The last week of development was the toughest one. There is a gamedev mantra able to express the utterly true about development: “when you reach the 90%, you know you are at 50%”.
My plan was to polish the game a little bit, finish the instructions, replace all remaining placeholders, add SFX/music and create levels. All tasks were simple, but when you realize there is a ton of small tasks competing for attention! The 1GAM January deadline was near (I guess 3 or 2 days) and not a single task on my TODO list was marked as complete since the last milestone.
Stick to the plan!
With the deadline in my head (I didn’t know 1GAM January deadline was extended!) I worked hard to add music/sfx, finish the instructions, edit credits, replace placeholders and add a few more levels.
At some point I realized I could not accomplish all tasks (lots of levels, polish the game, etc). Using all 1GAM wisdom I’ve been reading I started to drop non-essential tasks. I focused on the bare minimum required to publish the game. It was hard to cut things, but it feels great after you finally ship!
I had 12 levels planned, but was able to come up with 5. That’s enough to playtest the game and collect feedback. I used just a few SFX (and this great music) to quickly mark the “SFX/music” as done in my TODO list. The instructions screen was easy to create and the few missing placeholders were replaced along the way.
It was Friday, February the 1st, about 06:00 PM when I though “Ok, the game is ready”. Yey! It’s ship time!
Last minute bugs + shipping
That very same day I worked a little bit more at night, squashing those nasty little bugs that always appear right before shipping time. After that I created all the marketing material required by Google Play (screenshots, logos, banners, etc).
I am not a designer so it took me some hours to finish the whole thing. It was 2:00 AM and I had it all set, but I was tired. It was bed time. The next morning I tested the game, uploaded all images and the APK file and hit the “Publish” button. There was no task left, all I had to do was wait.
So how was it all?
In a single word: outstanding! I liked the game and collected feedback from friends and players. I have some features that were left out for this release, but they will be implemented in future versions.
After I published the game some players reported a scale problem (the game was not scaling to fill the screen). I want to send a huge thank you to the guys that helped me test the fix: @bioRex21 and @xhunterko for spreading, @aymericlamboley, @xyrer and @samuelgirardin for testing. You guys rock!
That was all for Blacksmith Dash! Download it for free here, I hope you enjoy the game!