(This blog will talk randomly about various things, so I will also randomly place some cool Heroes of Loot 2 screenshots in it just to split the text up!)
OMG ! The nerves are starting to kick in, I’m nearing that point where I will have to ask people for money to play this game.. and that never gets easy.
My plan is to start the pre-order next week, giving a 30% discount to everybody who trust me to deliver, and also comes with a Steam key for the Early-Access version as soon as that goes live (which should be around the first week of May).
I’ve been looking in the best solution to handle this, and I decided to try out Itch.io for the pre-order. With Space Grunts I used Humble’s widget, and that worked nicely, but I feel that Humble is slowly losing touch with their Indie roots. Most of their bundles these days feel like partnerships with big publishers and not so much the smaller indie developers. Which I totally get from a business point of view, but it also kinda sucks.
Ever since they let people go, most of my awesome contacts there have left the company and I haven’t been able to find the same-minded persons since. Which is a shame, but that’s how things go.
Bringing me to Itch.io, which is as Indie as Indie can be. First : my main interest in Itch.io is the awesome and amazingly easy to setup sales-widget. Their backend on getting your games up and running, along with all the options available for pricing, bundling, etc. It’s all top-notch and much better than some of the competitors.
However, the store-front for Itch.io is maybe a bit too indie for my games. A lot of the games on there are free (which IS awesome) or very cheap. All great, and I will probably have some games up there for a very low price later this year, but for my other premium games, I don’t think there will be many sales coming directly from the Itch.io site. Which is fine, cause I never made many sales on Humble either, only a few during release and some during the discount weeks.
So I moved my PC games onto Itch.io and replaced all the humble widgets on the orangepixel.net site to itch-io widgets and I’ll just have to figure out how to get people to buy directly from my site!
Bringing me to another random thought: “RoboVM was bought, and dumped by Microsoft.. oh no!” as explained here. So various people actually contacted me to ask what this would mean for my games.. in short: not much.
I really only used LibGDX-exclusively with Space Grunts. Releasing on PC,Android and iOS. I did use LibGDX before for the Steam versions of Heroes of Loot, Gunslugs 1 and 2 and a few others. BUT I never used it for it’s cross-platform powers before Space Grunts.
When MS bought Xamarin/RoboVM it was already clear that they would dump RoboVM sooner or later. So a few weeks ago you might recall I had some “Radio silence” that I couldn’t talk about. One of the things I did in those weeks was work on my iOS backend. Which was outdated, and slow, compared to the LibGDX/RoboVM solution.
In those weeks I rewrote all the code and sort of rewrote the SpriteBatch from LibGDX in Object-C mixing my old code with LibGDX’s design. I then ported Space Grunts onto my new “engine” to have a live test case, and was happy to see it run perfectly at the required 60fps including all my sweet new light-engine code.
So, my games on iOS are safe no matter what happens..
As for Heroes of Loot 2, since RoboVM will continue to work until April 2017, and Mario from LibGDX is already working on a replacement solution, it will most likely keep running 100% on LibGDX code and cross-platform (because it’s a huge game, and I don’t really want to port it yet.. I rather take some weeks after the release to port a bug-free full-featured version to iOS for future updates).
The final random thing I wanted to add here, is that I found Trello this week.. and .. I love it! It’s a very clean, easy to use, and fast way to keep track of your todo-lists. A perfect tool to use for gamedevelopment with all the bugs, features, testing, and completion stuff I need to keep track of.
Normally I just dumped all that stuff in a Google doc, and well that could be messy at times!
The fun thing on Trello is that you can also make your trello board public, which I did! so if you want to see where I am development-wise, just take a look at the Heroes of Loot 2 board and fear all the bugs and feature-creep stuff I still have left on my plate !