Play with Fire Goes Beta
September 21, 2006
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Play with Fire just went Beta! It's been a long road to get here - longer than any of us expected - but then, isn't that always the way in game development?
So, where do we go from here?
Well, I expect we have several weeks of tearing our hair out trying to confirm that the game is Master quality before we can put it up for sale on Manifesto. There are still some questions...
Should we offer a demo for download now, when we can't offer the full game?
Should we let people in the pool make their own YouTube videos for some free publicity?
What can we do to get some attention from the websites and magazines? Are we doomed to be wholly reliant on word of mouth to promote the game?
Not to mention the big question...
Will people enjoy playing with fire?
I can tell you from blind testing feedback that there is an audience for this game, definetly. It kind of blurs the line between a casual game and a quirky gamer's game. There is a market, the question is how to penetrate?
I know a guy, whom I've mentioned before, that does OGM and has experience promoting a YouTube video, a few hours of work (i.e. less than $200) boosted the thing to 2000 hits, and its since taken a life of its own, its now up to 5000. I've found someone who'll help me produce a video to the 1812 overture, and I edited some levels to cinematic effect. In particular, at the finale of the overture, the Play With Fire letters will be ablaze simultaneously, then slowly collapse and disentegrate. Anyone who sees it will definetly play the demo, I think Manifesto does SEO for every page it has, so its a solid way to penetration. And thats a long term aggregator, something that can funnel people to us for years.
We also need some press penetration, and there is a degree we can get that for free. (Damn, alliteration nation). The video can be a calling card, it might improve the response rate from 0% (my experience) to 10 or 15%, and thats something.
We should wait on the demo, as much as I want to tell everyone I know to try it, patience young jedi. The video is much more effective to the effect of pre-release buzz.
Posted by: Patrick | September 21, 2006 at 11:04 PM
That's great news, Chris! As I told you before, I really wish I could be amongst the Beta testers - if not for my poor setup, way below the minimal requirements :(
Anyway, I wish all the best in this final stretch! I am sure Play with Fire is going to be a success.
Hey, I should get it myself, after a much needed system upgrade.
Posted by: chico | September 21, 2006 at 11:15 PM
Patrick: you make a convincing case here - I'll listen for more comments before concluding anything, but I am certainly swayed. Looking forward to seeing your music video! :)
Chico: I need to check with Sanjit whether or not the minimum spec went down when the codebase was optimised. But in the meantime, why not treat yourself to a system upgrade anyway. :)
Posted by: Chris | September 22, 2006 at 08:42 AM