The game was released about a month ago (February 27th, 2023), and it’s sold over 5000 copies (I estimate ~30-35% of sales will get into my bank account after discounts, VAT, Steam cut, and income tax). This would be a flop for indie studios with multiple people, however, I’m doing this part-time and it is a success for me. It looks like it’ll pay for the salary I’ve foregone by only working part-time while being just my first commercial game.
In this post, I’ll document what I did since the last update:
- Finished most of the game by the beginning of January (a bit later than planned)
- Tried to get players for the beta but didn’t really manage to get too many
- Emailed streamers by the end of January, and then the magic happened. Some big streamers like Retromation, Aliensrock, Olexa, and Sifd picked up the game and wishlists shot up. All the feedback I didn’t get through the official beta, I got via an increase in players due to streamer exposure, but the deadline was very tight at that point since I wanted to release by February 27th. I’m still not sure whether I should’ve pushed the release a couple of weeks further
- At the beginning of February, I was contacted by illustrator Isaac Murgadella offering to do artwork for the game. I was hesitant because I feared the game might lose its identity so close to the release date. However, I also feared that the art I had at the moment resembled Magnus Carlsen too much and that he may not like that (I’d emailed his team about it and never got a response). I ended up deciding to go with it, and I’m super happy I did as the game looks a lot better
- Participated in Steam’s Next Fest and wishlists kept increasing
- I wrote to j4nw (developer of Pawnbarian), who inspired me to get into this journey, and we decided to bundle together for my launch. He’s been super nice and I’m very happy to work with him
- Ported the game to Linux (very easy), and I tried to port it to Mac but it wasn’t so easy and I decided to wait after the release
- With one week left until release, I felt that there were too few relics and sprinted and added ~20 new relics, duplicating the amount
- Finally released the game on February 27th, and found out that I’d left some bugs in it, so I spent a week patching all bugs that appeared
- My Discord server grew up to ~250 people and I kept getting feedback and requests for more content
Plans for the future
Given the game’s moderate success, I’ve decided to expand a bit on it with some of the top requests I’ve gotten from my discord, as well as port it to more platforms and localize it to other languages. Here’s an estimated timeline of how this could happen:
- Infinity mode: you can play endlessly after beating the game. I released the final version of it on April 7th
- Practice mode: set up a board and play against friends or the AI. Expected by mid-April
- Content update, with new units and maybe new relics and items. Expected by end of April, maybe later if lots of playtesting is required
- Mac port. I’m not 100% on the complexity of this, but hopefully, I can have it done by mid-May
- Localization for German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, and Catalan. Here I need to work on a system that makes sure that all the text in the game is read from a file, so I can easily change languages. After that, I’ll have to send the text to translators. I expect this to be done by the end of May, but I’m aware it could take longer
- Mobile port as a free demo + in-app purchase for the full game. It will require UI re-design, and making sure the controls work for mobile. I’ve never done this before, I hope it’s done by end of June.
Keep in mind that I’m working on this solo and any real-life issues may delay this plan. But if there are no emergencies I think it’s doable.