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A Very Nasty (and Very Late) Post Mortem
Date 2/25/2010    Tags XBLIG, Nasty, XNA, Abduction Action!    (0)

In another instance of me trying to be cool by emulating what everyone else is doing (see this, this, and this), I've finally gotten around to writing a proper Post Mortem for Nasty. In my usual wordy self, this is pretty long so I hope you enjoy reading many small words (because big words confuse me).

Nasty was my first commercially released game though I have made several others for the enjoyment of family and friends. It was actually a remake of a game I did about ten years ago (which unfortunately only runs on Win95/98 computers so most people can no longer play it). The concept is nearly identical but most of the enemies are all new. Nasty was also my first game using the XNA framework. As such, there was a lot to learn along the way, not just technical but gameplay wise and marketing wise.

First Nasty video footage

Nasty was released August 24th on Xbox Live Indie Games for a price of 400 points. On December 5th, 2009, the price for Nasty was dropped to 80 points. Nasty has seen two updates since its release to address bugs and improve gameplay and polish. The first update went live on September 25th, 2009 and the second update went live December 7th, 2009. A third update is planned (new features and polish) and will likely be released sometime after the release of Abduction Action!.

Nasty v1 trailer

I started a Post Mortem (wrote about four pages on it actually) shortly after the release of Nasty. Anyone that follows me regularly (and I suggest you do) already knows that sales on Nasty were far, far below what I had expected. At this time, I was very negative about the whole experience (as I imagine most others would be after such a soul-crushing affair) and eventually opted not to post the original Post Mortem because of its negativity. In many respects, it's probably better to be writing this now. Along with being further away from the bad release experience, I've gotten a better grasp on the success (or lack of success) and can be more reflective on what I learned. Plus I can comment on longer sales trends and the effect of the two updates to Nasty.

What Went Right
  1. XNA
    Having previous delved into DirectX programming and some programming using the Allegro game library (coincidentally Allegro was created by Shawn Hargreaves, one of the key people behind the XNA Framework), XNA programming was a breeze. Out of the box, you can create an app that displays a blue screen, which may not seem like much but was a far larger effort with DirectX. I found the framework great to work wi

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