Greetings, IndieDB! I'm LaughingLeader, the sole developer of Potato Farmer. Let's jump right in, shall we?
Web Release - April 2014
First off, as with any game developed by a small number people (or just one, like me), this is really an estimation and a goal. I'm eager to get the web release version finished. Doing so will allow me to focus on finishing the full release version while building an audience through the web version.
I'll have more details on the release version down the road, but the gist of it is that the release version will feature a bigger world to walk around, a town to visit, and deeper mechanics.
I've been developing Potato Farmer for around 7-9 months now. A great deal of that time has been the development of my own game framework, built upon HaxeFlixel and OpenFL, in the Haxe programming language.
At this point, my use of HaxeFlixel has really been for the essentials - rendering, collision, and physics. All important stuff. Everything else has been extended or rewritten to fit my own personal tastes.
The original idea for Potato Farmer was conceptualized and started for a Ludum Dare competition. The "unofficial" theme was potatoes, with the main theme being minimalism. As I progressed through development, I realized I didn't really like the minimalism aspect of it, but I liked the idea that came from joining the competition. So I decided to turn it into a bit more complex web game.
The basic ideas was to create a 30-day invasion/farming survival game that takes place all in one screen/area. You farm potatoes to gather food to eat and "currency" you can spend with the local merchant to upgrade/buy equipment. Enemies want those potatoes too, so it turns into sort of a "tower defense" kind of thing.
Why release a web version?
As I developed my ideas and implemented them into the game, I had visions of a game that ventured away from being one single screen. How cool would it be to add more areas to the game, where you can walk around and explore? Have a living world that reflects changing weather, time, and seasons?
These are all ideas I want to explore, yet I feel it's important to finish the initial idea first. Hence, the web version.
I'll be making regular updates on specific game changes there.
Bigger, more generalized updates will be on here and on my personal blog.
I try to keep all these things connected, so it'll be simple to figure out where I'm at in development during these next two months.
My Game Developer Origins
Just to give you some background, I started working on creating games about three years ago. Fresh out of animation school, I realized I wanted to do more than just animation.
I never thought of myself of a programmer. I actually hated the very idea of programming. But, I wanted to make games, and have a large part in their creation process. So I decided to learn programming. It took me about a month of banging my head against a wall, but I eventually learned how to do what I wanted to do, and I've been working on creating my own games ever since.
I've been working on three game projects for three years now. Unfinished projects. I want to change that.
My developer abilities and game frameworks have really leveled up since I started, to a place where I find it fun to figure out ways to build systems behind worlds, solve problems, and challenge myself to do better. It's time to finish my games. This brings me to my next point.
Ah, yes. The expected indie-developer crowdsourcing campaign. I've taken a bit of a different approach to it, using GoFundMe to host my campaign.
GoFundMe campaigns are primarily funded through friends and family through Facebook, but can be funded by anyone willing to donate a few bucks. I've opened my games up to this by offering rewards for various levels of donations. Everything from pre-ordering a game (or all of them) to have a hand in some of the content decisions.
Being mostly an unknown, GoFundMe seemed like the best decision for now, as it will remain open while I push through updates and people can see what I'm working on.
I'm the kind of person that has a hard time asking others for help. Unfortunately, I'm not where I was three years ago. Asking for help is necessary to devote this next year towards finishing my three games.
We'll see how it goes.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be pushing out some pretty big changes for Potato Farmer. These things are vital before I start pumping out more content (enemies, weapons, items, and so on).
Keep an eye out for that. Thanks for reading.