From Nothing to Something: Making a Game with Zero Budget

So yesterday I gave a fun talk at the Vienna gamedev meetup! It’s about making a game when you have no resources or budget except for yourself and your time, and you maybe don’t have a traditional way into the game dev industry.

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Kickstarter ending very soon!

Hi guys,

Just a reminder for anyone who hasn’t pledged yet but would like to: Spinnortality is on Kickstarter for only a few more hours! If you’d like to grab a pledge, you’d better be quick quick quick 😀

The campaign has already been a big success, though: not only did we make our goal, we also made our stretch goal of colonising the moon! Wooo!

So what does this mean for me and the game’s development? Well, this means I’ll be able to work on the game full-time, which is FANTASTIC. I’ve wanted to be a real-life make-enough-to-do-this-full-time game developer for years, and now I at least have enough to make it to the game’s launch (which should be in August, but that’s just a rough estimate right now).

Anyway, like I said, the Kickstarter’s here for anyone who’s interested, I hope you guys have a nice holiday season (rapidly approaching) and a great new year 🙂

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Spinnortality is on Kickstarter!

The title says it all, really:

That’s right, after 2 years of part-time development Spinnortality is now on Kickstarter! Follow that link to see the campaign and maybe perhaps make a small pledge? 🙂

I really, really appreciate any pledge you can afford, but if you want to help out in some other way I really need to get the word out about this. A short message on social media with the link will help a huge amount, but I know it can be awkward posting that sort of thing – so I’ve made a few tongue-in-cheek marketing images. I was thinking people could post their image of choice and it would feel more fun than just “um please back this kthxbye”.

Here they are – just remember to post this link along with them: http://thndr.me/mtXXK7

Here’s that link again: http://thndr.me/mtXXK7

I just checked the KS and it’s up to €729 after just 3 hours – that’s amazing!

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Spinnortality was in PC gamer! And some updates

Hello everyone! A quick update:

In case anyone missed it, Spinnortality has a landing page! You can go there for screenshots, videos and general info about the game.

It also made it through Greenlight, so will be on Steam. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for it! 🙂

Spinnortality’s going well. I took it to Vienna’s ReVersed festival where it was well-recieved – I also got a lot of very good feedback, so thanks to everyone who played and commented! It was also previewed in PC Gamer, which I’m thrilled with: I’ve been reading PC Gamer for years but never hoped one of my games might end up there.

Spinnortality at ReVersed; also my first time using a human-sized poster, which was less calamitous than it could have been.

The game will also be at Play Austria, a Vienna-based game trade fair, on the 15th and 16th of September. If you’re in Vienna, please come along! There will be lots of fun games there.

In dev news, I’ve been hard at work. Here are some things I’ve done recently, off the top of my head:

  • Finalised the game’s Agendas and Victories. There’s now a “nice” Victory where you go out of your way to try and leave the world better than it was when you started playing, for anti-capitalist softies like myself.
  • Added more tutorials – this is important since the game’s pretty complex, and some of my testers have avoided certain mechanics since they weren’t explicitly introduced to them.
  • Streamlined the first turn of the game: employees now take only 2 turns to recruit, and you start the game with a bunch of workers so you don’t need to wait around for some to arrive.
  • Added a “rival” system, where you and a rival company try to outmanoeuvre each other and ultimately stage a hostile takeover.
  • UI tweaks: media, legal and anarchy icons show up on the globe to alert you to what’s happening in the nation. Products now have a marker to show if they got new spin angles this turn. This is basically to just save you clicking through menus to find information that could be displayed visually one layer up. Government information is now displayed more prominently.
  • Changed the way spin angle success is calculated. This is a long story, but it basically means spin angles can now appeal to several different cultural traits without punishing players who correctly identify one trait but not the other.
  • Added a “Focus Test” feature where players can spend class connections to “cheat” and see which traits go with which spin angles. Players are sometimes confused or frustrated by the spin angles because they don’t want to read my mind or feel it’s pretty arbitrary (which is fair enough, really).

Notice the government info on the main panel, the icons on the globe for media, anarchy and legal, and the “Focus Test” button.

The release date, by the way, is now “When it’s done”. You can read why here, but in a nutshell: I originally wanted to get Spinnortality done as soon as possible because I didn’t think it would make that much of an impact and I just wanted to get it out the door. But the response to the game has been so positive that I now want to make it the best game it can be at launch.

That’s all for now, I think!

 

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