Our bio: Hey reddit! We are Raconteur Games, an indie game dev company based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Joining us today for this AMA are Nicholas (me), our "business guy", and Sander (/u/space_elevators), our CTO. We want to talk with you all about game development! We're currently celebrating our newest game being rejected from being shown at PAX -- we built our own booth anyway, and invite you to drop by from anywhere!

Ask us anything about how games are made, about the business end of game creation, why Nick has eaten so many darn pretzels -- anything! I (Nick) will be answering most questions, but Sander will jump in for any of the more technical questions outside of my wheelhouse. I've done previous AMAs about being a "business guy", and yes, I am basically Erlich Bachman but with less drugs. ;) Today we'll talk about more than just that though!

To those who drop by the booth and watch our cringe-y video: I would like to issue an apology in advance. Also please give us lame puns so that Kat (/u/espenova) can repeat them forever!

Proof from our Twitter!

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for all the thoughtful questions! I'm heading off for the night, but I'll respond again in the morning!

EDIT2: Good morning! Back again for more questions! :)

EDIT3: Thanks for all the wonderful questions everyone! We're heading off now, but will check back in one more time later today for any final questions/comments. Have an awesome day and week! :)

Comments: 79 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

Super_Weegee21 karma

Why are you celebrating being rejected by PAX? Shouldn't you be upset?

theexterminat18 karma

Not at all! We got to build a cool virtual booth on our website, and get to see/hear about people interacting with that from the comfort of home in our PJs. ;) And plus, we get to spread our cringe-y humor even farther than just a show floor!

Life's all about perspective - we chose to turn this into something fun!

baashcrndicoot12 karma

What is a pretzel? A large bread product with a somewhat baked outer shell and soft inner; or a small, well fired crisp/chip with a crunchy inner. As a European I get confused

theexterminat8 karma

Both! Typically the former would be referred to as a "soft pretzel" whereas the other would just be a plain pretzel.

The art of pretzeling is a wonderful one!

baashcrndicoot6 karma

That's confusing. Mini-pretzels are nice, but you don't see the big ones very often in my part of the world.

What is your stance on bagels?

Katter5 karma

Sometimes pretzel sticks are nice if you just want to mix it up. Plus, you can put like 20 of them in your mouth at once, but only chew on one at a time. Perfect for when you're gaming and can't be bothered to put down the mouse/controller to grab more.

theexterminat3 karma

This guy gets it.

theexterminat4 karma

That is a travesty! I hope more pretzels spread your way soon, for a life without pretzels is unimaginable to me.

My fiancee calls me a bagel fiend, because they are definitely behind pretzels on my list of snacks. I personally love blueberry ones - what about you?

Prairie_state9 karma

Hard or soft pretzels?


Have your considered trying another snack?

Congrats on bringing your vision to life, though, very cool.

theexterminat11 karma

I like both, but normally hard pretzels! Mini pretzels, they're delicious. No mustard for me with pretzels! If I pick soft pretzels, I like Auntie Anne.

At this current point in my life, pretzels are a staple, and it would be too emotionally challenging to consider other options. As I go through life, I will entertain the possibility of other all-encompassing snacks -- but as of right now, pretzels reign supreme. ;)

Thanks for the kind words!

baashcrndicoot6 karma

If you were ever to use a character voice with a Scottish accent would you

A) use a real Scottish accent from a region of Scotland?

B) use a shitty actor who thinks that every one in Scotland has the same accent?

C) use an actor who can fool people in to believing they are Scottish, until the accent slips, usually about ten seconds in to the dialogue?

theexterminat0 karma

A) If I had money, this

B) If I had to pay in pretzels, this

C) If budget was tight, this


On a serious note - getting writers, voice actors, and more, who are familiar with the context of our games, is very important. We're going into some projects next year that will require that, and from the get-go we wanted to make sure we did that right!

Undeadmatrix5 karma

What's been the hardest part in working as a game developer?

theexterminat3 karma

Finding the right people, for sure. We've spent several years forming the team we have now - pretty much everyone in the game industry is incredibly talented and passionate, but not everyone fits the same way into companies. Building the group of people we have now was the hardest - but most rewarding - thing!

someoneelsesfriend5 karma

What kind of condiments have you tried with pretzels, and have there been any which fall under the category of secret pretzel tech?

Personally I like dijon gherkin mayo with pretzels.

theexterminat6 karma

How did you know about my secret pretzel tech?!

I haven't experimented much with condiments and pretzels, which I'll have to try. It's a whole new world of snackage! Some people say ranch dressing is good with pretzels. I have to say that peanut butter goes well with pretzels though!

neonluck4 karma

Have you tried bribing the PAX people with pretzels?

theexterminat4 karma

Next time I'm just going to send a truckload of pretzels with Raconteur stickers on them. ;)

Levitz3 karma

What do you like the most about the game you are making?

theexterminat1 karma

The world we're building, for sure! The art style and the writing build this really wonderful atmosphere and I can't wait for people to experience it. :)

Cardle993 karma

Is there any particular reason your game was rejected from pax?

theexterminat1 karma

I think the game, at the time of submission, was too early along for their tastes -- we've made a ton of progress since then and made it even better now!

baashcrndicoot3 karma

In the past week, I have played some Dwarf Fortress, No Mans Sky, Elite Dangerous and A Lord of the rings game. Which of your current games will I enjoy the most?

theexterminat5 karma

Our first game Close Order is currently the only game you can buy from us. It's a really unique game about building up an armada -- and while it was definitely our first game and wasn't perfect, I think it's worth playing. :) Really fun for short sessions where you want to build something really quickly!

Unkillable_Cat4 karma

The reviews for this are very mixed, is it still being worked on?

theexterminat6 karma

We've finished development on Close Order earlier this year and are working on our next game now! We had a rough launch, but ended up fixing a ton of things. The version you can play now is what we always wanted to make - plus, we learned a lot and we're applying that to the next thing. :)

Stolin3 karma

Why do what you do?

theexterminat3 karma

I've wanted to make games since I was 4 years old, and now that I've completed one and am working on another, especially with such smart and incredible people, it really is all about the journey. It's such a challenging process but I love working in teams and solving interesting problems. Seeing people grow and succeed along the way is what I love the most. :)

Peace_Brother3 karma

What at age 4 made you want to make games?

theexterminat2 karma

I played Super Mario World on the SNES, and I remember being so captivated by the world and the ways I interacted with it. I knew that this was a way that I could tell interesting stories, and I've been at it ever since!

CasePaper338313 karma

Assuming you have no weapons, would you fight a duck sized horse or a horse sized duck?

theexterminat11 karma

A duck sized horse seems to be an unfair fight, for me at least, because I would be in shock at how adorable it is and be paralyzed by indecision. However, a horse sized duck is something that Pokemon has trained me for my entire life -- but I'd probably yell "PSYYYYYDUCK!" at it so much that it would get annoyed and leave me alone.

So probably the horse sized duck.

CasePaper338313 karma

A fucking beautiful answer to a trivial question. Holy shit, take my up vote.

theexterminat2 karma

These are the things that keep me up at night!

CasePaper338313 karma


Play Pokemon Go? If so, what team?

theexterminat5 karma

I do! Not as much as I'd like to, as the company keeps me pretty busy. Team Instinct. ;)

Hedgepig23 karma

Me and my friend have pages of ideas written in a book for a massive online zombie mmo but no experience in any part of games devolving other than the creativity and inspiration for ideas,how would we go about pitching our game to a studio?

theexterminat8 karma

Most studios have their lawyers jump on ideas like hand grenades, because they don't want to be sued -- if you want to go forward with pitching the idea, you'd likely need to talk to a publisher. However, an MMO is very ambitious to start with, and even seasoned studios have to expend serious efforts to make them happen! I recommend looking at hobbyist subreddits like /r/inat to find a group and start experimenting with ideas. :) Tinker, learn, make something bigger each time.

TheLinerax2 karma

How did you guys come up with the company name?

theexterminat1 karma

The company began in Lafayette, Louisiana - when you hear the term Cajun, that's where it's talking about! It's a French term meaning "storyteller" and we wanted to pay tribute to where we come from - while also showing what we're about!

AstroSloth1822 karma

Why did you count your pretzel intake?

What does pax have against pretzels?

How many pretzels do you guys plan to consume in the future for more success?

theexterminat3 karma

I consume an inordinate amount of pretzels, so I decided to count. Because that's what rational people do, right?

PAX clearly does not want "the pretzel guy" getting pretzels all over the floor! ;)

At this rate I eat about 3000 mini pretzels per month, but going forward, if I find even better brands, that number may increase. I'm on a quest to find the ultimate pretzel, and I can't stop until I do. Whenever that day comes where I do find it, though... all of the world's problems will be over!

Basically we're gonna eat a lot more pretzels. ;)

Katter2 karma

I always preferred pretzels as a gaming snack. They're not too oily, not too heavy. You can fill up on them or just snack a bit.

theexterminat1 karma

You get it <3

MF_Bfg2 karma

Say I have an idea for a game, but no development experience whatsoever. How do I approach a company like yours in hopes of making the game a reality?

I assume it would be helpful to have the pretzel moneys to back the idea?

theexterminat3 karma

It's easier than ever to jump into game development! I recommend starting to tinker around with the free engines available, like Unity or Unreal 4, do some tutorials, poke around communities like /r/inat to find some people who want to learn together. Make some things, learn a lot, and bring your dreams to life!

Most companies will ignore game pitches/ideas for fear of being sued if they pursue an unsolicited idea, so a game publisher would likely be the avenue to pursue - experience making projects makes that a bigger reality. Make some stuff, I'd be glad to check it out when you do :)

MF_Bfg2 karma

Thank you very much! It's something I've been interested in for a while and I appreciate the nudge in the right direction.

It makes absolute, complete sense that game companies wouldn't accept unsolicited pitches (I wouldn't think they would, for the reasons you lay out). I know it takes hours, and hours, and HOURS to get to where many people in this thread are in terms of their game development expertise but this will help me sort my ideas out and understand the gaming world better.

theexterminat1 karma

Not a problem, that's what this ama is all about! :) Can't wait to see what you do.

wesontap2 karma

Hey guys. You're the best. Need help with anything audio related? Would love to intern and/or chip in any way possible!

theexterminat1 karma

Hey thanks! <3 That's very kind of you to say! Right now our audio needs are covered, but keep an eye on our website in the future. In 2017 when we finish our current projects, we're going to be doing a lot of stuff and may need more help. :)

magicpants12332 karma

where did you start? by that i mean did you go to college then university study gaming how did it work, how did the company form?

theexterminat1 karma

I (Nick) was a business major in college. Originally wanted to be a programmer, and my story is that I bought a book before college to get a head start -- wrote the first few lines of code that every programmer learns, Hello World, and said, "Welp! That's not for me." I reasoned that if I couldn't technically make games, I could find the people who could. :)

Pulled together a team during college, pitched and got an investor, worked our asses off to release our first game, and am working on the next ones! A lot of hard work and effort from people way more talented than myself.

NauseousLava2 karma

What are the best brand of pretzels, you pretzel connoisseurs?

theexterminat2 karma

I found this lovely New Zealand brand called Schultz. Perfectly crunchy with the right amount of salt. That, and Rold Gold honey wheat pretzel braids. <3

BV17172 karma

Why were you guys rejected from PAX?

theexterminat1 karma

I think the state of the game at the submission was too early along for their liking -- we've made a massive amount of progress since then and made it even better now!

nihiltron2 karma

Why don't most game developers make games that run on linux?

theexterminat1 karma

It's an extraordinarily small market - the time it takes to make a Linux version run well costs more, oftentimes, than what they would make from the port. It's very tiny!

DatRonbon2 karma

Will you guys have a booth at Louisiana Comic Con?

theexterminat1 karma

Not this year unfortunately, but we'll probably be walking around! :)