It’s that time of year again, tax time.

It’s also that time where I update my financial planning. This year $2,000 is missing … That’s when I remembered about this thing called Blimp Wars.

I really thought I had something there so I never hesitated to get full original art. That was quite some money but I wasn’t afraid to spend it. Then came the new server and then … nothing.

Why did it failed? Well I guess I tried to push a bit too much what I could do with Javascript here. While it was working it wasn’t as smooth as you would expect an action game to be. But that’s only part of the answer.

The biggest problem is that I have never been able to get enough people online at the same time. A multiplayer game when you’re alone is not really exciting. Even with what could look like a proper setting with a beta, newsletter, ads, forums posting, early contact of the press but after 1 week there was almost never anyone online.

I thought I could do what KDice did but Blimp Wars wasn’t KDice. You can get pretty much anyone to play KDice but the same wasn’t true for Blimp Wars.

Nobody talked about the game either. While I admit it was not as smooth as what you could probably expect it still wasn’t that bad. All I’ve been able to pull was an article on indievision. I should have known better based on my experience of no coverage of Golemizer but I really thought Blimp Wars would be able to succeed where Golemizer failed.

The good? Well I now know what not to try again. I’m better to stick with games that can be played while there is nobody around just like Golemizer at first. You could be alone on the server but still be able to actually play. Considering I’m unable to get the spotlight on me it’s just safer to assume that it will never happen and that I must only rely on me at first to get players.

Another thing I learned is that ads are a waste of money for the release of a game. They will provide an almost constant flow of visitors but for a game like Blimp Wars it needed a big wave for several days to start with. It would have required a lot more money on ads to provide this, money I didn’t have even though I wasted quite a lot for nothing.

I also learned a few more tricks with Javascript so I’ll be able to use that on Golemizer and on further projects. The radar and “click-drag” was quite neat so it was something worth to learn for a possible strategy game.

I don’t have the exact amount I lost with Blimp Wars but this morning I stopped counting at $2,000. Most of it was spent on graphics. Add to that the server at $150 per month and the ads … Bah.

So my wallet couldn’t support anymore that additional $150 per month so I decided to shut the whole thing down. I kept of course all the code and database just in case but for now I just can’t keep it online.

One tip here. If you are about to spend $2,000 on such project it might be wise to get a loan instead of taking the money directly from your pocket. I didn’t. It doesn’t mean to get a loan that you can’t pay (don’t ever do that) but if things don’t go the way you expected then at least you’ll have some time to breath to reimburse the loan. Me I took the money directly from my account so right now there’s $2,000 missing. With a loan I would have still spent the money but there would have been more in my bank account at the moment. Of course I spent the money because that’s something I could afford. But let’s just say that for now I couldn’t afford another project like that.

Dan Cook was saying in another post that “You have 10 bad games in you. Start getting them out of your system as soon as possible.” so I guess I can add Blimp Wars to this list. Let’s see, there was Ereptoria, Chasing Tortoise, The adventures of Bret Airborne and now Blimp Wars. That’s only 4. Hmm, I sure hope I don’t have to get to 10 . Maybe since Blimp Wars was using the same homemade engine as Golemizer I can make it count for 2 or 3 games?

Bottom line? It sucks but now it’s done. The best I can do is to use this as a lesson and hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes I did. Wish I had that $2,000 missing but it’s always easy to say that once it’s part of the past. If I wouldn’t have done Blimp Wars then I’d be thinking of spending that money on such project anyway.

Time to move on. I now have some neat graphics so part of it will probably make it to Golemizer. I’ll probably work on Episode 2 of Bret Airborne as another small Flash shooter. I need more training with AS3 anyway.

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