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Trail: CCcaseStudy

CCcaseStudy

CCretreat2009

  1. The idea for The Path grew out of our desire to make games based on folk tales. Our first game was based on Sleeping Beauty, for example.
  2. What we knew is that we were going to make a game based on Little Red Ridinghood and we would call it 144 and Jarboe would make the music.
  3. The things we didn’t know was how we would be able to afford to make it.
  4. This was before we had made any other games. By the time we actually made The Path we had also had the experience of making The Endless Forest. This turned out to be very important.
  5. We still believed we needed to write a lot, backstory etc.
  6. We tried several times to write out what the game would be.
  7. Certain themes were present from the start.
    1. Loop game
    2. a game more like an animated movie
  8. But we could not agree on what kind of game it should be.
    1. the disagreements we so severe that we had decided we would not make it at all.
  9. We always needed funding for one thing or another. We were applying for everything
    1. VAF who funded 8 and TEF
  10. We decided to apply with CC and got it. Then we HAD to make the game.
  11. Selection for the Independent Games Festival
    1. a great honor but...
    2. Pressure to finish. There was no possibility of us cancelling the project, our pride wouldn’t allow it, so many times we just had to look at each other and say... we have to get it done. we became obsessed with ‘get it done’
      1. more important to make something rather than nothing.
      2. this atitude forced us to really push oursleves, perhaps harder than we should have. to the point where we were getting up at 9 am and working till 2-3am

what went wrong

  1. Our belief that we had to follow a traditional game dev structure.
    1. worked with concept artists and it was helpful in retrospect but at the time it seemed like they were more dream interpreters. our ideas we very vague and out there.
    2. we couldn’t find anyone to help with modelling because we knew a bit too well what we wanted. In the end it was easier and faster to just make the models myself.
    3. both of these added up to wasted money!
  2. Making the models myself
    1. had to make 14 models in 2 months!
  3. Programming alone
    1. Michael had to program an entire 3d game alone and while we did have a consultation with some real programmers it was definitely pushing his limits.
  4. Budget was not enough and constantly under review. in the end we spent around 300,000 Euro making the game which is nothing by game dev standards. 90,000 of that is a loan we have to pay back.
  5. charging less than we though for the game.

what went right

  1. Loan from Cultuurinvest
  2. Co-production from Villanella (just in time to pay Laura full time for a summer)
  3. Money and help from CC. Money when we needed it. Help with a spectacular launch event in SF at the Yerba Buena Center for the arts.
  4. self-publishing through online ditributors Steam, Direct2Drive, etc.
  5. collaborators
    1. Hans making rigs at the last minute for practically nothing just because it was something he liked to do.
    2. Musicians, Jarboe & Kris were fantastic
    3. Laura, the animator gave us yet again everything we could have wished for.
    4. Logo by Marian Bantjes
  6. proud we did this “impossible” thing by ourselves.
  7. proud that the game has suceeded wtih press and fans. (detractors are legion also but even that impresses us with the amount of passion that players can have for our project.)
  8. Has made us feel we are doing something right and left us inspired for our next games!

Sean’s Email

As a participant in one of the “Case Studies: Projects from Development to Presentation”, your panel will summarize past projects to trace how they were created and brought to fruition, and the phases each project followed during the trajectory of its creation - from idea, through production, to public presentation, and beyond. Each artist will tell us the story of one project. It may or may not be the artist’s Creative Capital project, and it may have been a great success or complete failure. We ask that you not show any work samples of the project. We want you to relate the narrative of how a particular project grew from idea to success or failure, why, and do it in 10 to 15 minutes.

Describe and identify the resources you used at each phase of creation. Resources may include (but are not limited to): funding, services, collaborations, residencies, presenters, assistants, professional representatives, and paid experts of any sort; and how each played a role in the process.