Archive for the ‘Game Development’ Category

The List of Indie-Friendly Publishers, 2017 Edition

Published on 25th October 2017 by admin | Comments Off

I put together a list of indie-friendly publishers back in 2014 as I was pitching them on Guild of Dungeoneering.  I'm now once again shopping for a publisher for our second game so I've put together a new and updated list! I hope it helps anyone else looking.

My goal like last time is to find a publisher that can help promote & market our game (and front the money to do so), and on top of that this time I'm also looking for someone who will co-fund development. This is for a PC & console game, so mobile-only publishers have not been included. There's also a couple here that would be money-only rather than a regular publishing arrangement, like the Indie Fund and Jonathan Blow's offer.

Thanks to the everyone who helped me put this list together. If you have any suggestions to add to this list feel free to mail or tweet me!

Guild of Dungeoneering is OUT NOW

Published on 14th July 2015 by Colm | Comments Off

That's right! Get your dungeoneer on RIGHT NOW via Steam, GOG or Humble. There's also a press release here.

We also have a wonderful new trailer for you to enjoy. And yes, that song IS in the soundtrack included in the Deluxe Edition.

It's been an incredible two year journey putting the game together and I'm very proud of what we've built. I sincerely hope you all enjoy it!


Thank you everyone for all your support!

What's Next?

We're going to keep working on Guild of Dungeoneering. We have plans for new features, some DLC, ports, lots of things. I'll be sharing a roadmap of our goals very soon.

A note on the Mac version

We ran into a problem at the very last minute with our Mac build so unfortunately we've had to delay it. We're working on it right now and will have it up as soon as we possibly can. More info here.

Creating the Scribble Effect in Guild of Dungeoneering

Published on 6th January 2015 by Owen | Comments Off

One of the big draws of Guild of Dungeoneering is the distinctive art style created by Fred;  it really evokes that feeling of playing a paper and pencil style RPG, where you are sketching out your own dungeon maps. However we felt we weren’t doing that art justice in the transitions between picking a room card and it appearing on the page. Rooms simply faded in to a static image. We also weren’t really happy with the way the game was highlighting possible placement positions for new rooms, showing just question marks in valid locations when in the middle of the placement sequence, which was confusing for some players.

the finished Scribble Effect

the finished Scribble Effect in action

So when I joined the team one of my tasks was to try and implement solutions to these issues, eventually coming up with what I call the Scribble Effect.

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Now Hiring: Game Designer!

Published on 15th December 2014 by Colm | Comments Off

Note: this position has now been filled!

Hi folks!

I'm looking for a talented game designer to join the team here at Gambrinous. The ideal person would

  • love creating engaging, elegant systems that are a joy to play, learn and master
  • have a deep interest in board games and card games and what makes them tick
  • be keen to apply board & card game mechanics to a digital game
  • have a portfolio of previous games or prototypes they have built
  • enjoy working in a small team where everyone's effort makes a big difference
  • get to focus on gameplay rather than monetisation (we don't do F2P)

You too could be a Dungeoneer!

That person will be joining a team of four working on Guild of Dungeoneering, which is due to come out on Steam and tablets in mid 2015. More info on Guild of Dungeoneering can be found right over here.

We don't know what we'll work on after that but you can bet it will be something boardgamey and full of juicy game design challenges. We are based in Dublin, Ireland but I'm also willing to talk about working remotely with the right person.

Interested? Great! Drop me a mail ( and tell me about yourself. I'd also love to see some of your previous work and get an idea of your salary expectations.

Colm Larkin

The List of Indie-Friendly Publishers

Published on 2nd September 2014 by Colm | 2 Comments

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, some are actual indie developers who also publish other dev's games, and some are marketing specialists.

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@LukeD and /r/gamedev 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?'.

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Some Announcements: Trailer, Greenlight & Fulltime Indie

Published on 16th April 2014 by Colm | Comments Off

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!

Guild of Dungeoneering – now available for pre-order!

Published on 31st October 2013 by Colm | 2 Comments


"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:


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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.

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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.

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