Almost done … finally!

(Originally posted on June 17, 2006)

It has been an insane 2 weeks.  I have worked very hard to get my game ready for release.  A few nights I put in 30+ hours non-stop — ouch!

I have gotten a lot of useful feedback and tried to address as many issues as possible.  I am happy with the current state of the game.  It looks much nicer and is also more polished.  I tried to look at my game with fresh eyes and improve everything within reason.  For example, I noticed that the ‘ok’ button on my game stats dialog could potentially be covered up by the help dialog if it was left opened an entire game.  It would be very unusual, but still could happen.  I moved it to the same place as my menu button, where it swaps with it when the game stats are displayed.  I even disable the button now for 2 seconds to make sure it isn’t accidentally clicked as the game ends.  I made a lot of similar improvements in other parts of the game too.

Even though I hate missing my deadlines, I think the final result will be significantly better with these changes.  Besides, it doesn’t make sense to spend so much time working on a game to just release it unfinished.  I don’t want to need an update immediately after the initial release.  I have 2 planned major updates and ideally won’t have to create any additional ones.

At this point, I need to finish 1 skirmish board, 1 campaign board and add 1 more piece of scenery to the game.  I also want to run through all the campaign boards and perform last minute tweaks.  It should have a feeling of progressing difficulty as well as variation within tactics.  Oh, it would also be nice to make sure all boards are reasonably beatable too :)
Once I get these final changes completed, I will lock the code and create the release.  I will spend 1 day testing it.  I don’t expect to have any problems, but you never know.  I’m mostly doing it just so I can sleep at night :)  I will upload the final version of the demo and release on the following day.  Finally, I will update the web page with links and new screenshots.  Once I confirm that everything looks good, I will put my demo onto some download sites.

Afterwards, I’m not sure what to really expect.  I am purposely holding back on publicity until the first major update.  I want to improve the appearance of the terrain and interface before I approach any game magazines and review sites.  I am going for a sustained sales approach.  I start out with just some demo sites.  I then update the game and try to get it reviewed.  I make another update before the Christmas season and possibly try to advertise by some means.

I lack marketing experience, so it will be interesting to see how this all works.  I will continuously alter my plan as I learn.  Hopefully, I can achieve my sales goal for the year.

Comments are closed.