Update – Frog Hop some Reflective thoughts

Hello everyone who is reading, in case you have no idea who this is or who I am, my name is Brandon Song and I solo created (at this point in time) all of the games you see in my games page.

On February 23, 2017 I released a video game called Frog Hop that I worked on for a little over 4 years (Started in October 23, 2012). That game too was also created solo. I produced and developed everything you see, hear and play in the game. I programmed (my weakest skill), created all art and animation assets, 250 sound effects, 50+ music tracks and designed all aspects of the game.

On the day that I released my video game through STEAM, I did the best I could to try and email several people and put updates on Twitter and Facebook. The game was celebrated among my friends and I was very happy with the simple fact that I still managed to finish something that I thought was impossible.

Development of the game was extremely rough, I had a lot going on in my life and there were countless moments where I wanted to give up and just never make video games ever again. Perhaps that thought of giving up bled into other parts of my life. There was a lot of emotional struggle bringing myself to work on this game when different areas in my life would pull me away from what I wanted to do, and even when I wanted to do what I loved, there was always something else that would tear me apart.

The fact is that the game took longer than it needed to, I had depression and a lot of burnout happened when developing the game. I was unmotivated and often demoralized when I would compare myself to other successful independent developers. It seemed like I was wasting my life working on something that wasn’t impressive or incredible, like every game you make has to be this amazing experience that people become extremely subjective on.

I would be lying if I said I was happy with how it has been doing on STEAM. The sales are pretty meager and reception has been near non-existent. I jokingly say I’m cursed and that I probably would have to sell my soul to even do well in this industry. Although I have a lot of mixed thoughts regarding its near non-existent reception, I still am happy that I finished it, and I have learned so, so, SO much from creating it, that I swear to myself I don’t want to repeat the same daunting mistakes that I did with my next game (if I even do work on it).

I have learned so much from making this game, and I will do the best I can to take the wisdom I obtained from creating Frog Hop into the next thing that I do. Perhaps I could do another post on the things I learned, maybe they will be helpful to someone, or maybe they won’t.

Perhaps the low level of reception of Frog Hop has been both a blessing and a curse, I still do wish that the game would sell more and have a wider audience and find its niche group of platforming gamers. Yet that hasn’t really been the case. On the flip side, I am someone who just likes to make things, if the game had exploded, I would probably be stuck porting, fixing, debugging, marketing and merchandising the game for who knows how long. Because of the meager success it has had, it has allowed me to easily change direction and work on something different. So as someone who just likes to make and finish a lot of different games, I think it in the long run it has made sense with how it has done and that it, in a way, has opened another door for me to continue creating video games. Perhaps it’s not the most perfect thing that could have happened, and a lot of things didn’t go as ideally as they could have. But I’m still thankful that I’m still capable of creating games (what I mean is my wrists (so far) are still okay, and I’m not suffering any major disease). I’m a bit nervous about the future, as there are still a lot of other things going on in my life unrelated to game development that are still tugging at me. But I still want to make games, and I really want to try and tell stories more in the coming future. The possibilities are endless, which sometimes concerns me, but I am happy to say that I like the fact that I have so many options.

Thank you for reading, and if you enjoy classic platforming video games like Mario Bros. (or know someone who does), please do check out Frog Hop on STEAM: http://store.steampowered.com/app/568490/

One last thing before I go, one of my favorite game developers, Toby Fox (creator of Undertale). Was extremely kind enough to play through Frog Hop to completion. I am so happy, bewildered, surprised, confused, awe struck, dazzled, frazzled, jazzled (wat) that he took the time to play through my game to completion. At the end of the day, it feels like I did strike gold even if the game didn’t sell much.

NOW I LAUGH MY WAY TO THE BANK HAHAHAHAHhahaahahhahaa..hah..ha………*sigh*

Wish me luck on the next project, I hope whatever I create next will maybe MAKE YOU CRY WAHHHHHHHH

-Brandon

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