Monthly Report #10 – October 2016

Sapu at FreeGalaktus 2016 Indie Game Contest

243 commits in October. This is our record. I am happy to announce that we’ve managed to finish the build and were able to attend in The FreeGalaktus 2016 contest. It gathered 76 participants (games) from 17 countries – wow! I honestly didn’t expect such numbers. We are very excited to see which game will win the People’s Choice award, and which game will be Jury’s favorite. By the way – you can still vote for Sapu until 10th of November!

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t expect such a high level in the contest. There are several finished products that had been launched already. Also, there are many games with great potential. You can see the whole list here. It just shows that not everybody believes in Indiepocalypse 🙂 The build that we have sent is still far from finished and polished content, but hopefully Jury will see the huge potential in Sapu, just as we see it. Check our Social Media channels later on to see how we did in the contest!

Double-staged deadline – key to success?

Watebb presentation
When I’ve read about the contest the first time, I thought that 31st of October might be too short of a period to come up with semi-polished version of Sapu. Mostly because back then we still struggled with technical side of transition to 3D. With such tight deadline, I wanted to have more control over what’s going on everyday and what is left to do. That’s why I have planned our first deadline for 21.10 to send the build to playtesters, to check if there were any blocking bugs (not mentioning me testing almost every day every commit). Although some minor bugs have been reported (that we knew about anyways), there were no big ones.

Thus, we had one more week to add new features. As we didn’t want to risk any major flaws by adding game-changing skills/enemies, we have implemented Passive Skill Tree to make sure that Jury will see why we even call Sapu an RPG game… The results of our work were great – we did everything what I’ve wanted to achieve for this build. Having two deadlines one after another:

● Enabled “safety” of finishing project If things would go really badly, we still would have over a week make things right.
● Accelerated our work as we had a clear vision of what needs to be done on a daily basis

But this approach has its flaws also. For me and Sarseth, almost the whole month looked like this: Day job -> Sapu -> Sleep -> Repeat. Qra had also full hands of work especially when creating visuals for intro and outro movies. Its exhausting. It is not healthy. Productivity decrease over time. Sooner or later your body (or your Woman :D) will tell you “Enough man, get some rest”. That’s why we’ll chill out a bit with deadlines and will just create Sapu further at our own pace. But I won’t lie myself – such schedule will come back some time… more than once.

What’s next

Sapu vs Larissa

Transition from Trello to HacknPlan

During the intense work schedule in October, we almost fully resigned from Trello to Slack conversations by listing bullet points as tasks to do. As the project expands, we have started to feel that Trello is becoming too limited for our needs. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great tool to manage Kanban projects – but it lacks few features when dealing with bigger projects. I don’t want write too long post, so if you are curious what in our opinion Trello lacks, comment below or contact us directly – I’ll write another, dedicated blog post about it. So this month we’ll transition from Trello to HacknPlan which after first analysis, might be pretty great (and yet free to use) tool.

Scripts refactoring and files clean up

Creating prototypes and iterating further demos, especially when there is no much time, can cause some mess (either in code or files). We’ve started cleaning up this mess, refactoring code and also adjusting game’s files structure. Boring stuff for gamers, hugely important stuff for gamedevs with medium to big size projects 🙂

New locations, new enemies, new skills

After several prototyping trials, rebuildings and polishing for demo, we feel that we are closer and closer to the gameplay we want to have eventually. And that means that we can finally generate more content to the game! Can’t wait for upcoming locations, monsters and skills – this will be so much fun! But I’ll hold details to myself for now 🙂

The 2017 is coming – the plans are huge and ambitious. We plan to have a crowdfunding campaign to be able to create as enjoyable experience for players as possible, boost the production stage and assess the potential of commercial success of Sapu. Stay with us to see if we’ll be able to make it!

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