Monthly Archives: January 2015

Release came and went

So its a little bit over a week, meaning that everything pretty much calmed down.

Now I have to calm down. I’m having a bit of a hard time returning to normal, because during the spike it was so easy to be focused when there were non stop issues to be dealt with and questions to be answered. I’m getting there, but now have to work on focus.

The release went really well – was it better than I expected? I dreamed of the sun and moon, and what I got was very nice, still remaining on solid earth. There was nearly no media coverage, big sites didn’t cover the game, I think this was to be expected, but I had hopes for much more. Still the game sold really well, at one point I was in the top 20 on Steam. It was up against giants with million dollar budgets. How awesome is that?

It felt great to see positive reviews and comments from players. Its hard developing a game – you don’t exactly know if its good – to anyone besides you. Sometimes a review will get the idea – and you go – Yes! That’s what I was going for! This person gets it!

For the most part players were very happy to have found the game, and that was incredibly gratifying. I’m very happy with that outcome. Thanks gamers, I hope you know how much I appreciate you.

There were critical – or better put negative reviews. I tried to approach them with the idea that both me and the person writing it – have the same goal. A player bought a game that they want to enjoy, and I made a game that I want the player to enjoy. So in cases where I didn’t understand the problem I tried to understand it. In cases that I could help the player, I tried to help the player. Every time that this yielded a positive outcome – that’s a huge success. In a way its great that I’m small enough to be able to address players in person.

Players often remarked how – out of the norm – it is that I was so active on the forums. But why should this be odd? While the game isn’t my life – it is a big part.

Not only did I get big amounts of enjoyment out of talking about the game and helping players, but I know that this surge of activity won’t last, so I might as well enjoy it at its peak.

When I think back at the amount of work I did the past few weeks – it was incredible. At some points my spine hurt from sitting – not my back/muscles – but the actual bones in my spinal column. They hurt from the constant contact with a chair. I then added some pillows between me and it. This helped for a little bit and I then had to resort to kneeling on pillows – then my knees started hurting. After a good night’s rest and a bit less activity, everything went back to normal more or less.

Other than the above physical aspects – I can’t say anything particularly negative. Though if I had to do it over again – I would have seriously investigated hiring some kind of marketing. I was doing both – while my efforts would have probably been best fixing issues. Writing emails to YouTube channels and Media outlets – after midnight and being very fuzzy brained isn’t the greatest combo.

When I re-read some of the emails and thought I sounded like a 5 year old (no offense intended to my 5 year old readers).

Here’s kind of how some of my emails sounded – when I read them back to myself:


My name is Paul and I am 5 years old.

I made a game. It is a good game. It has space ships.

Please play my game.


Only with many more spelling errors. Fun times!

There were bugs, scripting issues, and oversights. Every time there was a crash bug found I cringed… oh man how embarrassing… I then rushed to fix it and felt great. Only to get the news of another. Still Early Access did help a lot – there were repeated issues that were easier to deal with.


Ok, I think I wrote enough, there’s so much more to say and tell, but for now let’s leave it at this.

Pretty Calm Now

Last night and this morning was brutal – I felt sure that I wasn’t ready and that the game was crap. I fought with the sound engine – and although I improved a few issues, it overall won and I’ll ship with some sound pops.

This morning – a crash bug on exiting the game (of all things popped out). This is the height of embarrassment… Debug mode in the compiler couldn’t reproduce the problem. I had to do it the old school way of putting logs and seeing where the game crashes and compare it to the log. Did it trigger this section? No… keep trying, yes.. ok where in this section, took about an hour. Found the bug and fixed it, and the rest of the day was great, seemingly no issues.

I played a bunch of missions and fixed up some difficulty issues – though I might have made it too difficult, this is hard to say as I get better and better at my own game and introduce more and more tools (weapons, abilities, ways of controlling ships, strategies) – that I then use in game. Anyway I hope that this isn’t the case. The good thing is that I modified the late game, so by then players should be pretty good as well.


While playing – I got to enjoy the game at its best, giving ample opportunities to use both ship and tactical mode – while enjoying the newest music tracks.

I feel pretty good so let’s just leave it at that.


Now I can’t find the post button on this thing…

Still can’t find it… what the hell…

Going to read this in the future and laugh.


I keep working while I can tell that my coding ability is way down (due to tiredness), I worry about introducing new bugs while fixing small issues. I scan the code several times to proof read it and look for potential issues and don’t understand it. Any kind of a noise or distraction completely eliminates my focus, causing a pause to recover.


I alternate between thinking that the game is ready to thinking that it isn’t, to thinking that it will never be ready, to thinking that its ready, then questioning why I made such a complex game as my first, thinking that its impossible for one person to do this, then thinking that people have done it so it must be possible. Thinking that while player A may never encounter a problem, player B might constantly find issues. Thinking of all the game’s features that I haven’t used in a while, what horrors lurk there?




Its been a while since I posted, there’s been loads of topics that I didn’t cover.

Secondary weapons, finalizing the GUI, finishing the story, improving arena mode and adding skirmish mode. Writing up and adding the Guide.

But what’s closest on my mind is preparing for release. So I’ll write up a few lists…



  • Typos in trailer
  • Erratic movements when I record – why don’t I slow down a bit?
  • Windows Movie Maker crashes – still where would I be without it?
  • Marketing assets
  • Every single site wants their own dimensions
  • When making them – nearly all my existing assets didn’t (initially) work in some particular way
  • Can’t fall asleep (nights)
  • Can’t stay asleep (mornings)
  • Short temper
  • Feeling of not enough time
  • Constantly checking Steam’s upcoming releases – who will I be up against?
  • Typos in emails to media/YouTube channels (I shouldn’t be doing those at late at night)
  • Looking for website templates – having to click on the commercial license button – seeing sticker shock (they lure you in with $25 license for non-commercial)
  • Tense up for a moment due to some stress – here comes the back pain


Stuff that calms me down:

  • I made a game! – stuff of dreams thought
  • Recording game play for trailers – and thinking – hey its pretty good
  • Watching new trailers – with epic music
  • Talking with a player while they narrate what section of the story game they are on – thankful it works!
  • Positive feedback on release plan announcement (both KS and Steam)
  • Finding a cool/simple template for the website – that’s donation based, sending a donation and getting thanks from the author
  • Managing to sleep a little bit
  • Knowing I can’t really control much of anything – up to Steam audience
  • Making lists