273 - Development Fears

Developer diaries about creating Neverending Nightmares.
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matt
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273 - Development Fears

Post by matt » Mon May 18, 2015 1:15 pm

In this personal developer diary, I talk about my current fears and anxieties relating to working on our new game. Perhaps I don't come across as confident or don't do a good job promoting the game, but I want to show what's going on behind the curtain, and I've been struggling with a lot of fears lately:
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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evilkinggumby
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by evilkinggumby » Mon May 18, 2015 5:46 pm

ok first i have to say i was waiting for a truck to smash through your window/back wall kool aid man style for half that video.. damn the garbage trucks are loud..

I can't say much based on the new game because we know next to nothing about it, BUT, I can say if the game feels as good of an idea,m if not better, than NeN you should have all the confidence it'll kick butt. Between having more skills and a greater acument for horror games and all your accumulative experience, i think this next game is in the bag. That is, if you all bring your "A" game and don't slack off hehehe

wow 10k a man month? so is a man month the accumulated equivelant to doing a 40 hour work week for appx a month's time? (where the time may accumulate sooner than a month if staff are killling longer days for periods) ? thats a nice lil salary, almost twice what I make. wow.. i really need to get into this cash cow... kickstarter here i come!!!

hehe.. ok maybe not.. yet

it is kool to hear you guys are prepping the kickstarter page and doing up a teaser. I am wondering what kind of hook you'll use as a way to pitch the game. will it continue the "i suffer from a mental illness and will use real life experiences to make the game examine a condition and help examine what it is like"? will it be " we nailed NeN and now we're back with way more tools, skillz and ideas to do it again with WAY MORE ass kicking, spine tingling, pants shredding horror!" Or maybe " we have every confidence our next idea will be a commercial success, way more than previous games, but we need everyone's help to see it happen or we're closing our doors and leaving Infinitap entirely".

Or..something else? I think you will need a good hook, or angle, to grab the masses and get the funding you need. I wouldn't over do it, and I wouldn't make crap up just to get sympathy and interest, but just pitching it for what it is.. may really end up getting you dead in the water.

oh and for the love of god make sure the text is copy edited.. OMG.. lol.. a few recent kickstarters I'm looking at seem iffy but the fact they are poorly written in english totally destroys any faith I have in a final game being quality.. lol.

if you ever get too scared or worried about the game just look me up on skype and I'll kick back and tell you how your the man and how awesome you are til you can't take it anymore. :)
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matt
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by matt » Tue May 19, 2015 6:11 pm

Thanks for your vote of confidence! Now that we finished the trailer, I think I feel a bit more confident about the game. We are definitely bringing our "A" game. :)

$10k a man month is the fully loaded cost, which includes office rental, computers, office assistants (if you are a big company), etc. It isn't the actual average salary. As an indie developer, I've never made close to $10k, and I think most creators on kickstarter aren't either.

We have a unique personal pitch for our next game. I think you are right that when it comes to kickstarter, having is a good hook is important, and while it might not be as "catchy" as our last one, we at least have a pre-existing community and a kickstarter success under our belt, so that should help us.

I will be copy editing the crap out of it as well as get a bunch of feedback from other indie devs. I will share the project page probably a week or more before it launches to get feedback from everyone. :)

Anyway, thank you so much for all your kind words!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Tue May 19, 2015 8:54 pm

Exciting, I'm looking forward to the next Kickstarter! You should know I'm always hanging around ready to pop up and offer my amateur writing criticism!

The games industry seems like it can be a stressful and frightening place, but from my perspective, it seems like you're in a good place with a previous successful Kickstarter delivering a decently successful project on time.

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matt
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by matt » Mon May 25, 2015 11:01 am

Yeah, I think having a kickstarter under our belt and a community that was built around our last game are extremely valuable for the next one, but there are just so many things that can go wrong.
1) What if people don't like the theme/idea/art style/gameplay of the next game?
2) What if we can't get press awareness?
3) What if we launch at a bad time - like perhaps when there are too many good projects on kickstarter?
4) What if our budget is too high? I'm not sure what our budget will be because I have to see how some other deals/promos/whatever work out, so I can see what is in the bank, but I imagine we'll have to ask for more than last time since we won't have OUYA matching what we raise...

There are plenty of things that can go wrong, but I plan on putting up the page and getting a ton of feedback, so hopefully we'll be able to at least get a better sense of where we stand and streamline the pitch to be as attractive as possible. :)

Hopefully our official announcement for our next project will go up soon. I'm getting sick of not talking about it!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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evilkinggumby
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by evilkinggumby » Tue May 26, 2015 6:06 am

1) What if people don't like the theme/idea/art style/gameplay of the next game?

You'll know pretty quickly if there is a fatal flaw. And I'd say if we have a chance to look at it in preview we can easily tell you if ther eis a major flaw in your concept.

2) What if we can't get press awareness?

I asked you about that and it seems like you have a 'hook' in mind already to try and draw in interest. I think if you send out feelers to news sites and name drop "Hey this is Matt who did NeN , that game that was about my examination of mental illness and how I suffer it" there will be instant interest, especially if you seem to be expounding or upping the ante with the next game. BVut if you just say " our next game will be a fun lighthearted platformer" it'll get yawns. News also needs a "hook" to get readers reading.

3) What if we launch at a bad time - like perhaps when there are too many good projects on kickstarter?

You have Lobster! i think you'll know exactly when will work to launch. :)

4) What if our budget is too high? I'm not sure what our budget will be because I have to see how some other deals/promos/whatever work out, so I can see what is in the bank, but I imagine we'll have to ask for more than last time since we won't have OUYA matching what we raise...

I've seen all kinds of budgets pull through. I've seen lower ones with fairly cheap/reasonable budgets fail and I've seen modest and even high budgets explode well beyond it. What really matters is the tiers you set and making sure there is a sense of value for those backing the project. If I have to drop $150 just to get a basic physical copy in a dvdcase (case, art, disc no book or inserts) I won't buy it. If the initial digital copy of the game is $40 I'll wait for the steam sale. Same goes for selling digital copies for steam for only $5 lol. Luckily you have experience in this so I don't think you'll screw that aspect up :)

You have a nice cluster of folk to assist and advise with this, so I think you'll be fine. Biggest fear I have is if everyone offers you advice and suggestions and you get too stubborn and don't listen to it. :) Cause ya know.. you are used to being lord and master of the realm.. hehee...
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matt
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by matt » Wed May 27, 2015 12:19 pm

1) Now that we are announced, what do you think? Any flaws?
2) I think the hook about parenthood and the Philippines are pretty good ones, but we'll see what sort of bites we get. I was hoping that we'd get a few sites to run with the Polygon article announcement, but it looks like I'll have to reach out to my press contacts and see how that goes. :)
3) I'll keep my fingers crossed!
4) I think we'll probably provide a good value. We are making a few adjustments to keep our costs down a little bit more, but overall the reward structure is going to be fairly similar.

Well, I hope I've been good about taking advice from the community so far. I feel like my approach to community development has really helped me as a game developer, but maybe I'm not taking it far enough?
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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evilkinggumby
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by evilkinggumby » Wed May 27, 2015 3:19 pm

1) Now that we are announced, what do you think? Any flaws?

I looked at the posts on youtube and it seems like folk like the new style and look you chose, so I'd say the reception, so far, has been warm. Seeing as this is a teaser built on a pre pre pre alpha I won't crit it at this point as it's neither fair or going to be of much help. :)

2) I think the hook about parenthood and the Philippines are pretty good ones, but we'll see what sort of bites we get. I was hoping that we'd get a few sites to run with the Polygon article announcement, but it looks like I'll have to reach out to my press contacts and see how that goes. :)

I'm not sure if that's a HOOK in the sense I am thinking. I think the HOOK is the part where you talked about how you have a baby on the way and this game will explore and examine the real fears you and your wife have about pregnancy, parenthood, and the child's development. THAT is the hook, a game that examines a common but rarely discussed topic (in games).


3) I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Also cross your lobstah claws!! :)

4) I think we'll probably provide a good value. We are making a few adjustments to keep our costs down a little bit more, but overall the reward structure is going to be fairly similar.

We'll have to see when you link the prototype web page I guess to judge. Really I'll defer to Lobstah on the reward tier structure as he has way more knowledge on that are. :)

Well, I hope I've been good about taking advice from the community so far. I feel like my approach to community development has really helped me as a game developer, but maybe I'm not taking it far enough?

Generally i think you've done fine. I wouldn't stop and re examine this unless after a lot of progress the direction you go via fan advice ultimately is making the game worse or headed for a brick wall (running out of time/money/resources). You listen and consider what people say and weigh it fairly judiciously. I think the only time you're a lil non-receptive is when you think of a suggestion in a very "all or nothing" sense and not toy with an idea in more subtle or middle ground terms. But that is really how you operate, and I've come to accept and expect it from you. :)
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matt
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Re: 273 - Development Fears

Post by matt » Thu May 28, 2015 2:17 pm

Thanks for the feedback! :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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