What this is all about
This page is not a typical devblog, but rather a hub, an outline where I will be posting all content related to Solum Cosmonauter - an action game with challenging gameplay and a mysterious story that I am trying to bring to the world.
How I got started or from Frogger to Cosmonauter
It all began back in June 2019 with an idea of making another training project - a frogger clone. After writing my game design document and sketching ideas I promptly abandoned the project. I picked it back up at the beginning of October and decided to make it my first commercial game (meaning I would put a price tag on it and launch it on Steam as well as itch). More details here: Cosmonauter - A New Challenge Begins.
No matter what anyone tells you, making games is hard. Making games alone with limited knowledge of all the fields involved is even harder. That’s why I think the following description is pretty accurate:
The honeymoon phase
The beginning is always the best part - you let your ideas overflow, you dream and imagine how everything will fit together, you sketch everything down and aim towards a prototype. You show it to friends and strangers and gather feedback, you feel like advancing rapidly and all is well. I think I was still in this phase when I posted this picture of the cosmonauter, our hero.
This is where most people give up - you need to implement the feedback from the prototype and then you need to start polishing the game. This takes a looong time. There’s also a lot of trial and error and more feedback to be obtained and then implemented and so on. This is when boredom and burnout set in. At least for normal humans. For example, I changed the tilesets that I talk about here at least three times in a major way, and am still not happy with them even now. You must also be very mindful of what you take on as features and whatnot. Every little detail increases the complexity of the project exponentially and might put you at risk of feature creep. I had to renounce many great ideas, like having an animated intro to the demo.
The good, the bad and the ugly of releasing the Cosmonauter demo
Since this is the first project where I have invested myself, even though it had such humble beginnings, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster. I am very proud of myself of how far I’ve gotten. So when I launched the demo publicly I was very happy. The problem was that soon I realized that not too many people are discovering my efforts. Which is the bad and the ugly part of the equation and part of the reason I am currently writing this post. The reality is that there are way too many things fighting to capture people’s attention, including many many amazing games. So it’s kind of hard for an indie game developer like myself to try and compete with that. But compete I must, since otherwise I risk slipping into oblivion.
Updates and digital marketing
- I worked on the feedback I received after the initial launch of the demo and implemented the most important updates, and then I delved into the amazing domain of digital marketing. This is pretty much a black hole, kind of like reddit - once I started I felt like diving deeper and deeper into an abyss of knowledge. I had to put on the breaks after two weeks and just say “enough!”" to be able to define some actionable tasks and execute on all the advice I found.
- After one week of being sick and having to stay in bed without my doggo, I am finally getting back at it. I have released version 0.9.4 for Cosmonauter on itch, which will probably be the updated before the final version for the demo.
- v0.9.4 introduced a pretty massive bug, so I made a patch for it and updated it to v0.9.5
So you played the demo, you read everything from my webpage and devblogs and you want more. Well you will get more by subscribing to my email list on the cosmonauter or about pages. I promise I will send you goodies and regular updates.