Saturday, November 30, 2013

SBX: Invasion Update 1.1

Currently I'm working on an update for SBX: Invasion.  It's not a large update mind you, but just a small one with some polish work.

SBX: Invasion  Update 1.1 Notes:
  • Reworked Title and Level Select Screens.  Reduced the amount of fonts used to make it more cohesive and thematic.
  • Moved the Sell Building Key from 'S' to 'Q'.  People were having a lot of trouble with hitting the 'S' key while flying around, so 'S' now does nothing and 'Q' is used to sell buildings.  
  • Added mini graphics to buttons.  Some buttons will now have a small graphic in the corner specifying the hot key.  This is implemented for Upgrade and Sell buttons currently.
  • New sounds for selling and upgrading buildings.  I'm adding various sound effects to buildings when you upgrade them or sell them.  (No longer just explode).
  • Improving Options UI functionality - specifically with the slider bars.  I want to add in click on bar functionality to it so you don't have to click and drag the slider every time.
  • Increasing time between waves on Easy and Normal modes for Levels 1-6 and adding a Next Wave button in the last few seconds of each wave.  There wasn't enough time for newer players to rebuild and figure things out between waves, so on the early levels I increased the time between waves to give more time to explore the UI and rebuild after intense waves.  The Next Wave button will be there to speed the process up if the player gets bored.
  • Improve repair drone functionality -- Repair drones tend to get stuck with path finding and use a lot of resources, so what I'm planning to do is remove path finding all together and remove collision and let them fly 'over' the fortifications to repair them.  This will make them not get stuck as often and will use less resources (they have a really complicated system for locating buildings and then checking if there is a path to anywhere within 3 radii, etc, etc it was too complicated.)

So here are some screen shots of the old vs new title screen and level select so you have an idea of the new graphical polish that's being added:

Screen Shots:

Old Title Screen:

Old Level Select:

NEW Title Screen:

NEW Level Select:

As you can see it's not a MASSIVE change, but it does bring it together a little better and makes it feel a little more retro.

Also SBX: Invasion is 50% off on Indie Game Stand for CYBER MONDAY:  Woot Woot!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Submission to Indie MEGABOOTH

Well, I just submitted SBX: Invasion to Indie MEGABOOTH for PAX East.

Pretty stoked, we'll see if I get in, but I'll be attending regardless.  I haven't been to any PAX events so this is pretty exciting.

Also, you can get SBX: Invasion on Desura for 60% off!  Check it:

Desura Digital Distribution

That is all.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An Indie's Greatest Joy

  I've been meaning to update the blog and it's been a while since I've posted, and these past few days I kept starting off with a negative view on things.  It's been a rough first few weeks for the launch of SBX: Invasion and I was a bit down but I kept deleting the posts, I didn't want to write something negative.  I sat down and thought for a bit:  What motivates me to continue working as an indie developer?  Why do I love it?

  And as I thought and waited, I continued my efforts of marketing the game and I found what I'd been looking for.  It's not about the tons of sales, it's not about the giant press articles or getting your game noticed by the big wig websites.  It's about that one person who plays your game, and forms a connection with it.  About that person who plays it and experiences what it has to offer and laughs and has fun.

  I've been sending the game out to all sorts of places:  Big name Youtube let's players, Indie game review sites, etc, etc.  But the most enjoyable response so far was from a little no name Youtuber named Xelipher who has a meager audience.  Watching him enjoy the game and learn how it works and be challenged but succeed is one of the best feelings.  Forming that connection with a player through the game is the joy of being an indie for me.

Here are the two videos of him playing through the first few levels of SBX: Invasion:

First Let's Play:

Second Let's Play:

  I learned a lot watching him play through the levels as well.  I'd tested the game extensively, but most of my testers were found on reddit and I hadn't really seen their reactions as much and it was mostly contact through forms and e-mail.  

  Watching Xelipher play through, seeing what was difficult and seeing the things he didn't do that I would have done or would have expected the player to do was extremely rewarding.  And it's rewarding because it's genuine.

  Right now a lot of indies are worried about the "Indie Bubble" but really, you just have to be smart about it.  Being an indie is art.  It's passion.  It's love.  If the bubble pops or if the bubble stays, it really doesn't matter, it's about doing what you are passionate about, what you love.

  Even if SBX: Invasion never takes off, developing the game was worth it just to form a connection with a player.  I've enjoyed creating the game, and I'll still continue to market it, but for me, it was a success.  I'll move on with other projects and start the marketing process earlier and apply the things I've learned from this one as well.

  For me this is the greatest joy of being an indie.  What about you?  Why do you do it?   Why do you love it?

Friday, November 8, 2013

[SBX:I] New Video for SBX: Invasion along with a refocused Marketing Effort


Well, I'm still very new to this, but launch week hasn't really been what I thought it would.  I wasn't expecting much, but so far I have one legitimate sale outside of friends and testers from the website.  So I'm refocusing my marketing efforts and working toward getting my site out there.

So, I made a new video, created a launch page for SBX: Invasion (which I didn't have before) and tried some non-boring subject lines in my e-mails.

You know that post about How to NOT market your indie game?  Yeah, even after reading that I still kept doing dumb shit on that list.

But stuff like this comes with experience, so I'll keep trudging onward and learning as I go.

Here's the new launch page:

It comes with a new, very short promo video.

I still suck at these videos but here it is:

It's just a short teaser but hopefully it grabs people's attention better than my last one.  Starting an indie studio is a slow, long process, but it's fun and I'm learning more now than I would in a boring job somewhere.

The learning is exciting and I'm enjoying myself, even if I let myself get a little bit stressed out from time to time.  Keeps the blood pumping ha!

Anyway, just a little update about Launch week, stay tuned I'll be working toward making this a successful indie studio, it might just take a while ;).


Jason C.