Gridiron Solitaire #104: RoadmapSo here's where we are right now.
I simmed over 250 seasons last weekend (yes, that's over 3,000 presses of the "sim week" button--don't remind me). After quite a bit of new tweaking, the new offseason is working entirely as intended. Different leagues evolve differently over the course of 30 years, but the overall league ranking totals remain very stable. You'll see 14 win seasons (very rarely), 1 win seasons (also rarely), and everything in between.
Plus, the breaking news ticker works and is a nice addition to atmosphere. When I see that a team has changed style, I always look up at the rating screen to see how much disruption they'll have as an organization to reflect the new coach's philosophy (imaginary disruption, obviously, but I still reflexively do it).
I'm glad that's done. It was a gigantic pain in the ass, and even though I'm glad I did it (the new system is much more robust), I'm glad it's over.
Before I can release 1.3, I have a list of bug fixes to complete, plus Fredrik is still drawing images. The bugs, though, are largely cosmetic--no game breakers, no crashes. Plus I have to modify the tutorial to reflect the new content (shoot me).
Most importantly, I have to rebalance difficulty. That's going to be a challenge.
I was beating myself up on Friday for not supporting the game well enough, but then I realized that there will be a major content expansion (1.3) about four months after release. So it seems like it took forever, but considering it's just me and Fredrik, that wasn't so bad.
When 1.3 is released (late May, I'm guessing), there will still be one major content addition to come, and that will involve keeping team records by individual player name, as well as little narratives when a player gets replaced in the offseason card game. This also means there's going to be a new team history page, where instead of seeing "season cards", there will be a "season journal" with tabs to review individual years. I'm going to be tracking so much information that it requires a new format, plus I've never liked the smallness of the font with the existing season cards.
By late July, the game should be ready for "relaunch", and when I do that, I'm going to do everything I can in terms of marketing. Podcasts, asking for reviews (which is hard for me), updating the website and the Steam page, appearing in bundles--everything, essentially.
I'm not a promoter, but I have to be willing to learn how to do it better.
I've learned a lot with the initial launch--most importantly, that as a very, very small shop, I can either develop or I can market, but I really can't do both at the same time. And while it's more fun to develop, for the long-term success of the game, I have to market.