blog by rae

Demo Update, and Recent Happenings!

Oct 10th, 2023   •   rowbot rally


It’s rae again! Happy Monday! Before I get into the meat of this post, I just wanna talk about how much I appreciate all of the support that this game’s been getting, both in general and especially since the launch of the demo! I’ve gotten so much good feedback, bug reports, and all that jazz, and it’s frankly all been really exciting to experience. To think that people are actually as pumped to see my game come to fruition as I am to make it is pretty radical. Thank you all so much!!

Anyway, I’m here because I’ve got a couple of pieces of news to share; a new update as well as some recent developments from the past month or so! Let’s start with the thing that affects you right now…

New Demo Update!

Yup, as of TODAY there’s a new version of the demo build available to download! While there’s no new content available here (naturally), there’s a whole slew of bug fixes and updates and little tweaks to hopefully make your experience that much better, both right now as well as after the game comes out. What kind of stuff, you ask? Well, here’s a handy change log!

Demo v0.2.0




Changed, not that you’d know…

That all being said…if you find a bug, or you have a piece of feedback, please let me know! There are email links on the main page of this game, but you can also contact me over Mastodon or my Discord, if you’ve got it. Anyway, with the change log out of the way, let’s see what else has been going on in the world of RowBot!

IGDA Twin Cities!

Towards the end of September, the game demo was featured in the IGDA Twin Cities Playtest stream! I’d like to thank Mark LaCroix, and everybody at Noble Robot and the IGDA Twin Cities chapter for letting me join, it was an absolute blast seeing people try my game live, the whole way through, for the first time. If you wanna check out the stream, there’s a replay here on YouTube (originally aired September 20th, 2023):

One thing about the playtesters’ experiences that really surprised me…this game was HARD. Like, pretty dang hard. I learned that I’ve succumbed to a type of “developer bias” — I’ve (of course) been with my game, hand in hand, over the entire course of its development. So, since I know all the bits and bobs, I think it’s pretty easy to control. I’ve gotten used to it! The folks who have never tried or even seen this game before, respectfully…were crashin’ into walls a LOT more than I’d expected hahaha. It definitely makes me think I’ll need to tweak some stuff and see if i can make the control scheme any easier to get a crank on, since the difficulty level from the perspective of a new player really blew me away frankly.

The good news, is that (at least from what they were saying), it seems like a good kind of hard. Like, that specific point of difficulty where you feel like it’s not the fault of the game for controlling poorly but instead the fault of you for not having a good enough grip on the controls — I think in the industry, this is called ‘The Foddy Zone’. I hope I can play into that kind of difficulty for the later parts of the game, but for the first course it definitely might be way too much. IT’S A LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR THE AGES!!

Playdate Community Direct!

Oh yeah, last week(!) my game was also featured in Tiny Yellow Machine’s Playdate Community Direct!! The trailer featured is up on this game’s main page, but I highly encourage you to check out the full direct replay on YouTube, featuring a TON of really really rad Playdate games in-development! (originally aired October 5th, 2023):

Thank you to Gant for hosting this entire thing! Myself and many others are very happy to come together and see what the Playdate community is up to lately. I’d also like to thank Toad for helping me out with editing together the trailer! I was really toeing the deadline and frankly dreading having to fire open the video editing software, so you really saved my tail here. Also, shoutouts to everybody in the direct’s live chat who almost-immediately started hyping my game up as soon as it came on screen!! That was REALLY awesome to see, and it frankly put quite into perspective the amount of excitement that my silly little boat game is stirring up.

That’s all for now!

Okay, back to work for me! I’ve been busy with a LOT of other stuff lately (quite a few things of mine were shown off in that very same community Direct, actually!), so I dunno exactly when I’ll be back with more RowBot news to share. Make sure to keep tabs on my Mastodon page, as well as the devlog thread in the Playdate Squad Discord server for more frequent (if small and oft-off-topic) updates on the game if you’re interested! Until next time, though: Sea ya later!