YEEAAAHHH! I can finally announce that the original Bleed is coming to XBO and PS4 next month (Aug 22 on PS4, and Aug 24 on XBO!)
This is all thanks to Digerati Distribution & Marketing, an awesome publisher who liked Bleed enough to take it to the console market! I also have to thank Nephilim Game Studios for doing the porting work. Both parties have put in a lot of effort getting the game ready for launch!
I’ve also put in work to help them out, so I’ve got my first glimpse at what it’s like publishing games on consoles. All I can say is: yikes. There’s just so much involved, and not just in terms of “making it run on consoles”, which is hard enough (for me, anyways!) Once you have it running and bug-free, there’s this whole other side to the process… which I don’t think I can even legally talk about specifically, haha… but in general: every console has its own set of rules — sometimes very specific, obscure, arcane-seeming rules — that you need to make sure your game adheres to. And if it doesn’t, you ain’t launching on that console, baby.
To be a little more specific: Bleed actually started out as a console game, on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. XBLIGs had their own set of rules to adhere to, and though the list was infinitely smaller and simpler than what I’ve seen recently, it’s good at getting a small taste of what I mean! For example, all XBLIGS had to observe the “title safe area” — instead of displaying the entire image they’re given, some TVs cut the outside edges off the screen, so you have to make sure you don’t show anything important in the gameplay’s outer edges. It makes sense, but the first time you run into it it also feels ridiculous — you’re literally losing 10% of the screen for seemingly no reason! It gets much worse than that, though — also on XBLIG, you had to handle ridiculous situations, like the user yanking out their memory card during a save, or constantly pulling it out and putting it back in to corrupt the data, or pushing the Guide button multiple times a second, etc etc etc… you have to picture the world’s worst, most malicious user, and account for any and every thing they can do. And that’s just the Baby Mode version of this stuff.
Anyways! All that to say, I’m really grateful to Digerati for making this possible. All these rules are just one example of why if I did this myself, it’d take somewhere between “twice as long, minimum” and “never coming out”. And it’s not like they’re just porting the game, either — they’re doing marketing and promotions and all kinds of cool things behind the scenes that I never would have done, least of all as a totally-overwhelmed first-time-porting solo-indie-developer.
So yeah! It’s really exciting for me to have Bleed on modern consoles. Not only does it feel pretty damn legit to have a game on there, it’s this whole new, giant market of people who now have a chance of playing my game! I make these things to be played, and the prospect of reaching a whole new audience is pretty wicked. I can’t wait!