Automatic Progress Tracking

I have two jobs:

  1. Make a video game
  2. Tell people about it

I'm much better at the former than the latter. Until recently, the "news" section of Defender's Quest 2 was conspicuously bare, not exactly a huge vote of confidence.

That didn't mean we've been idle, though -- we've been working full time on DQ2 since March 1st of this year, and prior to that we'd been splitting time between DQ2 pre-production and DQ1 legacy support. We supported the original Defender's Quest with content patches and bugfixes for well over two full years, and we still update it ocassionally. This is the same level of support you can expect for Defender's Quest 2.

All that said, I need to get better at telling people what's going on. And a huge obstacle to that is having multiple channels to maintain. When we first got started we had:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Forum
  • Twitter account
  • Facebook page
  • Google+ page
  • Newsletter
  • Steam page
  • GOG page
  • Etc, etc

That's a lot of things! Consolidating our forum and blog using Ghost+Discourse has been a huge help of course, but we can still do better.

As of today, the "news" page on the Defender's Quest 2 site is now the "progress" page and shows this:

Now that we're well into the pre-alpha stage where we have something that actually compiles and can run, we've set up a public issue-and-bug-tracking repository on Github, as well as a more user-friendly interface on our page, which draws from Github. It's mainly for our own purposes, as well as to give testers and Alpha backers a way to leave comments on the latest builds, but we realized that Github lets you track milestones, and fetch data about them using the Github API.

A little quick javascript, and voila! Now we've got public progress trackers that automatically update whenever we do stuff, which is every weekday.

I also learned something today. If you have an important piece of content that requires constant manual updating to be useful, and you just aren't updating it often enough, you should probably find a way to automate it instead.

You can see the fancy schmancy new progress tracker right here: