Failure feels utterly exhausting.
Looking at a project you’ve put just about every ounce of energy into, to watch falter at launch, with every attempt you make at reaching out - to press for reviews, to friends & peers for feedback, and even amongst the wider scene.
Looking back at everything I’ve done wrong to get Pocket Dogfights out the door, it feels like I’m just asking myself questions I can’t answer.
Questions like which platforms to publish on? Right now, as much as I like platforms like iOS for publishing, the fact is - for a small self-funded indie like myself, it’s becoming inpenetrable - the only way to succeed there is through Free to Play models (ugh), and the arms race to attract people to one’s game to play it becomes harder and harder.
Which, for an indie like myself without those connections, or those skills - it becomes something almost unattainable.
Beyond the mobile/tablet space, the only other platform I could consider publishing on right now is the desktop platform. Why not PC? Because it’s not not all about the PC Master Race, the Windows operating system, and the narrowly defined space which that occupies. If I go to publish there, I’ll be doing my best to ensure it’s available on the 3 main desktop systems - Windows, Mac OS & Linux.
The problem there is that sales on desktops are heavily biased towards Steam, and these days - Steam means Greenlight. Which of course means, it’s yet another constant dog & pony show to get the masses to vote you up in order to pass the line. Beyond that, there’s also dealing with the stigma of having origins in mobile. I’ve been rejected from one distributor simply for having origins on the mobile platform - which is perfect in line with the glorious PC Master Race.
When I go to do the metaphorical action of dusting myself off, the other thing I go back to think about is what I want to achieve in terms of my games, and how to be able to execute on that to deliver something people want to play. What would that be? Simple - I want to be able to create small games focused on a few mechanics, and polished as best I can to make an experience which whilst harkening back to my gaming roots, still provides something which is fun (and not abusive - in terms of how I make money from it, or in terms of cultural impact).
So when I go to look at my stack of notes on the various projects I’d love to make - it becomes a question of which one can I do quickly, not require a great deal of external resources (art or audio), and be something I can possibly accomplish within the confines of the Ludum Dare October Challenge.
I’m still concerned about how I’m going to push it out the door - typical review times rules out something like iOS, but trying to have something ready, even when I’m not sure who the right people to push it to are, or how best to actually have it out there in a way for people to buy it.