Since its release, Ninja Robot Winning Gameshow has enjoyed a small amount of public interest. I thought I’d share some of the places it has shown up (Google Alerts is my friend).
Jay is Games – NRWG got showcased on one of their Weekend Download pieces. I got more hits from this site for NRWG than I have from any other site, by far. It’s like a giant mountain looming out of the plains of my normally tiny daily visitor count. It was cool to have something I created show up on such a well read site. I enjoyed reading the positive comments about NRWG. Some of the “this game is stupid and it sucks” type comments made Ninja Robot sad. But we’re supposed to use those as learning experiences, right? My learning experience is that I shouldn’t use my own development gameplay experiences at all in determining game difficulty. That and even though rectangle intersection as your main form of collision detection sounds very precise on paper, it can lead to a frustrating gameplay experience for some. Overall, I think more people would have played and commented on NRWG if one of the other Weekend Download entries hadn’t included pixilated nudity. Oh, well. The next game will just have to have Ninja Robot in a bikini or something I guess.
Nerd Fortress (Editor's note: Unfortunately, Nerd Fortress is no longer active.) – My friend Kurt over at Nerd Fortress did a little review of NRWG. I liked that Kurt pointed out he appreciated me talked about my game design aims and tools that I used and such. I think I should do that more. Kurt brought up topics related to the difficulty, as well as a couple of other points that would have made the game better.
Some German web site (Editor's note: Unfortunately, the German website is no longer active) – I don’t speak German, so I’m not really exactly sure what this site is all about, but it obviously has something to do with games. Google Translate helped me with the actual game review page (the English translation is here if you’re interested), and it seems the reviewer liked the game, though felt at least some level of strikethrough-ed frustration. I’m guessing his/her frustration was again due to the difficulty.
Cafe Press (Editor's note: Unfortunately, the Cafe Press link no longer works.) – This isn’t a review, but I thought it was pretty cool. Cafe Press lets you print random stuff you upload on to random things like shirts and cups and whatnot. My little sister pulled some art from the game and set up a couple of Ninja Robot Winning Gameshow t-shirts that you can buy! From the screen shots of the shirts, it looks like she did a pretty good job picking art and resizing it and cleaning it up and everything. I can’t say how the shirts look in real life though, as I haven’t gotten one. I’m tempted, but I have loads of other t-shirts I already don’t wear, and I’m afraid this would end up one more on the pile. How’s that for a product endorsement? Even the game creator doesn’t but the merchandise!
Last night I went to the quarterly Utah Indie Game Night, met some cool people, got reacquainted with a few others, saw some cool things other people had made, and showed a few things I had made, including NRWG, which will hopefully help it gain a little more exposure.
It’s been an interesting experience “marketing” NRWG. It makes me really glad I work as a programmer and not as a marketer. Actually getting the word out and making people aware of what you’ve created sounds hard, but is actually way harder than it sounds. I think I’ll primarily stick to nice easy topics like collision detection, AI algorithms, multi-threaded locking issues and source control management, thank you very much.
So I have two questions for anyone who might be reading: 1) Lots of people have commented on the difficulty of the game. Has anyone besides me actually beaten the game? Was the time and effort I spent on closing credits and music wasted (not that I spent a ton of time, but some) because I’m the only one who’s seen them? Just curious. 2) I’ve previously mentioned the possibility of other people designing some levels. I never heard anything from anyone on that. I just thought I’d ask again to see if anyone new might be interested. The level designer isn’t hard to use and isn’t horribly, horribly buggy. Just a little buggy, honest! If you’re interested, let me know in the comments.