Gamieon is a privately owned entertainment software development company located in Tampa, Florida. Since October of 2004, we have aimed to provide quality video game software which emphasizes both intellectual and action-driven challenge to the gaming community. Gamieon depends on the talent of individuals working as a team to develop video games and video game engines with a focus on exceptional game play and surrealism.
Posted by Gamieon on Sep 19th, 2012
A while ago I developed a mobile game that mixes pinball with an arcade shooter. It wasn't a hit by any standard, but those who did play it enjoyed it and I had a good time developing it. It's playable as a PC game, so I figured I'd port it over. After making some pretty major improvements to the game play based on helpful player feedback, it's now in a Release Candidate state. I could pull the trigger and release it within days, but there's a problem.
I had the privilege of posting a link to the free version of Hyperspace Pinball on Greenlight and the Penny Arcade Indie forum. I also e-mailed news tips to sites like Rock Paper Shotgun and other outlets that accept news about Indie games. The reaction everywhere was either cool or unresponsive; in fact on Penny Arcade my post had 30 views while sandwiched in between two other posts with over 300 each. I believe it's all because Hyperspace Pinball is a niche game that just won't interest many gamers, and because I haven't really tried to build buzz and a community around those who would play it.
So I think it's time this lone wolf run with the pack, and here are the reasons why:
Hyperspace Pinball is a small game
From the beginning, it was designed as a fun way to pass time; but not very much time. As a PC game, it's not as immersive as most other games with much more varying level content, storylines, better game play and multiplayer support. It's more suited for gamers who are looking to get a collection of games at once to play them all out.
It's a chance to collaborate with other developers
When your game is in a bundle, you or your team become part of an even bigger team. You can try out the other games in the bundle and get to know the organizers and other developers. It's a good way to share ideas, suggestions, experiences; and make some new friends.
The games may get more visibility together than alone
It's in everyones best interests to get word out about the bundle and the games within it. Instead of one team, you have all the development teams plus the bundle organizers going out in their own ways trying to make the bundle viral. On top of that, there have been popular Indie bundles released before, and buzz continues as more come out!
It's a learning experience
I'm always willing to learn new things related to casual Indie game development. I've released other games before on my own; and I may find that I enjoy participating in bundle releases more than not. I still have a lot to learn about the game development cycle anyway since I'm so immersed in the programming side of it. Plus when it's all over, I can share my experiences with other developers.
It's a chance to help charity
I have a full time job doing non-game-development, and I'm able to pay my bills. If I don't break even against the time and money investments I put into Hyperspace Pinball, I won't lose any sleep. More than once I thought about how neat it would be to have a game that was so successful that I could invest a fair amount of money into Habitat for Humanity. I think I have a better chance of accomplishing that working with a group than going it alone.
So there you have it. If you're reading this and you are in charge of an Indie bundle release; then consider this my submission. You can download Hyperspace Pinball from Desura.comand try it yourself. Codes to unlock all the features are available on request. I don't plan on any further code changes except for any small bugs that I or anyone else finds along the way.