First off, I would like to take the time to formally announce that Life Flashes By is now out of open beta! This means that a more or less final version of the game is now available for download, and, more importantly, the long-awaited collector’s edition is now complete! Hence, if you’re hankering for a shiny, tactile copy of the game to call your own, look no further, for you can now preorder one on my Donations & Merch page. Yay! 
So, here’s the thing: looking back on this so-called “open beta” period, I have to say I’ve been super thrilled with all the response I’ve received regarding the game thus far. There’s been everything from well-thought-out critical analyses to moving emotional testimonials; even people who didn’t like the game seemed to understand and appreciate what I was trying to do with it, which is always a good sign. I feel, for the first time in my decade or so of solo game development, like I’ve hit upon something that has a truly noteworthy contribution to make in the world of video games, particularly when factoring in the constant clamouring in gamer circles for more compelling storytelling and more realistic female characters. And considering the degree to which I consider myself my own worst critic, this sentiment is really something.
When I was chatting with Courtney “Kirby Bits” Stanton at GDC, she said this to me: “the only thing wrong with your game is that not enough people know about it.” And she’s absolutely right. If I throw a game out into the forest and no one is around to play it, it’s not going to make any noise. What exacerbates the situation is that I’ve never been a terribly great promoter. The skills I possess that make me decent at creating games as a one-woman band are absolutely useless when it comes to going out in the world and doing PR. And given that I’m an indie developer with an essentially donationware game, my marketing budget is nonexistent, to say the least. So, when I asked what the hell I’m supposed to do, the idea put forth to me was to crowdsource the game’s promotion. Hence, that’s what I’m going to ask you all to help me do.
If you enjoy games with strong stories, clever dialogue, non-stereotypical woman protagonists, and thought-provoking themes, play Life Flashes By, and tell as many people as you can all about it. If you have a blog, write about your thoughts on the game. If you’re a journalist, write a review, or hit me up for an interview. If you’re friends with journalists who’d be interested in the game, introduce me to them. Same goes for social media mavens. If you know any festivals or events where I can submit the game for demoing, or conferences or conventions at which I could speak, tell me about them. If you’ve got money, buy a collector’s edition or just make a plain old donation, so I can actually afford to travel and pay submission fees. If you’re an awesome programmer and are willing to help port the game to more platforms, talk to me. If you have any other ideas, tell me about them. If you’re already doing any or all of these things, thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re awesome.
I’ll be frank here and say that the idea of posting this message, of asking the outside world to help me, has been more than a little terrifying and anxiety-inducing. Like I said, I’m my own worst critic, raised in a culture that’s taught me to believe that the thoughts and words of people like me don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. But just as I did when I started the Kickstarter project, I have to bite the bullet and try, because I believe in this game. I believe it speaks in a voice that’s seldom heard in games as a whole, and I believe it can have a positive impact on gamer culture, paving the way for more mature, thoughtful, and diverse interactive experiences in our future. So, if you’re with me, let’s make it happen together.