It’s been just over a week since the game came out, and the response has been completely insane. In my wildest dreams I was hoping for a slow burn, so I’d be able to work on stuff at a steady pace and maybe there’d be a room or two of people playing at any given time, but, uh, it turns out lots more people like to be monke than I thought they would.
As of the time this post is going up, over 21,000 people have played the game. What the hell. This gives me a lot of motivation, so I’m going to keep working hard to make this game as good as I can make it. To that point, I’m aiming to have the first update come out by this Friday. It’s going to have several bug fixes and improvements, including a fix for the stick turning throwing you around randomly, smoothing out of the branches that lead to the tree room so newer players can get to the computer easier, and a clearly visible Code of Conduct situated in the gazebo next to the scoreboard. It will outline what behavior is acceptable (I’ve had to ban a lot of people who inexplicably thought it would be ok to name themselves the n word, so there’s also going to be a more clear message if you’ve been banned with the reason and the duration). I’m also working on a new map. It’s a cave and I think you guys will like it.
All that said, the game being more successful than I’ve planned also changes my plans a bit. Currently, I have no way to make any money from the game. There are a few bills that are going to be a good amount larger than I expected, but the main thing is that I’m only working on the game in my spare time.
I’ve had a bunch of people ask me about this, including a lot of people who have graciously offered to send me donations. I’d like to avoid doing that, since I’d much prefer to give people something specific and concrete for their money instead of just thanking them. So, in order to sell something, I have to build something, which takes time and effort.
I was planning on adding a cosmetics system sometime down the line, but I was going to be relatively ambitious with it. My plan was something along the lines of a vending machine where you could purchase cosmetics with some kind of in game currency you’d earn by playing somehow, along with a wardrobe where you’d grab different things and physically put them on.
Even that would take a while to build, a so I get torn because there are a lot more pressing things the game needs: I need to add more server locations, I need to add better lag compensation, I need to add more maps and game modes, I need to improve the hit detection, I need to test all of this to make sure it’s not too buggy, I need to add more mic muting/ptt options, and on and on. And since I’m only working on the game in my spare time, I am trying to pace myself so I don’t burn out. Then there are all those things I’m not thinking about at the moment.
My original plan was to get the game out in an early state and flesh it out some more, then start monetizing it if it got more successful… Well that all happened much, much sooner than I thought!
So, my short term thinking around this is to provide relatively inexpensive downloadable content (DLC) that will be extremely simplistic. I was thinking I could create a DLC pack that includes a few different hats or something, which might be available again in the future, along with an Early Access badge. As simple as these might be, they would only be available during this EA period.
I was thinking of charging something like $5 for them. I think I could create these in a relatively short period of time, so it wouldn’t take too much development time away from the other more technical things that more important to the game, while also allowing me to start figuring out if it’s possible to make a living off of the game.
My main concern right now is to make sure that what I’m doing seems fair to everyone. I’m just putting this out here right now to get a sense of what you guys think.
Right now, I’m still working on the maps and technical fixes. If you guys could let me know if you think this sounds reasonable and fair, or not, I’d appreciate it. I want to be transparent about things and not make it seem like I’m just doing a cash grab. If I end up working on building this, I’ll keep everyone in the loop, since I want to be transparent about what I’m doing with the game.
Well, that’s it. Thanks again so much for playing!
You guys are awesome!