Quick review

 

I thought it might be interesting to jot down my initial naive assumptions and compare them to what it really took. Play my tiddlywinks game here

 

What I’d planned Reality Next time
Initial idea 0 A flash of genius Smile I already have a list of more ideas than I can cope with, just need to prioritise them
Project planning 0 0 At least a day to set up a really basic scrum board with user stories and tasks
Roughing out a Beta version 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks
Getting some initial feedback 0 1 week 2 weeks. Try to get more feedback earlier. This should help focus on features that people like rather than effects I think a ‘cool’
Refine and rework to get something playable 0 1 week 2 weeks
Play testing a few days 1 week 2 weeks. Try to get more people involved and nail down any bugs or dodgy game play
Final rework and prettify 0 2 days 1 week. I need to work on my landing pages, they are quite dull at the moment
Adverting setup 0 1 week messing about with AdSense and trying to get video interstitials working in a Windows 10 App. Completely failed to get any IAP’s working so far. 2 weeks to get IAP’s working and fully tested.
Publishing to my own webserver, Facebook, Windows store and Chrome store an evening 2 weeks. Oh my god why do they all want screenshots and images at so many different resolutions! And why is it so hard to publish to Facebook.
Here’s a helpful tip Facebook devs, if I’m looking in the help it’s because I don’t know what to do, not because I’m an expert!
1 week. I’ll know to get screen shots, videos and all the images done during final testing next time.
Publish to App store and Play store Didn’t plan to do this 0 Once I’ve got a few games that are playable I’ll sign up for the App store developer and play store.
Total 2 1/2 weeks Just over 8 weeks 12 weeks

 

I think form this it’s clear that I drastically underestimated the post-coding effort it takes to release a game. I’m still not doing enough social media to get it noticed. Even though it’s just a hobby I need to treat it like a real project with a plan, deadlines and reviews. It would be very easy to have ended up with a half built thing that never saw the light of day. So for the next game I’ll stick to a nice lightweight project management method and see if I can turn out a more polished product.

So my advice to anyone thinking about writing a game is:

Use a game engine, don’t re-invent the wheel, it’s the game that matters not the tools you use to make it

Get feedback early, you’ll save a lot of time by working on what people like about the game

Write down your initial idea and review it often, it’s really easy to get distracted

Make a plan, even if it’s laughably inaccurate you’ll learn from it. Rework the plan as you go, unless you carved it in stone 🙂

Getting people to play your game is harder than writing it……I’m still working on this one!

Finish it. Even if it’s a bit tatty round the edges, get it out there and move on from v1.0

 

 

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