Launching Soon! (and a rant about stuff)

Update: Because GameJolt is going to launch their marketplace soon (I’m told about 2-3 weeks) I’m going to wait for them so I can launch there too. GameJolt has been tremendous for my games (encouraging, supportive, and all the warm-n-fuzzy stuff like that) so being able to launch with them gives me happy feels. …So yeah, I’m waiting for them + that gives me time to add some more stuff. Also, cool comment on this post. Thank u for sharing that.

Not too long ago (pre-GDC to be exact), I put out a call on Twitter for beta testers.

One of the fine brave souls that agreed to check it out was Jenni Nexus (making a mental note now to thank them all in the credits).
Jenni is a cool person that broadcasts and shares glimpses along her creative journey… at any rate… she made a sneak preview let’s play of the new Tetrageddon Games:

It’s an hour long which I think is totally cool!

I have added quite a bit of new content to the project, so it has grown since the first beta upload. So the total playtime will probably be longer… I mean, I’m hoping. I’ve had my head so much into this now that it sometimes looks completely unimpressive, sometimes I think it looks great…

Lack of objectivity aside, announcement:

< blink > I WILL BE LAUNCHING SOON! < /blink >

Yes. My thing is done. Aside from just a little bit of polishing, and making the final run of debugging/bug fixes.
In the event anyone is still interested in this (because I’ve taken so long to make it), it will be published in the next couple of weeks… Maybe sooner.

I can’t give a better estimation because I’m very burned out now. Sorry.

Well, that’s the most interesting update I have now.
Launching soon!
Feels good.

Hmm… I guess I could post a little rant.
Yeah, I’ll post a rant. This is what blogs are for. I’ve got some shit on my mind, and feel like ranting.

Nathalie’s Rant (About Steam & Stuff)

First, to set the mood…
I feel like this song has become my anthem as a solo-dev indie person. It is a lonely journey full of all-nighters and no human contact because life is 100% work *total exaggerated guitar riff*.

I know, I’m being melodramatic, but this is my blog and I totally get to do that here. If you like, you can play this while you read, and maybe we will connect on some deeper level. Great!

Alright then…

I’ve had a lot of back and forth about Steam lately. You know, lots of news about (for example) how players reacted (crapy and stuff) to That Dragon Cancer, or Firewatch, or you know… there are so many examples now of crapy Steam users attacking, so I’ve started getting a little freaked out about being on Steam.
I would ideally LOVE my games to go to a place that genuinely appreciates them, and where people responsible for the community care about maintaining civility.
I feel like I’ve reached a “sweet spot” with my life/career and I’m not feeling threatened by angry people anymore… I’m happy. I’m part of a fun community and have friends, and people care, and all this feels really good.
So presently I hear these stories, and question if Steam is really a good place to put my games.
I mean, Steam does not owe me anything, and its players owe me no level of civility whatsoever. It’s sort of my life philosophy anyway. People don’t owe me civility, but it’s nice when that happens.
At any rate, if alt-yer indie games are not that welcome on a platform, then why would I go there? Instead of insisting that a hostile place changes, maybe it’s better to go make new spaces to exist in… I don’t know. It’s been on my mind.

Interesting thing tho is that it seems like indies get the brunt of it. I mean, it’s almost comedic.
You try to put your thing on the App Store (in my case). It will get rejected X amount of times for the weirdest reasons. Once you manage to get through this (and it can take weeks), you put your game there, and then you have to fight for it to sell. No one really buys games there, and if you charge people complain because it all has to be free. Once you do manage to make money Apple takes a large amount of that (I think it’s large at any rate). I mean, this is reflective of my experience, and other developers.
So then I figure App Store is not for me, then I try Steam.
I’ve been trying to get on Steam for a long time. I remember submitting early versions of Tetrageddon to them (before greenlight) and:

“Thank you for submitting your games for potential Steam distribution. We have taken a look at the information provided and determined that Steam is not a good fit for distribution. It is our company policy not to provide specific feedback on a submission but we would like you to consider Steam distribution for your future products.”

I had a point where I would regularly submit to them, and that was the reply everytime. Eventually no replies.

I eventually got a place because of IGF, but it feels sort of like a comedy now.

So now games that do manage to get on Steam are faced with angry users (again) complaining about the price, or game? What’s sillier is that indies are mostly blamed for this (indiepocalypse or whatever), where I feel like the stores and consumers are more responsible for this than anyone.

It seems funny because indie games are important. I don’t think games would be half as interesting, vibrant, or “alive”, if it weren’t for indies. Especially the ones pushing for and/or making alt games. Except it feels like we are treated like we “should be grateful for being allowed to be part of this” (thankful for being allowed into the “big boys” club).
It’s silly because you’ll have things like gg, and they’re attacking indies (seems like only indies) for being suspected of doing things AAA does all the time. AAA does not get even half as much of that criticism… At least that’s how it seems like from my point of view.
I don’t know. It makes no sense. If indies disappeared things would be boring, so why not treat them better?

At any rate, this is all very melodramatic, and I’m probably saying much of this because I’m burned out. My game will probably eventually-ish end up on Steam (as soon as I figure the system out), and things will (hopefully) turn out nice, and it could even be like getting a shot from the doctor. Not that bad at all! :)

Ok, that was a lot of words. I hope you’re not still listening to that song because I think things just got cheesy really fast.


Oh, also some fun news. I’ll be participating in the pre-selection panel (as a judge) for this year’s ADAA 2016 awards.
I’m kind of excited about this because it’s all about helping students. I participated for a few years as a mentor. I’m excited about anyone/place that helps students in any way. We need so much more of that.
So here’s to playing a small (probably very small) part in launching student careers! :)