"Expect the first post with more details some time this week." One of these days I will learn that I shouldn't promise to type words at specific dates. Alas, this is not that time. Moving on. I promised I would elaborate further on my plans for that bigger game I'm making now and here it is. The Plan. (All of this might change at a moments notice, so take it with a giant bowl of salt. Like, industry-size bowl. I've never done anything like this before and there are a hundred of things that could go wrong before I get from nothing to finished game.)
A bored radio DJ kicks Satan out of hell, and starts killing off pop stars to make death more interesting. You have to save the music to save the world!
I had the basic idea years ago (that bit about killing off pop stars might have been added later); it actually started out as a writing project. I was still trying to write movie scripts (silly me) and it was one of those stupid ideas that come to me after doing a long shift at work. This one stuck. I wrote a few pages and an outline and then abandoned it when I realized that it was too ambitious for a no budget film. My mind is a very visual place and the first glimpse of the idea was a specific sequence that came to me while I was listening to ABBAs 'Take A Chance On Me' for two hours on repeat. I think there is a melancholy underlying ABBAs music that isn't really appreciated. That is the mood I was going for: Sad pop perfection. I realized that it wasn't something I would be able to translate to film, so I shelved the idea. Fast forward a few years and I'm making games, where everything is a special effect and budget concerns are completely different.
I've stated previously that the game after this one is about my past and that this will be a silly horror comedy, which is technically true. But WILD SAM! is also about my past, only in a less overt way. I'm not trying to illustrate where I grew up, or show you what it was like to think I'm worthless. It's a more positive game, a game I need to make before going down that path. At its core it's about my feelings about art in general, and music in particular. The game won't feature said music, mostly for monetary reason (There is a version of this game that would literally cost tens of thousands of Euros in licensing fees alone. I'm not making that game.), but it will be heavily influenced by it. I have compiled a list of songs (Apple Music, Spotify) that correspond to sections in the game and I expect that list to grow in the future. (I'm doing my version of Phonogram, basically.)
Phew. 'That sounds simple enough', one might say (one who might have very little experience with software development). But what are the actual steps I'm taking from here on out? These:
- Develop WILD SAM! in my spare time.
- Write about it while doing so. Here, but also cross post on other platforms.
- Release a demo version some time next year.
- Gather feedback and refine the game.
- Release the full game by Summer 2018.
- Take the proceeds and put it towards the next game.
As it stands now, and again this is subject to change, I won't be doing a kickstarter. I think crowd funding is a fantastic tool, but it's most effective if you're doing something unique, or have a built-in fanbase. I'm making a retro game in 2016 and have a handful of friends. So I think my best shot is to self-fund for the time being, at least until I have showed something playable to people and they go bananas and want to throw money at me. The good thing is that I have a lot of freedom in my current job to pursue things like this. It's a position of privilige I have come to appreciate and don't take for granted. It's the first time in my life that I have some semblance of security, which enables me to do it this way. My next meal won't depend on a 2D horror comedy game, which means I can concentrate on making it good, rather than just finishing it as fast as possible. I can guarantee you, whoever tells you that an artist has to "suffer" or be "poor" to create real art, has neither suffered or been poor in their entire life. Being poor means your first priority is survival and that is the most crippling thing to happen to your creativity. Don't believe that nonsense. Always make sure that your basic needs are taken care of first.
Right. This should suffice as a first log entry. I'm off to learn about resource management now. I hear that might be important for game engines...