A year of development blog posts! The game has come such a long way since my first blog post a year ago. I’ve come a long way since that first post as well. This year has been incredibly hard work but also incredibly rewarding at the same time. I’ve really grown as both a developer as well as a person. It’s nice to take this chance to reflect on how things are going.
The most important thing that happened this year was being accepted into the Indietopia accelerator program. This gave me a wonderful opportunity not only to be mentored and learn, but also allowed me to meet some incredibly awesome people. Flying over to Groningen and getting to sit in office with other game developers and also getting the opportunity to pitch and demonstrate Fringe Planet was a wonderful experience.
The amount I’ve learned about all aspects of game development could be a development blog all by itself. Sitting down last year and deciding to write a game was the easy part. There is so much more involved in game development which isn’t actually creating a game. The entire business side of things : marketing, pitching, social, networking, analytics, press, planning, budgets and accounts. Being a solo developer means that I’m in charge of everything and it is all incredibly time consuming alas. The development side of things I’ve got years and years of experience, so that is the easy part. Actually running a business with the intent to bring a product to market is something I’m still very much learning – but I’m getting there!
The game itself has also changed so much. Well, change isn’t the right word – it’s grown. It’s slowly filling out to match the vision that I have for the game. From a simple voxel engine with AI agents placing and removing voxels to a frozen wasteland populated with peons and eldritch creatures. It’s sometimes very difficult for me to see the progress I’m making as it is all very incremental. But as you can see from the screenshots – the game has come along a huge way this past year.
The second most important thing this year is the massive growth in the community around Fringe Planet. It is so incredibly humbling to have so many people following my journey. The genuine excitement folks have when talking about the game, the vasts amount of incredible feedback I get. It’s honestly mind blowing at times!
With the Kickstarter coming in just over a month (and a lot of work that needs doing for it) it’s an incredibly exciting (and a stressful) time for me. The Kickstarter is such an incredibly important event for me – not only from the attention it will bring to the game, but also financially as well – developing games is an incredibly time consuming and expensive process. So don’t forget to keep an eye out for announcements as we approach the 13th August – there is going to be a lot of information being released!
So with my focus on the Kickstarter, what happens after that? Well, more development and a release. Fringe Planet will be released on Steam Early Access – and depending on what happens with the Kickstarter, this release will be towards the end of this year. I’m really looking forward to releasing the game and have people experience the universe that I’ve created – and start telling their own stories in it. With that release I’ll also be creating a very detailed roadmap – showing off every aspect of the game that will be developed and allowing people to track the progress toward the version 1.0 of the game. I’ve already got some very cool ideas with how to structure this. Version 1.0 will most likely ship toward the end of next year. But that won’t be the end of the Fringe Planet story – I will be aiming to continue development and release additional DLC for the game (which will be free, always).
Finally, I’d like to say thank you to every single person who has supported me over this year. Be it from engaging me with me on twitter, to sending emails, to spamming me on discord. Or for advice you have provided to me, or just providing an ear for me to chat to. For kind words and feedback. For the lessons taught and the mentoring. For reading the blog, liking a tweet or sharing a screenshot. For buying me a beer, or treating me to a meal, or showing me a cat picture. For your friendship, your help, your trust. Sharing your own gamedev journeys, your progress, your demos. Every single bit has helped shaped the game and kept me motivated and engaged on this long journey. I really couldn’t have done this with out you all. It very much helps take the emphasis off the word solo when you are a solo developer. So thank you!
|Don’t forget, I’m running a Fringe Planet competion – with the deadline being next week. Send your Fringe Planet inspired creative work, and get a chance to win a t-shirt and/or a peon name key! You can read more about it here : https://fringeplanetgame.com/blog/2019/06/20/looking-for-your-fan-art-competition-time/
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