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Things are getting exciting


I had a minor freakout the other day when I realised how much content needs to be created for this silly little game. Watching video game playthroughs of old Amiga games, and episodes of Adventure Time, made me think about all the awesome visual elements and polish that probably took someone hours and hours to design and realise, only for it to be visible on screen for ten seconds or so. Then I had a good two days or so of solid work where I finished about 50% of the second level of the game. Some of it was particularly difficult -- especially some of the art -- but I remember reading something about songwriting once, and I guess it applies to anything creative really, in that you can get something done either by craft (so like, hard work, being very technical) or through inspiration (which is a lot faster). A lot of my art is done through inspiration, and just drawing something I think looks cool, but I'm finding things quite hardly lately. I was a few seconds away from just deleting something I was working on before I remembered that craft/inspiration thing and decided to just power through. Basically I'd drawn something on a bit of paper and I couldn't realise it in Photoshop, so I was getting frustrated before I decided to just really knuckle down and analyse what I was trying to do. Eventually it turned into this guy:

I mean, I still can't draw or anything, but for me this is quite good, and I'm proud of how I just powered through the despair!

In other news, I appear to have successfully acquired some talented musicians to provide music for the game. I'm very excited about this, and is going to really help me push towards releasing a one-level demo soon.

In the meantime, I'm becoming more and more tempted to go the route of Steam Greenlight. I'm not sure about the timing though, the word is that it'll be replaced with something else at some point that will be more exclusive and quality-controlled, which is definitely needed. Some of the stuff that shows up on my queue is atrocious, and the thought of something I've made being put in the same class as some of these low-effort games utterly terrifies me. But, on the other hand, Greenlight just seems like a great way to gather feedback for testing and improvements that is currently unparalleled in terms of reach (if there's something just as good, please someone tell me!).

If the game is on Steam, that means it could be easily commercialised if I want. I discussed this with someone with the knowledge of such things -- their claim was that, you can release a free game on Steam, and there's a good chance it won't receive as much attention as a commercial game offered at a bargain basement price. My own Steam library is a testament to this being the case. My original idea was to release the game for free, and that's still the plan for now. But I've recently discovered the Games Aid charity, which has really sparked my imagination. I'm considering the idea of commercialising the game when it's done (no Early Access shenanigans), and funnelling 100% of the proceeds to Games Aid. Given the following things:

  • If the game is on Steam it will have a huge audience. It will also be easy to charge for the game.
  • BUT. This is a hobby project, I already have a job, and I don't need a second source of income.
  • Donating all proceeds to charity instead could genuinely help people that are in need.

It doesn't seem like a bad idea. Obviously this is all way off in the future. I don't see my game as being anything more than something people will pick up for 50p in a Steam sale, but if that 50p goes to help people like those helped by Games Aid, this whole exercise will have had some net good in the world. I'm very iffy about charging money for things I do though, and the finished game is going to have to be solid before I'll even consider it.

Lots of things to do and think about!