Hello, welcome. It has been a bit of time. This is the no-longer-Daily-but-still-going-to-call-it-that Update Corner, where I used to discuss the game as it was being developed, and now I'm going to discuss it being released.
It's, uh, it's really been surreal, having the game out in the open. Having people buy it, play it, review it. It's not like the game is a blockbuster hit, but it has definitely far surpassed my expectations of how many people would show interest in it. There've been plenty of reviews, a let's play, hell, even fanfiction of the game. I've been keeping up with it all (perhaps in a slightly unhealthy way), and it's really blown me all away.
For what it's worth, the release process has gone about as smooth as I could expect it to go - that is to say, not particularly smooth. A number of early release bugs that needed patching, a couple of tactical errors release-wise. Luckily there was nothing catastrophic or anything. I've tried to stay as on top of things as I can when responding to people having issues with the game.
The biggest relief, though, was the fact that for the most part people seem to be enjoying the game. I mean, so far I've only gotten positive reviews on Steam, so I must've done something right. I really have appreciated people's kind words regarding the game. The best part about this whole experience has been the satisfaction of knowing that people, to some extent, have enjoyed what I created.
Of course, there's been a fair few criticisms levied against the game as well. Which, you know, fair enough. Very expected. This was a hobby project written and programmed by one person creating their first attempt at a game. Again, why I didn't try to test the waters with something small and personal I'll never know. The fact that this even progressed to the point where its released on Steam is a miracle, not even counting the mostly positive reception.
That said, I've tried to listen and address some of the more easily-fixed criticisms. A lot of people might've missed it, but I worked on a Quality of Life update not long ago. It addressed the issues I could easily fix, including tracking information for the player, letting them bypass the most difficult mysteries, adding an option to pre-select the early choices once you've experienced all of them, and just generally addressing a number of typos. Unfortunately, the update was a little late for most of the early adopters, which is a shame. Still, I hope that the update will be of some use to future players.
I guess the next question to address is what's next on the chopping block. Well, I'm not quite done The Zodiac Trial just yet. I'm currently working on making a free demo of the game, one that showcases the opening section of it. Unfortunately, it's taking a bit longer than expected because everything to do with uploading to Steam is a pain in the ass, but we'll get there. I also want to add Achievements to the game. Working Achievements, that is. By the time I add them it'll probably be far too late, but at the very least it'll be a good learning experience.
And after a while, when I am ready to let The Zodiac Trial pass into the past? Well, who knows? Like I mentioned, this game started out as a hobby of mine, one I didn't hold too much faith in. I now know I can actually create a Visual Novel. Now it might be time to see if I can make a better one. I've a lot more experience now, more startup capital thanks to the game's success, some more ideas - not just writing ideas, but ideas on adding more game to the game. I'll probably take a bit of a break before immediately getting to work on something else, but, well, I suspect I'll be back to work on bigger and better things before too long.
To those of you reading this who have played the game, once again, I want to say Thank You. In more ways than one, your support is the reason I'm going to keep on working, writing, coding. There are probably a few more Daily Updates left in me: when the demo releases, if there are any other big updates, probably a post-mortem or two, maybe a spoiler-filled developer's thoughts post. But soon enough, I'll stop posting for a while. I'll be busy with whatever comes next.