Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Theres is always something I forget…

The problem with being a lone developer is there is nobody else to cross-check stuff with. Tomorrow I’ll be putting GSB up on pre-order and beta download, so real paying gamers are going to play it for the first time.
I’m pretty sure I have everything covered. I have the final code working and tested, the website pages are ready to upload. My trusty proof-reader is proof-reading the manual, the payment stuff is all set up. The database has been cleared out of my test challenges…
There is always something that gets missed. I’ll realize it 10 seconds after the first person buys it and sends me an email saying “hey cliff…”

At least I haven’t pressed 5,000 CDs like you would have done in ye olde days. I’m sure a patch will be released in the first week with big fixes and updates. Even if there isn’t a single bug, I’ll be adding new and better graphics for some of the bits I’m not happy with.

I’ve never been this nervous about releasing a game before, despite the fact that I think this is my best game. It comes right at the tail end of sales from my last games, in the middle of a games price-war and a global recession, with me about to move house and suddenly we are 100% dependent on games money to pay the bills. Added to this is the fact that this game probably appeals (at first glance) to the more piracy-prone slice of gamers, which can’t help. The trouble is, I’ve never been able to make games that aren’t exactly 100% what I want to play. I could have made 3 or four diner dash or zuma clones instead of GSB, but I’d just be depressed doing it, even though I’m pretty sure I’d have made a more reliable income that way. People I know who do that are doing very well out of it.

It’s a bit weird (and scary) to think that my ability to buy food next month is dependent on whether people think I’ve balanced the ranges of fusion beams and multi-warhead missiles correctly.

39 thoughts on Theres is always something I forget…

  1. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Cliff. I suspect people are going to vote with their wallets when there’s something different involved than yet another bloody hidden object game. I can’t think of any game off-hand that’s like GSB so i’m definetly up for it.

  2. Good luck with the release Cliff, I will be pre-ordering as soon as you make it available. Do you have an estimated release time?

  3. Don’t be so sure of your theory about diner dash/zuma clones. Nowadays in casual world the big money is in HO, which require 50k+ of art to be competitive. So… I think you have much better chances of making money with this game instead.

  4. I can’t wait!
    What UK time are you thinking of opening pre-orders, I’m going to be hitting refresh all day tommorow otherwise. :P

  5. Yeah, can’t wait!

    I’ll be sure to order it Monday, so there’s another 20 bucks.

    I’ve been looking forward to this since the first video was posted!

  6. If balance is the biggest worry with your beta release, I think you’ve got nothing to sweat about :) I do hope that folks choose to pay for it versus pirating it. . . it’s not often you get a game dev who listens to his audience – the more we pirate the more we discourage this kind of software development.

  7. yep i will _definately_ be getting this, especially having ordered your ‘Kudos 2’ and being impressed with its polish and proffesionalism (although this is totally different you are as passionate about it as anything :D)

  8. God feels like we have been waiting an age for this game now its here hooray!

    You’ve got my £20 :)

  9. I will tell my windows friends the news ;)
    In my case I have to wait for a mac Version, so be it. Good luck for your start tomorrow.


  10. Just wanted to say that me (a 25 year old soldier in the spanish armed forces) and my little bro (13, lives 400 kilometers away from me) have been waiting for this to come out for MONTHS now. Cliff, I hope you know this is a wonderful way for me to be with my little brother whom I love very much, (now well get to kick each other´s asses online). I wanted to thank you for bringing that little part of my home closer. Making games goes a ways further than simply providing entertainment for a bunch of kids and adults alike, it, in some cases, helps us forget distance, and makes life a tad bit easier. I for one want to thank you for making this game, for reasons that have nothing to DO with the game proper, but for your hard work and tenacity.

    -Alexander Poysky

  11. Cliff,
    I support this. Following your blog, watching the game develop, and more or less getting to know you has…inspired me. With expensive, big studio games I’m more prone to…seek alternatives to currency exchange.
    Where can I drop my coins?

  12. As I’ve said before, I play on purchasing two copies of this directly from positech’s site. I’ll spread the word as well.

  13. i echo the sentiments of the other posters here. im going to pre-order as soon as it pops up tomorrow, and probably a copy or two more for some unemployed friends of mine…

    you ought to consider a “collectors edition” with a pdf strategy guide and wallpapers and stuff that we’d get when it releases, id pitch another $10 in for that :) i dunno what all you could really add, but im a sucker for that kind of thing…

  14. Cliff. Would you be interested in me writing an actual storyline for the game? I´m a writer (I actually have a science fiction novel waiting to be published) and would like to know if it´s something you might be interested in doing?

  15. I’ve avoided getting too much in the way of any backstory for the game, because it seems to go against the general thrust of gratuitousness that the title implies.
    However, that may change depending what people think in terms of what direction the games ongoing development should head in.

  16. I’ll be preordering and hopefully downloading this when I get off work tomorrow. I’m GREATLY looking forward to it!

  17. Ok cool Cliff. Thanks for the lowdown. If you ever want to read any of what I´ve got, let me know. Good luck man!

  18. I’m buying two, Cliff! One for me and one for my mortal nemesis, for I must smite him readily! Consider your milk and tea for the month paid for!

  19. cuz if theres multiplayer already, ill buy my bro a copy and play ALL friggin day tomorrow :D

  20. Can’t believe that all this time passed. Congrats on your new game and keep up the good work. You are a source of inspiration and an example to all of us.

    Flashback from the past:

    Here we are, its 21.57pm here in the UK, and due to my attempts to play Battlefield 1942 proving dismal failures I have decided to start a blog. Who knows what will end up in here, or whether it will die a death after a few days, but so far so good…

    posted by cliff at 9:06 PM links to this post

  21. Congratulations on approaching the end of what’s obviously been a very long road. Like a lot of the other readers on this blog I’ll be buying it the moment I can.

    As for piracy – I can only speak for myself, but while I’ve been known to have the odd dodgy copy of AAA titles, I’m scrupulous about paying for stuff from small developers. With any luck a few other people feel the same way.

  22. yeah, when? i wanna be downloading as soon as possible :) i feel like a kid before christmas :)

  23. Well there goes my college GPA.

    I cant wait!!!! You’ve got atleast 20 people on here will buy the game out the gate. Not bad.

  24. Great timing here I spend all my money last week and it’s coming out today/tomorrow :( Guess I’m going to have to borrow some cash to get this.

    Also on a completly unrelated note, I re-installed The Movies a few days ago . . . I have an entire studio where everyone’s last name is Harris. I’m under the impression this is your doing. Oddly enough the only C. Harris’ I have are all female though.

  25. So, it’s 5am in the UK…….. Where’s the darn pre-release/buy button backend!?!?!

    I’ve been following this project for ages, I want to hand over sponds already!

  26. Re backstory: You could make it funny:

    “Captain, the Zorgon fleet is in range! I have Admiral Zerx on Channel 4!”

    “Main Screen… Zerx, what’s the meaning of this? Attacking a Starfleet Battle Group? Why?”

    “No reason really. Just sorta felt like it.”

  27. Act II: Central Command Briefing Room

    “And so, gentlemen, that is the situation. The Outer Worlds are in revolt, Archduke Kessler is pressuring the Council to accept the Xarish treaty, and Prefect Farnus has announced his intention to withdraw from the Federation. Taking all that into account, do we attack?”

    “Why not.”
    “What the heck.”
    “May as well.”

    “Wait, I have a question. Will we get to see a lot of cool lasers, and shit blow up?”


    “In that case, I vote for.”

  28. Or simply.



    and the commanders like. WHAT YOU SAAAAAY? MAIN SCREEN RIGHT NOW.

    The other commander shows up on screen and says.



    By the way, my english is NOT poor, for anyone who doesn´t understand what the hell im talking about, google All your base are belong to us. LONGEST RUNNING INTERNET JOKE IN HISTORY.


  29. By my calculations, Cliff, you’ll be making over £400 on the first day of sales alone! Take THAT Zuma Clones! lol.
    As soon as you’ve uploaded the game I’ll be downloading it. I know I’ve asked this before a bit earlier in development, but how moddable is the game? Will you be releasing tools at any point?
    Now I really must pull myself together and go and do something useful instead of hanging around my computer all day clicking reset on my browser! :D

  30. Cliffski, you may now release the game. My nemesis from across the pond has foolishly chosen to slumber, and I shall be the first to play! Mua-ha-ha!

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