12/16/2018 in devlog
On Thursday, Prosperous Universe has finally launched First Access, opening its doors to the public after three years of development!
This week was a wild ride: After so many years of development behind closed doors, we finally opened the door to the public. I was more than a little excited when we flipped the switch! So far, the numbers look promising and the game seems to be running quite well from a technical point of view.
It's hard to list exactly what I actually did this week: It included work on all fronts, like preparing the changes to the website so people find the game, activating and monitoring the payment system, helping to spread the word about the release, fixing the first reported bugs and implementing early feedback and of course playing the game myself a little bit. I also went on a two-day business trip at the absolute worst imaginable time for such a thing, but nothing blew up while I was gone so I'm not complaining!
Anyhow, I'm back to the post-release battlefield!
Wow, what a week. I've already decided that I'll do an extensive write-up of all that's happened for our fellow indies when the post-release madness has died down a bit. But for now, here's the brief version. Before you read on, though, check out our long-awaited first trailer!
If you just want to learn how to play the game now, follow this link. If you want to listen to the ramblings of a sleep-deprived PR & Community Manager, stick around!
First off, I have to say that I wasn't as well-prepared as I thought, or at least I underestimated the work that still needed to be done upon launch. On the press front, I had gathered a ton of contacts and pre-written the most important texts. I had a list of game keys ready to send out. I had gotten in touch with a few websites and influencers weeks ahead of time to ask them if they wanted to play the game or organize giveaways when the time came. I had compiled lists of subreddits, Facebook groups, online game lists, and more places to post our announcement. Despite all this, I didn't get the word out as fast as I thought I would, and I'm still working on it three days later despite pulling 12-hour shifts since Wednesday.
On the bright side, the launch still went pretty well so far, and it's just our first (and least important) of three launches, the other ones being Early Access and the full release. I learned a lot this week that I will know for the next two. More importantly, the coverage and community response we already got is very positive. We didn't know what to expect in terms of certain metrics (website traffic, game and newsletter sign-ups, supporter packs sold, trailer views etc.), but we're positively surprised how much attention the game has garnered despite the fact that we haven't gotten much press yet. The latter was to be expected with a launch that close to the weekend, but I am also expecting one or two sites to pick up the story throughout next week. Some sites have picked it up already, first and foremost the ones doing key giveaways for our game, and some have confirmed to me that they are going to post an article.
Two major factors made the week more stressful than it needed to be: First, my failure to anticipate the amount of time that would go into community management once the game went live. At this point, I'd like to give a shoutout to all the players voluntarily helping newcomers in the game. You guys are the best! Second, the fact that I only made the video tutorials this week. Last time we launched a new version, it was just an alpha test, and I finished making the video tutorials the day before. It worked then, but it didn't work now, and I'll never again finish making the tutorials in our launch week. If you're wondering why making tutorials is such a big deal, maybe this little "making of" video will shed some light on the topic.
Anyway. Quite a few people are playing the game now, and the community is really active and communicative, which is awesome. I could watch all the little space ships flying around my home system all day:
But alas, there's no time for that! Luckily, I was wise enough not to have any plans whatsoever for almost a week after launch, and I'm starting to think that getting the word out about it will easily fill up that time on its own.
Wow, this wasn't as brief as I thought it would be, even though I have left out so much. I'll tell you more in the extensive write-up in a few weeks!
As always: we'd love to hear what you think: join us on the forums!