Become a Missile Cards Beta Tester!

image-15

It’s almost time! Now that Missile Cards is officially past Steam Greenlight (thanks for your votes, everyone), I’m nearing the home stretch of development on this crazy card-based sci-fi defense game! It’s been a wild four months of intense development, and I’m really stoked to be able to soon unleash this weird little beast on the world!

Before I do that, however, I could use some help kicking the tires and fine tuning it ahead of launch. Yup, it’s closed Beta time!

I’m aiming to roll out the closed Beta for Missile Cards roughly a week from today. If you’ve already signed up to be a beta tester, great! But if you haven’t and want to get in on the action, now’s your chance to have an opportunity to play the game before launch, offer helpful feedback to improve the game, and get a peek behind the curtain!

Join the Missile Cards Beta Today

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. Roughly next weekend, I’ll be sending out PC Steam codes to the first wave of Beta Testers. This won’t be the final build, but it has almost all of the content of the final game. Still, expect a few bugs and rough bits here and there.
  2. Beta testers will have a few days to play the game and get a feel for it.
  3. Beta testers are encouraged to report any bugs or weird things they find or fire off gut reactions throughout the process, if they choose..
  4. Then, at the end of the initial beta period, they’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire to report on bugs and offer feedback (what they liked, didn’t like, overall experience, etc.).

All of this will be incredibly useful for helping me fine tune and prepare the game for launch. If all goes well, I’m aiming to launch the initial PC release on Steam sometime in April. Thanks in advance for your help!

WAIT, WHAT’S MISSILE CARDS AGAIN?

Oh right, you may not have been paying close attention of late. Totally fine! Here’s the skinny:

In a nutshell, Missile Cards is a solo strategy card game where you must protect your base by deploying defense and blasting away hazards that descend from above. At a very basic level, it’s kind of like if you re-imagined the original Atari classic Missile Command as a turn-based card game with explosions. Only I’ve layered a lot of craziness onto that core formula.

More info: www.missilecards.com

 

 

Steam Greenlight is a Fang-Mawed Beast Awaiting Your Slaughter

missilecardsgreenlightimage

For indie developers on Steam Greenlight, your YES votes make the difference between getting to sell our PC games and…not getting to sell our PC games.

Steam Greenlight is a fickle, flawed, fanged, gnarly beast most indie developers inevitably have to do battle with in order to get their games on Steam.

And let’s be honest…if you’re making a PC game and it’s NOT on Steam, your chances of getting enough sales to make its development worthwhile are pretty…nil.

A swift and decisive victory is always ideal, but there are many times when games become entangled in the process and stagnate in its serpentine grasp, the life squeezing from them with every passing moment,.

This is the situation I find myself in today.

My latest small game, Missile Cards, is currently wrapped up in the barbed, tentacled limbs of this unruly creature that is Steam Greenlight, and I could use your help hacking it free.

What’s that? You’re unarmed? Nonsense!

Let your YES votes be your sword, and let’s cut until there’s nothing left in our path!

Still not convinced Missile Cards deserve to be on Steam? Hmmm.

WHY NOT TRY THE DEMO?

To my lovely Beta testers who signed on last month: you have not been forsaken. I’m prepping a meaty private Beta build for testing very shortly. In the meantime, however, I’ve released a small public demo of Missile Cards on itch.io to let people kick the tires.

I’ve already gotten a few Let’s Plays and some great feedback, which has helped me tune and improve the game.

Please feel free to try the Demo today, and don’t forget to vote on Steam!


It’s only the first base, but it has a good 30-40 minutes of playtime in it, and it gives a good sense of what the initial gameplay is like.

Still not sure why it’s so important to vote NOW rather than just wait to see if the game get’s through? How about….

A PEEK BEHIND THE SCENES OF STEAM GREENLIGHT

The vast majority of Steam Greenlight votes happen in the first two days, when your game is featured in the “New Games” feed section of Greenlight.

Beyond that point? It drops off to crickets. That’s when it’s up to developers to hustle for votes, and if you don’t get enough votes to crack the top 100 games (which constantly shifts), you can forget about getting your game on Steam anytime soon.

Missile Cards development is progressing rapidly, and the game is really shaping up!

But my hands are tied until I pass Greenlight. As you can see from the graph below…I have quite a many more votes to go. A few hundred at least, if not significantly more.

I’m now averaging roughly one Yes vote every other day, despite ongoing efforts to create content, write articles relating to the game, and push to get the word out daily.

This feels a lot like laboriously squeezing a dozen oranges for one drop of succulent juice.

This is not as dire as it seems, but it definitely frustrating from a developer standpoint. I know that, once I can release the game on Steam, it’ll find enough of a niche audience to succeed (I’m keeping the game intentionally small scoped and highly replayable to minimize risk and keep dev time succinct).

Missile Cards is a small project I embarked on over the holidays as a brief palette cleaner from my bigger, darker, more horrific projects I’m working on. It’s not meant to be a huge, massive, long-term thing. But it’s a lot of fun to play and has a lot of replay woven throughout its fabric.

So the sooner I can finish it up and get it launched on Steam…

…the sooner I can get back to making games about things that cloak themselves in the warmth of people’s entrails and whisper your secret name from the darkness outside your window.

Anyhow. Cheers! I appreciate your YES votes and your help!

Deliciously,
Nathan

Entrepreneurial / #GameDev Shop Talk on the Alpha Channel Audio Podcast

I recently had a really fun, casual, personal, and info-packed podcast sit-down with Alex Delia, where he picked my brain about a wide range of topics related to being a creative professional across freelancing, self-publishing, and game development.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it might be like to sit down with me and grab a beer while shooting the shit about things like my coffee obsession, writing books, freelancing, making indie games, and surviving the challenges of creative entrepreneurship–then this is the podcast interview for you!

We cover a lot of different ground, but there are a lot of tips tucked away in here to help you navigate success in your creative world, whatever that may be.

GameMaker Blog Interview

gamemakerblog

Oh hey, the newly-relaunched and very awesome GameMaker Blog just ran an interview with me talking about a wide range of game dev related stuff, including:

  • How I got into making games
  • The inspiration behind my next upcoming game, Missile Cards
  • My picks for helpful game dev software that I use
  • A bunch of tips for getting started making games with GameMaker: Studio
  • And more!

You should give it a read and check out the other GameMaker projects and articles featured on the site. Great stuff!

And while you’re at it, I could still use some Steam Greenlight love for Missile Cards. You’d make me a very happy homunculus if you’d go grab the free demo at itch.io and don’t forget to Vote YES on Steam Greenlight if you enjoy it!

Thanks a bunch! Lots of updates and secret things in the works. Stay tuned!

Missile Cards Public Demo is Live

screen8After a lot of hustle and hard work this month, I’m excited to finally be able to share a playable public demo for my upcoming “Missile Command meets strategy card game” project, called Missile Cards.

The game is headed to Steam in the coming months, but before I can get it launched on the platform, it has to pass the voting gauntlet that is Steam Greenlight. That’s been slow going,  despite an enthusiastic response from quite a few folks.

To help push things along, I wanted to give players an opportunity to try Missile Cards out for themselves, and go hands-on with the first base/area of the game.

Each unlockable “base” area gives you a unique card deck to work through, and each solo match tasks you with clearing all of the hazard cards in the deck by using deployable defense cards and energy resources. Meanwhile, you must defend you bases from destruction.

It’s super challenging, and packs a lot of replay as you aim to complete specific challenges in each base to unlock the next, while amassing resources to unlock special powerful cards to add to your deck.

Here’s one of the harder later base levels in action:

DOWNLOAD THE DEMO, AND PLEASE VOTE ON STEAM!

The game is coming along rapidly, but Steam Greenlight remains a hurdle I have to overcome in order to see this through to launch in the coming months. Hence the public demo.

You can download the demo here on itch.io right now!

If you enjoy it, please take a moment to vote on Steam right here!

I’d also appreciate any feedback you might have to help improve the game, and I’ll be sending out a meatier build with more of the game for testing to my private Beta tester group. Join my mailing list and ping me if you’d like to help Beta test!

YOUTUBERS / PRESS FOLKS

If you’re a YouTuber or Livestreamer, I love Let’s Plays and other coverage. Please feel free to Stream, record demo footage, or broadcast gameplay. And if you cover the game or write it up, please hit me with a link and I’ll spread it on social media.

Thanks!

-Nathan

vote copy.png

Failing Forward and the Value of Making Smaller Games, Faster

pexels-photo.jpgEmbracing failure might be one of the most invaluable learning experiences you can pick up as a game developer or creative professional. When you train yourself to expect failure, and tighten your dev cycle routine into a hyper-efficient beast to account for it, it lets you rebound fast and minimize the risk if and when your next project spins out into a catastrophic dud.

Look, I’ve been there. The first commercial game I ever released took 1.5 years to make, and it tanked right out of the starting gates. That was a harsh lesson — one that I, like a lot of newbie indie developers, learned the super crappy hard way. If I wasn’t bootstrapping gamedev on the side while freelancing full-time to make ends meet, that might have been the end of things. This of course wasn’t my first failure, and it won’t be my last, but it underscores one very important point:

If you’re going to crash and burn, it’s better to do it fast, learning what you can from it, and move on to the next thing. Anything you can do to create that awesome game you’re aiming for while cutting down on the time and resources it takes to get it across the finish line is vital in today’s ever-shifting landscape. This is especially true for budding entrepreneurs and indie developers.

Consider this: what if the game you’re working on right now fails to find success. No matter how bullet-proof you think your game is, that’s a distinct possibility for any project. Aside from obviously sucking, imagine how much worse that potential failure would feel if you multiplied the amount of time, money, and energy you put into creating it by double, triple, or even more.

Yeah. Ouch.

Continue reading

Announcing MISSILE CARDS, now on Steam Greenlight

Hey folks! Hope you’re doing well. I’ve been working on lots of various things of late, and today I’m rolling out an official announcement for one of my upcoming games, Missile Cards, which is now live on Steam Greenlight! Here’s a trailer and a few details! If you think it looks cool, please take a moment to vote for it on Steam to help get the game on the platform!

Please help Missile Cards get on Steam by voting today and helping to spread the word!

About Missile Cards

“It’s kind of like Missile Command, only re-imagined as a turn-based strategy card game.”

Arm your defenses and blast away flaming death orbs, nuclear warheads, and other hazards hurtling down from space before they annihilate your base. Loosely inspired by the Atari classic Missile Command, Missile Cards re-imagines the intense bombardment defense gameplay as a turn-based card game. Unlock new bases, upgrade your arsenal, complete missions, and challenge your card skills against increasingly brutal decks in this highly replayable solo-card game.

  • Avoid annihilation through strategic card play and pressure cooker defense card deployment.
  • Uncover new bases with unique decks, hazards, defenses, and missions.
  • Deploy missiles, lasers, cannons, shields, repair drones, orbital death rays, and much more!
  • Unlock special cards to modify your deck and improve your chances of survival!
  • Fast to learn, highly replayable solo card game action!

Missile Cards is being made with GameMaker: Studio.

Join the Mailing List!

Want to be notified when the game is out? Join my mailing list to find out when the game launches and be notified of beta testing opportunities!