Hello, I'm fedellen and welcome to my 17th devlog. Overall the development on our unicorn runner has been pretty slow this week due to having such limited time to spend coding/drawing. I did have time to make some puzzles and think about some creative coding; I have almost finished a little behavior to write word I want (english alphabet) with any actor with adjustable values -- just a little pipeline work left to make it easier to use. My main goal was to add the rest of the "gadget" type mechanics to the game, which I have not. So I'll take this opportunity to write a bit about how having a goal oriented devlog or content routines in general have helped keep us productive and our studio growing.
Routines and Growth
When I began writing this devlog it was an attempt to not only keep ourselves productive but also add to the content we have to offer on our website. Web development is an ongoing learning curve for me and from what I've read, simply having a semi-active blog on your domain helps you in search engine results tremendously. We've tracked some pretty good boosts in visits to our site; it does correlate with recent marketing pushes and press coverage of Sonar Smash, but it also gives those visitors a place to learn more. Now our domain is nearing Page 1 of the 'sonar smash' google search and all of the articles we've received are scattered throughout the results.
Productivity wise I feel way more confident in what we're able to get done each week in such small timing windows. It has a lot to do with setting goals every week and also collecting all my thoughts in one place to read back. Every Monday is sort of like a little progress check where I read my previous devlog as I write the next one; often reminding myself of something I wanted to do and then doing it. Although this week has been slow, I've still done a few coding tasks, some community management, continued creating 1 bit pixel daily sketches to practice pixels, and I've done some 'creative thought' on our next project.
In addition to devlogs, we also try to post videos of our development on a bit of a schedule to continue to grow our social media accounts. At minimum I try to participate in #screenshotsaturday and #indiedevhour; also acting as little progress checks for us as well. We get to watch the videos ourselves and often find little things we want to change which adds to our polishing process. On Twitter I post these videos with my personal dev account because I see Twitter as more of a place to share game dev updates with your "colleagues" i.e. other game devs. But I do use our studio account to promote pixel art quite actively and for more marketing oriented posting. The internet is a pretty big place, no one knows about you unless you tell them.
Next week is pretty much a copy paste of our goals from last week. Implement the remaining gadget mechanics, mock-up a title screen, come up with a title, add a special star mode, create a loot wheel, and start making sound effects. I'll also to that list: compiling some new Sonar Smash mobile versions with a "get_purchase" call on startup to make promotion codes easier to use.
Thanks for reading!
fedellen, Pixel Pajama Studios