The List of Indie-Friendly Publishers

Published on 2nd September 2014 by Colm | One Comment

That's not an oxymoron! While the whole point of being 'indie' is to be independent (primarily of a publisher!) there are many other ways a publisher can help you while letting you remain independent. Traditionally game publishers would pay an upfront fee that paid for a studio to develop their game, but in return own all of the IP and almost all of the revenue from a game (and sequels!!).

Nowadays with digital distribution one of the main reasons to need a traditional publisher is gone but there are other things they can help with like PR, advertising and marketing budgets around launch, getting you onto marketplaces like Steam, etc. Sometimes this could be more of a partnership than a publishing deal.

I've just started talks with a few indie-friendly publishers for Guild of Dungeoneering so I thought I would share my list for others considering this approach. Some of these are full-on publishers with a focus on indie games, and some are actual indie developers who also publish other dev's games.

I'm focused primarily on PC, as is most of the above list, but if you are looking for help with a mobile game I'd recommend looking through this twitter list as quite a few of the list are mobile-focused.

Thanks to the Indie Game Developers facebook group, @kristruitt and @LukeD for helping me put this list together. If you have any suggestions to add to this list feel free to leave a comment!

Getting Your Game Greenlit In 2014

Published on 11th June 2014 by Colm | 6 Comments

Making a game for PC or Mac? You'll probably want access to Steam's 75 million subscribers and their often joked-about spending problem. After all it turns out most people are buying games on Steam that they never even install! Now there's a market you want to tap into!

The infamous Steam summer sale

Time to buy some games you won't play!

Steam's almost-monopoly causes some real problems, with gamers often refusing to buy games from you directly, saying "I'd buy it if it was on Steam". A couple of years ago it was basically impossible as an indie dev to get onto Steam. Even with the launch of Greenlight, their crowdsourced vetting service, it was extremely difficult as recently as last September. Fortunately in January Valve started ramping up the number of games they were Greenlighting and right now they are accepting a batch of 75 games every two weeks. Lets ignore for now what this rash of games is going to do for your game's release (hint: find an audience outside Steam) and instead address the question 'How hard is it to get through Greenlight in 2014?'.

Read More »

Guild of Dungeoneering – coming to Steam!

Published on 22nd May 2014 by Colm | No Comments

Guild of Dungeoneering is coming to Steam!

Steam! You son of a bitch!

Steam! You son of a bitch!

Thank you for all the support, votes and comments on Greenlight!

The game is currently in active, open development. If you want to see the latest updates I'd suggest checking out this devlog thread on TIGSource, where I talk about what I'm working on next, share first looks at new content, and take feedback and suggestions from YOU the player!

There's also @gambrinous on twitter and the facebook page.

If you want to pre-order the game right now you can do that here. Pre-orders will get the full game on release (including a key for Steam). You can also play the latest alpha version of the game at that page.

If you want to find out what it takes to get through Greenlight in 2014 check out this AMA I did on reddit last week. I'll be writing up a blog post about it very soon, too.

Some Announcements: Trailer, Greenlight & Fulltime Indie

Published on 16th April 2014 by Colm | No Comments

The last week has been an important one for me. I've given up my job and become a fulltime indie game developer, I've released the first trailer for Guild of Dungeoneering and launched the game on Steam Greenlight.

Independent of being paid, that is!

Independent of being paid, that is!

Indie can be hard to define and is definitely a bit too overloaded these days, but it explains quite well what I'm trying to do. I'll be mostly working by myself making games. I like to compare myself to a writer who has decided to give up the day job and focus entirely on finishing that first novel.

A wild TRAILER appeared!

So this has been in the works for a couple of months. Fred (who is doing all the art for Guild of Dungeoneering) came up with the script, the jokes, did all the animation, picked the music and even did the voiceover for it!! Talented fellow! Have a look yourself:

We released this last Wednesday at the same time as a big press blitz I coordinated which has led to quite a few people writing about us, which is fantastic! I'll write up a longer post about the experience later on.

For Your Consideration

We also launched on Steam Greenlight at the same time, to try and maximise any press exposure we got for the trailer and convert as much of it as possible into Greenlight votes and attention.

Have YOU voted yet?

So far this is going well, though not quite the rocketship to the top I was hoping for. As of this writing we are 42% of the way to the top 100 with 2,910 yes votes. Sadly a massive proportion of visits to the page has been from within Greenlight itself, so despite getting some big numbers to the main game page in the last few days they haven't quite translated into Greenlight traffic. That said, I'm sure anyone who's looking at the game page and clicks through to greenlight is pretty likely to throw down a yes vote.

I do have some more ideas to get extra traffic onto greenlight so more on that when it's ready. I'll also write up a much longer post on the whole experience once we're through. Oh and if you've voted for the game - Thanks! It's really appreciated!

The Art of Dungeoneering

Published on 1st December 2013 by Colm | 2 Comments

I'm used to working by myself when it comes to game making. And one area where I am sadly challenged is in the realm of art. I tend to use free game art, or hack together my own programmer art, and in general I was happy with what I could produce. But I now realise I was completely wrong.

I've recently started collaborating with a super artist called Fred Mangan for Guild of Dungeoneering and he has produced some absolutely beautiful work that blows what I had put together right out of the water. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to work on a game with my own nasty art again!

Did you spot the little pencils?

Did you spot the little pencils?

That's the new logo for Guild of Dungeoneering. Lets compare it with what I had made..

Font + icon in two colours. Pretty much the limit of my abilities!

Font + icon in two colours. Pretty much the limit of my abilities!

I think we can all agree that's a pretty big difference in quality! Read on to see a whole load more of Fred's art for Guild of Dungeoneering.

Read More »

Guild of Dungeoneering – now available for pre-order!

Published on 31st October 2013 by Colm | 2 Comments

dungeoneering_banner

"Recruit adventurers to explore dungeons for the glory of your Guild. Build the dungeon room by room, fill it with monsters, traps and treasure .. and hope your dungeoneers have what it takes to return victorious!"

[A dungeon crawler where you don't get to control the adventurer. Instead you lay out the dungeon one room at a time (including treasure & monsters) and he proceeds according to his AI. You want him to explore, level up, find treasures and ultimately survive - but you don't get to directly control him.]

 

Playable Alpha & pre-orders now available here:

http://gambrinous.com/games/dungeoneering/

 

Read More »

Guild of Dungeoneering, now under construction..

Published on 19th October 2013 by Colm | One Comment

Guild of Dungeoneering: "Recruit adventurers to explore dungeons for the glory of your Guild. Build the dungeon room by room, fill it with monsters, traps and treasure .. and hope your dungeoneers have what it takes to return victorious!"

Dungeoneering, a perfectly cromulent word.

Dungeoneering, a perfectly cromulent word.

[A dungeon crawler where you don't get to control the adventurer. Instead you lay out the dungeon one room at a time (including treasure & monsters) and he proceeds according to his AI. You want him to explore, level up, find treasures and ultimately survive - but you don't get to directly control him.]

This is a game I'm creating this month for the Ludum Dare October Challenge. I'm taking a 1GAM game I made called Dungeon Delver and making it fun and replayable, and hopefully by the end of the month I have something good enough to sell a copy of.

Read More »

Marketing Your Game In A Rush

Published on 3rd October 2013 by Colm | 6 Comments

This month I am combining my One Game A Month addiction with something new and exciting: the October Challenge. It is a simple challenge: 'Finish a game — Take it to market — Earn $1'.

Then buy one dollar's worth of cocaine and PARTY

Then buy one dollar's worth of cocaine and PARTY

I have recently been finishing a lot of smaller games thanks to game jams and One Game a Month. This is a great feeling and absolutely every wannabe game developer should start by finishing something. However there is another side to becoming a successful independent game developer, namely marketing your game so more than two people hear about it and polishing your game so that those you reach are willing to throw you some cash.

Join me as I outline my plan to polish, market & release a simple game within a month.

Read More »

Futility RPG – a HTML5 game in a month

Published on 21st September 2013 by Colm | 3 Comments

For my One Game A Month August entry I once again decided to go for a one-day gamejam a couple of days before the deadline, since it worked so well last time.

One is the loneliest number..

One is the loneliest number..

This time I didn't have any other fellow 1GAM-Dublin jammers, so I proceeded alone. Tucked myself into my man cave for a long Sunday with our theme for the month ('GIVE UP') and got stuck in.

Read More »

SUPER HAPPY PET – a game in 2 days

Published on 1st September 2013 by Colm | One Comment

June had come and gone without having produced my One Game A Month, and I was into the last week of July.. I needed to do something drastic. So I decided to have an impromptu one day gamejam a couple of days before the deadline. Work feverishly all day long and see what pops out the other end!

Make games. Not 1GAM logos.

A couple others from the 1GAM-Dublin google group joined in on the day and we got to work. Our theme for the month by the way was 'KAWAII!!!!'.

Read More »