Good day! I have been procrastinating way too long since my last post so I would like to break today’s update into two main sections.
- Stop the XOID! XBLIG postmortum, plus an update on what’s next.
- A general discussion about XBLIG development and also gamedev in general.
Stop the XOID! was every bit as challenging as I thought it would be. Developing a game from a child’s inspiration was fun but incredibly time consuming. The game took way too long to make for the little content that is in the BETA release and required a large amount of rework to satisfy the creative ideas of the youngling. The game currently has no real sense of progression or purpose which is something I would like to change for the PC release. The box art is dark and hard to make out, and perhaps the screen shots are not as well done as they could be. So whats next? I plan on releasing the full version of Stop the XOID! for PC and possibly also the OUYA console.
As far as development, I would like to start converting the game to monogame and adding PvP maps and a single player and coop story line mode. The way items and upgrades are selected should be radically different and there should be a wider variety of items and abilities. The maps could use a face lift and I would like to add a few different enemy characters. As far as a time table, I have no idea. All of this is up in the air.. Which brings me to my second topic.
I have been developing XBLIG games in off hours for many years with the idea that one day I might be able to take some time and work full time on a project. I have developed several titles that are rather limited in scope but are fairly entertaining non the less. I have recently decided that I should take game development more seriously and establish a 3 year plan that will enable me to make dreamwagon viable as a company and allow me to take on the serious projects I have had on the back burner for years. I decided to make Stop the XOID! because I thought it would be a nice thing to do and give me a break between two XBLIG Avatar games I had in the pipeline. I had no idea what to expect as far as interest in Stop the XOID!, but I was developing purely on the zeal and excitement that J had for the concept.
Although I was not expecting big numbers, I did think there would be some interest in Stop the XOID! so when development started to go much longer than anticipated, I did not really worry about the lost time that I could have been spending on other ideas. I have to admit I was shocked by just how low the numbers were for Stop the XOID!
Some download numbers to put it all in perspective (Not sales):
Stop the XOID!: Released April 28th. (54 days on market) Total downloads: 334
Avatarzilla: Released May 28th. (24 days on market) Total downloads: 9727
Now I understand that Stop the XOID! was released with a couple of things that could be improved, but what can be measured here is interest in the game. People viewed the box art and screen shots and chose not to even download it. As a game developer with the aforementioned ’3 year plan’ when I sit down to assess the route to independent, and more importantly, self sufficient game development, which way should I chose? Deciding what to take on next is always a bit of a struggle for me and the temptation to make a successful ‘catchy’ game in order to create a budget for a real title is always there. I have not yet created my magnum opus, in fact, I have not even started working on it, and this is a major issue with indie development across the board.
The market has become incredibly saturated. There are fewer of us willing to take a risk on a big idea and instead are content to make a quick and dirty demo to get attention. We make an ‘easy to make’ game instead of tackling the monster idea that keeps us up at night.
All in all the journey to releasing the XBLIG BETA of Stop the Xoid! was enjoyable and I think with improved content, gameplay mechanics and game modes Stop the Xoid! for PC will be great!