Light Racer 2.0 - Deployment and User Acceptance

The initial update (2.0.0) of Light Racer was very shakey. I'm not entirely surprised, though. When I put out a game or a new app, I like to watch for feedback or signs of acceptance over the first few days. With this update, I got a lot of negative feedback about how the update ruined the original game. I was confused by that because I specifically put in the time trial mode to try to follow up the original version. I had underestimated how much many people enjoyed the simplicity of Light Racer 1. The first update addressed that issue by adding in classic modes and response to the update has significantly improved.

If there's one thing that I understand about running a successful game development company, it is that you never want to betray or upset your loyal fans. Sometimes it is hard because you can think you know best but when you're writing games for other people and not just yourself, you have to go with what works for them. I was so proud of the campaign modes that I put in to version 2 that I forgot about why the game was popular in the first place. In the first v2 update, I put the easy, medium and hard modes up at the top of the menu and followed them with the time trials. I thought this was the way to go because those modes were what I was really wanting in the game and I had received much feedback from the first version asking for more "depth." I was wrong.

To a user who had been playing the original Light Racer for 6 months or so, this new menu was totally foreign. They were used to seeing a "vs 1 CPU" and "vs 2 CPU" option and that's it. Now they tried the game on Easy, thinking that it was the same game. Nope! It's a totally different game. It even looks different with the new background - which needs to be replaced in the next update. I think most people didn't even try speed trials because they were immediately upset with what they found in the new game. It wasn't what they expected.

I immediately put together an update which has a new menu structure. Now, prominently displayed at the top of the solo menu is "Classic vs 1 CPU" and "Classic vs 2 CPU" modes. I also added descriptions, and put the old green grid back on for those 2 and the speed trials mode. Response dramatically improved by those upgrading. I think I made the right choice by adding these back in and supporting the fans. After all, I'm not writing games for myself - they are for everyone.

I will be continuing with the updates over time to Light Racer and Light Racer Elite. I currently don't like how the multiplayer feels in LRE and would also like to address input pipeline problems with both. I'm planning on taking a look at these issues while working on LR3D and retrofitting the original games to use the new code.

I'd like to thank everyone who has purchased Light Racer Elite. Starting a new business is very difficult and expensive. Purchasing games you like, like Light Racer Elite and Wixel is what enables developers like myself to be able to continue developing new and better games.