When you start developing games as part of your game design studies, you have many benefits. First of all, timing is not as crucial as in a commercial production. But the real advantage is that you can use this time to be simply creative without worrying about financing, target group or monetization down the line.
When our team finished studies, we knew that going indie was what we really wanted to do. But when launching an actual company after such expensive studies, you quickly learn that the bootstrapping approach to your first game isn't really an option. Without monetary reserve, there's simply no way to cover your monthly costs. And who can seriously be creative with nothing in their stomach?
Thus, the next step for us was to go ahead and think about funding. In our country, that's the real challenge since most potential investors are extremely reluctant when it comes to computer games. Banks generally don't offer any financing for this type of media and venture capitalists quickly turn into a bag of hot air. Going the publisher way wasn't an attractive option, since being independent without the frequent corporate BS was our real goal. And frankly, publishers really don't take the risk of supporting newcomer teams fresh from university.
What remains is either crowdfunding or some sort of public funding. Here, we soon recognized that Minion simply would have been too expensive to make as a launch project, as it requires a large amount of content design to provide the variety needed to make it a rewarding experience.
As a result, we had to re-align our strategy and went back to the drawing board. The goal was to create a game concept that relied less on content design and would unfold its gameplay fun through its core game mechanics very quickly. Thus, we have launched a new project called "Spleemo & Gløb - Monster Defense", which will be our first commercial title. In this singleplayer or 2 player co-op game, players take control over two highly different characters in a non-linear tower defense game where the towers are living creatures in a crazed monster world.
Minion is not entirely off the table, though. We are still excited about the concept and would be happy to get back to the project at a later time. In the meanwhile, check out our new project, we'll have some announcements coming up soon!