I had almost finished typing this post ... and then my computer crashed : "System Service Exception on Windows 10". Three times in a row. Somehow, all my text is gone.
My Windows 10 pc (was brand new when Windows 10 was pushed out) is not nearly as stable as my cheaper pc that's still running Windows 7. I wonder how difficult it is to develop games on a Linux machine ...
Anyway. Here I go again.
In this post, I wanted to have a last look at 'Finding Fifi', it being a holiday-themed game and all.
So, let's start with Newgrounds (browser games).
In the 3 weeks since the game was posted, it has received 5115 views, an average of 2.91/5 stars, 4 positive reviews, and 3 very negative reviews.
Not great. And yes, I feel a bit disappointed : a lot of hard work, and not very much of a return ...
The people that didn't like it basically had 2 'problems' :
The second complaint could be expected, I guess. I did not want to make a short, casual point&click game (which most players seem to prefer).
I also created a downloadable version of the game (for pc only), and posted it on itch.io.
These are the results : 152 views, 39 downloads.
Waaw. Awful ! :-)
So this little experiment has taught me that discoverability on itch.io is baaaaaaaaddddd.
And finally, I also searched the web for references to 'Finding Fifi' (you never know :-)).
To my surprise, the game popped up on all kinds of different game aggregate sites (even Portuguese and Russian sites) ! Not a whole lot of people played the game on these sites, but the scores were between 3.5/5 and 5/5.
Some of the sites even posted a story as intro to the game. That was so amazing to read !
These are two of the best ones (even though Fifi is actually a tiny dog hiding from the cats :-)) ...
One thing that was really hilarious, was that some of the aggregator sites had scripts that detect ad-blockers. So, often I was not allowed to look at my own game that they had illegally posted on their website ! :-)
Anyway. What I learned from my web search, is that html5 games are basically 'throw away' things. Yes, you can obfuscate the JS, and add some code that checks the url the game is served from, but ... I think it is a very hard thing to do correctly. :-(