Nana is done. Published, socially pushed, the whole nine yards. The last two months have been eye opening and confidence building to say the least.
Nana’s Pet Emporium started as a quirky idea with lots of giggles and ended up being a polished piece of software. I don’t know how the process evolved to what the finished product is now, but I like it. I enjoyed the learning, the question asking and most importantly, developing a piece of software that brings smiles. So this port mortem is not epic in the least. It’s pretty tiny since I listed my woes and struggles during Alpha. Briefly, I will say that having Beta testers in a closed beta is a must; not only does it drum up interest and questions, but it brings a bit of serious polish to a game since real people play it and don’t mind wreckin’ your feelings. Luckily, no one did that, but I was prepared for it.
Second, I do believe that having a clean, polished landing page on Itch.io and Gamejolt can set you apart from hobbyists, as it shows you take presentation and marketing seriously. I do believe these two sites are a great way to polish presentation, outreach and update protocol before going to Steam at all. In fact, I think devs who are serious about their craft should use these sites first before going to Steam to see if their idea actually will sell. In 4 days, between the two sites, Nana’s made 30+ bucks, so that’s not bad for a 1 dollar title. At least I know there’s interest and if the interest gets high enough, then I’ll do bigger things.
Bigger Things and the Upfront Sale
So what are the bigger things? Well, I made a deal with myself. If Nana makes 150 bucks, I will put her on Steam, as is. She’s not buggy, she plays well and there is plenty of dollar software on steam that’s actually pretty good. If Nana makes a 1000 dollars, then I will update her with different Nanas, different puppies, a new game mode (Pettin Survival!) and VO for both characters. I preemptively made them, so now I’m just waiting to see if the interest is there. I do not want to be a typical dev and waste time on one piece of software for 6 months when it’s not that long and not that huge of an investment. If people buy NPE, then I will update her; if not, then I’m already mapping out my next project. I hope people will invest in her, as in I believe in the ‘upfront sale’ model; meaning, Nana is artificially low (1.00) on purpose. When she is updated, those who have a copy will get the updates for free. Those who didn’t get on the bus initially will pay 2.00 and I will end my updates there unless there is engine updates that will break the build.
Too Many Assets and Diversification
During NPE development, I made too many assets, so I decided: ‘Hey, why not sell these suckers? Who wants to have odds and ends laying around and not having the chance to earn cash flow?’ So I packaged my button assets and got to work selling them on Itch.io, Unity and GameDev Market. I mean, why not? Instead of just having games, why not use my Adobe Illustrator talents as well? That Creative Cloud license has to be put to work somehow!
All in all, I’m glad Nana is DONE! Nothing is more addicting and awe inspiring than seeing your idea made flesh! If you are interested in buying Nana’s Pettin’ Emporium, you can find her on Itch.io and Gamejolt. If you’re looking for Wooden Buttons for your next puzzle, adventure or mobile game, check out the Warm Wood Button pack on Itch.io, Unity and GameDev Market.
And last, thank you for reading along. This is my 4 finished project and my skills are getting better and better! Until then, JC signing off!