Lasting Legacy is a fairly unique game, so it doesn’t quite fit in any predetermined genre. The closest category would be single-player, turn-based simulation, although the simulation part in Lasting Legacy is very light (unlike something like Sim City or The Sims), and in that respect it’s more like a board game. So it’s more accurate to say that Lasting Legacy is a blend of simulation games and board games.
When I start working on a game, one of the first things I decide is how will the game make the player feel. Different designers have different ways of driving and focusing the design of their games: some will use a short elevator pitch, some will use key pieces of art, some will let the mechanics dictate the rest. I prefer to use the way I want players to feel to anchor the design, and I flesh out the rest of the game around it.
Once you have defined that feel, you can run every single design decision by it. Every game feature should support those feelings in some way, if not, they’re a good candidate to cut. And if some contradict them directly, you can veto them right away and not go down that path any further. Continue reading →
Inspired by Jake Birkett‘s game dev income chart, I decided to dig out my own data and make a similar chart. I figured it would be a good way to start the year looking at a retrospective of my time as an independent developer.
Some interesting observations:
I made zero income in my first two years as as independent developer! I was supplementing my income writing a column for Game Developer Magazine, teaching classes, and doing some contracting. I even started interviewing thinking I would have to give up the indie life and go back to work for a company. I always tell new game developers to be ready not to make any money for a while for this reason.
Flower Garden seems to have a reasonable tail in spite of minimal updates. Every so often I feel a bit guilty for not doing more with it, but even if I wanted to spend time on it, I can’t think of anything that would increase sales.
Subterfuge is a blip in the radar. But what’s even worse, Subterfuge took 3.5 years to make, whereas Flower Garden was around 2 years (including all updates).
The US tax system isn’t really set up for people with really spikey income like this.
I need to make games more quickly.
Here’s to releasing a game in 2017 that is visible on that chart!