Yep, it's done!
Super Chibi Knight is officially launched into the world of Steam games! <confetti!>
First order of business - Please help spread the word by sharing this link:
The game is on sale for 10% off as a "launch discount" so take advantage of that :-D
Where to begin as a review of the long journey?
I think I have to trace the real "root" of this game back to Castle Crashing the Beard (which was somewhat inspired by a game I made way back in 2007 called Boss Bash) It was a silly idea I had in 2008 while Tom was still working on completing Castle Crashers. Of course, @Luis helped turn it into something way more impressive than I originally intended. The pink knight was all his idea :-D
But you can see similarities between Super Chibi Knight and CCTB... it's a side-scrolling simple platformer/beatemup, the character's armor and weapon gets better and better as you level up, fast-paced action, big boss battles, and cute voice acting... the toolkit is all there. @Luis @Coaly and I finished that game in 2 weeks and it's been one of my most played games ever.
CHIBI KNIGHT ORIGINAL
Enough people contacted me and suggested I expand on CCTB, that I decided to do it and eventually, in 2010, made the original Chibi Knight. It was heavily inspired by Zelda II (my favorite Zelda game growing up) and in a kind of fortuitous way, I ended up with my, then, 4 year-old daughter as the voice actress (which is what MADE the game imo). I wrote a post-mortem about making the original Chibi Knight a while back. You can still read it here.
So, the next few years (2010 to 2015) were full of ups and downs, normal life challenges I think for most people, and especially normal for those who are trying to do creative (synonymous with "risky") things. One of the highlights of that time period was releasing Abobo's Big Adventure in 2012 with @mockery and @poxpower and Newgrounds. You can read my postmortem of that grueling experience here.
The kids' educational game company I was working for imploded in 2013 and I was left without much recourse except to buckle down and get my freelance/indie thing going. I had been working on the Chibi Knight sequel in my spare time, but decided to get more serious about it and ran a Kickstarter campaign in February of 2014 which was successfully funded in large part thanks to generous pledges from people like YOU!
Super Chibi Knight was originally supposed to be a web game (you can tell by the weird resolution I originally chose and got locked into) But in 2013-2014 the appeal of web-games was largely wearing off and there was (and still is) a lot of anti-Flash sentiment. People like Ed McMillen ( @bluebaby ) and Tom Brien ( @i-smel ) had recently found success with releasing "Flash" games on Steam (The Binding of Isaac and No Time To Explain) so I decided to make the shift (without really knowing what I was getting into) and launched a Steam Greenlight campaign for SCK. At the time, I was still developing in the Flash IDE outputting .swf files and had no idea how I would ever tackle things like Gamepad Support, Steam Achievements, using the Steam Client, Multi-Platform support (CURSE YOU MAC AND LINUX!), or even Adobe AIR. So yeah, I learned a ton along the way.
It took me 6 months longer than promised in the Kickstarter campaign to finish the game, but it had to be done. I was juggling a lot of stuff: family, freelance work, school, exercise (rarely), and lots of other things too. It has been a whirlwind!
CURRENT STATUS: BUTTERFLIES CHURNING
I'm glad it's over and I can move on to new things, but I am still extremely nervous that it will flop and make the whole experience have a bitter taste or give me some feeling of wasted time/regret/failure.
I would prefer (of course) to have a steady income with a "regular" paycheck. The stress of being freelance and not knowing where next month's mortgage payment is coming from and not being able to save money for the future has been a major strain on me and my family. We've pulled together in solidarity, but I really miss being able to plan further ahead.
That said, I want to keep making games. I feel like it's something I'm meant to do in life, so I'm going to keep pursuing that. I have some ideas about revisiting some of my past hits and re-doing art and code (to be compatible with high-def standards) and releasing them on mobile. It could be PRETTY FUN!
Roger from i-Mockery, Poxpower, and I also have some other plans in the works for a NEW IP that could turn out to be really fun.
I have a .txt file full of game ideas too... so we'll see what happens in the long term with all of those things.
Generally, I feel optimistic and positive. I definitely turned a corner, but need to keep up to speed with tech better. I plan to invest some time into learning Unity and also researching Open FL + Haxe. If Open FL is new to you, you should really check out this article: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LarsDoucet/20150603/245099/HaxeOpenFL_for_home_game_consoles.php
There are so many people who pitched in to help along the way and saved my bacon. Most notably: @the-exp, @joeybetz, @johnnyutah, @tomfulp, @mike, @luis, @ansel and MANY OTHERS! Huge thanks to everyone who supported this adventure, onward and upward!!!