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Thread: Spryke - hardcore new-school platformer

  1. #71
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    Retrobolt's Avatar
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    Good luck,I know your game can succeed.You Kickstarter may have failed,but Spryke's present online is much larger than before and you have a small fanbase (your backers) who will keep up with your updates.

  2. #72
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    Also what screen size did you use to keep the quality of the animation in fusion?

  3. #73
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    What do you mean? Do you mean what resolution the game runs at? 1920x1080p

  4. #74
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    It's been a long time since I posted on this thread, so here's an update (reposted from the kickstarter page):



    I'll be honest: the past half-year was hard! On top of the Kickstarter and exhibiting at PAX Aus 2016, I moved house, and my wife and I had a second child. It's been busy. But let's focus on the Kickstarter:

    Running the Kickstarter was an enormous amount of work, and not reaching the target was a blow. Emotionally, I took it harder than I expected, and I became depressed for a couple of months there. The worst thing about last October/November was that I spent a month receiving immense support, encouragement, and 12k of pledges, from a large and diverse community of people......and instead of feeling honoured and grateful, I spent the whole time bitter and disappointed.

    When I think back, I'm dumbstruck by my decision to choose such a high goal (40k), and the power that decision wielded over my recent life. I settled on that amount after studying some successful Kickstarters and following the advice of my PR firm. On paper, it made sense, as it was indeed what Spryke needed for a 'full steam ahead' development scenario. But given Kickstarter's all-or-nothing system, it was it was foolish to make it my target - especially when 2016 was a notoriously bad year for videogame Kickstarters in general. Clearly, the smarter move would have been to set a much more modest target while still hoping to reach 40k, knowing that some funds will always be better than no funds.

    It has been sobering to realise that had I simply set a target of 10k (or 5k....or a dollar!), then what was one of the most stressful and unpleasant months of my adult life would have actually been one of the most delightful. The 12k would have felt like a success (and I'd actually get to keep and use it!), and the vast support I received from all of you backers (not just from the pledges, but the many messages of encouragement, constructive feedback, and moral support) would have been received warmly and gratefully, as they deserved to be!

    The Kickstarter proved to be a test of character, and one that I didn't do particularly well on. It was also a lesson in the power of a single decision to dictate much of one's fate. But it provided many other useful lessons too, and Spryke will ultimately be the better game for me having gone through it all.

    BACK ON TRACK

    Life has stabilised for me now. Our new daughter is a wonder, I'm feeling good again, and after a couple of months off, I'm back to working hard on Spryke. Since the Kickstarter, I've made over 20 new levels, and a new world, with unique mechanics. I'm getting better at designing levels too, with several of these recent ones easily being the most interesting ones so far. In particular, I'm getting better at creating levels that simultaneously support multiple approaches and playstyles. I try to make each level have at least the following features:

    * A moderately difficult way to beat the level, in a moderate time
    * A more high-risk way to beat the level, in a potentially faster time
    * A hard-to-reach (or even to find) Astax that requires skill, tenacity and/or cunning, rather than speed.

    I've also started concentrating on a lot of behind-the-scenes structural stuff that got neglected in last year's emphasis on the marketing-friendly eye candy stuff. Some recent changes include: rebuilding the camera system from the ground up for a much smoother and smarter camera, enabling "pause" to actually pause the game, and building a proper loading screen. Some upcoming tasks include: a graphics options screen, and a top-to-bottom optimisation overhaul.

    THE MISSION IS SHARPENED

    I now feel that I have a very clear understanding of Spryke's strengths and weaknesses. I've known of the strengths for a while, and the overwhelmingly positive response we got from players at PAX confirms them. Though getting the game in front of so many people for feedback has also helped crystallise what the weaknesses are. I'm relieved to say that none of them were entirely unexpected: all were problems I was already aware of to some degree - I guess that's the benefit of always being your own strongest critic!

    I will probably run another Kickstarter some time this year (with a much lower goal!), but not until I've dealt with all of the major weaknesses. These include: foreground platforms too blocky and uninspired compared to background graphics, lack of storyline and emotional connection with Spryke herself, speedrunning (one of Spryke's most enjoyable aspects) not being prominently enough communicated to player, and the difficulty curve being too uneven.

    I've always said that I have no interest in making a good game, but a great one. I've spent some 6000-7000 hours creating Spryke so far, and only a great game will make that worth it. And only a truly great game will stand a chance of commercial success - which is a prerequisite if I'm to afford to make my next game.

    This work is my life's passion, and I intend on being here for the long haul, so if a great game it must be, then a great game it will be!

    WAY OF THE INTROVERT

    I'm a classic introvert: being around other people saps my energy, while being on my own recharges it. Last year's Kickstarter, PAX, Greenlight, and the marketing fanfare that went with it all, wore me out big time. (The fact I hadn't allowed myself any time off from Spryke for the preceding 9 months - working most days, evenings and weekends - probably didn't help). I felt burnt out, and needed a break.

    I'm back in business this year, but I'm doing things differently. In many ways, I'm staying in my shell. I'll continue keeping social media and marketing to a minimum - Game Marketing 101 be damned - and will generally keep to myself for more extended periods of time.

    This is a good thing. Not only will it guard me from burning out again, but it allows me to spend the bulk of my time doing what I do best, and love most: working. I do my best work when I'm in introvert mode. A glance at Spryke's 'behind the scenes' video should make that apparent:



    Look at all that painstaking detail - could that be the work of anyone other than a person who's profoundly comfortable in solitude?

    The past couple of months of working quietly on Spryke again have been good for my soul, and good for Spryke. I'm in love with the creation process anew. Armed with lessons learnt from last year, I'm more excited than ever to fix what was weak, improve what was merely good, and build upon what was already great.

    KICKSTARTER 2017 - WILL YOU GIVE US ANOTHER CHANCE?


    So yes, we probably will have another Kickstarter. And it'll probably be this year, though not for a while. Like I said, I feel I have a clear sense of various things that can and should be better in the game, and I won't put Spryke in the limelight again until most of those aspects, and more, are improved. I very much hope that you will back Spryke again, and I intend on earning that privilege. I will do my best this year to blow your socks off!

    I hope everyone is having a great 2017, and thanks again for all your support last year!

  5. #75
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    Spryke is a great and a beautiful game ! very good work !

  6. #76
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    Good to see you back on track and working on Spryke. Also thanks for the Kickstarter write-up and the incredibly helpful feedback on my campaign!

  7. #77
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    amazing write up post dude! especially like how u included the mental side of it as well (heart strings fully touched ), i flopped on an indiegogo campaign before, altho with indiegogo (tho its not as big as kickstarter) u get to keep watever money u raise on that one, so i potted a nice $20...from friends (felt terrible wen they r were the only ones funding me ), i'm hopefully gonna put my big project 2 kickstarter this year, so i'm trying 2 gather as much wisdom as i can from all u guys & my own research so i can do it right

    & all the best on ur comeback kickstarter! i think u'll smash it this time!

  8. #78
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    zip2kx's Avatar
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    Very honest and good post, thank you for that. Good to hear you are back at it with new goals and expectations. You got my support atleast

  9. #79
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    Retrobolt's Avatar
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    Happy to hear you're back on track.

  10. #80
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    I'm blown away by this project and gutted that you never achieved your kickstarter goal. I'll be sure to back the project again when the kickstarter starts. It may be worth considering sending an alpha to some youtubers to get the word around. Mike at Cinemassacre first comes to my mind.

    Good luck.

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