A little less than a week to go, and this game goes live on all platforms (“all” as in: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux).
So the game has been in Early-Access on Google Play for a while now, and it’s the first time I tried that so let’s talk a bit about that shall we?
The big positive:
Feedback. Really the biggest most single reason to do early-access is feedback. I had the same when I did an EA for Space Grunts on Steam last year. The valuable feedback from people is amazing. People who play much more games than I do, and have much different views on things than I can have by myself.
The same happened with Meganoid on Google Play – Early Access. Some bugs got squashed, but very few because in my opinion the game was ready for release, but on top of those few bugs, a whole bunch of game-play improvements, game changes, balancing and interface modifications were introduced on a daily basis. Just getting the feedback from people helped me get hyped about the game and put in some extra time to get the small details right.
So the big positive really is feedback. However I was also very happy to see Google putting Meganoid in the “Featured” area of the Early Access pages. This most likely gave the boost to the (paid)downloads that have been going on a daily basis since last week. It also allowed Google to have an early look at the game, and a full release feature is also secured now, which is more good news on a game that officially isn’t released yet!
Besides all that there was also some media coverage and streaming going on, but originally I wasn’t really sure that was a good thing. There was even some panic on my side as some bigger Android game-sites covered the game’s “release” without mentioning it was in fact an Early-access/beta build… but it ended pretty good I guess! altho it does lead me to the negative.
Even tho Google Play has a separate section for “early access” releases, I am wondering if every person out there is understanding what it means. There are so many people downloading the game, which is good, but I’m not sure they understand the game is still being worked on.
Luckily Meganoid was close enough to an actual release state, but I wonder what would happen if you are much further from a releasable/playable state and have a lot more bugs and big changes to push through. Not sure if customers would understand it and once they refund your early-access game, I’m not sure they will come back.
So personally I think I might do another try at Early Access for future games, but only if they are really, REALLY, close to full release.
And now? now we wait for Thursday March 30 to come, and then the game should be available on all platforms (don’t be shocked if the game shows up on Wednesday 29th.. I’ve been known to push the release button early). Meanwhile I’m doing a bunch of mailing to press and streamers (help me out if you want! sent a message to your favorite streamer about Meganoid and I’ll get him/her a key) .
I’ll also be back working on AshWorld again, already made some changes in the recent days, as I try to finally complete that game in the coming months!