Just under a year after we incorporated, with just two of us, and just under 9 months of work with the four of us, we've submitted Give Me Fuel to the App Store.
For many developers, submission would be a moment to catch a breath, take a break after a long, hard sprint to the finish.
For us, it's just the beginning.
I think one of the things that's quite difficult about building a "Free to Play" game (a terrible term, but a common one - better would be "micro-transaction-supported game", which is more honest & up-front) is that you have to build something that has essentially massive potential for expansion.
If you build something that is relatively small and self-contained, which would normally be the "right" thing to do for a small developer with limited resources, the problem is that if it turns out to be good, it's limited by its smallness. I've seen some genuinely excellent games commercially fail because they were great, and an audience loved them, but then finished them & moved on, and the games themselves had no potential to evolve over time.
For Give Me Fuel, what we're shipping is like a seed. It's a complete seed, in that it's a small, self-contained thing that we think has all the things we wanted to deliver - it's fun to play, it can be played in extremely short sessions (or if you've got a lot of games going, you can play for quite a while without stopping), and it's got a depth of strategy that's held up, literally, to a year of playtime.
But it's a seed. It's not the tree. It's not all the leaves. It's not the fruit. It's not the forest.
What we do from here depends a lot on what you guys think, and what you guys do. Chances are, the first thing we'll need to do is fix the seed - you can never truly anticipate how players will react to your game. In the first day of our beta test, we fixed dozens of things we simply didn't realize were as confusing as they were, even though we'd been playing that version of the game for weeks! The same thing will happen on release, I'm sure.
But after that? A lot of our future plans will depend on what you like, what you don't, and where you'd like to see things go. The great thing about our game is that release is just the end of the beginning. It's now that the hard work - but also the very satisfying work - begins.
We can't wait to see you online.