Women will be acutely aware of this phenomena but men do not follow instructions. I’d argue that this is because the male mind is hard wired to problem solve, we get a big kick out it. This means that when faced with a new toy the last thing we will ever do is read a manual.
It would be disingenuous of me to say that “Gamers” also do not follow instruction. For example there are a great deal of female gamers who in my experience will pour over the manual for a game before they even install it. Gamers are also very good at following tutorials because they are a form of interactive feedback loop.
The “How to Play” screen is the Indie games equivalent of a manual. They are incredibly important but they never get read by the majority of players.
Let’s play Geometry Wars 2 (This isn’t me playing FYI).
So I pretty much figured 1000 followers by the 6th wasn’t going to happen. However I was amazed by the number of followers I did in fact gain and mostly the amount of coverage and positive comments that appeared around the net as a result.
The demo will be released.
Just not today.
The problem is that the IndieDB competition pretty much came out of left field and left me nowhere near enough time to turn Waves into a viable public demo (mostly due to the additional UI work required). I was able to scrape the game together into something I could send to the judges but I wouldn’t feel right releasing the game in it’s current state as a demo for the public (The most important judges of all).
My current problem is that my Flash trial has run out and this being my first indie game I don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for a license. Not that paying for a license would magically make me a good UI designer or capable of achieving anything better than “Functional” in appearance.
I’m hoping to improve the UI in the next week or so but the demo may have to wait until after Christmas depending on how things pan out.
There is also the fact that when I was writing the “How To Play” for the judges I even started to confuse myself so I need to do something about that as well.
Extra special thanks go out to the 50 or so people who followed me on Twitter and to everybody who joined the Facebook page and subscribed on Youtube.
Anyway here are some screenshots of various bits for you to entertain yourself with.
Now if you aren’t up to date with the UDK indie scene I’ll go over it for you. It’s got more in common with a modding community than a games development one. That is to say that more weapon renders get released to the public than evidence of actual gameplay so I’m in with a shot for this competition.
Now the problem is this: It requires that entrants release a public demo. They’ll accept private demos for the judging phase but if you win you have to release a public demo. This sucks as it would force me to release a demo of a game that I know isn’t finished and not in a state I consider ready for public consumption*.
So here is what we’re going to do. If you really want to play a buggy, unfinished unbalanced and 100% Work-in-Progress game that hasn’t even reached what I consider to be alpha yet then you need to let me know.
If I hit 1000 followers by Monday the 6th then I will release a public demo of Waves that shows off essentially the first 3 minutes of the game in score attack mode. That’s basically up to the big cube boss. Defeat him and the round will end.
In the final game Score Attack would just keep going until you run out of lives and there are going to be Time Attack, Practice and Challenge (aka levels, about 20 of them at least) modes in the full game with more enemies and some new mechanics.
If I don’t hit 1000 followers by Monday… well maybe. If you’re good.
* Yes I know it looks finished but believe me it isn’t.