While studying Unreal Engine 4, I worked on a prototype.
In three months it was beginning to look like a game, and I continued evolving it for more 10 months, working on it one or two hours after working about 10 hours on my bad payjob. I wasn't really happy.
After one year in this routine, a political and economical crisis hit Brazil pretty hard, and suddenly I didn’t had a job anymore. It was kind of good because I wanted to finish my game, but first I had to settle something that were worrying me; the steam greenlight
I read on the Internet some developers saying that the greenlight was easy to pass, others saying that the game was already over 1 year with no prospect of approval.
Imagine after working for two years the game not being approved? It must be a nightmare.
I plucked up some courage and decided that before going into full production I would send the game to greenlight.
The first thing was settle a name for the game. I already had a list of some words and names, and in the end I choose “Enigma Prison”. Its not a good name that everyone would want it, and not that bad that would ruin the game.
I took some screenshots of the game, made a temporary cover art with a screenshot of the main menu (which had a very simple version of the character at the time) with the name of the game and I recorded some footage for a trailer.
In the early hours, the game was receiving equal amounts of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ (more no’s to tell the truth), I could not sleep so I turned to dawn observing how people reacted. It didn’t seemed to be going very well.
I started to read the comments and realized that many people were complaining that the trailer was in total silence, of course, it was true. The game was in early production and had no music and were missing many sound effects too.
How could I get a song for my trailer in a few hours if I have no money to invest in it?
Searching on google I found that many artists share their music free licenses if you credit them, and sites like ‘youtube audio library’ you can find some free music that can be used in videos and trailers, so I heard it all, got a song that worked a little with the style of the game, put it on the trailer without making any changes and updated the greenlight. It was when things started to work.
Magically the game began to receive a huge amount of yes votes and compliments on the comments, then I learned my first lesson: listen to the public.
The game was flying high; 70% 50% 20%, got in the top 100 and kept rising. I could hardly contain my joy of having my work built with blood and sweat next to being approved.
Reading the comments at this point had something bothering me; There was a lot of comments saying that my game seemed like a Portal 3.
My game is definitely in the same category of Portal, but the proposal is quite different. Portal have this very amazing storytelling and humor, and my game is much more focused on gameplay, crazy technology and open world, I was concerned that would create a different expectation and confuse the players.
I talked to some friends they all said that this was a very good thing, and that the game would not disappoint any Portal fan. They said I should embrace this idea and even use this to explain the game.
Then on the fourth day, around 6 pm, the game was still climbing, currently among the top 10 of the 1,761 greenlight was interrupted with the approval. Certainly one of the happiest days of my life.
This happened a year ago, since then I have worked tirelessly in the game and finally the open beta is now available on Steam with a with a fairly good number of downloads.
There is still a long way to go and the end of this story has not yet happened.
My game still hasn’t received any article of specialized sites and I have no idea if the beta will help the release of the game, but I will continue working my heart on it to deliver the best product that I could do and hope for the best.