Back to my project! In this post I want to take the time to talk about both my ambitions for my game project, and more specifically, I want to start talking about the financing of my project. As such, I’ll be addressing this topic to the best of my ability…
Just to recap, my game, Earth Alone, brings the player into a dystopian future Earth where the veil separating the realm of nature spirits has ripped, colliding worlds, and creating a brand new era on our Planet. Essentially, it’s about bringing a malleable, player-driven narrative into a Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest-esque 2D turn-based RPG. Here’s my latest developer diary if you’re interested in learning where I’m at:
Thus far, the main financial hurdle I’ve had to cross in the making of my game was the purchasing of the RPG Maker MV software on Steam. My main mission now is to create a demo that will successfully whet the appetites of consumers who would be interested in potentially investing in the game. While I could create a complete game using the software and the free resources I’ve collected online, I ideally see the project manifesting as a crowd-funding campaign. These raised funds would serve to:
- hire artists to create original assets that compliment my vision;
- hire animators to design rad cutscenes;
- hire voice actors to voice the characters in my world;
- hire a small team of devs familiar with the software to help streamline the creation process, especially regarding the realm of scripting;
- and last (but not least), hire a team of cheap servants to worship and provide for me while I, like Jabba the Hutt, lounge and oversee production from my elevated concrete slab.
Given my sore unfamiliarity with the world of marketing and funding and all that jazz, I found Robert DellaFave‘s article, “How to Fund Your Indie Game,” to be indispensable! There he concludes stating:
“There’s a wealth of opportunities for game development companies seeking to procure funding for their next foray, with more alternatives propping up every year. With so many options available, there’s hardly a need to limit yourself to one source.”
One opportunity I certainly see complimenting my vision is working towards an Alpha-funding model, that is, allowing gamers to purchase the game prior to its commercial release, a popular business model that’s allowing many successful indie games to truly blossom! While it not only allows you to release the game early, it also allows the community to play test your unfinished title, a community who are rewarded with frequent updates promising new content!
Eric Barone, aka ConcernedApe, the incredible developer of Stardew Valley, perfected this business model in my opinion. Not only did his game, more or less, become an overnight success, he still regularly releases free content updates to build on the game, and even takes time out to communicate with his Stardew Valley community, both on his website and on his twitter feed. If you’re interested in learning more about his creative process, I’d recommend checking out the interview he did with Tom Marks from PC Gamer.
In the long run I’d eventually like to see my project ‘green-lit’ through Steam Greenlight service, a service which allows new game developers worldwide to pitch their game ideas and projects. If successful, these games are destined to become a part of Steam’s growing indie game library. Although before I become too ambitious, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the meantime, and I’d especially love for you all to try out the demo I’m working on!
Oh, and last but not least, here’s a bonus video where I quickly look at the Day/Night system I designed which I’m super proud of:
If you’re interested in checking out the rest of my developer diaries, here is the playlist.