About a week ago I started saying that I am done with Precarious Potions. It’s a great feeling, being “done.” It’s really too bad that “done” and “released” are not the same thing. Now that I am no longer adding content, I am rounding up edge cases, squishing bugs, and arguing with nonsensical web standards. In some ways I want the release to be as perfect as possible, and in other ways I know that I can never make it 100% functional for every browser on every device in all weather and astrological conditions. The consensus at the moment is that HTML5 is still flaky, at best. I’m starting to learn tolerance for odd bugs that don’t actually break the game. It’s the ones that do that are currently driving my up the walls.
One important thing I do in the time between “done” and “released” is lots of random testing. I usually stick my iPad under someone’s nose and ask them to check out a game I made. If they look interested (which they usually do) I ask them for critique—mean critique. I want them to rip it apart. This serves two purposes: The first is to take their socially acceptable nothing-but-vague-praise response and push it into a more realistic realm. The second is to help find the things that solicit 1-star reviews before they have the potential to scar my game’s reputation. You can hear it before or after, but I find it much easier to manage before. If the tester truly likes your game, they won’t be able to help including praise along with the critique. Either way, it’s a win-win.
I can’t wait to kick this game out the door. I’ve got a lot of great plans for it—which I will be writing about quite soon. I really believe in where this game has gone. With the right exposure it will do well in the wild. Once it releases I will share more details about the transformation it went through in the past year-and-a-half, as well as overall success or failure in the marketplace.
Until next time, here is a preview image of the intro sequence. All elements were hand-drawn on a very large sheet of paper and then captured via my iPad camera. I vectored over them, but the hand-drawn nature remains. I am psyched to use the process again—it made such a difference.