PogoGirl Devlog #5: SAGE: Aftermath
SAGE has come and gone, and I’m still reeling from how quickly it all happened. I guess the only thing to do is to pick through the rubble and try to make sense of everything!
First off, I knew from the beginning that Go! Go! PogoGirl wouldn’t set SAGE on fire. It’s the Sonic Amateur Games Expo after all, and people mainly want to play Sonic games. Hell, I used to mainly want to play Sonic games. So I submitted my game not with the hopes of making it a runaway success, but just to get it out there. If you have a game, it’s important that people play it. So that’s all I wanted to do: Get the game into the hands of players.
In the end, around 100 people downloaded it as far as I could tell, which is a number I’m happy with. Yes, it’s less than many other games at SAGE, even non-Sonic indie games. But man, have you seen some of those games? Stuff like Brock Crocodile and AdventNEON casually blow Go! Go! PogoGirl out of the water. So my game getting noticed at all is an achievement in itself, and I’m very happy so many people gave it a chance. And I’m even happier that they enjoyed it, because the feedback I got was positive throughout!
But while I’m on the topic of other games: Submitting your game to an expo can lead to a lot of good things, but dude…you gotta watch that impostor syndrome. Playing some of these other games I couldn’t help but feel that I should cancel Go! Go! PogoGirl immediately, because there’s no way it’s ever gonna be that good. I of course know that’s bullshit, and the various people telling me how much they enjoyed my game supports that. But still, it’s kinda hard to keep your enthusiasm when you bring a knife to a gunfight.
But luckily I did! Getting my game out there and hearing that people enjoy it gave me the feeling that I was doing something right. And instead of faltering under the pressure I’ll keep making Go! Go! PogoGirl better and better, both for me and for everyone who wants to play it!
So to summarize, SAGE was a positive experience for me. Getting the build done was stressful, updating the build during the event was stressful, and dealing with the constant server outages was stressful. But in the end it was all worth it. About 100 people played my game and I got feedback that will help me make Go! Go! PogoGirl even better. Plus, I got to play a ton of kickass games. Seriously, I will definitely keep my eye on some of these going forward.
So if you have a game you’re hiding, maybe a game you’re not sure about…I’d say to just show it to the public! Submit it to an expo or upload an alpha build somewhere. Having other people play your game can completely change your perspective and you will inevitably leave with new knowledge and ideas. I’m happy I submitted Go! Go! PogoGirl to SAGE and I’m glad I got to be part of such a historic event along with many other devs, streamers, artists and players.
I want to thank the SAGE team at SFGHQ for tirelessly working to keep the servers from burning down, all the talented devs who submitted their games, all the streamers who helped spread the word and of course all the players who stopped by to check out what this crazy community has to offer. All of you are awesome and I feel like I’ve gotten a bit more awesome for taking part in it all.
Be excellent to each other and party on!
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Seasons change, even in Go! Go! PogoGirl. I’ve already shown you spring and summer, so let’s take a look at fall next! Fall is where things cool down after a hot summer, where the leaves turn that nice brown color and cover the ground. Things become a bit gloomy, but in a good way. I’ve tried to recreate this in Go! Go! PogoGirl. The red sky adds a sense of twilight, while also signaling that you’ve entered the second half of the game, where things are about to get serious.
A platformer game needs some platforms, so let’s look at some of the platforms you’ll encounter in Go! Go! PogoGirl! First up, we have the Countdown Platforms. These can be bounced on a total of three times; on the third bounce they drop out of the stage. They change color with each bounce, so you’ll know when to get away. Since they’re pretty stable, you can both stomp on them and charge up a high jump!
Last time I mentioned that I was doing levels for Go! Go! PogoGirl and that I changed my Tiled setup to make the process easier. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve now made all levels in the game! While I do enjoy making levels quite a lot, it’s a very tricky thing to get right. Good level design is an art. And while I don’t consider myself an artist in that regard (or any other regard, actually), I thought I’d share my process of building the levels for Go!