Life can get crazy when people start getting interested in your game. I wasn’t ready for this, but boy has it been exciting.
A few weeks ago the Alpha 1 was launched as a closed test. Then about 10 minutes later after discovering almost immediately a game breaking bug, Alpha 1.0.1 was launched.
Alpha 1.0.1 was out for nearly 6 hours before I patched and released Alpha 1.0.3, the most stable and bug-free version of Swords ‘n Magic yet. The closed alpha was given to about 2 dozen people for testing. The test went over remarkably well in my opinion. Many testers spent hours in the game saving up gold to buy houses, seeking out some of the more rare weapons, and some attempting to find their way into areas they weren’t intended to go. (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Jawa) Overall the game seems to be a whole lot of fun and has the potential to be something great. And as expected, it was chock full of inventory dupe bugs, duplicate enemy spawning bugs and UI issues. The game also had a lot of complaints about a handful of design decisions. Namely potions, ranged bow combat and the magic system.
After a few days of realizing how big this game could be and how many very dedicated and loyal fans I had I came to the revelation that even though this was going to be my first actual commercial release of a game, it didn’t mean it had to be neglected and half-baked. The game deserves to be played and deserves the development time it needs to be an enjoyable experience for every once of my Twitch viewers who have been so closely following the game.
So an entire system rework began. I created a new test level, stripped out all the art from my character player and started basically completely from scratch. I expected 2 months of work and we’re nearly a month in already. I think I’m still on track, but I’m going to estimate that the new enemies are going to be more work than I bargained for, which might put me over the time frame. And on top of that, this rework is not entertaining. A lot of it is the same stuff my viewers have seen before, which has left me with low Twitch views and donations for the last little while. This part I wasn’t expecting.
With the new rework I’ve realized that bringing on extra help for this game could be worth the energy and pay if done tactfully. Because of this, I’m working on the trailer for a Kickstarter campaign. My asking goal is far smaller than the majority of Kickstarters out there. And I’m not relying on stretch goals to carry the development because I don’t want to make massive promises and then abandon the game like we’ve all seen in the past. So I’m relying on everyone’s love of the game to meet the goal and anything over can go into making the game just that much better, or released that much sooner.
The Kickstarter was planned for release this Friday, but a pushback might occur just to make sure everything’s ready. Being a solo dev has it’s trials and tribulations and delayed releases of things are common.
Now that the rework is finally coming back into an actually playable state, I’ve decided it’s time to start working on getting more viewers into the channel and to start hyping up the game a bit more. With this in mind I’m beginning to set up a better schedule for my streams. I’m now planning to do rework and other programming content during the week and weekends will be art-based game content work. We’re starting with the new Stoneling Canyon area which is a huge cavernous canyon spotted with the houses and shops of a hanging village all hooked together by ladders and rope bridges to create a very interesting vertical level design I think.
Don’t forget to tune in this weekend to see this area come to life!