What does it mean to launch a game?

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The video game industry, and all entertainment media for that matter, is a highly competitive, expensive, and tough industry. There are engineers, artists, developers, animators, writers, audio specialists spanning dozens of disciplines, specialties, and voices here at Kingdom, working their hardest to make something a little bit different and a whole lot successful.

I’m writing this blog to give you a closer look into the life of a video game startup company. I hope this will inspire and encourage others to make that gamble of creating something new, but also exhibit the commitment and investment required to complete a project.
FIVE is about one month away from launch; I’ve joined the company in their most stressful time. The staff routinely works late. Every day at noon, the office manager sends a company-wide email for OT dinner orders, and everyone eats at their desk while they work.
The office is one large room, adjoined by several offices, a conference room, a library, and a QA (quality assurance) room, where people furiously play the game–the goal: expose any and every weakness in the game in order to make it better. It’s a dream job; I’m told it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Every afternoon, it’s very quiet; everyone wears headphones. You hear some key and mouse clicks, but most of it is drown out by the squeak of the door as people walk in and out to the bathroom, breaks, or meetings. Lately there’s been a bit more chatter, but it’s always polishing an item, fixing a bug, finishing a task.
Every Monday is the “Stand-up.” The entire company stands in a circle and details the tasks that they will complete that week. Honestly, most of it is so technical that I can barely understand it. I nod along with the group, pretending to understand more than a basic handful of methods and variables. When I coded, I always tried to not re-invent the wheel. I worked based off of other people’s work. Now I’m surrounded by The People, The Real Creators.
There’s a game that’s been in development full-force for the past two years, requiring artists, audio, developers, and more, that’s nearing completion. There are two websites, eight social media accounts, hundreds of potential contacts, tradeshows, and upwards of five store pages that need to be established, maintained, and controlled. And that doesn’t even include our weekly blog and Twitch stream.
So really, what does it mean to launch a game?
It’s like a birth; it’s exciting, but also stressful. It’s too many emotions at once to accurately describe. Ultimately, it’s a checkpoint on a very long winding road. Once FIVE launches there will be Customer Support to handle, and there will also be further development. The initial push to launch FIVE is complete, but what’s next? What new stories, game modes, game play, features, and worlds will we have to create and bring to all of you?

You Most Humble Community Servant,
Chris

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If you have any suggestions for future blog topics, or would like to write a guest blog for us, tweet @KingdomGamesATX

 

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