In the first 24 hours of release, I had almost 500 downloads. Not too shabby!
I’m plenty pleased with the release. Anyone who visits the same forums that I visit probably noticed my… interesting… advertising tactics. I posted threads on many adventure game related message boards from two different accounts advertising my game as two separate games. There was Sanou advertising her game, Kami, and RightMind advertising his game, DocMcVonSpaceBurger Junior.
I treated the two as completely different characters, answering questions and responding to comments as each character would. Kami is a female living in Japan with limited English ability (modeled after any one of my students) while RightMind is a younger version of me.
To add to the characters’ credibility, I created the forum accounts a long time ago. I registered Sanou back in June and RightMind way back in March! This was about three weeks after I finished programming Spooks for Erin, demonstrating how long ago I had the idea and how far ahead I was thinking. For even more evidence of my madness, sanou is Japanese for the left lobe of the brain.
Left brain … Right Mind … No?
My two characters posted previews and screenshots for their separate games which I had worked up to be the same, yet look like two distinctly different games. This was all too easy because of the wildly different art styles used in the game.
I was surprised that no one noticed the striking similarities between the two and called me out on it. If you lay those two screenies on top of each other, the pedestals and buttons on the walls will line up perfectly. I thought I’d have to do some creative lying, but it never came up.
After the release, I posted, using my usual account and unveiled my scheme. Some people were really confused. I think that some may have been disappointed, as they were looking forward to one or both of the two games, but instead they got something completely different!
There were two hitches in the launch, though. After releasing the game at about six in the evening my time, I enjoyed watching the comments pour in, and later went to bed. Unfortunately, the popularity of the game coupled with a decimal place error on my part (I set the site’s bandwidth limit to 10 Gigabytes instead of 100… Gah!) caused the server to shut down and display a big “Bandwidth Limit Exceeded” message to everyone trying to download. Nik, my awesome musician, quickly mirrored the game over at CG Empire and I fixed the problem as soon as I woke up and discovered it. Hopefully, it didn’t drive away too many players.
The second hitch is still going on right now. I linked all the downloads through the AGS bigbluecup.com download page, so that if I moved the file, all I’d have to do is change the download location once and it would automatically work on every forum and blog where the link was posted. I thought this was a good idea, but now the bigbluecup server is having trouble! Double Gah!
Until that gets fixed (hopefully today) everyone’s going to get an error message if you try to download the game. Rather than go through and change the link on every forum, I’m just going to update it here and on the game’s main page and hope that people come looking for it.
So, until that gets fixed up [EDIT: Fixed!], here’s the download location for the game:
linus.rar (42.6 MB) or linus.zip (71.4 MB)
And before ending this post, I wanted to talk up two features of the game. First up, the Hall of Completion.
This was something that was optional in my original plan for the game. But I wanted to do it to learn some programming that I’d never done before, and just to add something fun that hadn’t been seen (to my knowledge) in an AGS game yet.
So far, just two people. The game is pretty tough, and the multi-layered logic puzzle certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but still, I expected more completions out of the 500 downloads. Of course, it could be that people just don’t care to go to a website and type in the code… Still, it was fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing more names on there.
Finally, I wanted to talk up the soundtrack. Nikolas Sideris was an awesome help throughout the game. Besides the music, he helped me out with suggestions and encouragement. I can safely say that the game wouldn’t have come out as good as it did without Nik.
When I approached him to do the music, I offered him a huge challenge: to create two pieces of music that were completely different in mood and sound, but could be played simultaneously and sound like a single cohesive track. And he came through like crazy. The alien track is so addictive, that I keep hearing my wife humming it while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and other wifely duties. I think it’ll get stuck in your head too.
I highly recommend downloading the awesome soundtrack. It only runs about six minutes, but it’s very fun to listen to.
linus_soundtrack.zip (6.8 MB)
1 – Intro Theme
2 – Both
3 – Alien Theme
4 – Samurai Theme
5 – Linus Theme
I’ll be updating this week with a Post Mortem on the game, talking about what went right and what went wrong during development. Hopefully it’ll be of some use to other amateur adventure developers.