Wow, it has been a while since our last post here. I apologize if you’ve been missing us, but the whole indie game development thing is a lot more time consuming than it seems. Speaking of game development, our first game StarLicker is now available world wide on the App Store! Indeed, we launched StarLicker last Friday, but it’s different from what most people think of as a typical game launch.
We are calling it a soft launch. Traditionally speaking, this means that the product or service, in this case the game, is only made available to a limited audience as a sort of test run. Our soft launch is a little different. StarLicker is now available to anyone with an iOS device, worldwide. The limited audience in this case is everyone who knows about the game. Strictly speaking, a game isn’t really available to you until you know it exists.
Not many people know about StarLicker yet. So far players have mostly been our friends, family, beta testers and their friends, and a handful of people who have discovered the game on their own. We haven’t yet made any concerted effort to get noticed by gaming websites or anyone else influential in spreading the word about the game. The one exception to this are two nice pieces written by our friends over at Str N Gaming – check them out here and here. These pieces exist only because the writers were in the beta and they have been super supportive of us ever since they first learned about the game.
At this point, you may be thinking we are crazy. How could we just sit back and let the game fail? We may be crazy, but we are doing this deliberately. The thing about StarLicker is that we designed and built it for the long haul. It is an asynchronous multiplayer, free to play, bullet-hell strategy game. You’ve never heard of such a game before? Exactly. People have never seen anything quite like StarLicker. It draws on several disparate influences and blends them together into something new. On top of that, StarLicker is not a game to be consumed like a piece of media, nor is it an addictive time-waster for the subway. It is designed with a high skill ceiling to be a rewarding hobby, played competitively by a community of long-term, dedicated players. We have been around gaming long enough to know that a game like this will require more to take off than a big expensive marketing push and a bunch of internet headlines.
For StarLicker to realize its potential it’s going to need lots of passionate players and a connection between the player community and the developers. This will facilitate an open dialog about what is working, what should be changed and what the metagame looks like at the highest skill levels. This sort of community can not just be created quickly out of thin air. It is something that must grow, organically, at its own pace. As the creators of StarLicker, all we can do is plant the seeds and water them. We know this game is unique, innovative, rewarding and downright fun to play. Over time, as we continue to play the game, refine the balance, add new features, support more platforms and reach new players, both over the internet and in person, it will grow. And as it grows, more and more people will be connected to us and one another through the game. Then one day, StarLicker will be the epic, perennial game it is meant to be.
Are you excited?