EDGE Lives Up to the Hype
Well, I guess I can relax a bit now. Guess I did okay. Even after all the kind words and reassurance from my alpha and beta testers, I just couldn’t shake a small doubt that maybe I didn’t really know what I was doing… That maybe I’d wasted two years of my life chasing my tail.
But I guess my fears/doubts were unfounded.
EDGE is being pretty much universally praised.
After only the initial 24 hours of EDGE’s release, all signs were already good. The initial swarm of reviews, mostly from the dedicated game sites (GameFreaks365.com, Tapland.com, ZodiacGamer.com, and Palm247.com), were almost all glowing. The worse negative I could find in any of those was a complaint about music — and that was scored low only because there wasn’t more of it!
GameFreaks365 gave me their Gold Award, 9.5+/10, and a review that — heck — brought a tear to my eyes. (Their summary: “EDGE completely lives up to expectations. It is one of the very best action RPG’s released on handhelds. The intense atmosphere and the great story, combined with very good and diverse gameplay, make it one of the few PDA games that are on a level with the best games on DS and PSP, easily making it the best RPG for Palm OS devices to date. It is simply a must-have title for everyone.”)
I must have read Tapland’s wonderfully well-written review sixteen times, all the while with a grin spread ear to ear. (“Overall, EDGE is a stunning achievement that lives up to the hype. It’s beautifully rendered with uncompromising attention to detail throughout, and that makes for the kind of game you just can’t stop playing. As far as Palm applications go, it’s in a league of its own.”)
Of course David Eaton’s review at Palm247 was all good, but David was a loyal beta tester, so I already knew what to expect from him. ;-P
Then PDArcade’s review came in. Slightly lower score on the Controls category (7/10), but then the reviewer doesn’t have a Zodiac, so that was somewhat understandable. The rest of the review was all 9s and 10s, and quotes like: “As amazing as the stills look, you’ll be blown away when you actually sit down to play it. I don’t believe there’s been a game visually that matches what EDGE has captured.” And: “This is one RPG that shouldn’t be missed.” Well, hey…It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
My own forums were quickly loading up with nice comments as well, and I strolled across a few forums elsewhere, catching snippets of joy and fun, and about two dozen messages about how much people have run their batteries to nothing playing EDGE. (If I could somehow make money on the charging of people’s batteries, I’d have really done it…)
There’s even been a few reviews I can’t understand. One that I believe is quite good, in French, at Mobigeeks.fr; at least the crude automatic Google translation seems to be good.
And then today I discovered two separate podcasts, one at 1src.com, the other at PalmAddicts.com, and these both really made my day. When you get to hear people actually stuttering trying to find adequate words to describe your game…well, that’s just the best. (“All I’ve heard about it is great things. I’ve heard nothing bad about this game… All I hear is ‘I didn’t stop playing until I got the low battery dialog.'”) And my absolute favorite line from one of the PalmAddicts: “The graphics… are just so amazing for a Palm… It’s almost a level where you… wouldn’t really expect the graphics on a Palm to even be possible… to achieve such a… a high level of… amazingness.” 🙂
It’s all very gratifying.
Yes, there’s still a few weird bugs to fix. A map flaw here or there. Some annoying installation difficulties (due to the Palm Package Installer, not me) and a few PayPal/website snafus to work out. There’s also a few more crashes reported than I’d have liked, but that’s the life of a Palm developer these days…
All in all, I’m smiling. In general, it looks like I did what I set out to do. Make a game that elevates the landscape of Palm games. Bring a rich “console experience” to a handheld. Create an immersive environment that is perhaps just a tad bit… addictive. Achieving that is very very cool.
So what’s next?
Well, getting it seen by even more Palm owners. I’ve got to find a way to spread the word beyond the usual channels. Could use some magazine print press, some traditional gaming channels… Some good Christmas press… Heck, I might even have to get off my high horse and let the ESD sites have a piece of it, even though I don’t really think they deserve it.
What else?… hmmm… maybe a “Game of the Year” nod? Wouldn’t that be nice.
So was it worth over two years of sweat, blood, tears and tribulation? Mmmm…maybe so. Probably so. At least psychologically so.
Financially?…well, the jury is still out on that one so far. I’ll let you know.
I’m just glad to live up to the hype.