Originally posed on my personal blog:
So how am I making my game differently? Well to understand that I need to explain why this blog exists and where I failed in the past.
About a little less then a year ago I created my first mobile game, Poopadoop! (http://www.poopadoop.com) I absolutely loved that game. I think it’s great. If anyone is reading this I encourage you to give it a shot. A lot of love and passion went into making it.
I’ve been making games for clients for a long time now. But that was the first published game I’ve made all by myself, for myself.
It was a financial disaster.
It’s still in the red. I’ve spent more on making the game then it’s brought in. Paying for code to display ads, buying music/sounds, domain names, etc. It’s all added up. This doesn’t even include my time spent on it. The money I’ve lost by not focusing on clients.
Quite a few months ago inspiration struck again. I’ve been making cell phone apps for a TV show. If you see a tv show where someone is sending a text, you’re probably not seeing the native OS. You’re probably seeing something that someone like me has created. An app that simulates texting and the such.
Anyway, they asked me to make a quick iPad game. Fruit would fall from the sky and you had to slice it up like fruit ninja. Essentially a quick and easy game that they could use on the show.
This gave me the idea. Instead of using a surgical instrument like a sword how about a very blunt one… High grade explosives!
Candy Canyon was born!
This gave me the excuse to use the Nape physics engine which I’ve used before on a failed game. Also it would be much more action packed which is something that was missing from Poopadoop.
I started working on it. I got to the point where I had the physics all done and levels designed. Then I stopped working on it.
I got busy with client work, and that’s the only thing that’s bringing in any money at the moment. Then I never picked it back up again. I figured there is at least another month worth of work to do on the game. And, well do I want to spend time working on something that’s not going to bring in any money? Heck if it’s like Pooopadoop it will end up costing me money. Developers do need to eat.
During an #indiedevhour I posted some gifs of the game and asked people if I should keep going with it? They all answered yes. Not because they thought the concept was great. Just that not finishing a game is a bad habit to form. I was told the least I should do is just rush it out the door and get it out of my system. Finishing what you start is a better habit to form.
I agree with that idea. Giving up is well, not ok. I don’t know if I can rush something out the door when I have love involved. There is something to be said about giving it your all. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. But perhaps this time I won’t go crazy with it.
The big handicap though I don’t think is my game, or my abilities to make something enjoyable. The big issue I have is getting players. There is so many of us creating indie games, the market is flooded. An indie developer needs to rise up through the noise of all of us clamouring for players.
In order for a game to be a game, it needs players.
The one lesson I learned the first time around was that we’re not supposed to develop in secret. If we only talk about our game when it’s published we only have that one opportunity to get players. Instead we are supposed to talk about it a lot. This is how we get people interested in it. I thought I had done this enough with Poopadoop, but looking back now, I hadn't. I'm now realizing that a very significant percentage of the work we need to do is not making our games, but talking about our games.
Brain Baglow explains it well in this video. It wasn't only true when he created it, it's more true now that there is so many more of us. (Skip forward to around 12:56 for the good stuff or jump to 26:30 to be called a bad developer.)
So this time around I’m going to try and share as much as I possibly can!!!!
I’ve been posting everything I can to twitter. And I’m now making this journal in hopes of connecting with people and to talk about making a game. So this is what is going to be difference this time around. This time I'm focusing not only on making a great game. This time I'm focusing on connecting with people. Showing and sharing every little thing.
I'm collecting numbers and data on this, and I will share with the rest of the class.
If you would like to see screen shots of Candy Canyons you'll find them at the bottom of the original blog post: http://blog.poopadoop.com/2016/01/21/developers-need-to-eat/