Looking at the Concealed Intent plan for Early Access, all the work originally promised (plus a bit more) is complete. Now is the time to work out when to fully release the game.
One thing that has become clear during Early Access is that if a solo game developer tries to do development and marketing at the same time, then both are done poorly. So the current plan is to at some point to declare Concealed Intent ready for release. Then wait between a fortnight and a month, just testing and checking there are no bugs or spelling mistakes (also preparing marketing materials). Then spend a month on just marketing before the actual release. During this two month period no new features will be added to the game, only the smallest changes will be considered and then only if necessary.
The other thing to consider when planning a release date is the Steam Summer Sale. I don’t know when it will be this year (yet), but the last two years it has been a fortnight in June. When that event is running any game launch will be swamped and disappear in the hype. Concealed Intent’s two week launch window must not overlap with that sale.
Combine all that and if Concealed Intent is to launch before the Steam Summer Sale then I need to stop right now and start the bug checking phase. I don’t want to do that. I planned to complete a couple of iterations on the campaign work, but I have only completed one so far. Unfortunately I have been sick (probably the flu) and this has cost me nearly a fortnight’s worth of work. Work I still want to complete. So in the end the decision is easy (thanks to being ill), Concealed Intent will be released after the Steam Summer Sale.
So what does that mean? Assuming that the sale is in June, I will consider that the bug check month, and July the marketing month. Thus the aim is to release Concealed Intent in early August. If the sale is in July, then I may push the release back a little. Fingers crossed it is June (and no other problems/issues arise).
On that basis I have until the end of May to continue working on Concealed Intent features. Although I’m not going to be working full-time on the game. Firstly, I’m about to go on a holiday, as my girlfriend has taken to the expanded timeline and corresponding decrease in pressure to declare its time for a break. I agree with her, there is no risk of losing dev momentum at the moment as being sick has sent me back to zero in that regard anyway. After the break I also need to start thinking about what to do after Concealed Intent. So to that end I will taking a week or two out of the plan to create prototypes when possible. That should still leave enough time for two or three Concealed Intent releases. My task list will be:
Possible New Work:
Unlikely Features (maybe for after release):
So that’s the plan. Hopefully I can stick to this one (all the others turned out to be overly optimistic). So I’ll be back soon and initially working on another pass of the campaign. Comments welcome!!