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The Problem With Being An Amateur

Hi pals!

Recently, I published my game, Protectile, on the Google Play store, and posted about in various places, getting a bunch of traffic.

However, a bunch of things came up, and I wrote a blog post about it. This is a crosspost from my blog over at itch.io.


just a funny bug I managed to create....

I'm just going to start this with something I'm sure everyone's experienced before: when I shipped it, it was working... on my computer and test devices.

queue Cyberpunk 2077 botched console ports

I didn't realize anything was really the matter, until my close friend, whom helped test very much, was complaining about things on the mobile version, that didn't get brought up on the desktop version. I realized that I had designed much of the looks and feels for playing on a keyboard and mouse, without considering mobile devices... a fatal mistake.

It turns out, the gameplay doesn't translate if you can't see it, and it turns moments that would have been exciting, into simple frustration. You only get a few chances to grab attention, and despite what the mainstream market looks like, it's super important to get it right the first time. So when I simply assumed that everything would translate, or rather, hoped it would, I realized how wrong I was.

The Problem With Being An Amateur
This brings me to the title of the blog, and why many of you may be reading this. The problem with being an amateur, is simply that: you are an amateur. It's by definition that you will not be as competent as a professional... or at least as well paid as one.

While launching this on Android, I first realized that it takes a while to even get onto the store, due to the review period. Queue wasted marketing efforts, when I couldn't even drive traffic to it...

Finally, here's a list of mistakes I made. Some are pretty funny.

  • Forgot to upload an icon for the Android app, only having a store icon
  • Having an ugly preview image from the YouTube trailer
  • Making an app icon... and then not saving it... lol
  • Not having a plan for portrait vs landscape displays, resulting in some really botched stretching on some devices
  • Trying to compensate by displaying the game at the native resolution, forgetting that the resulting image will sometimes be extremely tiny
  • Muting the sound when going into an advertisement, then not unmuting it
  • Testing a version on my phone, then uploading a different version to the store
  • Zoomed in the game... entirely cutting out some UI display
  • When zooming, I had to edit the path generation, so it would be hidden off camera. While making it longer, I forgot to compensate for the position of the man on the path, resulting in the path being completely broken for a version.
  • The initial version was wayyyyy too difficult, putting off many initial testers
  • On one version, I managed to accidently leave the advertising UI in the HTML version, despite that version not having ads.
  • Some of the earlier versions probably crashed on displaying ads
Therefore, here's a list of lessons learned:

  • Prepare all your assets in one place
  • Prepare all your marketing assets beforehand, and put the same amount of effort into them as creating the game
  • Test on the situations you intend people to play in - force everyone else to play that way. For example, I should have explicitly differentiated portrait vs landscape, if I didn't have both fully tested.
  • iPhones are wonky devices
  • Use the AVD to test different screen sizes
  • Honestly consider how people will view what they see
  • Don't make things too difficult!
  • Test it!!!!!
I think the version that is out now, is the best and most playable version yet, on all devices.

Thanks so much for reading - if you're a fan, check out the game here, or




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