Home brew

I’ve been playing some new generation games lately. This isn’t something I’ve really done in quite some time. I just couldn’t get into much of the newer generation games, even though I own a capable PC, a 360, and a somewhat capable gaming laptop. That dry spell ended with a new game; Tomb Raider. The new Tomb Raider was awesome! Now, I wasn’t much of a fan of the original series and I had no intentions of playing this one, but my oldest son had picked it up for PC and so I thought why not give it a try. Wow, I never played a new gen game that was sooo much fun. And I actually finished the game at 83% (I did as much of the side quests as possible). So, with riding on the tails of that good feeling, I decided to try out some other games that I had missed. Enter the Dead Space series. The first two were pretty cheap and so I picked them up for PC for $8 as a combo deal. I played and beat them all, back to back (bought the third one last). All of the games in the series as slightly different from each other, that it didn’t feel repetitive or redundant playing them back to back. I love them all, for different reasons. Such a great story and I can’t really think of a better medium than games, to tell this story. A movie wouldn’t cut it, nor would a book. A movie would retain the fear/panic/anxiety of the story, but lose ~everything~ else. A book would retain the pacing, mystery, and character development – but wouldn’t be able to deliver the accelerated fear/panic/anxiety parts of the story (I read a lot of fiction, books just can’t deliver ~that~ kind of adrenaline and anxiety. They can produce a similar type of feeling, but in a different way). A series would come closest, but without that type of interaction that a game involves, such frenzied parts of the story would just saturate after a while (like the Walking Dead series has become). Games are a wonderful medium to tell a story, and to immerse a person into that story.

So now that I’m finished with the Dead Space series, I’ve been thinking a lot about what game I want to develop for the PCE/TG16. No, I’m not interested in doing a horror/survival game, but definitely something with exploration, key items, upgrades, and whatnot. I had originally wanted to do a shmup and already have a working engine in progress, but now I’m really wanting to do a Megaman style game; old school megaman but with some more exploration and back tracking (a little bit of metroidvania-ish), as well as some unlockable stuff and side missions. If I had three full months to work on this, and I mean treat it as a full time job (10 hours a day), I could get this done. The problem then becomes, how do I support myself for such a production? I don’t come from money, nor do I have any (I’m fairly broke; hence the whole going back to school thing). Well, I was talking with my friends the other week (they each do their own indie movie production) and the topic of Kickstarter came up. I’m not sure how that would apply to a console only game, let alone one for a system that’s not exactly as populated with retro gamer fans like the SNES and Genesis (or even the PSX or Saturn). I’m gonna give it a try, but I don’t realistically expect it to come to fruition – but that won’t stop me from trying. I figured an added bonus that might help me, is that I can do a simultaneous port to the PC at the same time for something like Steam. Though the primary target system and production cycle would be PCE/TG (3 months). I figured I’d need to raise $6k to cover my living expenses and cost of CD production for the first run. In the realm of Kickstarter, that isn’t much at all, but in the realm of PCE community (even world wide) – that would be quite a feat. Especially since I haven’t actually put out a game on a console previously, regardless of how well I might be known or what I’m capable of. Still, I’m gonna go for it.

Any ideas? Advice? Help? I figured I should outline the game story, concept, direction, etc. A plan of action so people can see where I’m going with this. I do have one other person to help with this (a few friends that I can rely on for art direction and music, here in town). I figured since it’s a CD project, I can keep the cost of the game down lower than for cart. Something like ~$30 shipped. I’d love to do a hucard release, but that seems a little ambitious for such an up front cost of producing the physical medium and the purchase cost of the game would be higher as well (probably double). Please, I’d like some feedback ( both positive and negative).

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7 Responses to “Home brew”

  1. Don’t worry, I’m sure the PCE lovers, and there are quite a lot (me the first (^_-) will follow you!
    Seeing what you’ve done before I’ll have no hesitation.

  2. This would be great! A TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine metroidvania game would be awesome! You already have some reputation in the PCE homebrew scene, so I would guess that you could drum up the funds. I personally would suggest that you not only look for simple living expenses, but also enough money to pay yourself a wage like a regular job, so I might make the proposed $6,000 as the bottom level with $10,000-12,000 being hoped for. A full physical pressed CD release complete with full color manual and such would also be highly preferred. Please focus on PCE first, with a PC release being secondary. I also really hope that you can either work up good artwork/spritework, and/or have some who is good at it help out.

    DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!!!

    • You know, after reading Arkhan’s response in your Pcenginefx thread about this, I think that I might say to try to fund it outside of Kickstarter so that they don’t take their cut and you’re not forced into a timeline. Of course, the benefit to Kickstarter is that you would get additional exposure. I’m not sure if the additional exposure is worth having a deadline and the additional pressure with them taking a cut anyway. Of course, if Kickstarter’s rules allow it, then maybe you could solicit funding direct (through your blog, Pcenginefx, and similar sources) and then also solicit funding on Kickstarter just to spread the word? Maybe put it up for something but with a later release date of like 2 years or something, and if everything goes well, then people would be pleasently surprised.

  3. Yeah, I still need to get all the details sorted out. I don’t need money for the pressing of the CD per se; I need funding for the time to get it completed. That’s the tricky part and why I was thinking Kickstarter. If it was just the pressing costs, I’d borrow the money from my brother (he already agreed to it, if I needed).

  4. Paranoia Dragon Says:

    First of all, sweet! I love me some Metroidvania, & I have faith you can do this! As for Kickstarter, I am torn. As stated by others, there could be a decent amount of exposure to your advantage, but there’s also Kickstarter’s cut. So, for the time being, I have no advice, other then go Tom/Mal/Bonknuts/etc.! 🙂

  5. Are you going for a more cartoonish style game a la Megaman or a more “realistic” style?
    I always thought something in the vein of the Fallout universe would do great for a RPG/exploration/platform type of game.

  6. Mister Xiado Says:

    Sorry for the late response, but it sounds like an amazing project that really should see the light of day. There are other funding sources besides Kickstarter, though I’ll admit that I can’t think of their names offhand, just in case too many people aren’t wanting to deal with Kickstarter.

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