Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Game Development Blog #64

Game Development Blog #64

"Another year, Another Dollar!"

Hahaha! It looks like I have coined a really appropriate phrase for indie development. Think about it.. Anyway, don't think too long, because after nearly 3 years of "independence" I am finally at the point where I am earning some steady, solid money doing this! Let's not get carried away, it's far, far from a valid amount to actually live on, but our game is earning steady money several months after our feature has wrapped up, and it's definitely better than the $20/month I was getting before. Not HUGELY better, but I would wager that we are officially past the majority of people who try to make any money off modern mobile app development. We are getting about $500/month in sales now (after the app stores take their cut). As I said, not a huge amount of money (and I need to split it up) but considering that I'd expect most devs don't even crack $1k in their lifetime anymore, I think it's a very good sign. So long as the numbers don't die out, that is. We'll see..

Anyway, numbers aside, here's your standard Production Update.

GunHead - coming along nicely. This past summer I'd planned to release this game by November - now it is looking more realistic to expect sometime in February, and to be honest there is quite a lot of work to do yet. But what is there, is pretty awesome. Looks awesome, controls awesome, everything is coming together. I am getting some serious thoughts spinning in my head about how to market the game, and honestly I doubt I will spend under a grand on that. For this type of game I'd say it's a necessity, but I expect to make that back easily. Expect there to be some wild/unusual marketing for this game the likes which haven't been attempted yet for a "little mobile game," as usual you need to get creative in how you sell things or no one will ever know it exists!

Android development is a bit stalled currently, iOS has been going strong but slowed as well, and Xbox is actually sitting in the lead for some time now - but overall I am very happy with where progress is on all the platforms. A lot of work rests on my own shoulders right now (pumping out assets and designs, etc). I am purposely trying to keep the game from getting too design-heavy (if you've looked at any of the material I've previously posted about GunHead, you should understand that designing such a game oughtn't be a Herculean task). I am probably going to post some videos shortly in here (within 1 month's time) so keep your eyes peeled.

Trapdoor - as has always been the case with TD, it's still the victim of a lot of start/stop development - but I really like where it is sitting right now, it's just a fun little game, it's different, it's hectic, very easy to get into and get some immediate gratification from, a perfect title for "2-minute play" on a touch screen - and good for any audience. I really need to buckle down and live in the game for a few days to bring it to the next level, I still think it probably has only a couple of weeks of earnest development left to go in it.

Tic Tac Jack - so, this actually released this past week! I don't think I've even mentioned it in the blog at all - it's been sitting in Ben's head for a good year and a half, and we rushed through development full-steam some months ago (granted, a short and small project). Without getting into details, it released "before it was ready" and launched playable, but verrrry incomplete in all facets (whoops!) I don't think it's still up on iTunes, but it should return shortly following the New Year.

What Else is Going On - lots I guess, I mean it is the end of the year and all! Personally, my time and energy have been largely wrapped up with freelance work (as usual, I am fairly close to being absolutely broke, and that is not hyperbole!) Picking up contract stuff is not exactly "what I want to do" especially when my own developments are fairly well-along in earnest production, but I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to earn a couple of bucks during these otherwise very dry times! Anyway, that's all just wrapped up so I am on my own stuff for the time being, although some other opportunities are out there (day jobs) which I need to put some effort into following up with as well - the sort that are "good opportunities which really should at least be attempted," although my main thrust is still on getting these games wrapped up properly and released.

That's all for now, I will try to get a reflective year-end wrap-up post put up before the year's end. Watch for it - and thanks for your support!

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