Ahoy there pirates!
It’s been a hot minute since our last post, so we wanted to give you an update on the current status of Help! I’m Haunted, iOS updates, the PC version and the direction Sky Pirate Studios will be heading moving forward.
As you may all have heard we finally released our first game Help! I’m Haunted. It has been a whirlwind for the last three weeks and we thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know what our plans moving on are now that we have finished looking at all those crazy numbers and sales data from around the world – isn’t that insane that we got a bit global!? Reviews have been crazy, mixed but mostly pretty fantastic and it’s really surreal having a product out on the global market – especially when it’s your first game.
Firstly we want to thank everyone who has supported us and their kind words, those who bought the game and everyone who gave us feedback. We truly couldn’t have done this without all of your help and we feel like we finally hit a significant milestone in our studio’s existence.
We have received a tonne of feedback, both positive and negative! Some people love Haunted and some people not so much. After taking some time to step back and assess our feedback we are now back to work on making Help! I’m Haunted a better experience for all players.
Now — onto the meat of the matter!
The largest issue we had since release was with our onboarding experience. While the help we received from our Discord community playtesting the game was fantastic and vital for bugfixing during development, we found that since the community were so familiar with the game, watching them play made the general user slip from our mind. We kinda missed that we may need to show the average person how to play the game. We want our first game to be accessible to as many people as possible and we are determined to finish strong on this.
So, as a result, we put our heads together to see if we could rapidly and efficiently create something to address this very issue. Our solution was some animated billboards that will play throughout the tutorial, visually aiding the player as you get to grips on the movement and shooting of Help! I’m Haunted. We’ll be updating Help! I’m Haunted to include a better tutorial for everyone out there who was having a frustrating time in the first moments of booting. We have also done some small quality of life changes to help the game run a bit smoother – and though this isnt perfect, we hope it helps for the majority of our players. We are working hard on making these changes and will make sure you’re the first to know when these fixes are ready to drop.
We encourage anyone if they have not already to join our discord and help report bugs, say hello or even just hang out – more on that in a bit.
Our link to our discord is : https://discord.gg/68v8SEK
Apart from our continued work on the iOS version of Help! I’m Haunted, we have one last milestone we want to hit — the hotly anticipated PC release of Help! I’m Haunted! Although we do not have a hard date in mind currently, we are aiming to release before the end of the year and, failing that, January. The porting process is something that is new to us and we want to take the time to do it correctly. For the PC release, we want to make significant changes to the controls and UI that will make the game a better fit for the platform. Not only that, but we wanted to celebrate by creating some extra content that will be available upon release of the PC version and will be added to iOS versions in a future update. The warm reception Help! I’m Haunted has received has given us the much needed energy to get back to work and we wanted to say a thank you in the form of a new level and some other neat new stuff!
We are super excited to get this out as a thank you to everyone who has bought the game.
Finally, I want to take the time to talk about where we are going after our work on Help! I’m Haunted comes to a close
One of the biggest things we want to try moving forward is create a community. We want to be able to better interact with people interested in our work and be more vocal on what we are currently working on. We are currently playing with a few ideas for interacting with our user base more, from creating a Patreon to creating video content — whether that might be of game development-related stuff or just messing around and playing games together. We’ll be trying our best to put ourselves out there, and we want to encourage everyone to join us and help us do what we love doing — making and playing games.
Aside from content like that, we do have some projects we will be working on post-Haunted. From rough scribble designs on a cosmic blackboard to actual bleeding prototypes! We will be making an effort into showing more of our work more frequently in the future. This both helps us with development but we hope it also excites everyone about stuff we want to make.
You may be able to spot the next game we are working on. Although I’m not going to say what it is, you can bet your sweet six shooters that we are excited. We will have more news on that as soon as we can, and of course you can always check our Twitter to see what we’re working on!
Lastly, I will be working on a post-mortem all about the huge learning experience of making our first game, Help! I’m Haunted. I want to go through our process, the challenges we faced and everything we managed to get done. I want to do this for a couple of reasons. Although I’m not the strongest writer, I want to take the opportunity to give some insight on creating a game for the very first time and what that experience has been like for both Kevyn and I — the good and the bad. I hope this is a tool that others can utilize and hopefully learn from, as we did. Secondly, I want to use it as a way to finalize my own work on Haunted! and allow myself as a designer to say to myself that it is OK to move on and to work on another game after that point.
That sure was a lot of words! Thanks for sticking with me this far. I want to thank everyone again for being absolutely sensational and for supporting us doing the one thing we want to do. We are really excited about the future of our work and excited to be able to do this with everyone who follows our work.
Until next time,