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Independent dev, looking for community feedback

02-24-2009, 06:28 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 47
Independent dev, looking for community feedback

Hi,

After a couple weeks of prototyping on an iPhone game I've been working on, I've got the basic combat engine just (barely) playable, and I've put up some screenshots and basic game description.

What I wanted to know from the community here, is what would you suggest as ways to go about gathering community support and feedback from people who are interested in the project. I've been developing software for a good 15 years, so I've got the development part down...but I am very new to the community engagement piece. As an indie dev, I don't have the ability to just post an announcement on blizzard.com, and get people's attention. I want to build community support, and gather feedback from people like those of you who frequent the forums here, so that I can build a game that the people like. I have a strong vision for what the game will be like, but there is a lot of room for design to be based on community feedback and suggestions. I believe the best games come from a good balance of creator vision and a well-structured community feedback loop.

So, I guess some of the specific questions I would have, both to players and developers, are:

1. Are there specific tools for community engagement (relevant to developing a server-based iPhone game) you can suggest? It's not an open source project, but does something like lighthouse make any sense?

2. I would imagine that hosting a game-specific forum would be part of the way to go, but there have to be existing public communities that would be interested in hearing about it. This forum is one example. Do you have others you would suggest?

3. For developers, how do you work with pre-release play testers? Do you just build an ad hoc release, and send it around...or do you collect iPhone id #s? I had trouble previously figuring out the right way to do the certifications, which is why I ask.

I appreciate any thoughts and help. As an independent developer, and long time gamer, it takes quite a lot of effort to make a successful product...and I think I speak for indie devs, in saying that we all appreciate your support tremendously. It takes a lot of courage to stare down EA, and go head to head with big studios...but in the end, when a great independent game makes it, and the gameplay and mechanics are something that could have never come out of a name company...it's all worth it.

At least, that's what keeps me going. =)

Thanks
Ryan

Founder and CEO, R.Cloud Software
iPhone Apps: Digit Defenders, iLOLZ, Create-a-Cartoon Face,Create A Valentine
Currently Developing: Spellwars
Game Development Blog: rcloudsoftware.wordpress.com
02-24-2009, 06:37 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcloudsoftware View Post
1. Are there specific tools for community engagement (relevant to developing a server-based iPhone game) you can suggest? It's not an open source project, but does something like lighthouse make any sense?

2. I would imagine that hosting a game-specific forum would be part of the way to go, but there have to be existing public communities that would be interested in hearing about it. This forum is one example. Do you have others you would suggest?

3. For developers, how do you work with pre-release play testers? Do you just build an ad hoc release, and send it around...or do you collect iPhone id #s? I had trouble previously figuring out the right way to do the certifications, which is why I ask.



Thanks
Ryan
Hi good to see you are an engaged developer.

1. I didn't get the lighthouse reference, but promo codes and discussion about how the game was developed, trouble with apple (get some empathy ), what made you think of the game concept etc. I recommend not just letting everything out in one post but post a bit and see how people are receiving your game, if you are successful you'll be able to create long threads and get some real attention from the community

2. Wait until you have an engaged community in these type forums to create your own, if people check out your forum and don't see any activity chances are they won't participate or bookmark for future discussion.

3. I'm not a dev but I have beta tested, the developer asked me for my device ID and send a mobile provisioning file along with a build to install, it is recommended that you instruct beta testers on how to install both files.

-Pablo

Check out Randomness is green
some youtube comment:
Quote:
She's smart...
in a parallel universe, 100 billion years ago
02-28-2009, 01:01 AM
#3
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Agoura Hills, CA
Posts: 251
Send a message via AIM to jshmrsn
Reviewers are very helpful at release time. One tip I have is to look at YouTube videos of a whole bunch of iPhone Apps and then look at the Statistics and Data tab to see which sites are linking the video. Make a list of the sites and come release time, start emailing away. Currently, TouchArcade pulls by far the most views to my videos, but there are many many others as well.

Josh Rosen
Developed Above & Beyond Air Combat (Now Available!)
Developed: SciFly
Twitter: @jshmrsn
02-28-2009, 01:21 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Cali-forn-i-a
Posts: 2,302
wow, that game looks pretty interesting. When i first saw that it was a "spell" game i though you meant like spelling. That would not be fun.

"Hey bro, lets have a spelling duel!"
02-28-2009, 01:21 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman919 View Post
wow, that game looks pretty interesting. When i first saw that it was a "spell" game i though you meant like spelling. That would not be fun.

"Hey bro, lets have a spelling duel!"
Yea, believe you me, you're not the first person to make that assumption. I'm still working on a new title, one that's a little less ambiguous, but for now Spellwars seems to be a reasonable enough working title.

If anyone is interested in getting involved, I've started a Ning group with some of the people here from TA, as well as a few other people who are contributing to the game. It is for anyone who is interested n contributing to the game development with ideas, playtesting, art, actual development, or any other way you think you can help. Send me a PM if you'd like to help contribute.

Thanks
Ryan

Founder and CEO, R.Cloud Software
iPhone Apps: Digit Defenders, iLOLZ, Create-a-Cartoon Face,Create A Valentine
Currently Developing: Spellwars
Game Development Blog: rcloudsoftware.wordpress.com