In 4 weeks, I'll be releasing my second app ever and I thought it would be cool to post about what it felt like to release my first, SaveGame Profiler - released 5 years ago.
SGP emulates a multi-profile / multi-save slot gaming environment for PC games. Before I wrote it, I shared a PC with my older brother who wasn't as computer savvy and apparently didn't know that he overwrote my progress every time he played our games. After a while, we developed a system where we copied or renamed our save folders so that games were forced to create new ones. While he was fine with doing this, I wasn't. So I developed a MVP to do just that. It wasn't fancy, but it got the job done.
I think I wrote it in a day using Visual Basic - my very first language and the only language I knew at the time. The app worked. It switched profiles like it was supposed to, but I had to edit the source code each time I wanted to add a new game. I was fine with this until my brother convinced my to add new functions and possibly release it. Multiple light bulbs lit up in my head as I hadn't considered this.
I got to work, this time in C#, and released this monstrosity in about 2 weeks.
Get ready for some low-rez image gallore
From the looks of it, I collected the executable path, but I don't see any button to launch the game.
That's besides the point. Compared to the MVP, this had more features and was more robust. If I remember correctly, I had a
~/Documents/SaveGame Profiler folder where I backed up the game profiles and stored the app's
ini configuration file. It supported multiple profiles for multiple games, and the best part was the switch button - it felt like magic to me even though I knew what was going on under the hood. As soon as you clicked it, it moved the
Save Path to
~/Documents/SaveGame Profiler/<Game Name>/<Loaded Profile>, then moved
~/Documents/SaveGame Profiler/<Game Name>/<Profile To Load> to
IT WAS AWESOME! Oh, and it could update itself.
It was the fanciest copy and paste solution till I realized that most apps online had a more polished UI. I went back to work and released version 1.3 after about a week.
This was everything. It looked and felt better. As soon as I released it on a few software hosting sites, other sites picked it up and hosted it, and some blogs wrote about it. Imagine how I felt reading about my app on gHacks. The most fun part was seeing other people add their games and profiles to my app. It truly was EVERYTHING.
After a while, I somehow got 3 volunteers to help translate it. I released v2.0 shortly after (or was it v1.35?). It supported 3 languages - German, Hebrew, and Russian.
I was having fun with versioning and didn't even understand the concept of major / minor releases.
Fast-forward to 5 years later, and people are still downloading the app. It has averaged about 17.5 downloads / month this year on sourceforge alone. That's like a download every other day. Not bad for an app that I haven't touched in 5 years.
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