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I know it's a flawed game, but jeez. Anyway, it you want to know why it's flawed, read on.
After 2 years and 9 months online my zombie game Billy Genocide has finally crossed the 500,000 mark. 502,638 to be exact and featured on 468 websites, so I figure that merits a little moment of reflection.
What can I say about Billy Genocide? It started off as a very ambitious flash game but ended up a compromise, motivated by financial desperation. Let me back up for a moment. About 4 and a half months earlier I had published Billy Suicide, my dark satirical suicide game. It did well online breaking 100,000 plays in the first two weeks so I decided that if my next game was a sequel it could benefit from the popularity, but I didn't want to do the same game twice. For a while I had been hoping for an opportunity to revisit some of the sci-fi and horror themes I had enjoyed before art school had shamed me out of openly liking them. I decided the sequel would be a zombie game. In retrospect it should have just been it's own game, not a sequel.
I started work right away creating the cool visuals that the game is still appreciated for. I originally intended the game to have a robust fighting system with lot's of unarmed moves, as well as melee weapons and firearms. I also envisioned rescuing people along the way and having additional selectable characters to play in addition to Billy. As the development months went by my money was running out. By month 4 I was at about the 40% completion mark, and the pressure was on. I had rent and bills to pay, and no income coming in.
During development I had put the unfinished game up on a website developers use to connect with publishers in order to get feedback, and had gotten an offer from someone to buy the game as it was. Desperate for the cash (little though it was), I agreed to sell the game after 2 more weeks of work.
When the game was published it was met with mixed reviews. Most people agreed that visually it was impressive, but the game play was repetitive (a fair observation). I have always regretted the decision to publish the game as it was. I really believe I had an opportunity to add a great game to the web, but blew it because of short term financial panic. The experience was a real lesson. If I could do it again, I would try to raise my living expenses some other way, and held off release on Billy Genocide until it was truly excellent. Fellow developers, learn from my mistake.