Rock God Tycoon released about six days ago. I'm considering it a successful release so far based on a number of factors which I'll go into detail about below.
Steam User Reviews
Out of 24 reviews, every single person has felt it was a positive experience that they would recommend to others. While I find this surprising, I definitely believe we have created a very polished Early Access product. Especially when you consider the $9.99 price tag at the moment.
User Play Time
I've kept these users anonymous just because I don't think they would have expected their names to end up on my website. As you can see users have found a lot of recreational value in the game. This stands out to me even more than a positive review. It means some users (who particular enjoy this type of game) have found hours upon hours of entertainment while playing it.
A few moderately sized YouTubers have picked up the game and started Let's Play series which shows me (as a developer), that these people feel that this game is one that can be presented in an entertaining fashion to their audience.
Panos and I both don't want to discuss sales publicly but I think it is ok to say that we are staying above our minimum line. Now that alone isn't what is impressive.
See that image above? It's the great Steam Autumn sale! That means big games from big companies are 50% off and there are insane discounts everywhere! Despite launching Rock God Tycoon into a suicide mission, we've come out winning (at least in my book).
Was development worth it?
I don't know yet! We'll see in a few months.
While I would love to spend time writing out a detailed post about my recent experiences, I can not as there are a number of people in need of help every 15 to 30 minutes and I have a truckload of problems that I need to address.
I'll be brief. I'm surprised by how positively Rock God Tycoon has been received so far. It is impossible to see how much others will enjoy something you've created. Every hour I've put into this project feels like it is finally paying off. Panos has been great about helping out on the forums as well. While it would be nice to have another programmer on the team, we have no budget and we have to make do with what we have available to us.
The past few days have felt like I'm in a dream. I can't believe we are only 17 days from release. Rock God Tycoon has always been a massive project that felt out of my control. I've always wanted to complete it of course but I couldn't imagine actually taming the beast.
For the sake of other developers, I'd like to share what type of work I'm facing this close to release.
Last Minute Changes
I have nearly finished all of our originally planned features aside from Video Clips which are partially completed and have moved on to re-writing system for the future. What do I mean by for the future? Well I want to save us development time (once the game is released) in any way possible. This means making any half-ass written code legible and modular. This of course includes minor optimizations as well which I'm not fond of but I do feel is necessary.
We also have neglected to put in a tutorial up until this very moment. We have planned about ten days prior to release to create and design a basic tutorial for the release. Ideally this tutorial will explain the basics and help players get right into the game without much of a hassle.