It’s been a few months since Social Justice Warriors released. I’ve gained a lot of invaluable experience about releasing a game: adding it to stores, setting up a press page, dealing with unexpected reactions to the game, doing interviews, supporting the game with updates. These were all new experiences for me and I feel better prepared to create more games now having survived it.
The best part is that SJW has received over 5000 votes on Steam Greenlight, bringing it 94% of the way to the Top 100 games waiting to get on Steam. I’m already planning another update to the game to coincide with its Steam release, incorporating feedback from players, reviewers, and Indiecade judges and adding Steam achievements and trading cards. Since this game was my first commercial release, the prospect of getting on Steam is very exciting. I wonder if a Social Justice Warrior badge will be popular on Steam…
Afterdeath remains in limbo after evaluating the remaining work to prepare it for release. Since it was programmed on the XNA framework, that limited its release to the Xbox 360 XBLIG store and non-Windows 8 PCs. Rather than hastily pushing out a limited release of the game, I’d rather continue improving my skills with Unity and recreate Afterdeath as a Unity game in the future. I guess Death is going to have to wait awhile longer to retrieve that stolen scythe.
With the remainder of 2014, I’m pursuing some opportunities to write the stories for other developers’ games. The reason I became interested in developing games in the first place was because I saw them as incredible vessels for distributing stories to an eager audience, much easier than self-publishing novels. Unfortunately building the gameplay foundation to contain a story is a lot of work for one person, so the prospect of collaborating with other indie devs and focusing solely on the aspect that I love, storytelling, would be fantastic. For one potential project, I have been immersing myself in HBO’s morbidly fast-paced prison drama Oz and researching statistics and personal accounts from California prisons. For another, I’ve been rereading William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy and studying cyberpunk tropes.
I’ve also been experimenting with new art styles, focusing on lessons I learned during Afterdeath’s development. These experiments produced a vivid alien world composed entirely of triangles. On my quest to continue learning Unity, I’d like to develop this art into a small sidescroller shooter game in 2015 about a terraforming accident that puts the native triangular life at odds with humanity’s rectangular technology.
Lastly on the ambitious agenda, I hope to throw together another quick Unity game with what’s left of 2014. I’ll provide more information once SJW’s promotion cycle dies down but in its simplest form the pitch is a cubicle roguelike, a nightmare that you’re trapped working an office job in the 90s.