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BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO
February 28, 2013 - Kuma
tl:drHope to hit 10k eyeballs by end of March, stoked that people are digging our game, loving our job/ambition/dream and enjoying the community feedback, beta will be dropping on facebook soon.
So, y'all are making my job easy. I'm equal parts cheerleader, designer (input wise anyways), tester, community relations and business ideas. That's what I do, in a broad sense.
Now why are you making my job easy? Because we have modest goals for BF and we are close to hitting a few of them after three days. Three days! That's super exciting for me and gives me great joy. But I feel I should share these goals with you, oh STEAMers, so that you can see a little farther into our dev process. I was told I should just tl:dr at the beginning so I did ;)
Goal 1: 10,000 people know about us by the end of March
So I have all sorts of juicy stats about people coming in and looking at the game. Some of those stats make me wonder a few things, some of them make me very happy. One of the very happy ones is that we currently have ~6,100 unique visitors to our greenlight page. Now I told Auston that 10,000 people in 1 month was a little modest, but I don't expect validation that quickly folks. A very pleasant surprise.
Why this as a goal? First of all, 10,000 is a nice round number and has a little weight to it. It's a decent sample size for determining interest in particular products and has some other characteristics to it that market majors love (I'm a business major, but have lots of marketing friends). It also suggests to me that we could hit our eventual end goal if we keep pushing. One of the things that we are trying to carefully balance is when we go from "Day jobs, then work nights with TooDX" to "TooDX jobs, all day forever", and seeing large numbers of people looking makes that decision easier. Not that either of us will be doing that anytime soon - this is a labor of love at the moment, mostly because I delayed college to play with life for a while and am just finishing up now at the ancient age of 25.
Our end goal is 100,000 eyeballs in 1 year. We don't intend to just monitor STEAM for those, but I'd be happy if we had 100,000 STEAM views!
Goal 2: Let people know about TooDX and what we do
The metrics for communication are much harder to gather but part of it is these announcements and part of it is monitoring the comments and another part is reading the comments themselves. That's why I'm enjoying myself greatly right now.
There are ~1000 people who liked the idea of this game enough to "Yes" it, ~2000 people who voted not at all, ~3000 people who voted "No" and ~100 people who voted "Not now". Those numbers will change, of course, but they are still interesting to look at although difficult to analyze. The "Yes" 's are the easiest of course: they would play the game. The 100 people who say "Not now" are like nibbles on the line - we can entice them to playing. I'm particularly interested in feedback from the "No" 's as I'm curious why they wouldn't play our game (FTP afterall) but I understand that different things would cause people to "No" vote (don't like graphics, style, genre, idea etc), and Auston is stoked to be able to deliver a game to 1,000 people who are looking for this experience and to try to get it to resonate with the "Not now" 's, or convert a "No". So to us, these metrics re-affirm our desire to release cool games.
If I'm having an egomania trip I imagine every person reads these announcements, which they don't. I know that, logically, but I still imagine it. For those of my dear readers who are reading I want you to know that Kuma Love You (KLY). Back to business - the feedback we are getting is highly enjoyable to me. It tells me that people, potential players, have very strong opinions about certain aspects of our game - sometime strong enough to shout out in support or against our design choices. For that I humbly thank you. We hadn't thought of Linux support until YOBA mentioned that that was a reason he couldn't upvote. When I pointed out that 1/5-1/7(I don't feel like recalculating) of the people excited/displeased enough to comment were talking about more than 1 boss we had to sit back and re-think our time allocations to see if we could squeeze that in because the base game is almost done. Feeback is awesome because we want to make things that are awesome and we do that better when people tell us what they want to see or what makes them not want to play. So keep it coming! I do apologize in advance if I'm very dense when it comes to certain comments but I don't want to be offensive or shove my foot in my mouth so I try to be cautious :)
The next step
Tweaking it in beta is the next step - and I can only promise a soon on that. Some of the animations need to be put in, a few of the weapon designs need to be rebalanced and we are discussing the initial difficulty curve. Leaderboards will drop before public release, beta will be fan-gated under our Facebook page. Some of the design elements of our website need to be redone and a few other things need to be put in place before we are satisfied with it. In the meantime, keep your eyeballs peeled back for an announcement about the beta dropping soon!
Kuma out (￣(ｴ)￣)ﾉ
February 27, 2013 - Kuma
So, I want to mention something(s). First of all, I don't code. I may dabble in some web languages but the brute force behind TooDX is Auston. Second of all we love games. Games are rad.
We love hearing the features that you want. LOVE IT. Always forever we want to know your opinions. And we try out suggestions and features that people suggest, try to take in to account things that they don't like when we design (I do help there) and play-test (I help there a lot ^.^ ).
One of the earlier complaints we got was that the bosses invulnerability felt cheap, like it weakened the gameplay. So we played with it taken out. Game was great when bullet power didn't do anything, but as soon as we made the player able to upgrade their damage, the boss became a giant walking bag of wuss. Straight bullet power was the only way to go. Since we are in the middle of cleaning up some code (I'm not helping, because I just break things ; ; ) we are going to take away his invulnerability and show you what happens on our Tumblr in the next week or so. Game = broken.
Why do I mention this? Because we want you to understand something: we care. We care about your opinions and feedback. We also care about making games that bring you an experience. This particular game aims at the experience of an even boss fight. A fight where the boss will incrementally get better until you lose. How far you go is up to your skill. At the current build, where nintendo hard is the default, my best run is 11 measly levels. Auston gets up to 14, the jerk.
We want the game to get that way. The polish now is in leveling the curve so everyone can experience the challenge evenly. We are also trying to balance the game so that we can showcase the best of the best on http://bossesforever.com, juggle new art assets in, bug-hunt, look for meaningful relationships with the universe, put in sound effects, market the game, launch the beta and plan our next game. That's a lot of stuff to do - and Bosses Forever 2.Bro, although awesome and radical, is not intended to make us money. That's the next release down the line. That means that we are going to jam as much awesome into it as possible now, then drop down the update/upgrade intensity around late summer and start heavy development in our next title. Then, next year, we will pull back and decide if we want to integrate something else super cool and time-consuming or if we want to keep the intensity level. Eventually we'll get to Super Bosses Forever and beyond.
"But Kuma," you're saying, "What does this have to do with me?". Valid point young padawan. What this has to do with you is this: we will test out some of the features people want to see. If it sounds cool and we think it is going to fit into the game, we will test it. We'll also record our tests and design process and share it with you. If it doesn't work, it won't go in. We can't do everything people suggest, obviously, but we'll try to do everything. Right now Auston and I are discussing the merits of the humble platform, and whether stage objects need to wait (short answer: yes) til SBF.
We will listen. We want your feedback. We want to know what you want to see. We are passionate about games; we think they are the vessels to the best times in our lives.
But we also want you to know the reality: not everything can be done, and not everyone can be satisfied with how we do things.
We love feedback, we will test and implement game features as we can and tell you why it works or doesn't as time allows. BF has a rough intensive effort timeline of Q1-Q3 2013, then we are focusing on our next game.
Thank you for everything, in advance. Let's go make great games.
Kuma out (￣(ｴ)￣)ﾉ
February 26, 2013 - TOO DX
Kuma here - as a non-steam user I was not aware that I can't just send you messages trying to start a dialogue. Perhaps as my steam skills level up I'll develop this power. Instead, I'mma update and do it that way til the other half of TooDX beats me senseless and forces me, matrix style, to learn how to be rad.
Alright. You've started the ball - that's awesome. First thing to point out to y'all. This is an iteration on a game design that we are passionate about. We have awesome memories of megaman sessions as youngsters - and feel that endless boss fights where the players are constantly challenged to learn and adapt is a cool thing. This is a fun to play game that we are constantly working on in our spare time, one we always intend to support and have (as of this writing) always be free. More features will be coming as our projects finish and we have some more ideas, experience, or assets to throw towards the game. I just want to get that out of the way. This is a passion project, an attempt at getting to the essence of boss fighteyness.
Second: I(we) love the feedback. All of it. Even the tetris guy(Butcher).I don't know if you meant that in a good or bad way, hit us up again and let me know bro-sef.
Third: I'm Kuma, A.K.A Ned Green. I look like a bear, ergo Kuma, and bears are sweet. Now we're friends, lets get rolling.
Fourth, I'll be responding to people by topic:
M0nstrz, UltimateLolwut, Zaimad mentioned on-line co-op. We're curious if this is something people really want. It won't be out come april, because we have some game balance adjustments to make (game starts Nintendo hard and ... it gets worse. Glee), but if people really want to see this it isn't stupidly hard to do. We might be able to work it in come August.
nek♥|sorrow, Resolute, Youth Worship Explosion, YOBA: I'm sorry we aren't putting out something you instantly like. This makes us sad. We want to make a lineup of games where everybody can find something they like. Can you tell us what you would like to play, or why this game is uninteresting to you? YOBA clearly doesn't like pixelated art style and Resolute doesn't seem to like the "old-skool" style of gameplay, but I'm not sure why YWE or nek don't care for it. Thanks for the feedback though guys.
fortuiteer: thanks for the feedback man. Steam's greenlight process requires a video and we were like "MAKE TRAILER TIME!" but it's only so-so (as you said, vapid). We plan on making a co-op demo pretty soon but we're a part time studio at the moment so it has been backburnered. There will be more demo vids and showcases of what is up with the game.
UltimateLolwut, Spagett: at the moment we only have Dr. Spektakles (my name for the Boss), up there. We plan on having the next iteration of BF having multiple bosses but that is not the goal at the moment. It's a matter of tweaking gameplay vs art asset and ai development time. We'd rather release this version, get community feedback on what they want, what they like and what they hate, and THEN build more bosses for them to slay.
5371EI, xXXMr. AlmightXx, Butcher(?), Coregan, UltimateLolwut, LIMP, vjshadow(?), Zaimad, Spagett, fortuiteer, the other guy on comment page 3 who's name I forgot to write down because I suck at life: Thanks for the kind words and enthusiasm. We hope you love it as much as we do and can't wait to get it ready to beta up.
Fenrir007: Three words: Neon, eighties, radness. :) . But honestly, is it that distracting? Why don't you like it? Would you still try the game?
vjshadow: Yes, hardcore. That's the idea. It gets the blood racing at the higher levels bro - good stuff.
fortuiteer, Zaimad, UltimateLolwut, Alavan, everyone who has opinions: what features/systems/hero abilities would you like to see available to you? fortuiteer mentioned maps - is an exploration feature necessary in a boss killing game? At the moment we have one location, the Space Tower, which has many floors and bosses to kill. They learn from you and get better at killing you as you progress and so each game is a challenge. Trying to think of a way to have multiple locations I can think of two ways to implement it - have a selectable background screen (kinda lame) and having multiple towers where the environment and hazards and perhaps boss AI are different.
sh0ck-wave: I'm sorry to hear that. Could you tell me what would be annoying to you, or is it just the idea of the game that disappoints?
Randall Tyree Manderson: I'm sorry, but I don't follow you. Care to explain?
Sparkly Sparkly Pokon: Why is that? I would think that if you love X, you'd enjoy our game. I could, of course, be completely wrong. I would like to know why you wouldn't want to play Bosses Forever though. Thanks!
This is getting so long. TL;DR: I LOVE ALL OF THE FEEDBACK. Thank you. Have an idea about something that sounds cool? Hit us up. We want to make games you'll have good times with - we firmly believe that we can't do that without your feedback and help. Thanks bros.
Kuma out (￣(ｴ)￣)ﾉ