Even though I’m nursing a sick baby today, I’ve managed to get those icons implemented into the admin program. I knocked up a custom ItemsControl with a BitmapImage and Title dependency properties, that has an Image with the TextBlock and a popup within the overwritten ControlTemplate.
The net result is the app “Home page” has gone from this horrible mess (Admittedly I let it get pretty bad because I knew it was going to be replaced):
I also coloured and overlayed some stripes to the outer border, the stripes are a reference to the program icon and I think the colour helps separate the application controls from the content controls within the navigation pane.
I’m happy with the overall visual design of the MilliT app now, the weighbridge client needs a little attention next.
The graph to the left plots the number of downloads of Dirchie kart since launch on the Xbox live indie games marketplace, there’s a slight pattern of sales spikes over the weekends, but overall there is a fairly obvious pattern of “going to hell in a handbag!”
Having an Australian Xbox live account I can’t actually see the XBLIG channel through the dashboard (presumably we don’t have it because of Australia’s antiquated content rating laws), so I’m flying blind, but I suspect the trailing off has a one for one relationship to the latest release list.
I set a personal goal before launch to sell 1000 copies, a modest amount but I’d be happy with 1000 because Dirchie Kart was never conceived as a commercial product, it was made purely to serve me and my mates… if there are 1000 weirdos out there who also enjoy it then I’d call that a win.
I’m currently sitting on 270 copies sold, but with the grand total of 1 copy downloaded last Saturday (that’s downloaded not actually sold) I’m beginning to realise I’ve got some hard work ahead of me.
Part of me is demoralised by the quick drop off, ready to throw in the towel as shit like “Try not to fart” seems to sell like hot cakes. But to do that would mean all the years of effort to get this far would be for nothing, so I say f@#k it there must be more than a 1000 people out there looking at indie games who’d enjoy Dirchie Kart, it’s my challenge to find them.
Since it’s launch I’ve been reading up on marketing, it’s something I’m completely new to so it’s taken me a whole month to start putting anything in place. I recently started reading this What games are blog which has some interesting articles that rang really true to me Are you invisible? and You need a marketing story. Taking these and some other books and references here’s what I’ve done so far:
- Updated my site, trimming some of the superfluous crap and focusing it on my games.
- Had a good hard think about the types of people who’d actually like Dirchie kart, namely people like me, older gamers who like retro gaming or race games.
- Struggled for ages trying to put that down into words, but eventually drafted a review request letter and re-worded the Dirchie kart page.
- Sent out some review request emails.
- Now trying to get active on a few indie and gaming forums and sites, which I’m finding really hard… having spent most of the last 3 years working alone at home in a foreign country where I don’t know many people, hence focusing even deeper on my work a personal projects I realise I’ve become a social spastic.
So I’m starting to bang the drum, let’s see what happens!
Spending a little bit of time today to setup a new XNA 4.0 project for Dirchie Kart. At the same time I’m taking the opportunity to separate the “Ride the Fury” engine code from the game code.
Took me a little while to find out how I had the original project files linked together, it was handy because if you added a new source file to one it’d automatically update the other project.
Curiously I couldn’t find any references on the web, so I figured I’d post it for future reference.
It’s pretty basic, just add your windows project or class lib then Right Click on it and select “Create Copy of Project for Xbox 360”. One cool thing I noticed is that if you have a class lib and game project both setup the same way it’ll automatically use the correct version for the project.