We have been quiet for way too long. It is the usual indie developer story, but at least it is not one with a sad ending, because Dusk of D.A.W.N. will still be released.
Right now, we are a small team of three. Marcel, our game designer, has a full-time job in the same capacity at a big company while developing board games in his free time. Merlin, our composer and sound designer, has lots of projects going on too (like working with our friends from rest.less Games on their mystery horror game Wait, which you should check out). Until eighteen months ago, Hjalmar our graphics designer and illustrator was also part of the team. But with the project not nearing release, he had to call it quits at some point.
So, right now this leaves me as the third member of the team. I have spent a lot of time developing other software to make a living and I am about to release another application that will hopefully make the financial concerns go away for a while. There are still assets (mostly card illustrations and icons) that need to be added to the game and with the added expenses of an appearance at Gamescom the game will take a huge chunk out of my personal budget.
Right now, I would love to add a Unity developer and an artist to the team, but those don’t grow on trees and offering them equity or promising pay on the condition that the game becomes successful does not entice people to join indie projects anymore. Every other Indie Studio offers the same deal and people that produce quality work are in high demand. The world of Indie Games is a world of unfinished projects and a world of disappointment for people that eagerly join projects which never get finished.
I went to Gamescom last year after attending the GDC to get a feel of it all. I was especially interested in the Indie Arena Booth. This year I wanted to go all in and applied to be part of the Arena with our very own 3x3m booth. Right now we are waiting on the verdict about our submission. We did a calculation of all the expenses and ended up at a sum of around € 8000,- for everything. That is a lot of money for me at this time and I would have to pay it all by myself. But we unanimously decided that if we were going to do this, we would do it right. We want to add 4 gaming stations to the area where players can battle it out, we want to have great decorations, and also want to offer something unique to people visiting our booth. There are even some friends that are considering getting into their finest cyberpunk cosplay outfits to grace our booth with their presence.
Our basic idea ist that when you pay a lot of money for a booth in an Arena of fourty indie developers, you better stand out in a good way and make your booth as attractive as possible. Otherwise you might just not show up at all. It is also necessary to have a way of letting visitors play your game after they left Gamescom, which leads me directly to my next point.