Sunday, February 20, 2011

Long Overdo Update

Ok, a lot has changed in the past couple of months. Sadly, I decided that we were not ready as a team to make the RPG that I had envisioned. We were losing motivation, spending too much time trying to figure out little details instead of working on the big picture. Also, the people on the team weren't committed enough, partially out of disillusionment due to the scope of the project and partially because the people we brought in from the outside were not reliable.

I put out a challenge to the team: Let's make a game, any game, in a month. We started Jan 3rd and finished the wonderfully titled "Ninja Stole My Bike" exactly one month and 4 days later. It came out on Feb 10th due to the peer review process.

That was great, the title was just ridiculous enough to give us the sales recognition that we didn't deserve. I say that because, the game is a fairly simple, but somewhat humorous, reaction game. A ninja, steals your bike and your pizzas and you chase him through New York. There are obstacles along the way, set out in a completely linear fashion. You eventually knock the ninja off the bike using tomatoes....but the ninja gets one of his friends and he steals the bike. Rinse and repeat.

The game got off to a great start. First two days we had more than 5 times the sales than Acupwnture had over its first two days. Then....

The Xbox Live Indie Channel Top Downloads list froze. Ok, I thought, not a big deal. It usually gets fixed in a day, so maybe we won't be as high up on it as we deserve. Then another day past, and another and before all was said and done it was frozen for an entire week. By that time we were far enough down the new releases list that we wouldn't get a good spot on the list. When the list was updated we were number #43 based on about 1/3 the sales we had gotten the first day. After that we were in the low 50s and still are, just outside of the list. This is crippling, since we lost the money we deserved last week and any residual income from not being exposed on the list.

If that wasn't enough, the sales figures for the game were screwed up by Microsoft for the past couple of days. I can't even see how the game is currently doing, outside of the top scores list.

This has been disheartening to say the least, and being an aggressive person I have gone bonkers. I have posted in the forums, and have gotten over 50 responses from other disgruntled nerds. I have put in a Connect issue and have written a personal email to Microsoft.

I will update when I know more. Suffice to say I don't like losing money and I will not go down without a fight. Rest assured, I will at least make an attempt to contact the big gaming publications that support us in hopes that they will publicly expose this issue.