Crunching, for those who don’t know just yet, is when a team of creative individuals have a deadline to deliver their product and a finite amount of time in which to get an exorbitant load of work done. The less technical definition is that it is a caffeine enhanced, sleep-deprived part of a project just before it’s release.
We are doing this right now.
The last two and half years have been a tremendous amount of fun, as well as headache and heartache as we have worked on Retrovirus. This is the home stretch, the final countdown (see previous post for link to joke or just click here: http://gobarrested.ytmnd.com/); this is our proverbial fat lady warming up her voice for the world’s stage. But it isn’t all fun and games (pun intended) as we approach the finish line. Here is a glimpse of what is still left on our plate in our final two weeks and what it will take to complete Retrovirus:
1. Bug stomping everywhere you go
Bugs can make for some amazing experiences in games. In my career alone I have come across hundreds, and while a few were very amusing, the vast majority were not. Bugs can ruin a gameplay experience, detract from the immersion, or even worse, force you to re-try the same mechanics and hopefully subvert the faulty code. Bug-stomping is one of the most important tasks to complete in game development and also one of the most tedious and time consuming. We have thousands of notes listed in a sortable database and it’s up to our programmers to seek out and destroy as many as they can, just like the agents in our game!
2. Marketing to the masses
Though you might be reading this blog and are aware of Retrovirus’ release date on the 31st of this month, not everyone is (do us a favor and tell 5 friends about it!) We are focusing on a wide-variety of medium to attempt to get the word out about Retrovirus. Our marketing approach most closely resembles the shotgun in our game in that we reach out to game-reviewers, critical sites, forums, blogs, aggregators, social-media and other outlets in an attempt to convince people that our game is worth their time, effort and energy. In order to make this ‘splash’ we compose hundreds of emails, send out countless keys, post, blog and vlog our eyes out. The difficulty in marketing is that sometimes all it takes is one email and you could have a million eyes on your project, while other times you battle obscurity in the face of other gargantuan news breaking at the same time. All we can do is put ourselves out there, allow ourselves to be seen, and hope our creativity and commitment shine through to our finished product.
3. Integrating with new friends
Retrovirus is going to be released for a whole host of different platforms, and we want to take advantage of all of the cool features of each one of these different vendors. Friends-lists, achievements, match-making and chat are all custom-tailored to the different medium in which you’ve purchased the game, and each one of these platforms has to be configured, tested, and rolled out. No matter which platform you choose to employ to deliver our game experience, we want you to have the best play-time possible, and we hope that the work we are doing now further enhances our game for you!
So that’s it folks, these three areas along with copious amounts of red-bull and a general lack of sleep will help us in our ‘crunch time.’ One thing that helps us to continue on this journey toward completion is envisioning that fat-lady, doing her warm-ups, readying herself for her swan-song. Retrovirus has been a great experience and we can’t wait to deliver it to you! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more bugs to squash, emails to write and integrations to complete!