Anyone who has built a company, or developed bespoke software, will know of the struggle to achieve the perfect balance between features, stability and time.
BattleCrate is on track to launch by mid May. A small push back from our original target of April 1st (I guess it did end up being an April fools in the end). There are a multitude of reasons behind the delay. The top of the list being occupied by a certain virus currently rampaging the globe. The workload was always going to be gargantuan, as it always is when building a company, but having to do it all remotely has certainly slowed things down.
That said, even without the pandemic, launching by April 1st with all the features we had planned was always going to be challenging. That’s what I’d like to disclose here: the difficulty and importance of our MVP. Let’s start from the beginning.
Why build BattleCrate?
As gamers ourselves, we’ve witnessed many of the issues and hardships that come from trying to host games, even just to play with friends. We didn’t just want to rethink existing game hosting solutions, we wanted to provide something that hadn’t been seen before in this industry as well which brought us to a nice-to-have problem: too many feature ideas!
Early on, we brainstormed ideas and came up with a specification for which features would make the MVP and which would be left until after the initial launch. One thing wasn’t accounted for: how hard the project would actually be to pull off. Plus the aforementioned virus but let’s try to stay positive!
Full-time work on BattleCrate began in January 2020 in a small office in Lancashire. The foundations of the company were taking shape and the first saplings of BattleCrate’s bespoke software were beginning to grow. It took roughly three weeks for us to grasp just how much we had actually bitten off after ownership and deadlines were agreed for each service and microservice. Despite this, we had a good understanding of the project’s progress. Or so we thought… Issues started to arise when we later noticed the smaller chunks of work (that had slipped through the cracks) were suddenly becoming more and more important
Hindsight in 2020
We’ll discuss more about infrastructure in future blogs but for now, just know that our platform is massively scalable and expandable. “Why is this a problem? Sounds pretty good to me”. If I could go back, I’d drill into everyone’s heads that this is the MVP, not the final product. Worry about perfection later. That said, I’m sure I won’t be complaining about this in the future.
April 1st is just around the corner and a now worrying development team is deciding which features have to be stripped from the MVP due to time constraints. A heartbreaking time for all. Make no mistake though, features that were removed from the MVP, among others, will be coming after the initial launch and we can’t wait to show you what is coming!
The launch date was missed. The BattleCrate alpha was nowhere to be seen and a disappointed team took a leave of absence to grovel in self pity and reflect on the project so far. Just kidding! They were working harder than ever! Hour after hour, day after day. Even on weekends! Just because we missed the original deadline didn’t mean that we should be any less motivated!
BattleCrate is coming and you won’t be disappointed. We often hear “it’s better late than never” and this couldn’t be more true when building a company or developing bespoke software. It’s easy to get caught in the mentality of trying to build the perfect product first time and admittedly, we have (partially) fallen into this trap. The benefit for you though is a more stable, more polished MVP and we couldn’t be more proud of how things have turned out so far.
I cannot stress just how much coffee went into building this project, and I dread to think how much more will be needed after the initial launch.
To show our thanks for sticking with us, we’re increasing our promotion for alpha testers. This means that all users registered for the BattleCrate alpha will now receive £5 platform credit. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up now.