Getting the word out

(Originally posted on June 29, 2006)

I decided to start off slow with promoting my game.  In my opinion, it is a good idea to ramp up slowly in case any problems arise.  This is especially important for me since it is my first game.  There are a lot of unknowns.

It turns out this was a good decision.  After a lot of thought, I decided to get an update out that improves the visual appearance of the terrain.  I also fixed a minor editor bug that I found while testing out the terrain changes.  I was able to create this new release and send it out without needing a patch.  I think the improvement will entice many more people into trying the game.  I removed the blockiness by applying a detail texture.  I experimented with probably over 20 different detail textures in Photoshop.  I finally settled on one that provides enough detail without drowning out the actual terrain textures.  I think it is a vast improvement.  Luckily, most people will see this version instead of the older one.  The screenshot often means the difference between a glanced-over game and one that is downloaded.

I think my next move will be to really push for feedback on the game.  I will start with a group of friends that I have known through online gaming for over 4 years.  In addition, I will go back to for some more feedback.  Hopefully, I can get more people to try it out now that the appearance has improved.

I might make some tweaks to the difficulty level too.  Currently, the normal computer level has a slight advantage over the human player.  I provide a bit more power generation to offset some disadvantages.  However, the computer player puts up a good fight and may be too hard for the average player.  I can simply change a few defines in the code and scale down the difficulty a bit.  Right now very hard is pretty much not used, because it is just way too mean.  By scaling down the attributes, I can make it more feasible.  It’s just so hard to figure out the proper balance when I know what to expect.  This is another area where I need some feedback.

Speaking of that, off to make some posts …

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