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Devlog #1: First annual studio retreat

This weekend the entire Angry Goat Games studio (i.e. the two of us) decided to take a trip to get out of the city and away from the hustle and bustle of our busy work lives. We drove up to the snowy mountain tops of Northern California, found a nice cabin in the middle of the woods with great Wifi, and spent the whole weekend working on our games! That may sound strange - we left town to get away from work, only to work some more? Well for us it was a welcome reprieve.


Guess what we did?! The pine trees have sent us their creative juices and we finished the Snavi world map!

 

Burnout


Burnout is real. The last two months I had been working 14-18 hour days at my other non-game dev job, from sun-up to well past sun-down. I was feeling extremely burned out, and honestly just ready to do anything else for a change. On top of that I wasn't getting any work done on our game studio and desperately wanted to work on our game Snavi since it's so close to release! I knew that I needed to take some time off to get away from that job and focus on what makes me happy, which is game development. So that's exactly what I did. I requested a few extra days off this weekend and we ended up working on our Snavi game development with one of the most beautiful backdrops.


Make sure to take care of yourself. If you are burned out (and it isn't always obvious that you are), your creative energy and motivation is completely zapped, and you are not doing yourself or your studio any good by trying to "force it". Take a break, and you will come back super refreshed and able to solve problems a lot quicker than you might expect :-)

 

Getting Away


We decided to go up to some snowy mountains in Northern California. This was the perfect place to get away. Working amongst the snowy pines, my trusted laptop and Unity in front of me and the snowy trees surrounding me, really helped bring my mental spirits back up. Here are some not-at-all-game-dev-related photos from the trip!

 

Finishing up Snavi


We worked 100% on getting our upcoming first game Snavi finished up and ready to be released! I spent some time tweeting some gameplay footage from the game as well as posting a Reddit post. I also posted a #screenshotsaturday post!


I haven't done much with social media before, but social media and marketing is extremely important for start up studios. While coming up with a list of actions we need to take pre and post launch of Snavi, I came across a really nice list of contacts to send new indie games for review (review websites, Youtubers that play indie games, etc). It can be found here. While I don't know if we are going to blitz the media with reviews for Snavi, we may try to contact TouchArcade.com and a few other well-known review sites.


We also decided to do a give-away on our Twitter account once Snavi is out. We will have more details in the coming weeks, but we believe this might give us a chance to get some viral traction of the game on Twitter. While looking around for guidelines on giveaways on social media, I came across this handy reference (How to Run a Social Media Giveaway to Increase Your Brand Reach). It looks incredibly useful!


We also finished up the development work on Snavi. Mary is currently going through all of the 105 levels and making sure there are no last-minute bugs. I finished up the world map GUI and got our iOS app page ready to be launched.


Here is some gameplay footage!




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