Whew! NOW it’s done! Bleed 2 is out. What a trip. It’s got some very kind coverage from places like Hardcore Gamer, Destructoid and Attack of the Fanboy, and overall I’m really happy and relieved at how it’s been received!
The launch certainly went better than the original’s (when I accidentally shipped an .exe that was only playable by like 10% of the user base, and then didn’t find out for hours because I decided to go for a celebratory lunch, oooooops.) People have still found bugs I wish I caught (and every new one found is another knot in my stomach) but I’ve been working hard at fixing them and I think I’ve got all the critical ones now — and so far I’ve managed to keep replays intact, too! Sweet!
If you’re wondering what it’s like to launch a game, it’s seriously overwhelming, in both good and bad ways. My Steam account, Twitter and inbox has been absolutely slammed — I’ve answered (or at least looked at) at least 200 emails alone this week. There were some incredibly kind messages, a couple rather unpleasant ones, and the rest was either people reporting bugs or (the vast majority) requesting copies of the game. It might not sound like much work, but it somehow is! There are a lot of key scammers out there, and you gotta hustle if you want to avoid getting taken advantage of. I fell for a lot of it back in the Bleed 1 days, but I’d like to think I’m a bit more canny now.
For example, here are some of the first scam emails I got. Two of them even arrived at the exact same minute — hmmm, a bot, maybe?? Either way, they invariably ask for multiple keys, and usually link to a YouTube or Twitch channel with a bazillion subscribers. Gee, what an opportunity!! But if you compare the sender’s email to the channel’s business email, they never match up (often, they link to channels without emails listed for this reason.) The rare time I wasn’t sure, I sent emails back asking for verification of who they were (they could tweet at me from their official Twitter account, or message my YouTube account from theirs, etc.) Only once did I ever actually get this verification. Same thing with journalists — they can claim to be from IGN, but they’re writing from a Hotmail account. It never hurts to check and it usually exposes them as fakes.
It’s just a lot of stimuli to process, especially for someone introverted like myself — double-especially since I’m so emotionally invested in all of it. If I haven’t answered your email, I’m sorry! I’ve still got a bunch to work through, and I’ve been prioritizing bug reports over other emails. It kinda feels like my brain is being pulled in a hundred directions at once, but things are starting to quiet down.
Even though I’m not used to this and find it overwhelming, it’s great to see so many people are interested in the game, and it’s really gratifying to hear that most of them enjoyed it. If you picked it up, thanks for playing!
I’m not really sure where I’ll go from here — if I’ll keep blogging, or how much I’ll blog if I do. The game’s out, so what more is there to say? I’ll probably look into feature requests over the next little while — I can’t promise anything, but it doesn’t hurt to look into them! — and I might consider some kind of post-launch support, or maybe porting the game to consoles, depending on how it performs, but those are questions for another day. (I will of course continue to fix critical bugs if they come up!)
More than anything, I feel like I need some time off to recharge, and I think I’ve earned a bit of vacation.
Thank you for going on this wild journey with me! Take care, and happy playing.