Polish and Preparation for Shaped

Eric and I are putting some final touches on to Shaped.

We’re at the stage now where we’ve implemented every feature that we think is reasonable for the game. What occupies our hours is the details, the shifting around of subtle factors: stranger shape density, player speed, camera distance, stranger shape rotation and travelling speed. Trying very hard to maintain challenge while at the same time making it so its the players own fault if he gets hit. Not as easy as it sounds.

Obey my will, little shapes.

Meanwhile, in marketing land:

We’ve agreed that we want to make a push to go for iOS devices – which will mark the first significant investment our little enterprise will have to make. $400 dollars for the iOS licence in Unity, and $99 dollars to the Apple app store comes out to about a $500 investment to split between us. I’ll have to admit that’s a bit daunting… especially considering that most titles on the app store only earn their budding programmers small sums of cash to begin with.

Then again, our investment to make the software was pretty slight – only a few weekends of hard coding, plus the $500 in licences. Factoring in Apple’s 30% commission on every sale (wow! great deal for those guys) and the 1% we intend to give to charity, we would need to sell about 660 copies to make up our initial investment. Sounds feasible, in the long run. I found a great article advising apple coders on how to price their products – very interesting.

I think sometimes about how this interest in videogame design is turning out as a “hobby.” We’re at the point now where serious questions begin to get asked. Can I do this sort of thing full time? Can I earn a living off of it? Should I even considering it considering all the time (and cash) I dumped into a masters degree. I can’t deny a certain feeling of trepidation. But equally, I have to say that my time spent with Eric thinking creatively about puzzles, about art, about player interfaces have been incredibly engrossing and rewarding. However large a role it ends up playing, I can say with certainty that I want game design to be a part of my life right now.

Alright, my brute strength is requested and required by my aunt.

Derek, out.