Diary Entry #3: Mid 2019 – Late 2019
My first daughter was born in August 2019. Becoming a Dad was the most amazing thing to happen in my life. Having this beautiful little tiny human to look after was absolutely wonderful, and my life was forever changed.
While taking some time off work and living in new-born bliss, I was deciding whether or not to go to PAX. I wasn’t sure how much spare time I’d have with a new-born in the house. It turns out she slept a lot, so I was able to do a little bit of work when she did.
Pulling the trigger
After investigating what I needed to do to exhibit, I finally thought: Fuck it! Let’s go for it! This gave me a hard deadline to work for: October 2019, which was a little over a month away. Shit! It wasn’t much time to not only get the game ready, but organise everything else needed in running a booth at PAX.
The first thing I had to put together was a video demonstrating the game, so the organisers of PAX could see what I was presenting. Some of the things in that video were added to the game last minute to make it more presentable. This helped grow the game. I learned later that when making a video, you’re thinking about your game looking it’s best, so then you just jump in and do what is needed to make it look good. So it was around this time, I introduced a Hay field and pond levels.
Making the video pushed me to add more variety to the game
I registered a business name, domains, and created a website. My cousin Jamie helped me set the website up. Then there was social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
Graphics and Merch
All of this content needed some nice graphics, so I signed up with the graphic design site 99 Designs. The first thing I commissioned was an app icon. I ran it as a competition. Some of the submissions for the logo were so good! I was impressed with the quality, it made it hard to narrow it down to just one. I ended up keeping it simple and choosing a nice clean looking cartoon bull on a target. One of the other designs for the logo was so good, I contacted the designers to use their design for my game cards. I spent a very long time placing that artwork, along backgrounds, suits, and ranks into templates for 52 cards. Those cards are now used in the game, and were also printed up as merch. They looked amazing!
The artwork was better than anything I could draw!
Then there was the rest of the merchandise: T-Shirts, Mugs, Stickers and Badges.
It’s an awesome feeling than to see something worked hard at made into Merch!
It was a pretty crazy time. New-born. Crunch Development. Full Time Job. Organising a new business. Content creation. Planning for an exhibition booth! Arrggh! What have I done? Thank fuck it was only 6 weeks.
In that time I managed to get the app onto iOS Test Flight and Android Beta Testing, plus added a ton of features to the game. I thoroughly tested and polished Multiplayer. (Which in the end wasn’t used at PAX because the mobile reception wasn’t very good) I submitted artwork for my exhibitor booth. That took a while to get right, plus I had to work in an absurdly high resolution so the print quality looked good.
There were a few things in my original promo video that I wanted to flesh out, such as the new levels. I put together content for the website and created two new videos. A teaser and a gameplay video. Looking back at them now, they were pretty ordinary, but it was good enough considering I had limited time and resources.
There was a massive To Do list, which I was slowly ticking things off. It did mean late nights and a rush on work which could have been polished much better. That’s the crunch! My partner was very forgiving of all the time I was putting in. With everything going on, I made sure I was still getting plenty of quality time with my little girl.
Finally October arrived, and I had everything I needed ready for PAX. Given the limited time, I’d achieved a lot. The app wasn’t anywhere near to my high standards, but it would do. I packed up a big bag with my laptop, some tablets and a big monitor and headed to the exhibition centre for what would be a wild weekend!
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