The Rotting Cartridge would like to give a heartfelt thanks to those that beta-tested the game in detail. Cheers!

In the past month, we’ve held a beta test, submitted to IGF, and frantically worked to fix bugs as we gear up for release. About two weeks ago, we agreed that we would take a break in lieu of the release, considering the holidays and our day jobs. The break is also time for our artist to transcribe the original Kale In Dinoland manual, and design the front screen.

The manual is a new addition. We want to make the title screen something new – to tap into some excess nostalgia and give context to the port. Here’s a working example:

Beta Test and Feedback

For the beta, we got a lot of feedback. First, the good stuff: most people enjoyed what they played of the game, and we didn’t hear anything negative about the d-pad and buttons – so let’s put that mystery to rest, shall we?

What we did hear about, and could see on our TF statistics, was that nearly everyone was having trouble with getting used to the game. The difficulty curve is too high. One of the ways we’re addressing this is with the manual.

A page of the new manual

But another way – and how small teams can re-examine levels – is to take a step back, take a breather, and come back with a fresh perspective. Our designer has decided not to look at the game during the break, and then come back and give it a playthrough with notes. Hopefully, any of the frustrating aspects of the level design can be hammered out. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm for the retro purists: we won’t veer off from the original in difficulty.

The Coming Months

Another problem – and something you may have noticed – is our apparent lack of marketing. Wherever we’ve shown the game, we get positive responses all around, but there it is – we haven’t shown the game much. We have a teaser trailer and a simple website – lacking a web designer, which we should get next time around, although S did a good job for what little time she had. Obviously we need to get the word out.

We have some ideas as the game nears release, of videos and promos we could do. This will push back the release, but if the game comes and only a select few notice it, that’s worse than a delayed game.

What are the ideas? A development video, for one, to humanize us. The second video would require more time and effort, but should be worth it, to draw out the retro love from the corners of the internet. We would film a bunch of kids, teens and 20-somethings playing the original Kale In Dinoland in various places, making the parallel to playing our ported version, coupled with some retro head-banger music, and 90’s sound effects. It was a shame the original game didn’t have a TV ad, because we could have just stole that, but oh well.

For those of you waiting out for the full game, don’t worry, it’s coming! We’ll remind our subscribers when that time comes.

Our IGF Experience

In the meantime, we will expound on our terrible IGF experience, and how the IGF is a scam, in another post. The $100 is a loss for all of us, and our founder J is upset about it, though he should have expected that the self-proclaimed “indie game scene” is nothing but a giant hipster circle-jerk. In the IGF post, we are going to be very, very open about our TestFlight experience, who our judges were, what amount they played, and hopefully reveal many of the sleazy details of what goes on in the biased background of the IGF, the largest gathering of people with thick-rimmed glasses the world-over. We encourage everyone: please stay away from the IGF, it has lost its credibility as a viable outlet to objectively judge games, and Mr. Boyer should be lambasted out of the chairmanship. That is all.

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