Exciting times at Halfbot as we are finally moving onto a new project! That's not to say we haven't tried countless times over the last year to make a new game. Between supporting Blocks and Super Crate Box, we've tried to come up with quite a few different ideas, but none of them seemed to resonate with us We have scrapped and shelved so many ideas it's actually kind of scary. It's been over 2 years since we released The Blocks Cometh and we were so proud to be able to work with Vlambeer to bring Super Crate Box to iOS but it wasn't our game. We are anxious to put a NEW Haflbot game out there. You probably already know this and if you don't then listen up "making a living as an indie dev is hard!" If you only support yourself, live at home or a cheap apartment, then it's maybe a little easier to be successful with it. However if you have a family to support and a house to pay for, it's a lot fucking harder. This is the category we fall in to. It's made us rethink our business plan over the last few years. We've both taken on freelance work to pay our bills and by doing this to take the pressure away from making a living from our games. I highly recommend this for any start up or struggling dev. The game market is really tough out there. It's a gamble to put all your resources, time and money into a game and expect that game to make enough money to pay for the next one. Making an amazing game is the best chance you have for that gamble pay off, but I can be honest. Not everything we make is amazing and it's too stressful to add that pressure to our development. We're lucky enough that we can handle the art and coding ourselves, this allows us to save thousands of dollars in development costs. So our advice to you, cover your bills first and worry about making games second. You'll enjoy the process a lot more.
Our process has changed a lot over the last few years. We've gone from full time development to part time. It's actually not that bad. As long as you can stay focused when you sit down to work, you'll be surprised how much work you can do. 4 hours of focused work can be just as effective as 8 hrs of work with the internet close at hand and other distractions.
So, back to the new game. We have a new plan moving forward and we hope this works out for us. I'll quickly lay it out for those who are interested.
1. Make a multi-platform Engine (In this unpredictable market it's best to aim for multiple platforms and cast a larger net.) This is almost completed! Melvin is a beast and has put together a great engine for us. Just a few tweaks left to make before diving into the prototype.
2. Make a prototype (After testing your game ideas on paper and playing them in your head the next step is to build a prototype. This is the best way to test out an idea before spending too much time on a game that might not work how you think it should.)
3. Make a 1 level demo (This is something we've seen people doing successfully at shows. It allows your team to present your idea to the public, build up hype and most of all get crucial player feedback.)
4. Showcase the demo at PAXEast 2014 (We loved how interactive PAXEast was when we attended in 2012. The way gamers engaged with developers, we felt it was the perfect place to demo a new game. Of course there is a cost investment to doing this, so you have to really be ready to showcase something you are proud of and is ready to WOW the public.)
5. Take user feedback and apply it to the demo
6. Make the full game
Sounds easy enough right? I'm sure we'll make a bunch of mistakes along the way but we'll continue to learn and challenge ourselves to be better game makers.
So in the meantime! Why don't you check out this mock up we made for the prototype in mention! More info on the actual game to come!
Thanks for hanging in there with us!