Moving On From a Major Project – New Year Plans

Hello, I have been a terrible slacker and deserve to be on the wall of shame. Apologies for halting the chain! I was pretty burnt out after the release of Regency Love and took a proper break to catch up with some very neglected friends and  family. Thank you guys for all of your interest and support! It has really got us through some anxious days.

It’s a new year and I’m at one of those strange junctions in life so I thought I’d share a few thoughts, hopes and apprehensions. 

Currently, my main hang up revolves around whether I want to continue with Regency Love and how much effort do I want to dedicate to it in the coming year? Judging by the reviews and customer comments, we definitely have a good thing going but it’s no where near reaching its potential yet. Despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback, we are having a lot of trouble continuing to promote to our niche audience. Emailing online magazines and blogs is a time consuming and often emotionally draining task. Out writer has been holding the fort admirably on this front but I often feel bad that she’s probably not seeing results to justify her efforts. On the other hand, simpler payed advertising is consistent but terribly inefficient for a low cost mobile game. We have had some success building a following but we have a long way to go in terms of building a sustainable marketing model. 

This in itself would not be a problem for there are many business ideas and directions that we have barely explored. The problem is more a matter of time, commitment and enthusiasm. The project was born from our passion for story telling but now it feels like we’re just doing what needs to be done to get things released. I know it can’t all be fun and games but where do you find the energy to make long term plans when you’re even not sure that people are still enjoying the work? 

Both my colleagues were engaged in formal study while contributing to the game where as I was working on this full-time for almost a year. I felt rather unbalanced by the experience as I wasn’t sure if I was growing or learning much from coding and toying with the game design on my own. At the same time I wasn’t sure how dedicated I could expect my team to be since they all had other commitments. However, I have a history of starting projects that never get finished so I was determined to see this one through.

Now that I have “finished” the project, those fears of loosing steam are starting to be realised. I’m not sure how I want to continue. We are thinking of going on hiatus and placing Tea For Three Studios work on the back bench as something we do for fun. I realise that this may mean Regency Love will never get the exposure it deserves and my colleagues and I may grow apart as a team. On the other hand, perhaps a break is exactly what we need. We can go and grow as individuals while retaining our contact with each other and maybe we’ll regroup at a later time with a bit more experience.

I know many of you guys are trying to create your own products and start your own businesses. What keeps you going on a project? When do you pull away and move on? Do you have any regrets?

My aim for the new year is to grow independently of Tea For Three Studios and be less of a hermit. I am going to go study game art at AIE. I hope to develop some new skills while meeting lots of people in the industry. Peggy and I are going to Game Jam! Another effort to get over introversion and work with cool new people. 

Holiday season: Mel spends time away from the computer. Still messing around with water colours.


4 thoughts on “Moving On From a Major Project – New Year Plans

  1. All the best for AIE! How did Game Jam go? I gave stagehand a try but I think I kinda missed the point playing it myself 😛

    From the comments on the twitter account and glowing reviews, you guys definitely have something good going. It sounds that the work involved in maintaining it doesn’t seem to be commensurate with what you’re getting back, both financially and for personal growth. Now that it’s been released though, were there any plans beforehand about what the team would be working towards now?

    Personally, I find it harder to work on something without a well defined end goal like “release something”. Not being able to get feedback on my work during development has also been really challenging when trying to figure out if I’m actually improving from a personal growth perspective, probably in a similar vein to your unbalanced experience. Consequently, I tend to get iffy and do something else either when the goal changes to something more fluffy like “now let’s promote and maintain this” or when I realise I have to do ugly things that I wish I could get another pair of eyes on, or think through more with someone else.

    I’ve sometimes had pangs of regret when I see someone else execute an idea I had, but like Marty says, ideas are cheap and the quality of the execution is really what matters. There are plenty of other ideas to work on, and I either (hopefully) traded that idea for working on something I thought was more valuable or simply wasn’t motivated enough to do something more with it.

    There’s definitely more to say on the topic that I can express clearly in here though, we should definitely catch up soon! 😛

    • Yea, we definitely need to take this conversation beyond blog comments haha. I find it very hard to work on something without a defined goal too but I just have a bad feeling about committing to anything big right now. I’m hoping that we will still have mini goals even when working on this part time. Just they might actually be more realistic ones that don’t kill anyone.

      Before releasing the app, we did have plans to work on promotion for the first 3 months to see just how far we could take the app. At that point in time we were planning to do a lot of promotion with educators and societies. We started out with that but we had quite a few negative responses from that area and we quickly moved to promoting via games blogs instead. At the moment, I think my goal is more to learn about the various ways you can promote an app and try them out if time and resources allow.

      I’m considering some payed promotion with app networks at the moment. 3MagicShots contacted us with a deal where we make our game free for a day and they promote it for us across their partnered sites just to boost exposure and app store rankings. It is an affordable service at least. Not sure whether or not it will be effective but I am keen on trying stuff like this just to see what happens.

      Ideas are cheap indeed and I find committing to one is the hardest thing… I hope you do manage to transform one of those ideas into a usable thing eventually. I’ll be waiting to see how it goes!

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