Like every year, besides wishing you Merry Christmas, I am going to review the year that is about to finish. As I wrote already in the past, this was a good year (professionally speaking) for me.
Against the elements!
Haha, early this year was really me against the elements! I mean, here it’s not unusual to have snow (I live at 800m on sea level after all) BUT, this year was really crazy. I have never seen so much snow as this year since I live here (over 10 years!). To this, add some crazy winds that blow straight from the mountains to my house at over 100km/h, rain/hail storms, and some walls of my house were damaged.
But wait, that wasn’t all! My already crappy wi-fi connection (normal broadband is not available here yet) decided to go offline for weeks. I remember doing updates for Cursed Lands from December to March (that’s THREE MONTHS!) using my normal phone connection which features the superspeed of 640kbps! I was uploading the games at 25-30kb/s: a full 100mb would have taken me AN HOUR to update… for every single OS. Yes to upload 3 separate installers (Win, Mac, Linux) would have taken me 3 hours. During a beta, where you usually update the game daily. This was clearly not possible…
Itch.io to the rescue
Luckily, the year before, I started migrating my games to the new platform called itch.io. I wrote about the reasons already in a blog post back in 2017, but in this case it was really my safety net: thanks to the diff patching system, I would only need to upload chunks of 5-10 mb at time. So even with my terrible connection, I managed to do updates that would only take me 15-20 minutes to upload max, without driving me nuts.
So the result was that I managed not only to do the beta regularly but even finished Cursed Lands much sooner than I thought!
The games released
I already wrote two detailed postmortems about Cursed Lands and Love Bites, so here I am only going to add that of course I was very pleased by the result of both games. I was really surprised to have Cursed Lands finished so early this year, since I had scheduled a late Summer or even Fall release!
For Love Bites instead, I knew more or less that it would have been ready in Spring. I delayed the game release a bit because it would have been too close to Cursed Lands, but that was the only reason. It was also great to be able to release a free new character (Ashley) later this year. Once again many thanks go to Miakoda, one of my most reliable collaborator!
I cannot deny that it was a VERY stressing year, also because I lost a pet and had to do some house renovating works (I really coldn’t delay them any more…). But ultimately things went well. I’ve also learned another lesson which could be summarized in: believe in yourself and your ideas. I remember when PSCD was out 2 years ago, I was depressed. Now, with the art fixed, it’s steadily my 3rd-4th best selling game. Cursed Lands on release had many negative reviews, claiming writing is stupid, art sucks, and so on. I was a bit disappointed, even if by now I understand that Steam review are just a bit… “on the negative side” in general.
A “camp talk scene” of Planet Stronghold 2, Lisa trying to understand Shiler’s point of view
Yet, it sold extremely well so it’s obvious to me that I must have done something right, or at least, I managed to match the tastes of a lot of people, the “silent majority” who simply enjoys a game and doesn’t bother to write any review (even if maybe it would be positive), but that group is the main reason why I’m still in business after all these years 🙂
So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! And don’t forget to check my usual sales both on Steam and itch.io: