The Path to Enlightenment?

Hi everybody!

I’m going through a period of anxiety about what I’m doing, so I figure I’d put down some thoughts and ask some difficult questions.

It’s been said that Season 1 is locked in and will largely be a suprise, and I love that aspect of Playdate. That’s why I’m here.

However, we’re developing our games as part of the Developer Preview which is in the public eye to a certain degree - so the game will inherently be less of a suprise.

This leaves me with several questions, mostly for @panic_staff :

  • Does talking about my game in public affect my future options for being part of a Season?
  • What is the official path from Developer Preview to being part of a Season?
  • Will there be more than one Season of games?

Thanks for reading

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I can speak to some of this! But as we all must walk our own path to enlightenment I highly suggest you actually meditate on these questions yourself over a few days. Usually when we become quiet, our true feelings emerge so we can notice them.

Anyway! I made a musical puzzle game Sentris largely in the public indiesphere of 2013-ish. Later I joined the Astroneer team which was much higher budget & visibility. Both projects went through an early access phase so don’t forget lots of players and media are used to seeing games go through dev cycles. I strongly believe talking about your game isn’t going to close any doors for your future. You can better take advantage of open development if you make a marketing plan since open development basically IS marketing. And there are always ports to other platforms and sequels to think about. Assume that your growing audience now will mostly stick around for your future projects.

I can only briefly say for my game joining season one – I pitched a game to panic with a playable prototype, a production schedule, and a budget. From there it was discussions until we signed.

When Playdate was announced the Seasons concept suggested multiple seasons. But I have no idea what their thinking is right now.

Try to clearly define your goals – how does open development help you reach them? Conversely how would joining a Playdate Season help you reach them? Are you trying to build an audience? Maximize profits? Fully explore an idea space? Make contacts for future projects? Build a team? Success can be defined in all sorts of ways but only you can define what it means for you!

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Thank you.

I have been ruminating on this for some time, and will continue to do so. I’ve also clarified one of the questions.

My ongoing feelings are that my main attraction to Playdate is the Season concept: for the surprise and also the fact that it takes care of marketing and PR.

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Very interesting, how to get into the season?

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Matt, all great questions!

To be honest, we are flying by the seat-of-our-pants at this time and don’t know how everything will shake out. Will a lot of people purchase Playdate? We hope so, but don’t know. Will people love the Season concept? That’d be great, but again, uncertain. With that in mind, let me try to answer your concerns:

  • Does talking about my game in public affect my future options for being part of a Season?

No. I would say that releasing your game would probably jeopardize its inclusion: we definitely want new games. But it’s okay if the game itself isn’t a secret: its inclusion in the Season can be the surprise! (Caveat: we’d like our current Season One devs to keep their games secret.) :slight_smile:

  • What is the official path from Developer Preview to being part of a Season?

There is currently no official path, other than making sure that someone at Panic sees your game. We probably will formalize this in the future.

  • Will there be more than one Season of games?

We’re not certain yet, but I think it’s likely. (And even if we don’t do “Seasons” in the future, Panic will figure out some avenue for releasing and promoting games it likes.)

We’re also actively exploring ways for developers to release and monetize Playdate games that won’t involve Panic at all. We’ll have more to say about this in the future.

Thanks for your questions!

Greg

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I’m only just back from a few days off-grid (but with Playdate) in a tipi somewhere in the middle of a forest.

Thanks Greg! Those answers are as much as I could hope for at this time and very much appreciated.

I do believe this wonderful little device will be a success and that people will really dig the season concept.

Onwards!

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Thanks for the clarification Greg this helps!

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