Sunday, November 2, 2014

ABZ's: Pop Quiz


I've been working on a game off and on since college, 3 years ago. It's actually in my demo reel. Honestly only 4 months of work was put into the game, and it shouldn't even have taken that long. My game ABZ's started out as a simple concept of clicking letters in order and me trying to practice coding. I've learned so much about game design, Unity 3d, and the game industry period since then. I worked on it for 2 weeks and posted my progress in pictures on facebook. In that time I was able to build a working prototype to play at my portfolio show. Of course I had plans to finish it, but I didn't know exactly what directions it might go in.

So of course after I graduated, I did the opposite of taking advantage of my free time. I wanted so badly to just move on to other things and finish another game. However several things kept me coming back to this game. First off the fact that I basically had the game done, I just needed to tighten the art, make more levels, add effects/music. However, growing with the game I began adding more mechanics and ideas to the franchise. I had in mind that the game would consist of 12 challenges and 3 bonus challenges each level. There was 4 levels, one for alphabetical, one for alphabetical but would skip letters, one for backwards order, and one for backwards and skip letters. That would be where I cap it. Basically most of the game is copied and pasted from other challenges and levels. The only other thing that would get in my way is motivation. It seemed like for such a simple game, it should've been completed already. So I after I finally kicked myself to write the new script for the first bonus, I told myself that I'm just gonna stop here. Instead of me finishing the game and calling it a beta, and putting everything extra in the full (non free) version... So I grinded for weeks to finish a polish version of my IP, and called it Pop Quiz, or the beta version of ABZ's

Even though I had a launch date and everything that I missed, I'm glad I did all that and finished in time for SIEGE. Now I was already working on a way to showcase my game during SIEGE 2014. I got Andrew to let me lead an Indie Showcase Booth on the expo floor. The Indie Cluster was a huge success and it got everybody wanting something more from Atlanta Indies. So that got my foot in the door in a lot of ways. The second reason I kept coming back to this game to finish it, was because it was more than just a causal game. It had a crazy educational value to it that I knew if nothing else, would help stand out on its on. It was a hook that my other projects didn't have even though they were much cooler (or had the potential of being). So my goal became to drop ABZ's as a web browser game, then fish around for a publisher for the full game or the beta stand alone, then bring it to android as a free app, then iOS as a free app... This would open up the door, while giving me more time to work on the full version with all the unlocked bonuses. Also I'd be able to pitch to a dev team for a facebook version (quick bonus rounds), and teacher's version (to sell to schools), and a multilingual version (to help those trying to get better at different languages).

So the potential for this game is huge. However I'm just glad I finished a version of it so I could forget about it, and work on cooler newer games with my newly acquired experience lol. The SIEGE deadline that I had became such a blessing. Not only did I finally have something to show the few people that know my face, or the ones that ask about it, but I had a product ready for market. I actually gained a number of people interested in partnering with me as a developer. Even cooler, I'm working towards some leads to getting it published on mobile and in the schools. I've been overwhelmed by the love that I received for the game, and super excited for the future of it. Now the issue is to not disappoint. I mean I did say I finished it so I would get to NOT work on it anymore... and some of these leads require me to turn up my level of workload for it. So I don't know. I really just want to work with someone who can work at my own pace for it. It's my first real game and it's all an experimental process. I don't want to make the wrong move, but I really don't want to have it become something I'm not ready for it to be. One thing that would help is if it wasn't just me working on the game, but I'm too stubborn to find people and trust them I guess. Either way I'm just proud that I have all of this as an option. Slow or fast moving, it's finished and ready for the world to learn about it.

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