My new game, Colonize, has come a long ways since my last post back in August. I used forum posts (on Unity and IndieGameMagazine), Reddit, Facebook and Twitter posts, and Kongregate release to recruit players for the beta version of the game, and this process helped me to get some very useful feedback on the game. Among those who tried the first versions of Colonize, I am particularly grateful to Nathan Fouts of Mommy’s Best Games for looking at an early beta version of the game, and the guys at Flippfly (whose game, Race the Sun, is great – definately try it out if you have not seen it yet) who gave me a lot of detailed feedback – some of which I still haven’t been able to incorporate!
After the early player testing, my impression is that I’ve been able to improve the general gameplay experience in Colonize, but that the game is still perceived as being pretty difficult, even by motivated players. As I think about that experience, I’ve decided that Colonize is not likely to do well with a wide, casual audience. But, I hope that by releasing it as a free mobile game (on Android and iOS), it will find a group of players that enjoy the game, and play through enough of the game for me to collect a useful set of data.
The first Android versions of Colonize were submitted to the Barnes and Noble app store and to Amazon (with the BN version priced at $0.99 US, but including a free trial, and the Amazon version being free with an optional in-app upgrade to premium) last week. If they are approved, I hope to see this version go live late this week or next (in early November). And, I’ll release the Google Play version at the same time, hopefully along with a Facebook version. The iOS version will need a bit more work, as the Basic version of the Unity iOS license does not allow me to use my networking solution (Photon) for multiplayer. My target right now is to release the iOS version in late November, and to remove multiplayer from the iOS version for the present (but players can sync their mobile accounts with the web version of Colonize, and use the multiplayer version on the web).
If, across all of these versions, I can get a few thousand people to play the game, then I’ll consider this to be a successful project. Stay tuned, for our exciting conclusion…