By soralapio 1 Comments
To spend 3,5 months of your life pouring your heart into a game only for nobody to care.
Well, that's not entirely accurate, but I will say that I suddenly have a lot more sympathy for game developers. As a game reviewer I long ago learned to keep in mind that the games I review, no matter how terrible, were usually created by people who were doing their best. Sometimes they get screwed by the situation surrounding them (no funds, rushed schedule), sometimes they just take a bite they can't swallow and get overwhelmed. This is why I try to be courteous and offer feedback and honest critique in my reviews. But I digress.
On the 25th of July we shipped our second game, "Dr. Funkenstein's Bad Ass Rocket Jump Challenge". It's a physics based platformer where you rocket jump around an alternate dimension London, fighting aliens. It's set in a kind of cheesy, tongue in cheek 70s world of funk. We like it, everyone who played it really likes it and after our polish rounds we received pretty much only positive feedback (but there was a long period where that wasn't the case! The last 10% of the game really does take 90% of your time if you do it right).
The end result? The game participated in the 2010 Assembly Game Development competition. And few people cared. Now, to be fair it seems that the current crop of Assembly attendees care more about World of Warcraft, Counter Strike and watching porn behind mom's back than they do about the scene, but it really bums me out. There were a lot of good games in the competition and from what we've seen walking around the main floor, very few people are playing them.
This is only a half-truth, though. Dr. Funkenstein has an online scoreboard component where your best times are stored in our SQL database and scores are retrieved for comparison after each run. This is a fun feature, but it also allows us to keep tabs on how many people have played the game. Between the 25th of July (when the Game Dev entries were officially published) and the 5th of this month (when the party began) we had roughly 80 unique IP addresses and 1,100 recorded run times. This number peaked higher at times but after we did significant changes to tracks we purged the times so the various exploits wouldn't stand. Right now, on the third morning of Assembly? 282 unique IP addresses and 2,582 recorded run times.
I'm pretty happy about this, considering our last game ever got played by roughly 30 people and the data shows that once someone does play the game, they stick around for a while. Still, I was honestly hoping for more. I think our game is good. It's not perfect, but I still have fun playing it and I've been testing it daily since early May.
Want to give it a shot? http://funkenstein.haxor.fi
Want to be the 31st guy to play our humorous space adventure, "Space? Sheeeit"? haxor.fi/~ml/sheeeit
Oh, and also check out our competition! These guys worked hard on their games too! http://www.assembly.org/summer10/news/gamedev-entries-published
If you do try either game, drop me a line and let me know how it went, even if you didn't like the game. We want our every game to be better than our last, so feedback is invaluable.