This month we've tried to target applying for prizes to get more publicity and awareness, as well as looking at alternative funding methods in terms of Grove.
We've decided to put publishers on the back burner and look to target gov't funding, such as Greenshoots programme. This alongside with looking for contract work to start pumping £££ into the business - which we need. If we get money from other means, it enables us to put money back into Grove at some point again.
So, for now, apart from some Demo changes, Grove is taking the back seat. We're focusing on releasing Prism Prison (yes, we know it’s a mouth-full to say).
What is Prism Prison I hear... Well, I'll explain (can't remember if we've already talked about it before and I can't be arsed to check). I should probably explain it anyway in case you guys can't be bothered to scroll back and read all the previous rambles.
Prism Prison is a mobile game which will initially be released via Android and can be described as: the modern day rubix cube - fancy eh? You're given a pattern on the screen at the top, which you must match below. It's pretty cool and for now everything has been going super smoothly for Harry (who's carried the brunt of all programming and designing thus far). The only thing left for us to nail down is QA testing and the art style..
The art style, is proving a divisive issue for our team. One side favours a simplistic look (which for you non-devs/animators is surprisingly tricky to achieve as everything stands out way more) and the other a little more 'artsy/interesting' (easier to achieve in some ways, but acquired taste). There's plenty of pros and cons for both.
Here's the simplistic look: \
Here's the artsy look:
Which do you think? We're considering holding a poll on Instagram to get a better idea, but we're still in the internal testing phase so we'll l hold off just yet.
The pros for simplistic:
· Design communicated more clearly
· Prevents the screen looking cluttered
· Follows what a lot of colour matching puzzles do (using simple block colours)
· If achieved, looks and feels pleasing
· Harder to achieve (restrictions in our ability to animate stands out more)
· Can look 'prototypey' if not executed well
· Doesn't stand out from the crowd, which is bloody crowded
The pros for artsy:
· Stands out from other generic puzzle games in the industry
· If it’s unpolished it doesn’t stand out as much
· Very easily could stand out for the wrong reasons
· Can look amateur compared to other 'artsy' games
· Can hinder puzzle play
· Doesn’t easily communicate the colour
· Doesn't let the viewer focus
Despite the rejections so far, we're still holding out hope for Grove because people still seem very enthusiastic about the game. One publisher said no to us purely because our type of game wasn't their market focus for that year, which is no reflection on our game. We're still getting nominated for awards such as the Indie Prize at Casual Connect, so we must be doing something right! It's just tricky to get to that stage of people loving your game to the industry wanted to back it. One thing we can say, is we're super grateful for all the feedback from publishers, especially ones who have been frank with us.