some WIP promo art :)

I was very busy last 2 weeks(haha I start talking about 2 weeks again ;D) , not only with the business side of things, but also surprisingly drawing a lot and have now a new “hobby” project by the side, while I more or less wait for any business related stuff to happen 🙂 So….the hobby project is a calendar for my friends from “wurm online” and the project I’m leader of, in it 😀 and I’m having quite a lot of fun advancing my skills that way and playing around with stereotypes and things you can do in that game 🙂
Then, on the other hand I was working on some ideas for a possible website design (no sketches though) trying to find something that could show what my games company’s focus is and at the same time keep some mystery and make it easy to access where one could buy the games. All in one place, cause I think that’s important, to reduce the amount of clicks needed to get where one wants and getting all the information wanted while doing so.
And while I was working on that, I thought, that I need some “promo” art for my critters game. It’s not done yet, but will be soon, but I figured I could post it already 🙂

critterfamily3_s

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some eventful days

For about 2 weeks now, I was more or less just getting restless, because everything seemed to have stalled for a bit…I was waiting for feedback on my business plan and if I could continue to the next step (applying for a grant with it). I was not really knowing what to do and just spent alot of time trying to either forget about waiting by playing games or trying to make plans, marketing stuff, trying to figure out where I want to do marketing, what I would need for it, what my logo could be etc. Also thinking alot about what features I could add to critters, how to implement them, how fitting they are, how difficult etc. and what’s within my scope or outside of the scope of doing it in 3-4 months….last part is not really done yet…
because I noticed my trello board is currently a mess XD since I just tried writing down everything that came to mind, but not really organizing it well…sooo I started reorganizing it, throwing out the ludum dare stuff from it and making some new Lists to keep track of what is only a conceptual idea and what is already set in stone of what I need to do.
it’s still somewhat messy, but I managed to work through a bulk of it….and last night I even fixed the game functionality to close the game without pressing Alt+F4 XD (apparently what had happened was, that the condition for starting the game with any key press was interfering with pausing the game to end it lol)

Also I was on another igda meeting yesterday…and it baffled and confused me and…made me just again realize how much problems I have with starting conversations with people I don’t know, even if I know that theoretically I should have topics to talk about that are likely shared by everyone there (meeting for game developers, likely can talk about games XD)
But then again…I’m feeling like having a clump in my throat, even thinking about wanting to say something and always feel like I will probably say something incredible stupid or non engaging or anything like that >.< It doesn’t help either, that I barely understand a word in finnish and if others decide to have conversations in finnish I can’t go and look for any topic I might be able to jump into….
On the other hand, when I’m getting engaged in a conversation, I usually have no problems talking 😮 and the nervousness is also going away very fast then….then I might just sometimes think I’m getting too loud and excited when talking about my own projects…sometimes even when talking about myself…or too focused on myself…probably because it’s a topic I know most how to talk about? I guess….
Next thing that happened which left me confused and trying to process it the rest of the evening was feedback I got….I showed my “critters” game to others and they seemed to genuinely enjoy it….and my impression got also confirmed quite directly….and additionally I was told it would be a honor to have me give a talk there about my background/story……
I’m not at all having the tools to know how to deal with that XD so all I did was reacting, embarrassed/shyly 😮
And after ruminating about it for the last night…it seems I really have trouble to let go of my own self hatred….it was so common for me to have things to bash myself for….to think I have no competence etc. that it is just weird if even my own mind is incapable of finding huge flaws and actually confirms the positive that’s being said to me or that I perceive….If people like my game(s)….and I see them enjoy them…and people might like me or are interested in me…I hope I can accept it one day, but I definitely feel like things are changing already for a while now…

I really want to make this work….

Sup! :D

I’m feeling restless! Every day I’m trying to do a little bit, for my business, for my game, anything I can think of, that could help. But when I’m waiting for something to move, it feels like everything is just dragging and difficult >.<
I really need to learn how to cope with waiting 😮
Well..one way is taking action, as far as I can. I agreed with my husband, that I can already start doing things before the actual business is started and that we can get my daughter to daycare before that also, which honestly, makes me feel a little less awful about waiting.
So….well….today I managed to do a little bit creative work 🙂 Since I want different shapes/patterns/colors etc. for my little critters, which they can evolve into I had to make some concept art to get an idea of what I would want to have ingame 🙂 It’s without colors still, but I think it’s giving a good idea ^^

crittersvariations

finished my business plan!

At least as far as I know 🙂 It now went back to the person who is helping me setting my business up and I really carefully feel like saying that I do somewhat like the business plan now 😮 I think I made 4 big iterations refining it as best as I could and now there should be no Information missing, everything being formulated out properly and all parts coming together neatly. I’m quite glad to be honest. It wasn’t easy, especially the part of trying to figure out how much sales I can expect from my games (how does one even do that when I’m not even knowing all the games I will make?XD)
But I figured out something…Mainly I made decisions and estimates on quality and what I want to do generally with my games and that actually gave me some foothold for the numbers I used. Just as an example, I want to sell my games for 6-20 euros at their release, depending on the time I spend developing it, how replayable I want my games to be, how many options there are to expand on those ideas (I want my games to have updates or expansions if possible, in case interest is high enough). I also took into account what the current prices are for other games, their quality as example quite often determines what can be asked for initially. Buggy, barely playable games and unaesthetic games seem to be on the lower end of the spectrum, while Indie games like Stardew Valley are on the higher end, because they are constantly receiving updates, have a lot of content, a lot of customization, have a story and sandbox elements or in other words, there is something for almost anyone in it, without being too broad by bringing everything together with a main theme etc.
Interestingly when trying to research about what an average developer earns or sells on average, there are only some very vague statistics online and otherwise it’s only articles about the low end or the bestsellers.
I tried to figure out where I could fit within that spectrum, which was or is difficult for me, considering I constantly see myself as “not good enough”, but also, I would say I’m somewhat above average or at least average (of course I could be wrong about that, I don’t even know how I can think I’m crap and at the same time think I’m great lol)
Nonetheless, I did then base it off of feedback I got from ludum dares I participated in, talks I had with other game developers and some introspection and came to the conclusion, that my games are probably gonna run, they are probably gonna look good, because I know how to create a style and keep consistency and because of generally my art background and because “cute” seems to attract some people, so just from that standpoint, my games might already make a few sales. Then I have learned how to reduce game ideas/concepts to their very core level, which means, it is easy for me to create early prototypes, which I can release to playtesters, which means I would definitely work with feedback while developing, which I think is making my games better.
practically everything I can think of, from marketing (which I have an education in) to game development, sound creation etc. I usually tend to be as accurate and knowledgeable as possible…I plan well and I try my best to research everything properly before I do it and then I also tend to iterate through each execution, to improve it, if it doesn’t measure up to my own expectations, which honestly are quite high, but I learned dealing with that on a sane level.
Which simply means to me that I will work on trying to create the best quality that is possible to me for anyone who wants to play/buy my games, therefore I should not be afraid of actually asking for value for them. Especially since I’m currently not planning on making mobile games, I don’t have to compete with their insanely low prices.

Oh one thing I definitely learned from going through all those numbers, is that it is a lot, I mean A LOT easier to imagine, what you might sell, if you think of how many sales you might do per day, if your game is not becoming a bestseller. I mean it’s just much simpler, to think “oh sure, I could sell 1 or 2 games per day”, it’s closer to what our minds can probably grasp the meaning of. At least for me, it was much less difficult to imagine, that there might be 2-3 people interested in my games each day, especially, if I work on the advertisement part and distribute it over several platforms etc. So those first few days after release, might be indeed just some friends buying your game or some people you told about it, but everything counts 🙂
Have to start somewhere….and honestly I was surprised when I saw my statistics on itch.io for how my game critters was running, without me even doing any advertisement, besides like 3 posts on the ludum dare page, when I made the game for ludum dare 😀
For those curious: My game Critters got viewed 506 times and downloaded 133 times, right at this moment, in total. And totally out of the blue I got 1 fanart for it and 2 videos and it was my third released game and game jam project.

And just as a comparison, I did quite alot of “advertising” for my very first ludum dare game, probably also because I was so excited about finishing a game 🙂 and it only got 278 views and 22! downloads on itch.io.