Throughout my professional career I’ve tended to gravitate towards the experimental and new, I was jumping on the weird new projects that the more experienced developers tended to shy away from. Work on the mysterious DLC for Dawn of War 2? Sure! (that became The Last Stand). Convert a traditional RTS (the first game I worked on) into a Free-to-play model pre-2010 for the Chinese market? On it! That received a North American translation as well! Ah yes, THQ, known for its wise business decisions (killing a project that even by today’s standards had great KPI’s).
So while I say experimental, what that really mean is that it’s something that has a completely unknown outcome, which let’s be honest, is almost everything in gaming. Even if you think you’re making the next [insert well established genre here] and can point to all sorts of successes… that doesn’t directly translate to a successful game. So the way I figure it is – I may as well carve a path where I get to learn new things all the time! It’s not like being risk-adverse is a guarantee to success.
As I became one of the more experienced developers and fell into leadership positions I’ve continued my radical experimentation, like trading task-lists with ownership for developers at all levels of experience. My last (now sadly defunct game that we started from scratch) was unlike anything available on the market we could find (and despite that had the charming validation that it was “ROI Positive” from the business folk). I appear to be feeling hyper-linky this morning.
My latest learning involve the last hyperlink of the morning (hint, it’s at the bottom), to which I completed a demo of my first solo game! Read Play Game can be found only by clicking the secret hyperlink, and now that I’ve released my first major update for it (Cloud saving! No longer lose progress between browsers, computers, future platforms, etc.) I’ve gotten to know the itch.io environment a lot better. Things I’ve learned about itch:
- Itch.io has a Steam-like desktop client that is actually quite nice
- …you cannot play WebGL games through it
- (womp womp, I put a lot of effort and did a lot of learning to make sure Read Play Game was play-in-browser friendly for easy sharing)
- It has a deployment program called Butler that’s very smooth to use, updating Read Play Game was a breeze
- Devlogs have lots of customization, and a really friendly interface
- …Devlogs cannot be read while a project is unpublished… (results in 404 error for anyone but me – I found this out the hard way after tweeting my latest one)
- Multiple files/builds can be offered and prices can be individualized per thing offered
Welp, I’m going to pause on the devlogs for a bit since, well, no one can read them. My next one will be “the game is available, not just the demo!”. I’m hoping to leave the demo up as web-playable and offer the full game (much more content) at a small price, see how that goes. After all, games these days are never really done. The nice thing about the structure of Read Play Game is that all content is very plug-and-play. If I get inspired to build a quick scenario, with quirky options depending on protagonist or perks, I can sit down and slide it in even years from now. I do feel I need to reach a point of “the game is live!” though before I go ahead and start on Project #2 (It won’t just be text! it’ll have 3d shapes and everything!).
Anyway, anyone who made it this far through all my web-words – if you have patience enough for this text please give the demo a try and let me know what you think. What’s working for you, what’s not working for you, whatever it is I’d love to hear from ya.
The final link in all its glory: https://cabadobedia.itch.io/read-play-game?secret=h4rjLDTjExfwBJRfaXnJpW2vs4