The ultimate publisher issue: hundreds of playtests and months and MONTHS of time and no one has said anything even remotely negative about Geode. Nothing beyond lots of effusive comments and requests to play again… and then.
And then the reviews come in.
A few reviewers have castigated Geode saying: “too much randomness”. It’s nothing but an intro game for little kids.”
Geode. The game I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing (two player) with my friends in tight little battles, wondering how I can best them in the rematch.
All of that, reduced to an intro game for kids…
So, where do you go from there?
When do you place the opinions of the reviewers over those of the people you’ve spent a year playing with?
That’s where I’m at today. Those reviews are out there; they’re never going away. I’m not going to write to those reviewers to say “thanks for your review, but there’s a whole extra set of additions to the game which you never saw”. Because, unless Geode funds no one will see them anyway.
As a new company, I’m utterly reliant on positive word of mouth, and getting dismissive crushing reviews can be the death of a small business.
So I have to decide whether to accept the words of the critics and make some tweaks, or hope that the strength of the game shines through and that people see those reviews as what they are – just the opinions of one person – and that they can make up their own minds.
I should be SO excited that Geode is about to launch, but it’s all shadowed under a cloud of what-ifs and self-doubts.