This was my first month to start on a lot of the non-development work to get Plotz ready to go. A lot of stuff got put into motion, but there's still tons to do. Here are the big things that got accomplished:
- nuclearcompost.com went live! This was probably the most exciting thing for me all month. I've been working up content for the site for a long time and it's nice to finally have it all out.
- The beta test is underway. I sent the most recent demo out to a bunch of friends to play so I can get some feedback on what ugly issues might be hiding right in front of my face.
- The business is forming up. I'm working with some folks to get an LLC created, and I started learning about how all this "business" stuff works. I attended a local entrepreneur meeting to learn about some different financial forms. It's all pretty new to me but seems doable.
- Started putting the word out for an artist. This is still in progress. I'm new to collaborating with folks outside of my normal group so this will be a good learning experience I'm sure.
Overall a good amount got done, but it was a pretty rough month. I did a ton of travelling to see friends and family for the holidays, and then I was sick for a couple of weeks. I don't mind ending the year on a little bit more of a relaxed note though. Having a good break here and there is essential to keep things going in the long run!
The big goals for this month are to get some movement on finding an artist, continue forward with the business side of things, and do a lot of work for marketing material. This is mostly going to be a lot of writing, as well as learning all I can about Kickstarter so I'm prepared well in advance. I'll also probably be doing a little bit of development on some last little features and in response to feedback from the beta test.
It was a big, exciting year for Nuclear Compost. Last January I finished up demos for both Plotz and Chop! Chop! I had a lot of stuff done for both of these games but finally put the last bit of polish and packaging in to get them to be playable. My goal for the year was to make sure I got more stuff done-as-in-playable. I think I did a pretty good job overall.
After polishing up those 2 games, I dove head-first into my space game FIU. I spent several months working intensively on it, including building a powerful MVC-inspired architecture that might be the most complicated thing I've ever programmed. The game has a rock-solid foundation but is simply massive in scope. There are also a lot of somewhat similar games to be played. All-in-all I didn't feel like it was worth it to continue putting a ton of effort into a project that might feel too similar to so many other games available. Given infinite time and money I would totally still finish the game because it does have a special blend of interesting features that I don't think are available anywhere else. But given the constraints of reality I decided it would be better to focus on something I knew I could deliver.
So, after the summer I picked up Plotz again with the intention of turning it into the fully realized experience I wanted it to be. Development went extremely well, and I'm really happy with how far it's come.
Looking forward, I'm going to be pretty focused on getting Plotz complete and shiny. Then I'll put it up on Kickstarter (or some similar service) and see if other people think it's a cool concept. If so, I'll be adding as much content as seems worth making for it. I have no end of cool ideas for it, but I feel like it's only worth doing if it really resonates with people.
As for other projects, I'm thinking a lot about designing some board games. It seems like it'll be a lot easier to prototype and test-run a board game compared to a computer game, so I can try out lots of ideas with less overhead. I also really like the fact that board games encourage folks to play together face-to-face and not through any filter of technology.