It’s been a week since A Case of Distrust entered “Content Lock”. Like every milestone, that phrase has a different meaning to each developer. For me, it means my game is shippable. I’ve given it enough love to release tomorrow — and if it did, I’d be proud of it.
Yes, it also means you’re close to playing it. (Excuse my massive exhale.) More on the release date in the near future.
So what’s happening now? Fixing minor bugs takes a lot of time. Issues like “the music doesn’t fade nicely here”, or “a saved game takes too long to load”. These things wouldn’t sink a game, but they would fracture a player’s experience. An old friend once told me to make every interaction magical. Anything that breaks the spell must be polished away.
There are also quality-of-life features: the ability to adjust the screen resolution or run the game in a window instead of full screen. This also includes accessibility features for disabled games — options like font size and typeface ensure that A Case of Distrust can be played by as many people as possible. Able Gamers has great articles on issues around accessibility, and Game Accessibility Guidelines offers a good checklist to consider when building a game. Because of how my game came together, I likely won’t be able to implement some of the items on that list. But each item I add improves the game for a largely ignored group of players. That’s worth it for me.
Finally, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me lately. I took pains to update a weekly devlog during my first year of game development. The second year, which involved a lot of writing, was more difficult to share without knowing my final script.
(Maybe that’s true. But maybe it’s also an excuse. Having spent a year abroad without being close to finishing my game, I think I dove too deep into development. Sure, being a solo-developer means that any time I’m not working on the game there’s zero progress. But I ignored the fantastic people that got me here — the ones who lifted me up when I wanted to throw this all away. Thank you.)
Now that the story’s complete, I have more room to breathe. I’ll give you a peek into certain sections, and explain how and why I made my decisions. Expect many more posts in the coming while.
Thanks for following!