It’s the end of September so it’s time for the Q3 2023 Courier Tale dev blog…
I’m calling Q3 “events season”. At least here in Western Australia, it’s when the 3 main gaming focused conventions happen, and I demo-ed Courier Tale at them all.
First up in July was XR:WA 2023. This was the second time I had done this event. I was in almost the same spot as last year underneath the skeleton of a whale (it’s at the WA Museum). It was good to see some familiar faces from last year as well as new ones. There was also the the Hovergarden international indie showcase there including great games like Mars First Logistics.
I wasn’t originally going to do the next event, Pixel Expo. At the start of the year I had an overly optimistic idea of releasing on 8th of August, which was a few days after Pixel Expo. As such I felt it best to skip that event as no doubt the few days before a release would be too hectic for a solo developer to do an event. However once it became apparent I wouldn’t be releasing in August, a last minute opportunity came up to be able to still exhibit at Pixel Expo.
Then in late September, it was time for the first ever WA Games Week. Courier Tale was actually featured in quite a bit of the WA Games Week promo including on the website, video trailer and Perth Games Festival poster. Courier Tale was also featured on the Yagan Square Digital Tower. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it, but that has to be the biggest screen Courier Tale has been on.
WA Games Week featured a bunch of industry talks, the Level Her Up game jam for women developers, the Immerse VR/AR conference and of course finishing off with Perth Games Festival. This was the 3rd Perth Games Festival I have demo-ed Courier Tale at. My booth came with a banner which I used a new design for. People commented on that being one of the first times they had seen colour in my promo. There is a lot of grey in Courier Tale, but there is some colour as well!
But it wasn’t all just in-person events the past 3 months. Courier Tale was also featured in the Cat Awareness Sale, a digital online showcase on Steam. It was obviously a very niche showcase, but seeing Courier Tale has cats in, it was “purrfect” for the game. It also gave me a chance to share some of the cats the inspired characters in Courier Tale.
During this time, another thing that slowed down progress on Courier Tale was that I started working on my next game prototype. Things have been going well for that prototype so far, up until the news about Unity’s new pricing structure came out a few weeks ago. I had been prototyping the new game in Unity, and the change of pricing prompted me to try out other engines like Godot and Unreal last week. I may still end up using Unity for my next game, but I’ll keep testing other engines until I see what’s best for me and the game. Unlike Courier Tale where I started live streaming development straight away, I’ll probably keep my next project under wraps until the right time. I would like to start working on the next game as soon as Courier Tale is released (while still supporting Courier Tale for the months that follow).
So yeah it’s been a slow quarter for Courier Tale work because of all these other things. The Steam demo was updated to the same version being shown at this year’s conventions which includes things like the new menus and title screen. The focus continues to be finishing off the graphics for Courier Tale. It’s not done yet, but I’m getting close. After graphics are finished I’ll be moving on to sound effects and finalizing the soundtrack. I would like to have both the graphics and sound finished before the end of the year, but hopefully some of the final technical stuff too.
September 10 marked 3 years since I started developing Courier Tale. It should be a milestone, but I feel like such a long time in development doesn’t feel like something to celebrate. Sure a lot of games these days take 5 years to make, some even 10 years. And it hasn’t been 3 years full time, more so closer to 1.5 – 2 years full time. But still, it seems like a big chunk of time for what felt at first to be a small game.
That said, we’re on the homestretch here. After missing the August release, I was hoping for a Q4 release instead, but if I’m realistic about it, it is more likely to be a Q1 2024 release. That’s a shame as I had hoped to release it in 2023, but don’t want to rush it right at the end. With all the events for the year out of the way, it’s heads down finishing Courier Tale now. I may be more quiet over the coming months as I focus on getting the game done, but in the meantime don’t forget to follow @couriertale on your favourite social media spamming network and if ya haven’t already, make sure to wishlist Courier Tale on Steam…