Devlog #3: Marketing Victories

Hello! I’m fedellen and welcome to the third edition of my Monday devlog series.​ The main goal this week was to put on my marketing hat for releasing our Early Reveal Trailer and distributing my announcement press release; both of which I’d mark up as a success. On the development side our goal was to begin implementing sound effects, play test for bugs, and apply some more coding/graphical polish tweaks.

Marketing Footwork

First off, I’m super excited to share our Pocket Gamer article. Going into this week I had the expectation of sending a bunch of empty emails with no responses, no articles. It did seem far-fetched that we’d receive any formal attention from just our announcement but I put in my footwork anyway. On Tuesday I prioritized getting my press release on GamesPress and sending an early personalized pitch towards PocketGamer. Wednesday we pushed the trailer through our social media accounts and I hit a bunch of tip lines with a more generic e-mail. 

Sonar Smash Marketing Footwork

Overall it was a complete success and I was/still am really pumped. There’s still a ton we have to improve and learn from as well. The wording I used could use some serious work; through my press release I basically wrote the headline “Sonar Smash is essentially Galaga underwater.” Not the worst headline but next time we can feed them something remarkably juicier than that.

Sonar Smash Gamespress Press Release

Formatting and distributing your press release and press kit seems to be such an important step. Make it as easy as possible for a journalist to write a quick article for their editor. All of the information and a brief story cleanly outlined and packaged up. In the future I believe I’ll change the order in which I distribute my information around by holding my impending press release back for awhile longer. Its all trial and error and learning experiences.

Development

Between and after the marketing madness we did sneak in some development time. Trying out a new title screen design with abonbon’s adorable dolphin illustration utilized as a centerpiece. We’ve also added a few preliminary sound effects into the game and solved a little coding problem with setting sound effect volume.

Sonar Smash Alpha Title Screenshot

I’m very happy with how the title screen is looking but its absolutely still a work in progress. Tempted to bring some of these nicer looking big bubbles into the game play but it does get pretty distracting using the entire palette as background elements.

I also found myself digging into some AI code for the Octopod. For the longest time there has been an animation and scripting bug in their behavior but I’ve overlooked it because it’s functionality was fine. With beta looming I wanted to polish it up a bit and discovered some more bugs with the interrupt script. After three days of fiddling around with different solutions I ended up solving it by just cleaning up the timing on existing boolean work around I already had in place.

Sonar Smash Community Beta Coming Soon

Next Time

Overall next week is just polish and tweaking for beta. This includes adding more sound effects and creating a tutorial system. We don’t want to have to explain the controls to our beta testers as well as testing our tutorial ideas out on them. By default we’ll using our new touch control system but I should also finish the coding and polish up the Arrow and Tilt Modes which were copy pasted from Astral Defense. In addition we have some more design fixes to make our menus a bit more clear and maybe implement some score multipliers. Stretch goal would be to start sketching together a Daily Quest and Score Rewards systems for more shinies.

Thanks for reading!
fedellen, Pixel Pajama Studios
o/

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