for ourselves. Therefor our misjudging of release dates, didn't come back to hurt us. We had the time we needed and really, really wanted to be able to be proud of what we put out there. It was tempting to release three months ago. Two months ago. A month ago. But every time we pushed the deadline, we did so knowing that we would be proud of what we ended up having. We never really suffered from feature creep - but from polish creep.
The future - Release - Competition
TL;DR: We're getting there.
We have a release date, August 5th. We're committed to finishing the rest and ramping up the marketing to that date. Hopefully you'll hear much more about the game and our journey as we get close to the date. It all started here on ITCH, but we're branching out.
We're on steam and we plan to sell the game on both platforms, however in order to pay our respects to the ITCH community and the awesome feedback we have from in here, we're planning to keep you guys posted with regular developer logs detailing more in-depth what we've been through during this year of development, what we did, what worked & what didn't.
The winners of our last demo competition and now proud owners of the full game are:
1st place - Masked - 3min 34 seconds
2nd place - Abathur - 4min 23 seconds
3rd place - QEQWE - 4min 35 seconds
Impressively beating the first 7 levels in 3½ minutes, something we couldn't even do ourselves. That's always amazing to see and humbling how many hours some people put into just a demo.
As for the full release & the new competition starting with this major update, all of the info can be found on our steam page:
Or a quick rundown on our ITCH page. Check it out, if you wanna challenge yourself!
As for actual updates to what you've seen so far, a quick rundown is:
- Graphics revamped for many things & fidelity upgraded
- Sounds & music remastered and reworked to be even more epic
- Controls tweaked and should feel much more responsive
- Now actually has a story and a ton of discoverable easter eggs & hints (even in the demo!)
- Even more puns
Hope you will continue following us on all our platforms, we will definitely keep the ITCH crowd updated!
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