My short bio:

Ever heard of the phrase: "Sometimes life is stranger than fiction?". Well, I've heard it and I've experienced it. At the brink of bankruptcy I made a post to r/iAMA to tell of my experiences. The post soared to the front page and while the game sold the best it ever had, there was something far more astonishing that happened. I was contacted by CEO's with million exits. I was contacted by talented marketing professionals, even from the movie industry. They were Redditors, and they wanted to help. None of them asked anything in return, it was overwhelming.


With their help we turned our business around, we are still here! We created a new Kickstarter to bring our game Battlestation: Harbinger on Steam, and immediately succeeded for the first time, raising $8000 on top of our $10 000 goal.


It all feels really surreal, to think we were so lucky at our darkest moment. It has been an amazing ride. Today we release Battlestation: Harbinger on PC, our very first PC game. We were gamers, we dreamed of being game developers. Thanks to Reddit now we are. To fellow game developers and to anybody else, I want to share our journey and everything I have learned from these professionals with you. Ask me anything!


My Proof: Battlestation Twitter

Comments: 1279 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

Poobslag640 karma

While your story had a bit of a fairy tale ending, are you at all jaded that your success in the indie video game scene was the result of a random twist of fate? Does that make you discouraged with your future games, knowing that despite all your hard work, there's a good chance that they'll be overlooked by sheer coincidence?

IfeelLuckyTonight670 karma

It doesn't make me discouraged. This industry is based on luck to some extent, and the more you learn the more you can work to depend less on that luck. I feel we get more and more experience all the time, and in the future we can make better decisions.

Mhoram_antiray316 karma

Ha. Basically thinking of life, as if it were XCOM.

Even at 99% there is a chance to miss, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to flank them to GET the 99% chance!

IfeelLuckyTonight190 karma

Haha. Absolutely! I love X-Com by the way. I played it way back in the 90s!

Xisifer51 karma

Have you tried the new XCOM 2?

IfeelLuckyTonight79 karma

I watched CohhCarnage play it, I like him. I once saw him without his beanie!

awkwardIRL54 karma

  1. Bullshit, don't lie

  2. Though different from the older iterations it holds some fond nostalgia for the game play. Some things haven't changed at all (seriously, those percentage to hit... Get real) but other changes make I feel both positive and negative impacts, mostly to keep with the times. Good progression of the series.

IfeelLuckyTonight56 karma

I'm not! He lost that bet with the 1000 t-shirts, I think he was playing Fallout 4 at the time. Look it up, it's true!

majorlazor2575 karma

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott.

IfeelLuckyTonight10 karma


vocaltalentz50 karma

Wow that's a profound way to look at it. People like to say "Blah you're either born into an environment that allows success or you're lucky, there's no point in working hard because you'll get shat on no matter what" which I believed was true to a certain extent, but I've always wanted to say "Try anyway! The more you try, the lesser the chances of you being trapped where you are. Even if it's not foolproof, it's better than moping about your unprivileged life." The more you learn, the more you can work, the less you have to depend on luck or predisposed opportunity. I'll have to remember that. Thank you for the inspiration!

IfeelLuckyTonight62 karma

We went on for almost 4 years with no sales to speak of! We had plenty of opportunities to give up, but that stubborness inside us kept us pushing. I'm so glad we did!

kree88 karma

Great insight to share. I'm in a similar boat but in the context of education and I'm still here, trying my best to make a difference. wishing you and team all the best.

IfeelLuckyTonight11 karma

Thank you very much!

Carlton_Danks93 karma

Are you looking for any voice actors for upcoming projects? It has always been a passion of mine, and I have a background in voice work - just not like this. My career includes voicing commercials, event narrations, pretty much anything where a low, clear voice is necessary. But I've been practicing character voices since I was a kid and am looking to loan my talents to a company just to gain some experience!

IfeelLuckyTonight61 karma

Yes, absolutely. Not right now but it is always good to have contacts ready when the need arises. Feel free to pm me!

klaqua20 karma

Let me know when you are ready to do some German voice over ;)

IfeelLuckyTonight18 karma

Will do!

RambeardTube8 karma

PM me if you need Dutch voice overs!

IfeelLuckyTonight9 karma

Will do!

halupki34 karma

As a guy with no background in gaming at all (I'm a writer and work in marketing), I've always dreamed of somehow getting into games. I love to see when people can live that dream, so congrats.

I also just nabbed the game on my phone yesterday, and it's awesome. Hard as nails, but really fun.

As for a question - How much of an emphasis is their on storytelling on a game like this? What is the process like? As a writer, it's something I would love to know more about.

IfeelLuckyTonight37 karma

The main thing regarding our game isn't the story, it's the game play mechanics themselves. We do have a story to give some nice background to the different races in the game, and the tactics they use.

But we have created the whole universe from scratch with a writer. We conveyed our silly ideas to her, she took them and started writing. She then showed them to us and asked for feedback. That's how we iterated and that's how the universe were born.

We had simple ideas but she managed to create a lot of originality with her amazing creativity.

halupki13 karma

Awesome! Thanks for the reply. As a writer and a game lover, that sounds like an awesome gig. Follow up - how did you find her? How could I could pursue something like that?

IfeelLuckyTonight14 karma

She came as an intern to our business incubator. Going to such and offering to help could be just the thing you need to do! Game developers absolutely have this problem with not having someone creative to write narrative, you just need to find game developers who are working on projects that could need that! Game jams, business incubators, and events.

Pavodin22 karma

Whats your favorite language to code in ?

IfeelLuckyTonight22 karma

Java. I don't code though :)

DrPhilus18 karma

Will you be having micro-transactions in your game?

IfeelLuckyTonight52 karma

Hell no!

h0bb1tm1ndtr1x14 karma

Damn, now we know who the better looking Battlestation mod is. Lol

First off, congratulations! It's been fun riding the wave. Whats next on the plate? More BSH updates or something new?

Side sauce: Our subreddit for anyone unaware - /r/Battlestation_H

IfeelLuckyTonight7 karma

Thank you! You have been of great support to us! What's next depends on how this launch goes, and what the community wants.

zoneminder12 karma

First of all: I'm really looking forward to get playing Battlestation tonight! Can you give me a rough estimate about how many hours went into creating the game? I've started several HTML5/Canvas based games, but never finished any of those. Since the scope of Battlestation roughly equals to what I tried to achieve, I'd like to know what it really takes to achive that. Thanks!

IfeelLuckyTonight14 karma

Almost 2 years went into creating the game. Full-time, 1 week summer break and 1 week at Christmas. Weekends free. 3 man team, 1 programmer and 1 graphic artist working together. I do the marketing and take care of business :)

zoneminder5 karma

How did you decide which price tag to put on the game?

IfeelLuckyTonight8 karma

Comparing to other similar games, and thinking about what would be fair.

Nimtzie11 karma

I'm an artist trying to get into working in the games industry, ideally on the indie side of things, which I've noticed is even harder than finding opportunities with big studios because of how little information exists about indie games and devs before their games are almost done. Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into indie game development (particularly artists), where to look for opportunities, or anything like that?

IfeelLuckyTonight23 karma

The competition is as fierce with artist as the industry in itself for games. Your portfolio is key, build upon it. You have to be really versatile to separate yourself, or truly outstanding in something specific.

For indies though, versatility is usually a big plus. Because the needs are wide and can often change quickly.

Cyclonedx11 karma

Do you have any tips for someone aspiring to become a game dev, but is struggling with learning the required coding knowledge? I think I might really enjoy creating games, but I find it very hard to discipline myself to learn the required language(s) well enough to begin.

IfeelLuckyTonight18 karma

Is coding your thing? As Steve Jobs said: "You have to find what you love". Does coding give you a sense of accomplishment with every small step forward?

You really need that inside yourself if you want to be a coder. It's ok if you don't have it, there are a lot of other things regarding game development you can do.

But, finding a mentor. Someone who is good at coding and getting them to help you is the best way you can improve.

marc_marc10 karma

What suggestions will you give to someone who wants to develop their own game? As I understand it different than developing an app. Thanks for your time.

IfeelLuckyTonight7 karma

Find the right team, a team that compliments your weaknesses. We have that in our team, all 3 of us are good at something, and we compliment each others weaknesses.

adlerhn15 karma


As another non-native English speaker, I find funny a situation in which your team compliments your weaknesses.

PS. complements.

IfeelLuckyTonight6 karma

Haha, thanks :)

d3agl3uk9 karma

Hello :) GameDev student here. What engine are you using?

IfeelLuckyTonight11 karma

LibGDX! It's a bit unknown and smaller, but really great for 2D development on both mobile and PC!

DreamloopGames9 karma

Sending a little love from your fellow Finnish devs! Congratulations on getting to launch!

What would you say is the most important lesson you learned from this wild experience?

Also, will we see you at Tampere IGDA next month? I hear it is going to be awesome! :D

IfeelLuckyTonight10 karma

To not give up on your dream, that's the most important lesson! :) And thank you so much. Come to Turku, it's way better here, haha!

koomoo8 karma

Will you stay humble?

IfeelLuckyTonight13 karma

If I don't I hope you will slap me really hard.

opuap8 karma

Are you guys hiring?

If so, can I PM you my resume and credentials? I am very interested in this field but I have no idea how to get my foot into the right door.

IfeelLuckyTonight6 karma

Hi! Not hiring at the moment. You should build up a terrific portfolio, that will be your key to get your foot in.

alexisatk7 karma

How did you earn money to live if your game wasn't making any money? If you already had money, where did it come from?

I find my biggest challenge to starting my own business is how I will be able to support myself until we get to the point where the business earns money.

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

We have a loan, quite a big one too in our minds. If everything would fail... It's a huge risk but we decided to take it.

SuperSensei7 karma

Are you guys hiring at all?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

Not at the moment, but hopefully in the future!

karrachr0006 karma

I am proud to say that I backed both Battlestation: Harbinger Extended Edition (backer #384) and Battlestation: Humanity's Last Hope (well tried to, at least), And I think that it is awesome that you took the time to go out of your way to thank those that helped bring your dream to fruition.

Once Battlestation is fully launched and patched, what was your next project?

IfeelLuckyTonight5 karma

That's an excellent question! We will ask our community for advice regarding our next game, it has shown it's power. Something we have passion to create and our community sees as an appealing game.

PolarBear19976 karma

What game was for original inspiration or did you see the potential money in gaming to make your indie game?

Did you study game design in college or self taught using the internet or library? Thanks:)

IfeelLuckyTonight7 karma

FTL was our inspiration, and Babylon 5. We slammed those together and ended up with this :) It's quite different than FTL though, which is a good thing. No point in cloning another game.

nkonrad5 karma

Hey there!

What would you say is your personal favourite part of the game? Is there any particular part of it that you enjoy the most? Something you feel your team really knocked the ball out of the park on?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

Hi! The fact that it manages to surprise the player. You think you might be rolling through but then all of the sudden something happens and you're in trouble. Also, the Battlestations and distress beacons combo is something I really like.

Ynomeikiba4 karma

Wow, I had no idea that your game was not as popular as it needed to be. I love the game, and have played all your Android games I could find! Seriously, good work with the games, I love them all.

My question: Do you guys get a lot of criticism and advice on how to make your game? How do you typically respond (emotionally, personally, as well as professionally)?

There are a lot of people on the internet who think they know best (myself included), but I always wondered if any of those comments hurt more than they were intended to.

IfeelLuckyTonight8 karma

We get a ton of criticism and the like, I have so many stories to tell. I got one mail on New Years Eve, it was the worst mail I have ever gotten really. It was from a man really hurt by an update we made, and we later made peace. He was just sad that he had lost his friend in the game. Now that the game was a bit different he felt he lost that friend.

That's the kind of impact you can have with games. It's amazing really :)

TheBeautiful12 karma

How does someone with no degree or background in gaming (beyond being a gamer), but with extensive experience in marketing and excellent references get a foot in the door in the gaming industry at a non-AAA company? Is there even room for "non-dev" hires?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

Yes! You can find game companies online and contact them directly, look up upcoming games list on Steam and see if there are small companies there that could use help marketing wise. I can say that this works if you have something to show of your capabilities.

flimflam20202 karma

And you're still the CEO?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

Yep! :)

ViewedAskew2 karma

(First comment on an ama. Forgive me if I do this wrong.) I literally just bought this game last night off of Google play. I had no idea it was coming to Steam as well! I was unaware of the fall and rise of the title and it's developer. I just thought it was an awesome game.

I'm supposed to ask a question, right? Okay.

Before you did the AMA and before the flood of advice and eventual success of your title, how close were you to just deleting everything and trying something else entirely? Are we talking another year, or another month?

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

We didn't have money enough for 1 more month. We were that dry. All we could do back then was to release Harbinger in an incomplete state and hope for the best. Luckily all of this happened, I'm extremely grateful, and still can't quite believe it.

twelvedudes2 karma

I mean I'm glad it worked out for you but at the same time. It makes me think you are a piece of shit. Free help or not you had no choice but to beg for help. It's like the gofundme of the gaming world toxic and absolutely not needed to succeed. You should have had better planning to never get in the pickle you were in. Most small businesses don't make any profits for two years with very little salary for bosses. Do you feel like you could have made it without preying adverently or inadvertently on other peoples kindness? What steps have you taken to never make a huge mistake like this again?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

We went on almost 4 years with no salaries. Yes we should have planned better, but we are mere inexperienced young developers, with a dream... We try to learn as much as we can all the time, and take the advice that is given to us! Don't be angry at us, we're not perfect :)

Akita82 karma

Good job! Great game! Any plans for a Linux port?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

It is for Linux! It has some smaller issues though, there is a chance you would have to play it in windowed mode. It works fully on some distros and better in windowed mode on some distros.

juspeter2 karma


I am a producer at a video game publisher. We work on PC games, MMOs, etc.

What've been your biggest set backs so far?

What has surprised you, either negatively or positively, about the whole thing?

Are there any skills that you've adopted or learned in order to help the project?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

1) Biggest set back: Creating 2 games, that took a total of over 2 years to make and making $3000 of those games in total. 2) How damn hard it is, in so many many ways. Personal relationships, the business, all of it. You really have to love it to want to do it :) 3) My social skills, it surprised me how much it has helped us. It cannot be underestimated.

horkenstein2 karma

If you run a corporation, how is it t that you're an indie developer?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

We are 3 guys, no publisher, we do everything ourselves. Aren't we indie?

Daniel_the_Spaniel2 karma

I've watched your company's social media ordeals closely, as a fellow finn working in the same industry. You can't be blamed for lack of trying as I sometimes stumbled upon your game in the strangest places on the internet. I'm glad it worked out for you in the end.

Can you tell me how did the marketing professionals that volunteered helped you?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

They rewrote all of our marketing materials relating to Battlestation: Harbinger. We are not native English speakers so that helps a lot. The also gave us some advice, focusing on community and creating content for the community so that the appeal stays there even after the game has launched.

subfin2 karma

Are you guys hiring? Internships?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

Possibly! Send mail to [email protected] and we will take it from there.

magicsmarties2 karma

Hi! I love Battlestation: Harbinger and have played a lot on my phone. My question is, what is your favorite ship?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

The Guardian, it's the oddball in there! :)

Wellhowboutdat2 karma

Have you had time to reflect on where you went wrong before? What were some of the miscues you made and what have you done to ensure you don't make them again in the future?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

We weren't able to plan things before hand good enough, I can only say that inexperience does that to you. It's a very common problem for many aspiring game developers.

"This will take 1 year and then we release!". And then it ends up taking 2 years and all money is gone. It's so so hard to estimate how long a game will take to create if you don't have experience.

Because_Bot_Fed2 karma

How do you feel about all the low quality low effort "shovel ware" on steam?

Do you feel like it negatively impacts the exposure quality games get?

How do you feel about all the visual novels on steam? Every third game on my list of recent games on steam is literally a visual novel.

Why do you think stream gives literally no options to filter out particular tags or categories? Would you object to the addition of that type of filtering even if it meant lower exposure to your products?

IfeelLuckyTonight3 karma

Oh, I think it's a really bad thing. It really clutters the store and makes finding good games hard. But I understand the problem is quite hard to crack in any good way for platforms too. I think curation would be better though.

I do thing it affects negatively on the impact quality indie games get, it makes it harder. Big publisher don't have that problem I think, their IP and marketing power can shout over everything.

I'm not too familiar with visual novels, but too much of anything is too much.

che85mor1 karma

Any advice for a high school senior wanting to go into game design and not spend 100k on a degree?

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

You can absolutely get into game development on your own. The internet is your friend. The best guys are the guys, who have coded games in their spare time. I always look for such guys when I consider working with someone. Passion is key, not which school you went to.

Find a team, find your thing.

Robbedlife1 karma

Do script writers still have relevance in the game market today?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

Yes, absolutely. But it's not easy to be the one to get the job, so to say. But narrative games need good narrative! Usually developers aren't that good in that department :)

John_Bot1 karma

That's amazing, my question is when did it hit you that 1. you wouldn't be able to do it and 2. that you would be able to do it?

And some niceties:

I wish you the best of luck - not only with this game but with future ones. It looks like you guys have really put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making this a reality and there are few more amazing things in the world than when someone puts everything they have towards something they love.

Best of luck on future successes and finding continued success.

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

I never lost hope, not even when all of our money was depleted. We had 1000€ in our company account, and pretty much 0 in our personal accounts. All we had was an incomplete game, but we still hoped that things would turn for the better.

I still cannot understand all that has happened. Why we were the lucky ones, why we got to continue. I know now we can create great games, but success in this industry isn't just about that. It's very unfair in that sense, and many that create good games simply cannot get the sales they need to continue on.

HeroCC1 karma

How did you feel about your game before and after? Did you feel any resent toward it (or anything else) while you were in the red?

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

It's really though sometimes. You want your game to be great but at some point you just realize how much time is needed. 1 year is nothing for a game like this.

Now, when we have had additional time to develop I'm super happy with it! I'm quite the perfectionist but I'm really proud of what we have accomplished.

ScoutEU0 karma

Hey. Is game development as hard as people say it is. I.e. Would you put people off?

IfeelLuckyTonight2 karma

It's extremely hard! The saying "It has to be a passion, not a job" is so true in my opinion. Only then can you withstand all the tribulations that come your way.

ScoutEU1 karma

Thank you for your response

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

No problem! :)

_drewford0 karma

where's my money? huh?

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

Hmm. What? :)

look_behind_youuu-5 karma

Your goal was to raise $8,000? Pretty big operation you're running there bud! Maybe stop wasting your time with the AMAs and create an actual business

IfeelLuckyTonight1 karma

You should check up what the sum was for. It was to bring the game to PC, with more features. Not to make a whole new game. Anyway, gotta start small!

hadhad69-8 karma

Seeing how we saved your ass, will you be giving anything to redditors for free?

IfeelLuckyTonight5 karma

I'm happy to pass along all the advice given to us! I will think about other things too.