Exploit: Zero Day - Headless Swarm, the first season

The Majesty of Colors Remastered - Coming early 2017

Tag archives: business

To MBA, or Not To MBA?

One of the things that's struck us over the last few years of being in indie game dev is how very few teams seem to be using rigorous methods for running their business. (Or, if they are, they aren't talking much about it.) We've attended some great talks at conferences by Finji and watched videos like Simon Roth's "Killing the 'Lucky Indie' myth: How to build a sustainable microstudio", but beyond that the most consistent opinion we've seen is "Make strategies based on data."

Problem is: where is that data?

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Crashing and Burning on Multiple Simultaneous Projects

Crashing and Burning on Multiple Simultaneous Projects

Our plan for the last few years has been to work on multiple projects at once. When Gregory worked full time on Future Proof projects, this kept them from feeling drained working on the same thing day in and day out. Now that we're both indefinitely part time, however, we're finding it near-impossible.

Our 2017 plans seemed reasonable. They were in line with what we've tried to do in the last couple of years, but incorporating the data from previous years: actual dev time for new Exploit: Zero Day story jobs, actual time needed for marketing, conference schedules, etc.

With that in mind, we set ourselves up to work on two high intensity projects and a low-key one: EZD, Majesty of Colors, and Rosette LARP, respectively.

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Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

In the third quarter of this year, we committed ourselves to diversifying Future Proof's income. Our only real source of income right now is sales of Ossuary, and while Exploit: Zero Day is trucking towards having salable plot, development on that has barely begun.

We had another idea, though: in the process of prototyping the Car Game, we started developing a simple scene loading tool in Unity. (Think of the sort of code that loads upcoming areas in an open-world game as you approach the edge of the current one.) This would let us dip a toe into dev tools (an altogether different market than game sales) and wouldn't have required much in the way of PR work: its discoverability would primarily be managed within the Unity asset store.

"All it needs," we said, "is a little bit of polish and some error checking. A couple weeks of work at most."

Famous last words from developers.

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How to Make Game Code Business Cards

 How to Make Game Code Business Cards

When we decided to go to the GDC this year, we knew we wanted to give out access codes to Exploit: Zero Day when we spoke to people. The easiest way to give out a code to EZD is with a link that includes the code and will guide the player to register, then apply the code.

I set out to create labels containing both a QR code and a shortlink that could be affixed to the back of our business cards. It took quite a bit of trial and error to make this process smooth, but a combination of a Google Spreadsheet, Excel, and Microsoft Word 2013/365 got the job done. Unfortunately, this process won't work with Word 2007 or 2010.

All this work is worth it, though, to have the back of my business card look like this:

The back of my business card with a fancy label on it.

Join me on this sweet and technical ride of mail merging. ...

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Ossuary: One Year Later

Hello! Gregory here. Almost a year ago we released our dark, funny, satirical game Ossuary. It's a story about descending into a static underworld, talking to the people there, and corrupting them with sins that are really virtues.

A year on, it's a good time to look back and talk about how the game was made and received. In short: those who played it seem to have really liked it and understood where it was coming from, but it hasn't had the exposure, popularity, or sales that we wanted from it. ...

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GDC Next - Cool First Conference

Both of us attended GDC Next 2014 November 3-4. It was a cozy conference, focusing primarily on non-development topics: marketing, social media, business development. Both of us feel pretty lacking in these areas, and so eagerly hopped on too-early flights to attend.

Rather than give a boring session-by-session description of what I attended and learned, here's discussion on some of the highlights:

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