Thursday, 17 March 2016

Phantasmal Devlog: The last month (Part 4)

Since I started my tentative reach out to the press, I've had small trickles of responses.  The first day was horrid, despite me rationalizing that everyone was at GDC.  Irrational panic set in: "What if no one cares?  What if they know the game is total garbage?!".

Imposter syndrome was in massive overdrive for me that day.  Fortunately I was due into The Arcade Auckland the following day which allowed me to work on something completely outside of the game and talk to my fellow indies.

A couple of people responded, not a lot, but it was better than nothing.  If I can just suppress that terrified little voice in my head, intellectually I know that it's a numbers game.  

Just like door to door sales, you might go through dozens of houses before someone even answers the door, and even then they might still slam the door in your face, or shout at you to get lost.

Reaching out to game press, youtubers has always felt like that.  When I was in uni I had a door to door sales job and I gave up after 10 houses lol.  The humiliation and rejection just felt too much at the time.

Fortunately in this case, no one shouts at you to get off their property!

I guess the other part of the problem that I now recognize is that even though I have transitioned into 100% marketing now, I still feel like it wasn't early enough.  I think for us, this process has to be  started right at the beginning of the project.

However I don't regret our journey to date - this was our first proper game project.  I don't count those crappy mobile games I made in the past. 

I think we have learned immensely from all the mistakes we made.  I think the educational aspect of this project is worth its metaphorical weight in gold for me.  I don't think any amount of research or education would have taught me so much in such a relatively short amount of time.

Probably the most valuable thing to have come out of this project is the team.  I've churned through quite a few different people during the project, and the ones that remain are like diamonds - created via immense pressure.  This team is the sustainable one - we are all in this for the long game and for the love of gaming.

This is something that Morgan Jaffit echoed to me during his visit to New Zealand.  He is massively successful, and he attributes a significant part of this to his team.

It's kind of weird, but I find writing this blog/journal to be really therapeutic in itself!  This is something I'll do more of in future.  Even if no one else reads it, it will make for some great memoirs - I can come back it one day and see what has changed.

On the other hand, if other people and indies read it some day, and it helps even a little bit, then it will have all been worth it!