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Is developing a game from scratch live on itch.io a good idea?

A topic by teamlazer created 84 days ago Views: 158 Replies: 3
Viewing posts 1 to 4

Hi, I'm new to itch.io !

I have game that I've just started. Its at the very very 1st playable prototype stage. Is is a good idea to make it playable on itch.io in its current state?  My idea is to use feedback and metrics to guide its development. I'm just worried that it could be like steam, where the early builds could get poor reviews which could kill it even after its updated.

Also I noticed there are devlogs here. Should   I start one of those? Whats the benefit of that. Thanks!

More details.........

I've never made a multiplayer game before. I had an idea for one, built up a working demo (with just local multiplayer) in a couple days and brought it to the local game-dev group meetup. It went down well, in fact an artist (with an impressive portfolio) was interested to work on it. We are both just making this for fun. My plan right now is..

*Add multiplayer + some kind of lobby system

*Add metrics

*Throw it up as a html 5 game on itch.io without making any other changes (remember the current state of the game is just the very first interation, just about 2 1/2 days work) I picked itch cus Ive never used it before and it seems cool.

*Work on it and use feedback + metrics from itch to help guide the development process.

ps. I could even go so far as to put up the *current* build! Which only has local multiplayer. You'd need to play it on the same machine with keyboard or gamepads

(+1)

Hi teamlazer! I would say yes, this is a good idea. We're currently doing the same thing with our early access game, Mondrian - Plastic Reality. The reason we chose itch is specifically because it is much more welcoming toward early, experimental, and incomplete titles than Steam (even though yes, we also have one up there that we're still working on and will be updating at some point). itch also isn't the kind of place where you can expect to host "get rich quick" asset flips and find success, ala Digital Homicide. If you're nervous about reviews, you can set the game to Free or Suggested Donation instead of making it a truly premium project, and use the Discussion Board feature for tracking feedback and bug reports instead of trying to sort through a big list of comments at the bottom of the page.

Hope this helps!

(+1)

I think getting feedback is important especially when testing and learning.

(+1)

Feedback from other humans(players or developers or otherwise) is limited by what they see in front of them...it will tend to express everything as a surface issue of either polishing, expanding, or cutting parts of the game. That can be very helpful when you are trying to get a sense of how "much" you need to execute on a concept before people understand it. Things like finding out where people are getting stuck or confused, adjusting difficulty and balance are solved through this process.

For working on the basic concept of the game and figuring out major features and scope, you can get better feedback by developing your own rubric like the writing rubrics used in grading school papers, and "grading" the current game against the rubric to see where it succeeds and fails at the vision you have - abstract things like "what is the game about, what should the player do and feel," and so on. When the game is failing something in the rubric, that means you have to iterate, but that doesn't mean it takes a big change! It just means that you have to make a big shift in your perspective that wasn't obvious and might feel uncomfortable or contrary to what you wanted at first. 

That's where feedback from people tends to fail, because most people will come from the same perspective and can only suggest changes in small increments. When it comes to conceptual issues it's very hard to get the information you need just by discussing it at a low level. A conceptual failure that isn't polished tends to result in comments about what could be polished("I don't like the keyboard controls, could you add mouse controls") and then once you finish off every polish feature requested, you get silence.

With multiplayer games and virtual worlds there is a tendency for the community to take "ownership" of the game once it crosses a certain level of success, becoming resistant to any change. Then you will have to learn to be a politician. But that means having enough players to be successful first which is not guaranteed - it's far more likely that you get an empty server.