GONNA BE SO BORED NOW…
I started writing this on February 3rd, 2021. Exactly four years ago I released the much anticipated (by my mum) Steam title Undead Blackout. It sold over 100 copies on day 1, which is actually not shocking but with the stupidly lofty expectations that I had I was disappointed. No Lamborginhi for me. This is not going to be a post about what went wrong (it was not finished, not particularly good and I didn’t market it) but more of a brief look back at how my very first project blew up into some four-year saga which (mostly) ends now with the release of Undead Blackout: Reanimated Edition – version 3.0. You can read all about the changes over in the patch notes.
The game is now a lot closer to where I wanted it to be, there is so much I would do differently if I completely started from scratch tomorrow but the whole process has taught me so, so much about the dark arts of game development. Perhaps no other lesson more important than the skill to properly scope the size of a project. Even then it is likely you will underestimate things but just try your best to work on smaller projects if you are a solo dev. A lesson I have certainly taken into all the other games I have worked on so far, although there are a couple of larger projects looming on the horizon
The main question then is – is it really all over for Undead Blackout? Well, the short answer is no. In the same way that I have carried on supporting all of my other games with updates to Unreal Engine and any minor bug fixes, I will continue to support Undead Blackout. No more rebuilding levels or scrapping entire features and starting again, 3.0 is 90% of whatever the game might end up being. There is one half-finished mode I might get round to adding but really, that is it.
There is only one major thing left to do with the game and that is to finally get the Xbox One release sorted out. So much of the improvements that have gone into version 3.0 are off the back of fixing stuff for Xbox. Unfortunately, I have hit an absolute brick wall in terms of getting the backend Xbox-ready and so rather than go with my original plan of releasing 3.0 on PC at the same time as the Xbox version, I brought the PC version forward.
The new plan now is that I have given myself a couple of months to get the Xbox version working or I will scrap it and focus on other things. In those months I will also be undertaking another cool thing for Undead Blackout – releasing the game on Nintendo Switch! It runs surprisingly well thanks to the heaps of optimisations made over the last few months and I am so familiar with the Switch release process now that I don’t see there being too many issues with this.
So in an ideal world, we will release on Switch and Xbox on the same day at some point in the next few months, but we shall see. I am leaning on some very lovely Unreal Engine 4 forum contributors for guidance so I guess it is over to them with regards to the Xbox version.