October 16, 2008

Promoting Asp

Due to an unusually high courseload, I've been pretty much unable to play, make, or (as is evident) write about games to any respectable degree. I have, however, had the time to pass around the completed version of Asp.

I thought that Asp was pretty fun, a little bit original, and otherwise unfortunately unremarkable. Still, I figured that submitting the game to reddit had no downside, so I sent it in expecting to get a few pageviews and, if I was lucky, some interesting comments.

To my surprise, they loved Asp. That, or they loved the fact that I was debuting it for free on reddit. Either way, the submission got over 360 votes and, even better, over a hundred comments. Some of these were about stuff unrelated to the game or troubleshooting technical problems, but I also got a lot of good constructive and evaluative commentary. It was a moment of triumph.

I also submitted Asp to playthisthing.com, a review-a-day site that focuses on any and all non-mainstream games. It was an offshoot of Greg Costikyan's Manifesto Games, which I had followed briefly after it opened up. The site has a large backlog of suggestions, and I again didn't expect much.

But then Greg Costikyan himself reviewed the game! His opinion seemed to be very similar to mine: the game is obviously a student project that just tries to do one new thing decently. But he didn't hate it, and he even used the phrase "worth playing"! I have low standards. Triumph!

So my thinking on this subject, as I related to my friends afterwards: If I can get this sort of attention for a pretty small and not especially inspiring game, what might I be able to accomplish if I make something I'm truly proud of?

I have the option now of taking the good suggestions I got and making a major revision of Asp, adding content along the way. Asp 1.1 might be an objectively, unambiguously good game, but I doubt I'll take that path. I'd rather keep moving and picking up skills in more varied projects.

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