Looking Back With Drew…

As I stand here at midnight at the top of the Seattle Space Needle, looking out at the beautiful city, abuzz with concerts, performers, and geeks, I think about all the crazy stuff that’s happened.

“Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” ended it’s Kickstarter as a failure, earning even less than “James – Journey of Existence” did, by both backers and pledge amount (although the pledge amount was almost matched), which I may never fully understand.

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Wait… Did You Say You’re Going To PAX?

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.

I put “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” to several indie game competitions, letting it be reviewed by several committees and panels and judges. These all met with loss to other games. Which is to be expected, although I still think the uniqueness of my game stands out a bit more (easy, don’t get jealous…).

One of the many things I submitted to was “Indie Megabooth,” which technically wasn’t a contest: they try to book space at large events and rent off their spaces to indie developers, ultimately being cheaper for them. The developer still pays for the space, but the Indie Megabooth has to pick which games to show. They were the most encouraging of all the feedback I’ve received, but still passed on “Drew.”

But “Indie Megabooth” has connections, which is why I highly recommend all serious indie developers to submit to them. I got emails from other agents and groups that support indie development, some charity, some businesses. One such opportunity was to show my game at PAX anyway, by booking my own booth, at roughly the same cost as what Indie Megabooth offered. I didn’t have time to be hesitant, so I took it.

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.

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Press for “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth”

So “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” will finish it’s Kickstarter campaign in about a week. It only received a few backers in the last couple of weeks, one of which was especially generous. Overall, it still looks unlikely that it will lead to a successful funding.

It’s strange… my previous Kickstarter campaign got three times as many backers, despite even less press and an obvious lack of quality and polish. Many of those original backers were the sort of people to back hundreds of projects… maybe this is a sign that Kickstarter fans are finally starting to get wary about giving money to people after not receiving their dues from past projects. Or maybe they were hesitant that I made an entirely new game when the first Kickstarter failed, even though the two are ultimately very similar. Most likely, I’ll say that August is one of the worst times to run a campaign, perhaps because people are still reeling or gone from those expensive, time-consuming vacations. I won’t say it’s all entirely because of the game’s quality to keep myself sane, and also because it actually received more praise than anything I’ve shown before. Anyway, I’ll let it finish, but it’s disappointing that it’ll leave yet another black mark on my game, my studio, and my name. And it helps me feel better if it doesn’t support additional languages or features, since no one would care (maybe I’m being cynical here, but unless I ever sell more than a dozen copies, I’ll assume it true).

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Silly Unity3D…

I love Unity3D. The game engine is still one of the most intuitive I’ve used, it’s easy to port to almost any platform, etc.

But after compiling my final game project, I was surprised that some bugs popped up. I suppose issues like this are almost certain upon finishing a project, and I’m lucky I didn’t spend more than a couple days on it. But still, you’d hope what you play in the editor can be done in the exe.

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Finally…

I’m happy to announce that “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth,” my hand-drawn 3D puzzle platformer, is just about complete.

And you didn’t think I could do it! Well… ok, I didn’t think I could do it. I said months ago that this would be finished in August 2014. I hoped to get it done a few weeks ago, but even now, it looks likely to get released just before September.

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