August 29th, 2013

head shot

...Cry Havoc, and O Crap, Don't Let There Be Any Big Bugs

So, the game's out. So there's this:

...And pretty much the same content on the "official" web page (same description, better versions of more screenshots).

At any rate, it's done (which doesn't really mean I'm done -- I still have to port it to iPad, support it, fix bugs, what have you -- it just means that it's good enough to release and is about as feature complete as it's probably going to be for a while).

While I was waiting on the approval from Apple, I was reminded of why I started this in the first place: I started working on a new game while TSC was on hold pending the outcome of the App Store review. That part is fun... Actually building a game is fun. Design is fun. Implementation is fun. Fixing bugs isn't always fun, but it's satisfying when you finally track them down and kill them with fire. Debugging is a fundamental aspect of programming anyway; if you can't stand that part, give up, you're not really a programmer. Testing can get really tedious after a while, though. Eventually you will get sick of playing your own game; that makes it really hard to judge how things are going after a while.

...There are a whole bunch of things that aren't any fun at all, though. I.e., the actual release part. All the legal agreements. Navigating the long, involved submission process, carefully making sure you don't mess anything up. Getting your screenshots just right (well, that part isn't so bad I guess, not at first), then realizing they aren't presented quite the way you expected. Writing the best "ad copy" you can for the description on the web page and the App Store page. Waiting.

Of course, now some even harder parts happen, i.e., supporting your app. Having users can be a scary thing. Will they break the app? How will you fix it? Crash reports are nice, but maybe the game is just doing the wrong thing and you never see it -- this bugger's complicated, after all. And you never know if they'll savage you in reviews for no good reason (or worse, for good reason).

If it sounds like I'm complaining... Well, I am. But it's also pretty exciting to be done and have something to show for it, so it's not all bad. A weird sort of mix, really, not what I expected when I started, exactly. And bottom line... There's something out there I can point at and say is mine.

[ Crossposted from ]