Some Kind of Postmortem

So, Circuit Scramble is all packed up and ready to release. The natural state for developers when hitting the end of a project seems to be reflecting back on what went wrong and what went well – and I’m no exception to that rule.

This is going to be my very first game release, so that poses it’s own set of problems to the whole reflection process. So much of this is new to me that I barely have a point of comparison to determine if something went well or not. Did I struggle in some peculiar or particular way? Or were the difficult parts just par for the course in terms of releasing a product. My inclination is the latter is true, but I suppose only time will tell.

Before Circuit Scramble, my experience has been generally limited to a number of personal projects and game jam entries, all of which helped me build up my design skills. But it’s safe to say that getting something ready for release is a completely different ball game. Even setting aside all the secondary work that releasing a game needs – setting up store pages, getting screenshots, trailers, descriptions and posts – there is a certain pressure that comes with knowing that a game is going to be released to the public(even if the likely case is that few will ever play it).

The level of rigor and self-criticism I put myself through in this release far exceeded any of my previous projects, which have been all for my own benefit. In terms of a time split, I think I spent about half the time getting my game to what I would consider “feature-complete”, and the other half labouring over small details, bugs, and issues that annoyed me. Even still, I see tiny flaws and issues everywhere – you may even notice them as well – but the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Even with that pressure, this has easily been the most satisfying project I have ever taken on, and it is enough to keep me fired up for making more games. Seeing the level of satisfaction I get from even a small mobile game, I can’t wait to take on even more projects. There may be more small mobile games in my future, or larger projects with a more ambitious scope. I guess we’ll just have to see where things go from here!

Rob van Staalduinen