2017: What’s Next?

Now that we’ve discussed the past, the time has come to look towards the future. You know, that special point in time where we take our hover boards around to our 3D printed houses and meet up with our AI-powered Robo-Butler who likely won’t try to start a full on robotic uprising for at least five years. Or…we could just discuss a few of the potential directions I’m looking to take this company within the next year, some potential thoughts as to how to go that direction, and in a future post, we’ll see how close we come to hitting any of these goals. In essence, these are my New Year’s Resolutions for the company.

2016’s goals as you may recall from the last post were pretty simple: build a portfolio of games and learn a bunch while doing so. 2017’s goals are going to be far more difficult to pull off, but should be super rewarding to do. This goes doubly so as Incalescent is a side company and I see no reason to quit my current day job (which I love). With that in mind, here’s the list in order of desire for 2017. My hope is to get in at least four of these.

  1. Build a truly great videogame – While we currently have quite a few games out on the market, each one of them is pretty small. Many of them are quick little endless runners or quick button pressers, and the ones that have some sort of a story to go beyond that point really have not fleshed out that story beyond several little key pieces. Most came from the #1GAM challenge. There are many people that enjoy our games, sure…but I personally can’t think of any one of our games that really would hold up on a platform like Steam. We don’t really have a “flagship” game, so to speak. Within the next year or so, I would like to fix that issue or at least be well on the way towards doing so. For the record, I likely won’t be talking about this one too much at first, but just know that I’ll be talking about almost nothing else once it gets closer to coming out.
  2. Add a few more small games – While adding a large flagship game is important, I have also learned over the past year that it is important to not simply disappear on people. If people don’t see anything coming out from you (screenshots, games, playable updates, etc), they assume your company is dead and you tend to fall off the map. I don’t want to fall off the map…I want you to have something to do and something to get excited about. So in addition to the items mentioned above, I’ll be releasing some small games as well throughout the year. Likely not massive ones aside from the aforementioned “great” one, but still games to give you something fun to play. On that note, I’m expecting the first one of 2017 to be out within the next week or two.
  3. Update each of our games that need an update – If you read the description for Paths of Tzalar, you’ll see that I talk about expanding it, hopefully once a month. That was last March. Since then, I have honestly done almost nothing with it aside from a logo and some bug fixes. Scooter Magrew currently has 5 characters and 14 levels live, but there are another 5 characters already created and in the code which should be spanning several additional levels. Even Extreme Dog Sculptor has several other dogs slated to come into the game, they just haven’t been added yet. Each of these games is by no means complete and each deserves further work, even if not yet to full completion.
  4. Be more accessible to anyone and everyone – Not a lot of people know about any of our December game releases. Why? Well, I didn’t tell much of anyone. Honestly, I didn’t tell much of anyone a lot of what has been going on with the company, aside from a couple of friends. Surprisingly, people don’t tend to play games when no one tells them of their existence. Plus, part of the fun of being a game dev is talking with gamers and other devs. Sometimes about your games, sometimes about games in general. It’s hard to have that fun if you don’t go out and do things with people and if you stay silent overall. Part of the fix for this will be what you are reading right now, the dev blog. More posts, links from Facebook & Twitter, basically a bit of a way for me to actually talk to you. Beyond that, probably more conventions, playtests, meetups…that sort of thing. Haven’t really fleshed this part out yet.
  5. Update my website & keep it that way – Currently, we have a few games online that aren’t on the site. Additionally, we don’t currently have many ways for other people to contact us and no link to our Facebook & Twitter pages. This needs to be fixed, and there’s a lot of organization that needs to happen behind the scenes.
  6. Diversify the company beyond just videogames – Save for Sprite Friends, the entire Incalescent Productions catalog at this point is videogames. As videogames are largely what I want this company to be based around and what I love creating, this is not the worst thing in the world. Still, the gaming market is a brutal one, a crowded market where getting even a squeak of your name out is hard to do. To help with that, I will be rolling out a few new items over the coming weeks & months that aren’t just game-based. Most of these will be websites, but there may be some non-gaming apps as well.
  7. Open other potential revenue streams – One of the main things with game dev in general is the lack of funding. Gaming in itself is very much a passion project sort of thing, as is development. Sadly, it’s like a lot of industries where there are some that make it rich while everyone else just hopes to make a living with it eventually. Something has to pay the bills, right? This will likely come in the form of contract work or possibly some ad revenue from the aforementioned websites.

So..what are your thoughts on these? Any you’d like to see me add or drop off/de-prioritize? I’ll probably add in a couple more over the next few days, but I’ll throw those under an edit tag if so.

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