This entry won't be about the game development itself, or the technical aspects. It's a bit more of a personal status one.
To put it bluntly: I'm a bit worried about QoS2QQ.
Not the game itself - the gameplay seems pretty fun, the scope creep of adding bots seems to have converted into reality pretty well, and the UI is something I'm very proud of. I'm proud of the game and the work I've done on it. What's troubling me, is how little traction I seem to be getting as of late with regard to marketing it.
It's undeniable part of this is anxiety - the little voice that seems to penetrate deeply despite being irrational in nature. Ok, I can understand that part. It's also part of the narrative that some of the feeling is based on the murmurs of 'Indiepocalypse' as of late - despite how much I feel they're overly exaggerated, it's hard to dismiss them entirely. Especially when several games I've admired have released lately to very lackluster reception (it seems of late 'People who bought it love the hell out of it, but no one talks about it and no one buys it' is a common thread). These aspects of my dread are pretty easy to identify and define - even if they can't be waved away easily.
What's a little more worrying, is the way in which my discussing QoS2QQ has been met with a few responses, but nowhere near to the proportion that my other work has been received. It seems like this week's feedback build has been met with very little interest at all - despite the addition of AI which allows single play rather than limiting the entire game to local multiplayer only. The actual word-spreading has been low, and I've received no actual comments about the game itself from the 6 or so folks who've downloaded it. This is a bit discouraging, obviously. What's worse, is that this is also perception based, and I can't even tell if this is an actual thing that's going on, or if I'm just making it up in my head.
Maybe some of it has to do with people who've dismissed it due to the local-multiplayer requirement, and not realised we're past that hurdle now.
Compounding everything, is the usual thing where if you feel it's doing bad you become reluctant to talk about it any more. There's obviously a temptation to rely on PAX Aus for press and eyeballs, since that takes place one week after launch. There are a lot of easy-paths from this point, but I don't think that any of them are going to do any good - ceasing to talk about my work does no justice to it, nor to the hours I've put into it. There's still a lot more tricks in the bag, many more places to post links, etc.
Talking about this feels like whining, but silence is silly. Remaining quiet will only mean anyone else who goes through the same emotions later will feel alone - when they're not. Recently, Rob (@retroremakes) wrote an article titled Crash, in which he discussed post-release depression - something I've recently discussed with a lot of my gamedev friends. This is something that hit me hard after QoS1 released on steam. The immense amounts of hours and focus, momentum that suddenly has no direction after release can be imposing. I think that my current attitude is somewhat related - I recently took Friday off my full time job to work on QoS stuff for PAX Aus, and this weekend being a long weekend meant I poured a huge number of hours in as well. I've gotten a lot done, and it seems like I've got just two checklist items left (other than PR stuffs) - so it'd be silly to think that I wouldn't experience something similar.
The reality is pretty simple: This is another hurdle to overcome - I need to get over that relucatance, the silent response and keep pushing.
Crabbens, it's time for us to power up!