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Sheer brilliance, or mad feature-creep becoming my downfall

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Since I started Orangepixel I had one very strict rule: keep creating games, and do it quickly. This has brought me to where I am now: ten years of being a full-time indie developer.

Sadly, times have changed, and so have I. Where my quick and fun games with a beginning,an extremely challenging mid, and a quick end were great time-wasters in all those years, they are not cutting it these days. Oh sure, that type of game is still doing great and has a huge audience, but for me personally? it’s not enough anymore.

I raised my own bars with the releases of Gunslugs, Heroes of Loot and Gunslugs 2. I have a hard time doing quick games and releasing it for the same price as those three games I created. Groundskeeper 2 was one of the last “quickies” that I created, and even that took me longer than I originally planned.. and now I try to somewhat hide it from my other achievements.. even tho the game is freaking good once you get into it.

Genius or madness

Space Grunts (www.spacegrunts.com) is breaking all my own rules:

  • It’s NOT a fast paced arcade game for short bursts of gameplay, no it’s a huge turn-based rogue-like with many different layers and depth.
  • It’s also not quickly created based on old engines, nope I wrote a web of code from scratch, and that’s just for the level-generation to generate interesting levels with a large amount of flexibility.

I had to figure out how to build stuff like inventory systems, new interface designs, upgrades, and so much more. Hell, I even had to figure out how turn-based games actually play and flow! I never play them.. what do I know!?

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Space Grunts has been in development since January/February this year, and I should have wrapped up the work sometime last September.. it’s now November and I plan to push the 25th update tomorrow which is the biggest update yet with a large amount of new consumables, features, improvements, sound effects, graphical changes, and more. Most likely it’s not going to be the last update either.. there is still more stuff I want to add!

So basically this game will be either my biggest hit, or my biggest financial drain in 10 years time. I can only hope it comes close to the success I had/have with Heroes of Loot, because anything less will basically mean I lost money on this.

Getting attention

So far the press has been uninteresting, unresponsive, uncaring as to my game. I tried various PR messages, different trailers, different contact persons.. not a single one responded. The smaller youtubers and websites are poking me, but I can’t help but feel they are poking any developer just for a freebie.

However, right now the Early Access version has 15 positive reviews (and any developer will tell you the amount of people leaving a review is like 1 in 20) , but no negative ones.

Some Youtubers are playing the game and loving it, but they are small and I have more subscribers on my own channel, so they won’t really reach that many new eyeballs either (with just 15-100 views in a week).

No Doom and Gloom

 

Now don’t read this article with a depressing voice tho! I’m not done with the game, and that means I can also continue to tweak the PR stuff. I still have time to reach the press and it’s very possible some people are put off from the Early Access label on the game. So when I release in January 2016 on PC, and February on Mobile, people might be warmed up for the game.

I feel it in every fiber that this is my best game ever, I’m still putting in a few hours a week even tho I’m working on the game fulltime for almost a year. This game is good, doesn’t get boring quickly and needs to find an audience!

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  • Dimitri Travailloux

    I am coding my own rpg game adventure in C#/monogame on my spare time. I found your amazing game on Steam, I love it. Especially graphics, the most difficult part for me to find. Any advices ?
    Your work is impressive !

    • Advise on what exactly? graphics? I do my own graphics so it’s hard to give any advice on them.. it’s a skill you can learn tho, just takes time I think ;)