Recently, I learned the term Minimum Viable Product. It is highly recommended approach for creating a new product, when you should focus on creating simple product, as fast as you can, and then show it to your potential customers. In such way you get feedback about it at the early stage of development, which might be very important (and sometimes refreshing). Then you can easily iterate and improve this product according to this feedback. When I read about it for the first time, I was amazed how so simple approach can be that much effective for Sapu. For over half a year we were slowly building our game, creating inventory system or other features that are not really “fun to play”. We had incredible gameplay in mind, but yet to be implemented.
Applying MVP to Sapu
In addition to the fact that our brand/game is pretty much still non-existent on the web and we are still waiting for our first true, long-term followers, applying MVP seems to be a no-brainer. Thus we transferred this approach to our little game development world. We focused solely on creating satisfying gameplay just to build short “production demo” as soon as possible and let some friends and other players play it to give us their opinion what they like about the game and what could be improved. Make no mistake, this demo will be far away from finished game, it will contain only few main features (and not top-notch polished SFX) of the game, but I’m sure it will help us tremendously to create the best gameplay experience we can.
When some friends asked me a month ago when they’ll be able test our game or see some gameplay, I responded that it is a long process and at the current state, Sapu is not ready for any exposure. But hey! The inventory system is implemented! YAAY… Well no, not really.
Now, if someone would asked me the same question, I still would respond that the game is not “playable” yet, but we are working hard to create such minimum viable product, that he’ll be able to test the game soon. And it really feels so much better!
Learn from mistakes
I’m sure we missed many opportunities during the whole development process by doing not important stuff at such early stages, but it’s a learning process and I love it. I am happy that we started this blog not only from marketing perspective, but it also allowed us to better evaluate our work and take the right course of action.