What's In The First Update?
I posted an update. Well, it’s more of a bug fix. Conquisition is a game that is played on a circular planet. So that means I have to use polar coordinates instead of cartesian coordinates.
If you don’t know what that means it basically means a lot of math. A ton of math. A f**kton of math. And for whatever reason things just aren’t working right. The update fixes those issues mostly. But this isn’t the first time I’ve ‘thought the camera issues were fixed’ so take that with a grain of salt. It is very smooth though. Feels like the camera system was ripped straight from a AAA game.
Also this update adds some stuff that should have been there. The world is randomly generated, I’m not sure if that was in the first build or not. Also some balancing tweaks. Although don’t expect anything to be finalized yet.
How I got into Itch.io
What I wanted to post here, though is why I got into Itch.io. I guess it all started because of a subreddit I frequent called r/gamedev. I originally followed r/unity3d but there was way too much self-promotion and other junk there so I switched.
One of the things r/gamedev does is they have these weekly events. Screenshot Saturday, Marketing Monday, Work-In-Progress Wednesday, and Something-That-Begins-With-F Friday. For the last one they ask people to share their games with the community. And I really wanted to participate.
But I didn’t want to just give people a download link. I wanted to host my game so people could just go to a URL and play it. But where would I host it? Well, itch.io of course.
Now, I always thought itch.io could host Unity games but I never tried it. But one day I finally worked up the courage to try. I watched a tutorial on YouTube and uploaded a web build onto itch.io. And… nothing. I mean like, you’d still see the tutorial but the map itself was just black.
Strange. Maybe if I try on my main computer. Nope. Nothing. Hmm… well maybe if I look at the developer console. And the first thing I noticed is my Ad Blocker was blocking some Get requests (those are the requests the browser makes to get content on the internet). So maybe disabling my Ad Blocker? Nope.
But then I kept reading. And I saw all these cryptic error messages that I didn’t understand and were obviously not due to my code so I didn’t have to worry about them. But I did see one word that I did recognize: thread.
Conquisition uses a maximum of 2 threads. The second one spawns cities along trade routes. What if I tried disabling threading in the web player? Hmm… let’s try it.
So I uploaded a version that checks if we’re in the web player and if we are it disables multithreading. Surely this hunch couldn’t work. Obviously this huge problem couldn’t be fixed by such a simple fix…
But it did work. And almost as good as playing it natively. Now on low end machines like my Macbook Pro with integrated graphics there is a lot of input lag and the frame rate isn’t as good but it works.
And that’s why I started using itch.io.
Thoughts on Itch.io
And to be honest I really like it. I never intended to use itch.io as anything other than a place to just host my work. But it has proven to be quite robust. There is this fantastic Devlog feature baked right in that I’m using right now.
There is an analytics page and I think I’m going to learn what all these buttons do eventually. Speaking of analytics it is telling me I have 10 viewers already. Which is amazing. I’m not sure if this is like how YouTube does it and refreshing the page 10 times = 10 views but it is impressive nonetheless.
Also I love how things automatically save in draft form by default. Nice touch. Although this editor I'm typing in isn't quite as good as Wordpress' and it could use markdown support.
Lastly I thought I'd talk about some of my future plans. I always intended to charge for Conquisition. I’m not at that point yet, but when all 7 of the Ages are implemented with all 70 technologies including all 6 major technologies with competent AI I guess it would be worth charging for.
I guess I’d charge $20 when all that stuff was implemented. But I’m a little hesitant. What if I want to up the price to $40 later? People will be like, “You just want money.” And I’ll be like, “Yes, that is why I’m doing this.” And people won’t know if I’m trolling or not.
I guess I’ll have to decide what to do eventually. In the meantime I intend for the version on itch.io to have at least 2 ages. The Age Of Fertility and the Age of Creation.
I plan for each age to have a game-changing technology. The tech in the Age of Creation is money. I always found it odd that you could get money without first researching money.
So anyways, I'll think about it. In the meantime it is worth considering the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower: “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
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