Devlog #10: Pursuing Version 1.0

Hello, I’m fedellen and welcome to my 10th devlog. This devlog series has mostly been about polishing Sonar Smash into a releasable state which now feels just around the corner. Little things keep popping up such as the recent formatting issues on longer displays and arrow mode being hard to use but I’m hopeful we’ll have v1.0 submitted for Apple review next week. This week our goals were to push our leader board and achievement updates to our community beta, more sound design and audio balancing, and continue to improve our release trailer. 

Final Touches

I’ve been staring at a lot of browsers this week while filling out store pages, copy pasting the rest of the achievements, and reviewing our marketing material. The leader board and achievements update was pushed early in the week and we’ve had some good feedback and bug finds from our community beta. Finishing up our store pages is an essential step to begin pre-orders on Apple and preregistration on Google Play and there are a few more boxes to check still.

I dug into the sound effect design for a couple days this week. Honestly its not very often I play our game with the sound on so it was refreshing to get it all sounding more cohesive. Using BFXR and Audacity I created 12+ new sound effects for previously empty sounds and audio balanced about half of the existing sounds. Also our sound code was still in a bugged out state where it would cut out sounds randomly. I’m not sure if the sound blocks in Stencyl are working in the way I think they are but I finally sat down and resolved the issue by just storing each channel’s state in a list. I could probably still spend some time and add a few more sounds to the game but I’m very happy with it’s current state.

​We’re very fortunate to have had press coverage from Pocket Gamer on our announcement of Sonar Smash but we’re not going to stop there. The wording of the article header, “Sonar Smash is essentially Galaga underwater” was hand fed by my press release quote and we can do much better than that. An added benefit of doing earlier marketing is we have everything pretty much filled out to do another marketing push. Nothing is final when it comes to our current press kit or any of our descriptions and we’ll continue to improve upon our marketing resources.

Sonar Smash Gameplay Screenshot
Sonar Smash Gameplay Screenshot

Trailer Polish and Finding a Release Date

Due in part to some great feedback from Twitter we have juiced up all of the video footage for the trailer. This involved recording some very scripted waves and situations which really enhance the action of the video. The fast paced timing, graphical explosions, and smooth text blerbs are all used in a similar style and everything has a very groovy feel from abstractionMusic’s Monster Hugs. abonbon’s new version of the Release Trailer is now on Twitter and we’re still looking for feedback as of this post.

We’re inching closer and closer to finishing the project and I’ve been trying to find a comfortable release date. One of the major factors I’m abiding by is the Apple Feature self submission form which prefers submissions 6-8 weeks in advance of release. Looking ahead at major releases the main one I’m trying to avoid is Animal Crossing on the Switch which releases on March 20th. Other than that I’d like to try a middle of the week release date and release it as soon as possible. 

Sonar Smash Coming Soon Poster

Next Time

As I mentioned earlier my goal this week is to get version 1.0 submitted for Apple review. When successful we’ll be able to open up pre-orders for both stores and also submit our marketing resources for the Apple feature submission form. Alongside this goal comes finishing up our release trailer and selecting a release date. I’ll probably plan to do a little email marketing push and put it all together with some sort of release date announcement with the trailer for our social media pages and YouTube.

Thanks for reading!
fedellen, Pixel Pajama Studios
o/

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