Network Traders Flow Diagram of Long Pause

DevBlog: The long Pause is over

If you have followed my blog, you know that on September 23rd (2022) I reached a huge milestone with Network Traders. We celebrated the early access release on Google Play with a happy release party. But unfortunately, there came a sharp productivity drop right afterwards and only now, three months later, was I able to deliver a new, albeit small, feature update. Version finally concludes the introduction of tooltips for most of the screens, and hopefully ends this pause for good. So what’s next?

The weeks leading up to the public release were actually filled with self-imposed crunch time. Common in game development, but not desirable at all. However, since it was about my own hobby project, it was okay for me. Nevertheless, I dropped into quite a hole afterwards. Part of it was a motivation problem, as it is common after a major achievement. But mostly it was because of other important things that had just accumulated and finally needed attention. So I left my players for three months with one meager bugfix update – my apologies for that! Things will hopefully get better from now on.

Current and next Update – what to expect

Tooltips in Network Screen
The new tooltip in your network screen.

The topic of version 0.4.6 was “player information”. This means that players are now provided much more information throughout the game, which should make onboarding much easier. The tooltips, last of all for the network screen as seen on the right, were only one aspect of this. Another was the introduction of a tutorial system for new players. It should now provide all necessary information to play the game. And lastly, I added a privacy policy declaration, which is absolutely necessary for a public release.

I started version 0.4.6 on July 16th, 2022. Since I finished it only now, it took me more than six months! This is the longest I required so far. Usually, a new minor version is done in two months. But then, it included a total of 43 issues, which is also twice as much as a usual one. Without the three months pause it would not have been that bad after all.

But I intend to leave the motivational holes behind me now. Next up is a major release step with version 0.5. The content will be base monetization, which is, of course, not something players are looking forward to. I call it a necessary evil, but don’t worry, I do not intend to bother you too much. And with this final step, Network Traders will be “Alpha Test Ready”. A little too late, I admit, as it is already in alpha test, but that’s what happens to plans – they get obsolete.

If you want to get regular updates on Network Traders, then just follow me on Mastodon. I am currently migrating from Twitter and I would really love to get a few more followers there, too.

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