Friday, May 20, 2011

Venga Island Predictions...

BfVI is making its way through Peer Review.  It has 5 or 6 passes (out of 8 needed, I think?), which has gotten me thinking about release day.

The Powers That Be added a new feature to the XBLIG system, which is that developers can now choose their own release date.  In the previous system, games that passed Peer Review would automatically go to the Marketplace.  Now, they go to a holding area until the developer actually clicks the "Release" button, and they appear on the Marketplace within 24 hours or so of that.

This allows for you do build up some buzz before the game is released, and perhaps also time your release to a coveted Friday release day.  It's a double edged sword, though, because if everyone did a Friday release, you'd get shoved down the "New Releases" list pretty quickly.  So it's a big meta-game.

I don't know when I'll release it.  I'm thinking on a Monday or Tuesday in an attempt to maximize time on the New Release list, but who the hell knows.

I was just daydreaming about what it will be like when the game actually goes live.  I will buy the game myself, and start it up.  I will be presented with a blank map, with only a few initial regions claimed by either Queen Allison or King Burr the Little.  In a best-case scenario, the regions will start to be populated before my very eyes.  Every minute or two, the map will update as other players buy the game and start conquering regions.  Since it's easier to capture adjacent regions, hopefully the Red and Blue areas of the map slowly expand outward, and battle fronts form.  The high score list will get populated with the Top 100 players, and people will vie for the top spot.

The worst case scenario? I can think of a couple.  The game crashes for an unknown reason at random times.  The entire map turns instantly to a single color (indicating that someone hacked or cheated and claimed every region).  Or the map simple doesn't change at all because no one has bought or played the game.

Who knows?  But I'm dying to find out!

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