Shipping a game, it never happens the same way twice. My first experience was when the game earned its “gold master” label. Ride of the Valkyries blasted over the company speakers and celebration drinks ensued. This evolved to the insanity just several projects later of a “0-day-patch” based on reviewer feedback. Fast forward to modern day and it tends to mean real humans are playing, but also development is business as usual as we slowly increase regions and platforms, providing bug fixes, updates, and additional localization, evaluating analytics the whole way through.
Those are the broad strokes, the details are where the stories are. Like how for my second project, lowly 2-whole-years-of-experience-in-the-industry-me during work hours had a phone call. Who would dare call during office hours?! Oh, that fellow who managed that EBGames that I frequented and ended up becoming friends with due to the sheer volume of time I spent buying games. Right.
Anyway, he calls me up (on the phone, actual telephone lines were used, it was a thing): “Hey, didn’t you say your game was out today?” – yea, I let him know his memory wasn’t failing him, and also why the weird question? Turns out he was told by his regional manager that we had a launch date in the future and he was forbidden to sell any copies. They were physically stuck behind the counter. Little-old-me contacted our studio GM to pass that on who worked his way through our parent company until finally this major retail chain was able to sell our game.
Funny story. We were done early. Rather than spending a mythical, coveted time not adding new features, not adding new content, but actually having the entire team focused on play-testing, optimizing, bug fixing, and polishing for an entire two months (which was always the target, but was never met)… we shipped early to fit within the prior quarter. It looked good for stocks, or something.
I mean, how good could it look to investors when you fail to mention to the major retailers the game can actually be sold.
Each game launch has its own story, usually with a significant collection of stories leading up to it. My latest project is no exception, which will be promoted from Beta to “live in stores” any minute now, or hour, or day, or possibly weeks, we’ll find out after we hear back from the fellows that need to hear from their person about that one last thing.
We have platform aspirations, but right now it’s available in Android Beta and can be checked out here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sevenelements.google.soulite&hl=en_CA
Don’t be fooled by the Developer address, that’s our modern-day hyper-lean agile publisher. The development team is all right here in a single Vancouver WeWork room.