Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Learning From Mistakes

I've hit a wall with Kitten Hospital. But I learned from it!

So it turns out the game wants to be two different games: a hospital administration sim, but also a very specific investigative diagnostic game. These two desires do not hang together very smoothly in its current form.

I also spent a lot of time polishing and implementing its current form. I'm trying out developing in mediums other that Twine. This means I've learned a heck of a lot about how to implement the game in exactly this way, to discover this way doesn't quite work.

What I should have done is quick and dirty implement the core gameplay loop in Twine as a prototype! I was dazzled by new possibilities, like the potential of having a game based on visuals, and focused too much on that. 

An important lesson! And now I'm unsure how to proceed with KH, so I'm going to work on other things while that percolates.

I'm picking at "That Terrible Brightness" again. I ALSO made the implement-pretty-visuals-before-checking-core-gameplay mistake with that one, but less dramatically, and the gameplay is simpler and a more familiar manage-your-resources-to-solve-puzzles sort of deal. That's my usual fare, so I think it may work out.

I've been playing with promotional ideas. I always intended to do more advertising once Sea++ was out, since now the financial return for attracting new players is significantly higher with three games for them to enjoy. I can't do conventional game advertising since the games are already out and they've always been a bit weird for that anyway. I tried promoting on TikTok for a while, which was fun, but making videos was exhausting.

I'm thinking of writing fan fiction for media that's similar in feel to Open Sorcery. I've always enjoyed writing fan fiction, people who read it are up for reading text on the computer, and it feels natural at the end of a good story to say: "Did you like this? Go to my website any maybe enjoy more of my writing!" Also I recently played Transistor and got super inspired so I'm already in the habit of composition.

Freelancing continues to keep me afloat while I work on all this. I'm very, very lucky.