Conflicting Desires

It's been a while since there's been a post on this blog. Even longer since there was an actual post on thoughts rather than just announcing "hey that port of that game we made is finally coming to platform X!" So, I wanted to take a moment to just write a bit about the difficulty with planning what's next.

Dragon Fantasy Book II launched over 3 years ago. It's insane to think that. In those years we've ported the game across a number of platforms, and even did an awesome physical copy with Limited Run Games. Shortly after that we announced since it did sell out amazingly fast that we'd release a physical copy of Book I (now Volumes of Westeria) in the near future. Yes, it's underway. Yes it should be awesome and has great new things. No we haven't yet posted about it.

And I'm not posting about it now. At least not any more.

Instead, now, I want to just think in blog form about possibility and desire.
We've been doing this "making games" thing for a long time. Muteki is slowly creeping up on its 11th birthday. That's just insane. But we've hit this roadblock where we haven't really announced anything new. We've all been hit up for questions on what's next, and when we'll make announcements and so far there just haven't been any.

This isn't because we haven't been toying with ideas, or prototyping, or even getting small demos in the hands of people. Rather, it's difficult to choose the path we take next.

Go big or go home

On one hand, it's easy to try to push another big game out. Dozens of hours, lots of flair. Probably using UE4 for the fancy. We like playing big games, so it makes sense that we like making big games. The problem is, big games take over life. They're all encompassing. They require complete dedication and, quite frankly, a lot of money. There's mental, physical, and most of all emotional exhaustion that goes along with them, but also a feeling of elation as they reach audiences in a way smaller games just can't deliver. As an indie publisher, you also have to look at the business side of things. They cost more to make, but they also warrant a higher price point and can bring in some decent income.

But there's something about those smaller games too.

Good things CAN come in small packages

It's tempting to make a small game. Something that can be built and released in months or even weeks. You get that instant buzz of satisfaction watching people pickup your game and sure, they may only stick with it for minutes before moving on, but sometimes that's all you want. Take an idea, slap it together, and put it out there. The problem with smaller games is getting noticed. While we love our fans, we don't want to make a dozen small games that will only be seen by that same group of people. Smaller games don't get the same press coverage and renown as bigger, flashier titles. It feels like it comes down a lot more to luck if you're trying to build a business or sustainable model here.

Ok, so what are we actually doing?

This is where I get to say after all that, we don't yet have an answer. There are at least half a dozen titles in various levels of consideration. As soon as we can get around to deciding you can bet we'll start sharing more. Sharing more is important. It's something we used to do a lot better than we've done lately.

We'll get back on that.