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Messages - SilverSpook

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1
AGS Games in Production / Re: Bury Me in the Sand
« on: Today at 07:20 »
Looks excellent! I'll be keeping an eye out for this on Itch, or for potential Steam Wishlisting. :)

2
Oh, oops! 11 AM. Most people who stop in usually know the time, but yes, 11 AM.

3


Come one come all! :) Livestreaming this from my Youtube channel tomorrow. https://www.youtube.com/user/twiliteminotaur

4
So I have someone running a version of Neofeud for Mac wrapped in Wineskin and they've been getting this error:



"I'm running on a 2011 MacBook Pro with High Sierra, with AMD 6750M graphics. The error pops up right when I attempt to start the game.

I tried changing video driver & resolution in the winsetup.exe program included. In Wineskin settings, too, tried forcing the use of XQuartz or Mac driver. Always get the same error. After the one I took a screenshot of, there's another window with more information:"



The game worked for a few other folks with Mac. Not exactly sure what is causing this error on this guy's comp. Any ideas?

5
Nothing wrong with being a jaded realist! Also I tend to go off on the business-end of the industry, but I think the aspects of promoting a game, trying to figure out ways to monetize it to keep the game makers with lights on and food on the table, handling the accounting and distribution details that can be a real nightmare for creative-types, all that stuff you do, Mark, is all vital stuff. All stuff I wish I learned earlier, like before the initial Neofeud release. I'd've had a million bucks by now and could've retired to Kingston upon Hull! :D 

6
Realness is a lie; you've got to open up your third eye, man! I've sailed solar flares on the surface of the sun! Watched attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion! :D

7
Exactly. As I mentioned in the podcast, (the one with Dave I think) I was technically making more money and 'being a professional game developer' at a larger company but mostly I was just 'updating the King of Clubs' to look better in some Texas Hold'em card game, or making a Fifa soccer ball kick animation 'more kickier'. Stuff I totally didn't give a crap about, really, with barely any creative input. I think Mark Yohalem (Primordia) has mentioned this as well, having worked on larger projects like Torment: Tides of Numenera, that your input can kind of get lost on these larger projects, or just disregarded and left out altogether.

But as an indie developer, I can make absolutely and exactly the game I always wanted to make (Neofeud), that I'm most passionate about, that I eat, sleep, and breathe, and don't feel bad about working time-and-a-half on (though I try not to for balance reasons) and can't think of anything else I'd rather work on.

But I do make less money, and it changes month to month. This is why I say you really need to ask yourself what precisely you want not just out of game development, but your life. You are not going to get a chance, at age 60, to turn around, with your millions of dollars you made slaving away trying to ladder climb at that corporate law firm or whatever, and redo your twenties thirties and fourties. You don't get to 'reset the console' and get another chance to see your children grow up, or expend the creative energy that you have (peak mental ability is according to studies somewhere in your thirties) on something that you care about, rather than just do one of the bullshit jobs that most people do, that consists of sitting in an office sending emails to people you don't really like, going to meetings you fall asleep in and write reports no one will read. (I should add, I don't think ALL office jobs are bullshit, and the marketing and business stuff is necessary and half of the story in running a sustainable indie dev company. A lesson I had to learn later than I would've liked. But if you don't know exactly what value your work is contributing to your life and others, then chances are it is meaningless. I speak from experience having done one of these.)

I've manage to crack this thing by basically going way-the-hell-off grid and living in a place where rentier capitalism, and thus pyramid scheme housing prices fear to tread. We have to collect our own water from the sky (no city grid, but then again 37 US cities have arsenic, lead and radon poison for drinking water). We have to dry clothes outside, next to the garden of jabuticaba (grape trees) lilikoi vines and coconuts. The road is gravel, full of potholes big enough to swallow a tractor tire, and is often swarming with chickens, goats and stray dogs. The house we live in was falling apart, surrounded by 150 foot trees leaning into it that I've had to climb in order to cut down (in pieces) and have basically had to take care of repairs ourselves. Property theft is high, (very few police) and it is kinda Wild West where you have to take responsibility for your own security. Speaking of security, 10,000 degree molten lava can come through and incinerate our entire area code at any time. Which is fine, because we have chosen not to have a house with a mortgage. (Another one of those life-choice thingies)

The closest bit of 'civilization' is a town where Woodstock Never Died with half nekkid people high on ahahuasca who trade sex and sacred gemstones for tarot readings and orange bellbottoms, which they wear unironically, right down the street. There are people literally building an Ark (yes, a thousand foot wooden boat) who believe their Brazilian ex-con leader is the second coming of Christ and that they will be spared the flood, living down the other street. When we go to the one Burger King in the area there's always a Vietnam vet who looks like Jerry Garcia with a missing leg listening to Hendrix and reciting Buddhist koans to calm another Iraq War vet who is raving about the 911 and the Illuminatis and incorporating the Ballistic Missile Alert into a conspiracy theory involving the Pope, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Mesopotamian Aliens.

It is kind of weird, but we are also kinda weird, and the area suits us. Although, I think sitting around in an office wasting your life for thirty years so you can have a giant stupid house you never spend time in and 1.5 kids you never see like much of my family have done is far weirder, and sadder to me, personally.

Ultimately I'm not saying you have to choose pyroclasm, bell bottoms and indiedev or TPS reports, lawn mowing and Starbucks, as the last three paragraphs were basically stream of consciousness and personal to my situation. There are all sorts of arrangements and middle-grounds and stuff one might arrive at. But I think the point is, unless you're just dabbling a little here and there, doing indie dev at any scale is likely going to require some lifestyle changes if you come from a stable-job, supporting yourself sort of situation.

I think that's the point, but I may have just accidentally inhaled some of the neighbor's peyote. It's hard to know one's consensus reality sometimes.

8
It is kind of relative. While Wadjet Eye has done well *for an Adventure Game Studio based business*, we have to remember that they are using AGS, which is... I mean it's great and a cozy community and all, but in the multi-hundred-billion-dollar games industry, AGS is a drop of water in the vast ocean.

Even in the adventure game space, along with Daedalic you've got Dontnod (Life is Strange), Telltale, Double Fine, and many others that are all technically "little guys" relative to the big fish of the game industry (CD Projekt, Blizzard, etc.).

I do think that Mark has a point about having a huge influencer pick you up, whether that's a Youtuber, Streamer, someone at a big game news/journalism site, in the industry, etc. makes a huge difference.

9
Congrats on getting to the finish line!

10
General Discussion / Re: Silver Spook Podcast
« on: 16 Jan 2018, 10:08 »


In this episode, Christian "Silver Spook" Miller talks to Nathan Hamley, of Sick Chicken Studios and lead designer of "Guard Duty: A point-and-click adventure through space and time", due out Q3 2018. Topics include:

-Guard Duty, a great looking adventure game which bears similarity to Discworld and Cyberpunk adventures like Blade Runner, but fuses them in an innovative, intriguing way.
-Cyberpunk! Deus Ex, Ghost In The Shell, Metal Gear Solid, William Gibson, the evolution of the genre, attempts at co-option, etc.
-Finer ports of art design and visual storytelling
-Duct taping your bumper on and go-fund-me to pay for a 20x10 shipping container to indiedev in (#livinthedream!)
-Silver Spook tries to coax Keanu Reeves (again) into being on the Silver Spook Podcast. Subscribe to get the scoop on how that pans out!

Guard Duty is coming in Q3 2018, look out for it on Steam and GOG!

Sick Chicken Studios: sickchicken.com

Sick Chicken Twitter: https://twitter.com/sickchickstudio

Support Silver Spook Podcasts and Games on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/neofeud


IN ADDITION! By popular request, I am now adding audio file versions of the podcast to the original post of this thread. You can also get those audio files right here:

EDIT 1/15/2018: Audio files of the podcasts for those who requested!

Episode 15 - Nathan Hamley creator of Guard Duty

Episode 14 - Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games

Episode 13 - Francisco Gonzalez of Grundislav Games

Episode 12 - Japes Hirons creator of Neon Sword

Episode 11 - Jonas Waever lead designer of "The Nameless Mod" for Deus Ex 1

Episode 10 - Jamie Patton creator of Spinnortality

Episode 9 - Primordia Writer Mark Yohalem

Episode 7 - Technobabylon creator James Dearden

11


In this episode, I respond to the "BALLISTIC MISSILE ALERT: SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY" warning I got in my phone this morning (I am Hawaiian from Hawaii). Also continue some work, and also talk a bit about the nature and scariness of releasing indie games in 2017/2018, especially a first commercial release.

Special guests Selmiak / Future Vintage Gaming and Funkpanzer / Definitely mortal (from AGS forums!)

12
General Discussion / Re: Silver Spook Podcast
« on: 13 Jan 2018, 07:32 »
LameNick and Stupot: I will look into converting all of the podcasts to an audiofile that you can just download. :)

13
AGS Games in Production / Re: Escape the room? New Rooms!
« on: 11 Jan 2018, 22:07 »
Nice work! Those are some trippy flying things!

14

Right now, for AGSers or p&c makers, I think it's worth keeping an eye on how Silver Spook fares out of it. Because he is in the process of establishing a point and click set of games into the wider world. Dave, Grundislav, Joel Andail and Rem are past that point. It's less tough for them to sell a point and click (and by sell I mean the creative side as much as anything financial) to people even the more casual audience. Silver Spook is in the "proving himself" phase which is why I say it's just an interesting point in someone's development to keep an eye on. I think he's on the right track because he's not doing what I would call a "hit & run", to release a single game and never be seen of again, so he's already got audience engagement on the table by simply providing more than 1 game ever. He's going to have a more expansive audience, be it niché or casual or both, because of it.

Mark is correct in that having your game anywhere on the internet in 2018, even if it *is* the most groundbreaking, mindblowing, revolutionary experience on the planet, is not enough to get anyone to play it, let alone buy it. And that includes Steam.

That is a major take-away for me, having released a pretty large (12-15 hours give or take) game in the Year Of The (Steam) Flood, 2017. I literally had 3 big adventure games, games bigger than mine -- not just some hack's shovelware -- come out on THE SAME DAY as Neofeud. Tacoma was one of them. I can't even remember the other two. Journey Down Chapter 3 came out the very next day as Neofeud. This is a pretty darn well-established series that started in AGS, with much bigger team, higher production-values than Neofeud, great social media marketing game, and they got... I think around 2,000 sales at launch, which Mark Yohalem (Primordia) pointed out, is not enough to sustain a team with several people.

As Dave Gilbert recently said in a podcast I did with him yesterday, "No one knows what to do exactly," to make it in the indie game industry. It is rapidly and constantly changing and evolving. However, from what I've discovered, those folks who have had any sort of success, have been those who have been actively promoting it, putting it out there, in a variety of ways. Just getting a social media account is necessary. Being active on forums, entering your game in competitions, talking to influencers, streamers, Youtubers, journalists. I spent eight hours a day emailing literally THOUSANDS of sites and journalists before the release of Neofeud. The biggest splash of press I had was when a Rooster Teeth Youtube channel called Funhaus with 1.3 million subscribers decided to do a play with Neofeud, that got 200,000 views in a few days. I could definitely see that surge in the sales/views graph. Getting in the Top 100 Indies Of 2017 (top 3 point-and-clicks) also helped, which is apparently how Funhaus discovered the video, along with the Gamejolt folks, who also featured Neofeud for a week. Ultimately, a lot of this is simply luck, a visibility wheel-of-fortune. There was no skill, talent, 4-year-Full-Sail-degree, marketing-masterplan, one-weird-trick, or anything else I could have had that got Neofeud those particular lottery-wins, but the more you put yourself and your game out there, the more lottery tickets you have.

I am an introvert by nature and despite whatever chutzpah charade I put on in the streams and podcasts, etc., I actually have a really hard time with it. I would much rather curl up in a poorly-lit dad-cave somewhere and binge Red Dwarf episodes. But I know that if I did that, no one but the inner-cloister of my game's "AGS Games In Production" *acolytes, all of 10 AGSers, will have ever played Neofeud.

(*You know who you are, and thank you for your camaraderie and being an involuntary suicide-hotline during the grueling twenty-hour background-painting guantlets. Your comments kept me alive. :) )

Ultimately you have to ask yourself: "What do I really want from this game dev thing?" What are your goals? Do you want 1,000 people to play your game? 10,000, 100,000 people? Do you want to make $10,000? $100,0000? Do you just want to get some great and in-depth feedback from serious gamers and/or critics that tell you that you did a good job? Do you want 1000 "likes"? Do you want a bunch of people clapping for you? Do you need to beat PUBG for most simultaneous players? Do you want to go to white-glove events and have Gabe Newell grovel at your feet at next years multi-trillion-dollar stadium-busting AAAA game event, with an endorsement from Oprah, and an Oscar for best original Game-To-Movie adaptation in one hand and a Nobel Prize in the other? Do you just want people to like you? Do you want to make games while maintaining great and loving relationships with your friends and family? Do you just want enough to pay the rent? To pay the food and rent? To pay for a townhouse in a San Fran exurb and kid's private school? Do you want to retire to Hawaii with a G5 and a supermodel and have a timeshare in every offshore tropical taxhaven? If you want that last one, stop making adventure games. Just make really horrible games and have Artificial Intelligence-generated addictiveness algorithms convert your shitware into digital heroin, turn lots of young children and people with addicitive personalities into junkies, then stuff your garbageware full of lootboxes and microtransactions making you rich and them homeless, take half the profits, dump it into a plagiarized cryptocurrency shitcoin, use the other half to bribe select scruple-free crypto-"gurus" to ponzi-hype it for you, store ill-gotten gains you fleeced from pension funds in a major city's propped-up real estate market making more people homeless, wash rinse repeat.   (Just kidding, don't retire here, please! I already had enough of the homeless to deal with around here in my last jobs.)

But seriously, what do you really, really want? Because if you just want a few cool folks to play your game and give you some feedback, you may be able to just make it and release it on AGS. It's a great, smart, friendly, and very active community here. But you may have to ask for a bit more critique, enter it into a competition, etc.

Personally, I just want to make games that I can be proud of, that have some artistic merit, that are relevant, and to make enough to support myself and my family at a reasonable standard. So far it is working out ok, although of course it could be better.

TL:DR point is that if you really want a number of people in excess of two digits to discover and play your game, making the game and putting it somewhere is, in the immortal words of GI Joe, "Half The Battle." The other half is getting it out there.



15
General Discussion / Re: Silver Spook Podcast
« on: 10 Jan 2018, 06:28 »


In this episode, Christian "Silver Spook" Miller talks to Dave Gilbert, head of Wadjet Eye Games, adventure game publisher of the Blackwell Series, Technobabylon, Primordia, Gemini Rue, Resonance, Shardlight, and their newest upcoming game, "Unavowed". Topics include:

-Unavowed, the next Wadjet Eye game featuring a new dark urban fantasy world, original story, and five party members.
-The entire Wadjet Eye Games catalog, and the strengths of each developer.
-The evolution of the indie game industry over the 12 years of WEG's existence.
-The finer points of voice acting, writing, game design, game art
-Running an indie game company while being a husband and parent, balancing / interweaving of personal life and game dev.
-Dave being a merciless self-critic of his own games as Christian plays Angel's Advocate.
-Top-secret literary references in the Blackwell Series, revealed!
-What it's like to be the ultimate grandmaster of adventure games. (Dave declines the award)

Unavowed is coming in 2018, do consider adding it to your Steam Wishlist! http://store.steampowered.com/app/336140/Unavowed/

Dave Gilbert's / WEG Twitter: https://twitter.com/WadjetEyeGames

Support Silver Spook Podcasts and Games on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/neofeud

Check out the rest of the podcasts:


16
Thanks everyone!

SilverSpook did a great video this morning of him playing the game, and I was around to help (or not, possibly) since I'm at home sick.  Which just goes to show, every cloud has a silverspook lining.  Or something.




Good times! I think I'll have to play more point and clicks on the stream. It's nice to have a crowdsourced hint system when you get stuck :D  Great work on this game, lots of fun and more funny cheese-filling than a seven-layer cheese-only burrito.

17
@Blondbraid: Thanks! Took forever to paint but it has worked out I think. :)

@Selmiak: Yeah I will try to get to one of those next week! This time I did less devving and more playing. Haven't heard much feedback from people wanting to see more development which is why I kind of have been mixing it up.

Here's another late-night stream that I did when I had more of my mental faculties intact:


18


"Death is the path to life." A little sneak peek. :)

Also, sorry Future Vintage Gaming / Selmiak, I was so sleepy and loopy this morning I couldn't get my head straight! Thanks for stopping in though, at any rate!

19
General Discussion / Re: What are your goals for 2018?
« on: 07 Jan 2018, 02:46 »
Make 100 million dollars with Neofeud, finish Neofeud 2 and Dysmaton.

A bit of an overachiever's regiment, but if I can hack one of the three, that would be great. :)

20


Neofeud, a cyberpunk adventure and one of the Top 100 indie games of 2017 on IndieDB is now available on the Mac! https://t.co/OB43kAchAE

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