The Plan – IGF 2016

Don’t worry, I’m still alive. I haven’t blogged anything in a while because I’ve been hard at work.

My Idle/Incremental Game Bard Life is coming along nicely. It’s taking longer than I thought (game development eh?) but progress is still fast and I hope to have something to show friends (and you guys) by the 19th March.

After that point, I will assess the feedback and decide whether to continue with Bard Life or not. If I decide not to continue, I will polish it up as much as I can and just dump it on the internet somewhere for free. I want to release a game and release a game I shall! If I decide to continue with it, then I’ll spend more time polishing it as much as I can and then do the aforementioned internet dump. In this latter case, I will spend time promoting the game and thinking about updates.

Regardless of what I do, I want to get Eternal Struggle to alpha state. I committed to it last year, I still think it’s a good concept (especially after seeing The Darkest Dungeon‘s reception), and I honestly want to see if it works. I believe that I’ll spend around a month on that, so April > May will be Eternal Struggle Alpha month. If Bard Life really takes off, I may drop Eternal Struggle.

Why all these deadlines? Well, The Plan has started.



I’ve wanted to commit to a real game project and see it through, alone, for years now. The GDC 2016 Independent Game Festival call for submissions begins in October. This is something I feel I have to do. I’ve got to get something submitted to IGF, even if it has no hopes of being nominated. It’s a great experience, it pushes me hard, and it will still result in an end product I can share with the world. I also need to start going to GDC professionally and I just don’t have the spare money to pay my way… I need a game to showcase there and I need the financial help that the IGF provides if you get nominated.

Perhaps Eternal Struggle will be good enough to submit. That would be amazing, although I have doubts that it’s innovative or arty enough to really warrant heated discussion. Bard Life is an Idle Game so there’s no way I’m entering that into IGF! Therefore, if Eternal Struggle does not show enough promise before the 1st of May, I have to put it on hiatus… or cancel it.

If that’s the case, The Plan is in full swing and The Game needs to be concepted and built.

I’ll have 6 months to get a completely new game submitted. My free time, which will completely turn into dev time, is the following…

  • Every weekday morning for 1 hour* – 5 Hours Total
  • Two weekday evenings for around 4 hours – 8 Hours Total
  • One weekend day – 8 Hours total, realistically

So that’s 21 Hours a week, 84 hours a month, or 504 Hours total between May 1st and the end of October.

For the first month I want to do a ‘One Game a Week’ prototyping period where I build and playtest 4 candidates for The Game. Ideally I’ll be blogging along the way, and perhaps even creating some video content. Marketing and personal branding is just so important these days, so I need to start creating more non-product stuff as I move towards submission.

The next blog post will be around March 19th-29th when I have Bard Life ready to share.


– Sam


*PS: You should totally try doing this if you can. Wake up an hour earlier than usual and work on your game. It’s changed my development life!

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