But this isn't the worst of it. I am sending press releases to web sites today too. Why didn't I send them a week ago, like a sensible business owner? I forgot.
I mean, it's sort of expected that programmers and designers aren't so great at PR, but sometimes I'm amazed that I remember to breathe.
Anyway, Avernum 6. Despite my efforts, it is doing very well. So far, it is selling better than Avernum 5. Which sold better than Avernum 4. Which itself sold fantastically well. So I am pleased about that.
And yet, I have a lot of angst, because it is the last Avernum game. Avernum games have always been our best sellers, so it pains me to drop it, but, if I don't start doing new things soon, I will go mad. So I have to step off the sequel-train for a while for my mental survival's sake.
(Though, actually, I have a really cool idea for Avernum Zero. Basically I one-off prequel set in the years before the first game. Maybe in four or five years, if I think I can come up with something actually good, I'll go back to the well one more time.)
My main source of stress for Avernum 6 is system performance. I recently switched to more elaborate graphics that require hardware acceleration. This means that older machines and machines with quirky or flawed video hardware are falling off the back of the train. These people tend to make sure they let me know just how much they hate me and feel betrayed by me before they go. This tends to be accompanied by cheap shots about how graphically undemanding my games should be. Yeah. Right. Because throwing pixels all over your 1900 x 1200 monitor 30 times a second stops taking processor power just because it's not in 3-D. Look, I am a Cool Indie Developer, but I still have to obey the laws of physics.
On the bright side, Avernum 6 looks so much nicer than any game I've ever released. I went back and rerendered all of the icons, added shadows, and moved to a different system for storing and drawing icons. It does require more power, though I think the results are worth it. I really do need to move forward sometimes to keep engaged in the process. And many of my beta testers used Mac G4s, so I know the game can run on old machines. Not super fast all the time, but it works.
Anyway. New game. Bad at PR. I suck at programming. That is a good summary of the process. If you like Indie RPGs and have a Mac, I hope you give it a try. If you like Indie RPGs and run Windows, I'll have something for you in March.