Just wanted to check in real quick on the status of the game, since my last somewhat ominous post.
I've been enjoying doing some small creative projects for the last month or so:
- Battleship Solitaire, mindless podcast companion: This one turned out to be quite popular, over 88,000 puzzles solved since I put it up about a month ago.
- Privacy-respecting social sharing icons: An open-source, easy-to-integrate library to provide social network sharing icons on your sites, that doesn't install tracking cookies or make sneaky background requests.
- Awesome frameworks: 11,000 awesome frameworks the world didn't need.
It's refreshing doing things that take 2-3 days, rather than 2-3 years!
I'll be tied up the next couple months--my girlfriend Nina and I are moving from Santa Cruz, CA, where I've lived for over 11 years now, to the Oregon coast. I'm pretty excited about it--looks like we can get a much nicer place for the same cost as we're paying in this insanely overpriced market, and I'll still be able to surf & kitesurf and hopefully be close enough to the Portland tech industry to participate in occasional meetups and other such things.
In the meantime I've been doing a deep dive on market research, getting familiar with all the popular and semi-popular games that have come out over the last 2-3 years. A lot of people who read the previous blog post have groused about "another metroidvania" or "another platformer" and while I don't want to set my whole agenda based on internet grousing, I do realize I've been focusing so much on developing this one that I've lost track a bit of what's out there, besides the mega-popular stuff everybody hears about.
Thus, I'm not even sure what even qualifies as unique in the current landscape. To be different you have to know what the hell is out there, and there's a flood of to stay up to date on at the moment. So, I'll be schooling myself, doing some serious market research, and hopefully getting some insight into where Infintroid might fit into it all. I don't think the fundamentals of the game are going to change, but maybe there's room to innovate aesthetically, or strengthen and deepen the parts of the game that are unique.
Aesthetics and art were always going to be the last step of my development process, so I'm going to take a step back and see if there's an achievable way to make it stand out. That might be hiring an artist, or coming up with a style that's unique & doable for me, perhaps using Google Deep Dream for a lot of the graphics, or 3D scanning some real life objects ala The Swapper.
So that's pretty much it--moving, market research, and then hopefully finding a unique aesthetic for the game and wrapping it up.