Hi, I'm Blake. my big project is a tower defence game called 'Forgive Me My Henchmen'. you play as a typical head 'bad guy', deploying henchmen and sabotaging a building to delay an unstoppable one-man army.
Woah...been awhile since I've done a monthly update! Let me bring you fellas up to speed!
I'm aiming to have a demo finished by next weekend! This demo won't be for everybody - I'll just be sending to key people working on the project, a select few gametesters, and then afterwards: publishers!
When it finally goes out to publishers, I'll let you know :)
It's time to update you on some life stuff and some game stuff.
Unfortunately for me, I had stood on the entrance to an aggressive ant colony. Let me tell you, that was a bad day to wear flip flops...
(on another note, this is actually the third time I've been attacked by ants this year. First time. Second time. I am going to try and make 2019 a year free of ant attacks...that's my only goal for 2019).
Gaming has had to take a back seat while I focus on other things like my job, settling in, and fending off ant attacks. But I usually get to spend an hour or two each day working on the project, and I'm happy to say that even though I can't work on it like I once did, I am still moving forward.
Some of the biggest changes since I last wrote are that:
1) I've put publishers on hold - When I first started contacting publishers, I had a demo of 8 playable levels. Even though they have liked what they've played, most want to see a closer to finished product before they go ahead with anything. So currently, my goal is to make all 20+ levels playable before I contact publishers again. So far, I've developed the game to about level 15.
It has been interesting transitioning from a period where this game was my life, to a period where this game is only a part of my life...I think it has been healthy for me. Even though it has definitely delayed the game's release, it has been good for my perspective.
I am also infinitely glad that I haven't given up (and have no plans to). I know a lot of people are counting on this game being released (which is a big motivator to keep on working on this project), but perhaps the biggest reason why I haven't given up on this project is that - despite the challenges - working on it is a process that brings me a lot of joy. I hope this project can do the same for others one day.
Until then, I better get back to it, and will keep you updated with any big updates 🙂
I know I haven't been doing as much as I should have with my site for the past while. That is because the game's development - and my creativity in general - had to take a back seat while I focused on real life things: job applications and such.
After a couple of weeks of applications, I'm happy to say I was recently offered a job that I'm excited about (and may share more about some other time). With that sorted out, I should be able to dedicate more time to the game again. That being said, despite how hectic this past month was, I still managed to move forward in some cool ways:
Knowing that a bunch of people are behind this game has made me more motivated than ever. I know tower defence isn't the most popular genre anymore, but there are people out there who still love it and want to see a game like this get made - this is something I'm grateful for so I'm going to continue moving forward and doing my best.
On that note, any advice as to how I can get more beta testers? I have a small group of people that I trust, but I think it's time to open up my game to a few more people. There is a reddit group out there dedicated to giving feedback, but it is small...I'm not sure if it would offer enough feedback to be useful.
I am still researching publishers. I am going to keep on editing the demo, and when it is fire flames, send it out to the best publishers I can find. If you've read my previous entries, you'll know that I wasn't too sold on the idea of using a publisher at first, but now I am thinking more and more that the publisher route may be the way to go.
Hey guys, it’s been awhile. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without a blog entry since starting this blog back in Jan 2017!
Anyway, I wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to, and how the game’s been going.
Since coming back, there have been some interesting developments:
1) The game’s core mechanics have changed - As a result of taking such a long break, when I started working on the game again I noticed some problems that I had previously been too close to see. One was that the game got confusing at times - there was too much going on. What I have therefore done is simplify and streamline some of the core mechanics. It has led to a TON OF WORK, but this is good, and these changes are taking the game in a great direction.
I can’t believe how many changes this game has gone through...
2) I’ve started working on a playable demo, and hope to have it completed by the end of this month. A playable demo is a good place to start so that I can get feedback. It is also a good thing to create to help with development number 3.
3) I am looking for a publisher! (or at least, I am considering it). I realized one of the major problems this game faced from the get go was marketing. A good publisher could potentially get this game in front of a lot of people, which is what I need. Who cares if I create one of the best tower defence games if no one ever hears about it or gets a chance to play it? A publisher could also potentially fast track this game’s development by offering support in the right ways.
I have felt the full spectrum of human emotion this month, haha. But really, the best way to explain this month is that it has been divided into two parts:
Eventually though, I got sick of feeling sorry for myself. The game itself was getting - and continues to get - amazing feedback. Furthermore, it was becoming clear that the major reason why the kickstarter failed was because my pre-marketing was shit, and there were simply things I failed to do. It was hard to keep on feeling sorry for myself when I realized that my success or failure was within my control. This is what has led to the second part.
2) Getting Back On The Horse
This part was difficult. On the day I started programming again, I remember not wanting to, but also knowing it was time.
I also decided to enter into another Ludum Dare Game Jam!
For those of you who don’t know what a Game Jam is, it is when a developer (or small team of developers) makes a game - start to finish - within a short time frame. In the Ludum Dare Game Jam, that time frame is 48 - 72 hours.
This was my second jam, and this game was a lot tougher to make than the first one, but I had fun with it. Equally as importantly, other people are having fun with it so that makes me happy :) It’s not a perfect game, but I think the idea has potential - what do you think?
Anyway, I’ll likely write about the game jam more in depth sometime. That’s an entry to look out for. Until then, cheers guys!
Follow the game's development on twitter (@FMMHenchmen), on facebook, or follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy
Most of this is my fault - there are definitely things I could have done differently which would have made the launch more successful. This includes building up a bigger email list before hand, emphasizing the ‘why’ behind the game more, as well as countless other things. Amongst these is I tried to move too fast.
That being said, despite a weak launch the word has been spreading, and the kickstarter has - slowly but surely been gaining momentum. This is in part due to my crazy marketing efforts, but also a large part of this has been due to the journalist rockstars who have decided to write about the game, as well as the kickstarter community who are doing wonderful things to spread the word.
This may all be too little too late - there are only 9 days left - but there is still hope! I’m gonna work hard for that strong finish!
In other news, I finally may have also reached a truce with my laptop. This may not sound like a big deal, but for most of you who have read this blog before, you know that this may be marking the end of a hostile, bitter war that has gone on for months - war is hell.
But yeah, that’s about it guys! I am happy to say that, even with all this going on, I’ve also been able to make forward progress with the game. I have finally figured out a way to introduce the upgrade system in a way that works with the game and still means that the player gets to make meaningful choices - I’ll likely write about this in the week ahead.
Wish me luck guys!
PS - if you know about my game and have been thinking “Hmm, I’ve been meaning to commit my life-savings into kickstarting Blake’s project but just haven’t found the time...” I wanted to let you know that there is no better time to do so than now. Here’s the link ;)
I think that this has been my most eventful month so far.
On 31st Jan, I released the official trailer to the public and the response has been gooooooooood! It got close to 400 views right away, which is fantastic, and also got quite a few people showing interest and asking questions. One of my favourite interactions happened on Screenshot Saturday, when John Matrix and Bennett - rivals in the Schwarzenegger movie 'Commando' started riffing in the comments. It was comedy gold :)
The new mechanic is that the crimelord will now be a part of the action - you'll be able to equip him with weapons, use him to block doors, and also use him to pick up items scattered throughout the building. I have been testing it out for the past few days (ironing out all the kinks) and it has already made the game even more intense - I like it. There is still a lot more work to do, but I'm on the right path.
This month ahead will be a big one too. The biggest thing will be the launching of the kickstarter campaign on March 1st. I will also release a gameplay video within the next week.
It's crunch time - wish me luck!
Follow the game's development on twitter (@FMMHenchmen), on facebook, or follow me on twitter @BlakeMcDeezy
Priority One: The Trailer
I am happy to say I think the trailer for 'Forgive Me My Henchmen' is finally at a stage where it can be released in the near future...but it took a LOT of work to make it mum-proof. I’ve also completed a gameplay trailer - I’ll link it to the official trailer when it’s released so if people want to find out more about how the game actually plays, they can.
Priority Two: The Kickstarter Campaign
I am now at a stage in development where I’ll need the help of others if this game is going be released, therefore it is time to launch a kickstarter campaign.
Maybe the next blog entry will be about the kickstarter campaign in more detail. I think I’ve thought up some pretty cool rewards...I hope people like them.
But yeah, this month ahead will definitely be the one that the official trailer, gameplay trailer, and even the kickstarter campaign will be launched...it’s gonna be a big month indeed!
Wish me luck!