Dec 062010

Looks like the Indie Games Winter Uprising times are going to be extended to the whole month of December. We tried to get all of the games out during the first week and having a strict deadline helped us all work harder, but things come up – whether it’s an overlooked bug that shows up in peer review or just needing more time. However, despite not getting all of the games out in time, I still think it’s been successful – having a strict deadline has helped us all to work harder than we would have to get things done and we’ve got a lot of good exposure which should help all of the participating games, regardless of whether they come out at the beginning of the month or the end.

As for Cthulhu Saves the World, here’s where we are.

All of the dungeons are basically done. Just have to add save points, chest contents, and plug in cutscene/boss triggers, all easy stuff. Very little work left here.

The non-dungeon areas are mostly done. Some of the towns are missing building interiors and townsfolk, neither of which is very difficult to add (dungeons are much more work).

I need to finish balancing monster stats & adding a few enemy special abilities. Probably 1-2 full days of work here.

I need to finish writing the rest of the dialogue. Probably a full day of work here.

I need to make a party changing menu & finish up the flying on map code. Probably just a couple hours of work to do that.

Visuals and music are all pretty much done. Just have a few small odds and ends left.

And then just polish everything up and make sure that we haven’t overlooked any major bugs.

As you can see, there really isn’t much left. A good solid week or so of crunch time and we could have this thing ready for release. On the plus side, the amount of time I have to work on game development is about to go up noticeably soon (only a couple more days until my students go on winter vacation) which will help things drastically.

On the business side of things, we  NEED to get Cthulhu Saves the World out this month with some time to spare. How much Cthulhu Saves the World sells in December will determine how much time we have to work on game development during the first few months of 2011 – we’ll get paid in February for any sales we make in December, but we won’t get paid until May for any sales made in the first quarter of 2011. If we can manage to sell 10,000 copies or more of Cthulhu Saves the World in December, I could go full time game development. If we manage to sell 5,000 copies or so, I’m looking at the same sort of development we do now (part-time job, develop in my spare time). And if we somehow miss releasing it in December and don’t sell anything, well, we’re looking at close to no-time development, because I’ll probably have to grab a second job just to make ends meet.

Looking back at things, we really should have done another smaller project after Breath of Death VII to try to get some more revenue coming in before we tackled something as ambitious as Cthulhu Saves the World. Pride cometh before the fall and all that. On the plus side, as far as quality goes, Cthulhu Saves the World is turning out even better than I had hoped – I think it will end up doing even better in sales and rating than Breath of Death VII once we manage to get it released, despite the higher price tag.

 Posted by at 12:10 pm

  13 Responses to “Cthulhu Saves the World progress report & Indie Games Winter Uprising Extension”

  1. I think you’ll be fine in regards to meeting 10k sales. I know I’m buying Cthulhu Saves the World day one – kinda funny, but I’m looking forward to this indie title more than any big-name release coming out soon 🙂

  2. Well its the 17th. School just let out for me today. I’ve been checking the indie arcade everyday to see if CStW is released yet, and I cant handle it anymore! Please release tomorrow so i can waste away my winter break on this awesome title. Ever since playing BOD and hearing of the announcement of Cthulhu I honestly have not been able to wait. I hope you get those 10k sales. If anyone deserves it, its you. You already have my payment day one.

    P.S. Thanks for making such great games,

    Always a fan,
    Andrew (NM)

  3. Will be getting two sales for me. I’m buying it and putting points on a friend of mines system to get him a copy because he’s a cheapo.

  4. I think you’ll be fine in regards to meeting 10k sales. I know I’m buying Cthulhu Saves the World day one – kinda funny, but I’m looking forward to this indie title more than any big-name release coming out soon 🙂

  5. Looking forward to CStW immensely. Definitely a day one sale for me no matter when it releases. Good luck on meeting the the 10k goal.

    Now to go beat that duck thing before then…

  6. I’m definitely looking forward to Cthulhu Saves the World, but I’d also like to thank you for going over some of the particulars of the XNA pay structure. I personally never realized that it was split between quarters, so I’ll be using the rest of this month (and my saved up MS points) to finally buy those indies I’ve been meaning to for months. Cthulhu included, of course.

  7. I think Nick’s observations are spot on. If you get it out by that weekend before Xmas a large portion of your prospective audience will be home with free time and few obligations. They’ll be looking for something fun to do, and for a couple of bucks, Cthulhu will end up being that fun thing for a good number of them. Pluss there are going to be a lot of people getting Xboxes for Christmas, many will probably explore xbox live and take a crack at a couple of indie games just to see what their like. I know I did when I first got online. If Cthulu is up at the top of that list by the time Xmas rolls around, it will reap the rewards.

    If you miss the christmas rush, I think the sales will really hurt for it. The hardcore fan base will buy the game regardless of when it comes out, but a lot of the first time indie buyer sales simply won’t happen at all if the game isn’t there during that brief window when a lot of new people will be casually browsing through the indie games section over the holidays.

  8. Ohh I really hope you get picked by IGN right away and that you get those 10k sales even before december ends. I can´t wait to play it and I will do my best to get you at least some sales in Germany. 😉

  9. Considering how Epic Dungeon has done in the first few days as an unknown, its a safe bet that if you get it done by the 18th, you will hit your goal.

    On top that the game’s launch may create a huge boost to BoD as well. Especially if the two games, having similar box art, end up next to each other on the dash.

    Something that is very likely to occur.

  10. 10,000 sales won’t be an issue if you get it around by Dec.18th. or so. Tons of people who go to school get time to game on the Xbox between now and 2011. So that means a lot of BoD fans will be picking this up right away, and that is a huge and loyal crowd. I’d be worried though if you release it around Dec.23rd or later, because by then people might be on vacation with famlies and won’t be back on time. (Dec 18th, gives the before and after christmas sales.)

    Whatever happens, and whenever the release is you’ll have my sale.

  11. I really hope so. I’ve seen a lot of comments here and there saying that they plan on buying Cthulhu Saves the World, so hopefully a lot of people buy it at release or soon thereafter instead of waiting until next year.

  12. Thanks for the head’s up. I’m looking forward to snagging CStW as soon as it gets out.

  13. Dig deep sir. Really looking forward to Cthulhu – there’s going to be a lot of people like myself there on day one for you.

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