Wow, it’s here!
So the last post on this site is regarding Bees Won’t Exist!, which was almost a year ago.
This post marks a really big announcement: Alchemy Punch will be released soon! Before BWE, Honeyvale was just me and Supcher working on Alchemy Punch in the spare time we could manage outside of university work. It’s been in development for ages (especially for me) and so we’re both excited to have it released in people’s hands. The current tentative date is 9th of October, where we’ll have around two weeks of support before showing it off at GCAP. So what will that look like?
Alchemy Punch will be primarily distributed through itch.io as a Pay-what-you-want. We’re both mostly keen to get it out as a portfolio piece (and something fun to show our families) and don’t think it quite fits any monetization models that we have available to us. The plan was to go free to play with microtransactions, but because of our engine (Adobe AIR), that’s no longer possible. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to shake their fist at the heavens and cry out, “AAAAAAAAIR,” because I’m getting tired of doing it every time we’re denied a service which is fairly commonplace in Unity.
Pay-what-you-want is not traditionally spoken of as a huge money making scheme, but we appreciate any support thrown our way. It’d probably be less about paying a price people deem fair for the game and more about supporting us as we develop games in our time between jobs.
The first platform we are planning on hitting is web-based. That should be fairly simple for Adobe AIR, so no dramas. We’ll also almost certainly have a standalone and downloadable .swf version which can be run on computers. It also likely will be able to be run on Android – however, it won’t be distributed through Google Play (instead just itch.io) so it’ll be a bit of a pain to download for people unfamiliar with operating .apk files. If anyone has an easier distribution method for Android, please let me know!
It’ll end up being pretty simple. It won’t have microtransactions, advertisements, or social features. This is pretty much all Adobe AIR’s fault. So why is that?
I won’t go over the full list of things that happened since Bees Won’t Exist!, but in terms of Alchemy Punch, I reached a point where I had to forego support for Google Play and microtransactions, or completely redo the project in Unity. I did a bit of investigation and determined… no, it’ll take far too much time to put into Unity. At my current capacity, I’d expect to be done in about this time next year, and it’s best to move on to other projects in that time.
This wasn’t the easiest decision to make. Alchemy Punch has been developed for a while and has always been a learning experience. I really looked forward to the opportunity to experiment with designing for free to play, and social features. There certainly isn’t a possibility at the project ‘breaking even’ on Pay-what-you-want given its long development time, so any chance for funding future projects seemed to lie in the route of microtransactions.
But ultimately, I do not think the market is in a very vulnerable position for Alchemy Punch to give us that big of a shot anyways. If I had to scrap it all and design another mobile game, it would probably be a more small, polished experience. Or something totally wacky. Right now, Alchemy Punch is somewhere in the middle where it could be quite easily missed. Justifying another year of development time just isn’t a smart move. And it wouldn’t allow either of us to grow as developers. Particularly Supcher, who’s practically done.
I haven’t been in the best state to work on Alchemy Punch for a while now. That’s probably worth a whole blog post on its own but really it would just be making up excuses to most people. What matters is the last time I worked on it, a few days ago, I decided it wasn’t worth me spending my life for another year working on the same project. Then, I realized GCAP is coming up. So here’s the plan.
We’re gonna release Alchemy Punch. And then I’m gonna take my smiley, proud face to Melbourne Games Week and show everyone and anyone. Hand out business cards with links on them. Show people what it’s like on my phone. Beam aggresively with pride.
Realistically, this is meant as a portfolio piece as we’re both really keen to work in games, either remotely or physically. But as this is my first ever serious project (note: Bees Won’t Exist! started and finished in one of the 6 years Alchemy Punch has been a thing) I’m really just super excited to be done with it. Alchemy Punch, for me, has become a life goal akin to climbing Everest or killing a white whale. There’s so much of me wrapped up in it, and the idea that I might never release it is genuinely terrifying.
So what I’m trying to say is, I guess, I just want to show people that we did it. 🙂
Ahem. But we haven’t yet. So, with about three weeks left before release…
…Wish us luck!