A lot of indie game blogs talk about things like "how much money to have before you go indie" or "the tech stack" they are using. But the closer we are getting to bringing Burgal's Bounty to the mobile market my biggest concern has been "Who is going to play this thing?" Facebook and twitter have been used to talk about the game, as well as this blog, and I have been giving it away to people left, right, and center to get feedback. The feedback is valuable, but thankfully I have thick skin because the feedback has also been extremely blunt. Here is some of the feedback I have received (softened in tone with sarcasm removed):
1. "How do I play?"
- Basically this tells me that the tutorial instructions in the game is not enough. Burgal's Bounty is challenging, and in a market space where you are competing for attention, Burgal's Bounty (or any game) needs something to draw them in right away. Make it fast, make it easy (at least in the first couple of levels), to rope people in. Games that have done this successfully are Angry Birds (obviously), Flappy Bird (and about 10,000 of it's clones), and TwoDots to name a few. I particularly like TwoDots because it is a puzzle game and it does teach the game dynamics in an incremental way. As a result, about 11 new levels are getting added to the game that do a lot more hand holding to the game player. For more advanced players, these levels will be able to be skipped.
2. "When a game gets hard like this, I just find something else to play. I don't like being challenged. It makes me feel like the game is forcing me to buy something to keep playing."
- If you don't want to eventually be challenged in the game, then I hate to say it, Burgal's Bounty is probably not for you. To address the concern about feeling forced to buy something, every level in Burgal's Bounty can be completed without an in app purchase. They do get challenging, but if you are patient and want to be challenged, you can do it. If you want a short cut, by all means, make an in app purchase, I will love you forever.
3. "The game is fun - I like puzzle games. Do you know your market and how to reach them?"
- I am glad the game is fun. I do know my market. I do not really have a clear idea how to reach them. I am just throwing so much stuff against the wall I am hoping something will stick and gain traction. I have reached out to a number of Gamer Groups on facebook looking for people who will be interested in testing and have gotten some response. Word of mouth can help, but I do need to get more interest faster. I am going to also reach out to the press once the graphics are done so we have something really sleek for them to look at.
4. "When will it be on the app store?"
- Soon. The release date for the Android version will be announced this week.
Wish us luck everyone!