Comments: 1066 • Responses: 156  • Date: 

supermariowert1096 karma

Sorry if this is wrong or insentitive, but how much traffic did Jack's video bring you? Edit: jacksepticeye

indiegamesarefun1408 karma

I'll say this: within two days of his post the campaign went from 32k to 46k. I don't know if that's all from him, but it was really cool to watch! He certainly has an amazing attitude about supporting indie devs!

Theklassklown286425 karma

So you got the to 30k on your own? Impressive

indiegamesarefun676 karma

Nope! it was with the help of about 20 or so other campaign creators who gave me a shoutout. JackSepticEye did eventually play the demo, and some other streamers, which certainly helped! It was mainly the other campaign creators :) Thanks for such kind words!

Lut0x3 karma


indiegamesarefun133 karma

Zero. He's such a nice guy he just said "Sure I'll play!" when I emailed him! :)

SunChipMan59 karma

I'm guessing this person asked how much you paid Jacksepticeye, or some other streamer?

indiegamesarefun78 karma

Yep. I pay nothing to streamers

rolfraikou70 karma

A lot of people seem to forget, a streamer may play an unknown game on the offchance that it really takes off. Then their video was one of, if not the first of said newly popular game. Markiplier's career basically started on various, mostly crappy (some really good) horror games. If he had played only mainstream games I question if his popularity would have rocketed off the way it did.

And on top of this, it seems like 30% of the population thinks that 50% of the internet is being paid to say things.

I've already been accused of being paid by disney to say I like the new star wars movie.

indiegamesarefun44 karma

Exactly. The marketing for Coma has been all grass roots. It’s all I can afford C:

GLGuyGardner2 karma

Yea I saw Pinstripe on Jim Sterlings channel too, game looked great so I bought it. Didn't know about this one, so count me in.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

That’s awesome! I’m so glad he gave the review. It’s been amazing seeing people like home promote the game!

Zsarks105 karma

Whos Jack?

NicoGames86 karma

A super annoying YouTuber who has zero volume control.

windowzombie63 karma


Taubin15 karma


OmegaMkXII23 karma


indiegamesarefun24 karma

He’s a nice guy though 😇

nova2011-29 karma

A YouTuber who plays games. Similar to pewdiepie but Jack is actually entertaining and doesn't pander to his 12 year old base as much.

Also his editing tends to be way less over the top. And his jokes are funny. So maybe he's not quite like pewds.

Edit: sorry everyone, I seemed to have struck a nerve with disliking pewds.

Zsarks37 karma

you couldve just said jacksepticeye lol

Mirao037 karma

But how could have he proved that he is an edgy boy if he just said jacksepticeye ?

FivePlus18 karma

YouTube celeb worship is the densest, most concentrated form of cancer.

indiegamesarefun3 karma

I call him Jack too :)

towalktheline724 karma

Do Pinstripe and Once Upon A Coma exist in the same universe?

indiegamesarefun493 karma


fabricalado383 karma

In your opinion, why some kickstarters fail horribly in delivering what they promised, and what is the hardest part of doing stuff via crowdfunding?

indiegamesarefun676 karma

I had lunch with a friend of mine who I consider a successful business man. He started a really incredible jean company, and he told me he despised Kickstarter. Basically, he told me so many individuals set out to make something great, and they have a super cool trailer and rewards, but they don't know a damn thing about actually starting a company or finishing a project. So they actually just dug themselves a hole. So I'd say that's one of the hardest parts! Knowing the cost of creation going in, and ensuring your budget is accurate! I'm guilty of this to some degree: if Pinstripe hadn't raised 100k, and only raised the goal of 28k, I'm not so sure I would have made a game that people actually felt proud of. Are you talking about a specific campaign in general?

joe1232129 karma

The current Kickstarter campaign happens to have a goal of 28k... do you feel like you need less this time, or did you set it low to ensure funding with the belief that you were likely to exceed your goal?

indiegamesarefun68 karma

28k ensure we make... a game. But the Stretch Goals are there to make the game even better. Sometimes it's a bit scarier setting the goal really high, because you need to hit your goal to get the money. I'd rather get 28k just to ensure the game gets made :) But I'm super grateful we're knocking it out of the park!

Strawberrycocoa9 karma

A game I was in love with ad Kickstartered to help support their development just had to basically shutter the company after a financier pulled out of their deal at the last minute. It's shitty as a consumer to see how mercurial the development of what we love can be.

indiegamesarefun12 karma

Oh wow. That's horrible...

RayGoesIn8 karma

Well....How did you learn to start your own business or finish a project?

indiegamesarefun11 karma

I found support from people all around me. I emotionally leaned on my dad for the business side of things (he also helped me understand budgeting, taxes, and accounting), while I found financial support from publishers when I was in college, and KS in 2016. I like to work with publishers that are honest, because they support you from the marketing side! Marketing is tough, so having that part knocked out is really important to be able to have time to make a great game.

JarlPaul213 karma

Will you be able to dab ingame?

OldManPastry94 karma

Asking the important questions

indiegamesarefun187 karma

I think this is an amazing idea. Taking notes!

Darkts310 karma

The prologue of the game has the main character dabbing back, and that sets up the narrative of the entire game.

indiegamesarefun11 karma

It's interesting... the first puzzle of the game uses the piano notes D-E-B-A-B. Debab. It's a new kind of dabbing.

Darkts38 karma

Heh, well that's a bit of a coincidence. But I was trying to infer that the action of dabbing back was severe enough to incur the Coma :p

indiegamesarefun11 karma

Interesting plot idea... This IAmA has served to be quite useful...

skeddles4 karma

I refuse to buy any product in any way affiliated with the act of "dabbing"

indiegamesarefun1 karma


EM1Jedi1 karma

Please dont add dabbing :(

indiegamesarefun34 karma

But it's so tempting...

SmellsofMahogany21 karma

Aight do it but make it suuuper convoluted, like make it a 12 button combo or something

indiegamesarefun9 karma

You got it! hahahhaha

SwirlyCoffeePattern15 karma

Since it's doable in Yo Noid 2, it should be doable here :')

indiegamesarefun10 karma

Haha. Exactly.

DETAIN1000164 karma

Hey Thomas! Pinstripe and Coma backer here! I love the work you've done and can't wait to see this new project! I was just wondering, what inspired you to start making games, and what inspires your story design?

indiegamesarefun138 karma

There were a lot of games on Newgrounds that I really liked, and I always kind of idolized the devs. I obsessed over newgrounds games for years. They motivated me in strange, almost spiritual ways haha. As for story design, I'm unashamed to say M. Night Shyamalan movies are my fave. I love how he tells emotional, haunting stories salted with beauty!

elmerjstud54 karma

so what you're saying is, we can expect a plot twist near the end of your game, gotcha.

indiegamesarefun89 karma

He was dead all along...

elmerjstud48 karma

turns out we've been playing the prequel to casper the friendly ghost

indiegamesarefun32 karma

Ha. Or The 7th Sense.

OsamaBinSteve25 karma

You've all heard of the 6th sense that lets you see ghosts. But have you heard of the 7th sense, which lets you tastes ghosts?

indiegamesarefun18 karma

Bahahah. I laughed out loud at this. What does a ghost taste like. I really want to know, Reddit.

satansrapier17 karma

Sad ghost that can't move on: sadness, remorse, with a pinch of hopelessness. So, gas station hot dogs, probably.

Angry ghost that torments the living: hate and malice, topped with an impending sense of dread. The hottest hot wings, basically.

indiegamesarefun3 karma

This is awesome

I_smell_a_dank_meme18 karma

Man I LOVED newgrounds. Visited daily. I also think flash didn't deserve the latest hate. 15 year old me was amazed by the possibilities of that piece of software. From tweening to actionscripting. The possibilities were endless. Good days and good stuff.

indiegamesarefun14 karma

I love it... certainly the glory days for me!

Not_A_Bot_011122 karma

Can I borrow $30K?

indiegamesarefun93 karma


lukaas3384 karma

That's not a no

indiegamesarefun164 karma

Hahahhahahahahahhaano ;)

satansrapier15 karma

How about me? I'm a super trustworthy dude. :)

Edit: Also, I just signed up as a Co-Producer! I'm excited to be a part of such an awesome game!

indiegamesarefun6 karma

Wow thanks!!

Matthewse1963 karma

I saw you were 17 when you started thinking about the story to Once Upon A Coma. Are there any tips you would have given your past self (and current aspiring game developers) while making a game?

indiegamesarefun88 karma

This might sound cheesy... but only work on what you're passionate about! Especially when you're doing it in your spare time. It's really hard to finish something that 's only motivation is "success" or money. Do something that makes you feel something, because you're going to need to feel it for perhaps years. Are you working on a game?

Matthewse1914 karma

Thanks for the advice! I'm in high school and just finished an 18 day game jam with two other friends. We do want to work on the game a lot more to improve and build upon it, though it's hard to tell what we'll actually achieve with it in the future.

indiegamesarefun31 karma

Just try and have fun, and remember, you can always work harder. Plenty of my friends in college and highschool felt they were working hard enough, but it's crazy how much time in the day is spent not creating, but just consuming crap :) Thanks so much for your question!

Trescumose55 karma

You put up the Switch as a stretch goal, which probably will make it. Yet why does your schedule read:

Once Upon A Coma will be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Switch, all because of you.

Seems like you already decided to go for the Switch?

indiegamesarefun81 karma

Good catch! Yep, I actually intended to make the campaign start with the Switch, but after some research I knew 28k for that was just not realistic. Not at all! Thanks for finding that! I've adjusted it: "Once Upon A Coma will be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and maybe even Nintendo Switch, all because of you."

Flucks36 karma

Hey Thomas! I supported your first game because you were from Greenville. I will support your second game because Pinstripe was amazing. Do you write all the music? It's seriously amazing.

indiegamesarefun33 karma

Are you from Greenville? Yep, I write all the music!

Flucks26 karma

Yes sir! Been here since 1999. You can usually find me running up and down the swamp rabbit.

You seriously have a talent. Glad we can benefit from your creative avenues.

indiegamesarefun36 karma

I'm five mins from Swamp Rabbit. Come say high. Email me at my email on atmosgames.com

HelplessHeroes32 karma

What has pushed you to keep creating indie games? You are crazy talented and am excited for the new game 🔥🔥

indiegamesarefun93 karma

There's a book called Think and Grow Rich, and although I don't advocate thinking about money as your only motivation, it certainly inspired me and taught me how to meditate on goals, and visualize them. My goals included being able to pay my family's bills with game development, launching on PS4 and Xbox (one of my childhood dreams), and being able to show my dad the finished game (he's pushed me for years and years, and it was special showing him).

HelplessHeroes14 karma

Great reason! Thank you for all of the hard work you put on for the amazing games!

indiegamesarefun28 karma

Are you specifically passionate about a creative field yourself?

HelplessHeroes14 karma

I have been creating youtube videos for almost a year now and I love the editing part in all of that so i hope to make that a career one day whether its in filmmaking, music videos, or youtube! How does it make you feel when youtubers play your game on their channel?

indiegamesarefun25 karma

Having YouTubers play my games is one of the best feelings. Easily #1 feeling, especially when JackSepticEye or GameGrumps play! Super exciting!

HelplessHeroes13 karma

Congratulations on that! Are you planning on creating any merchandise for once upon a coma? I would definitely get me some!

indiegamesarefun15 karma

I'd love that, if the studio can afford it!

indiegamesarefun5 karma

Thank you!!

Irishnovember2612 karma

hey no real question from my end. Just wanted to say I really enjoy this AMA and your responsiveness. Game looks great and I hope you do well!

indiegamesarefun5 karma

Sweet! Thank you! I'm having a blast answering your questions!

kanniet25 karma

Which lesson did you learn from creating Pinstripe and will you use or don’t in Once upon a coma?

indiegamesarefun51 karma

It's super important to plan and prototype. Years of creating garbage and then removing it were why Pinstripe took so long. I would illustrate and design things fully, and then realize they didn't work, so weeks of work would be flushed down the toilet. In Coma, I spend a lot of time just planning and thinking :)

archangelmdc21 karma

Boom, just funded your KS! This oddly reminded me of Limbo, so naturally I had to take a look.

You mentioned your father being a huge support of yours; is he also a video gamer... possibly a software engineer too?

indiegamesarefun20 karma

Hey thanks so much archangelmdc! My dad is an accountant, and a super duper supportive father. He was the one who pushed me to not get a job my summer before college and just make Coma.

notayuppie16 karma

The music in your games is just gorgeous. How has it been revisiting the soundtrack to the original Coma? From the Kickstarter vid and teasers it sounds like you're doing a lot of cool stuff with the old themes!

indiegamesarefun15 karma

Believe it or not revisiting old themes has been the most challenging part of creating Once Upon A Coma! Believe or not the Red Wind Theme just doesn't make me feel anything anymore, so I created 3 or 4 renditions of it. All of them will be in the game, which is super exciting! What's your favorite game/movie soundtrack?

dvgo15 karma

What do you think the best form of marketing is for an indie game? More specifically a new developer...Kickstarter? Ads?

indiegamesarefun19 karma

Kickstarter is a marketing+pre-order+funding epic combo! If you do it right, it's HUGE. But it can also be a real gut punch if you go into not planning or knowing much you're doing. I've never seen much benefit from Ads, but probobly because I just don't understand them. The absolute best form of marketing is GENUINE KINDNESS and NETWORKING. Caps because I think they are HUGE. Genuine kindness allowed me to stay in communication with large youtubers who I have friendly relationships with, and networking has allowed me to take inspiration and get clever marketing ideas from other indie devs and successful industry veterans. Are you a game developer? :)

dvgo3 karma

I am not, but my boyfriend is.. he is about to release a new game in the coming months and I keep stressing the marketing thing as he hasn't really pushed his games in the past. Thanks for the info, much appreciated!!:)

indiegamesarefun9 karma

Expect zero success if you don't market the game. Great games don't sell themselves anymore... unless you are extremely lucky. My blunt answer :)

starplatinumb15 karma

Hi Thomas! Across the development of both Pinstripe and Once Upon A Coma, what has been the weirdest/funniest bug you've encountered during testing?

indiegamesarefun29 karma

In Once Upon A Coma, I was watching a YouTuber who somehow launched himself so high he broke the camera.

Brak1514 karma

Hi Thomas, did you have a good experience being in a Humble Bundle? Would you recommend it to other devs?

indiegamesarefun16 karma

Sure did. It didn't do as well as I had hoped, but that's ok! I can't complain. Being listed alongside some amazing games was really exciting, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Do you ever buy games from humble? If so, what's your fave bundle?

yapel13 karma

What do you plan to do with the money? Hiring more talented people than you? Just surviving? Drugs, alcohol and sluts? Bitcoins?

indiegamesarefun12 karma

Hahahaha. There's a budget in the Kickstarter campaign that you can take a look at, and then stretch goals for additional funding. Indie game development is tough and expensive, so no, no drugs and sluts haha.

Voradorr10 karma

So alcohol and bitcoin is still on the table?

indiegamesarefun12 karma

Actually just finished up a bottle of vodka. Need to run to Costco. Regarding bitcoin, makes me a little nervous. I think I'd do better just investing in alcohol. ;) Edit: Costco

intergalactic_priest10 karma

As someone whose currently designing their first game, whose not artistically and musically inclined but has more technical knowledge, how should one proceed with the design of art and music?

Shadowspaz26 karma

Coma programmer, here!

This is absolutely the situation I started out in. I basically forced myself to learn pixel art, and picked up music composition as a hobby. I was never happy with just how long it took to produce good art, though, so I went with a different approach- Minimalism.

A lot of my early projects were designed around the code, or a core game mechanic. I used a lot of plain circles and squares because they clearly defined the edges of colliders and didn't get in the way of gameplay. Playing as a box that can smoothly jump and bounce around the room and feel tangible is a lot better compromise than playing as a highly detailed character that feels floaty and unresponsive. Game design and feel should always come first.

I played around with procedurally generated art a bit, just because it didn't require any artistic ability on my end. For sound effects, I would use SFXR, or grab thing from freesound.org and mix them together with Audacity.

intergalactic_priest5 karma

are you legally allowed to distribute software, paid or unpaid, that contains audio content from freesound.org?

indiegamesarefun7 karma

Sure you can :) If it's creative commons, you just need to credit: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

indiegamesarefun10 karma

Be friendly with people in the industry! Working with friends on a game is super fun. Friendly is the key word here. Working together when no-one is paid is tough :)

projecteterna9 karma

I follow like a million indie devs on Twitter. Even the ones whose work looks amazing seem to toil away in obscurity. They have like 100 followers. They post amazing things and get 3 likes. The do a kickstarter and only get $10 from their mom. Some of these people have been working for 20 years or more.

Then there are people like you. $50k kickstarter, thousands of followers, "influencers" play your thing, etc. So what's your big secret, eh? Are you just super cool? Have you been building a fanbase slowly for a long long time? Was there some event that was a major inflection point for you? Is it just that your game has more levels of parallax than the competition??

indiegamesarefun22 karma

This is my favorite question of the day, mainly because I am not super cool. I am real though. I like to spill my guts as often as possible because the gaming industry needs real people making emotionally impactful stuff. Just my opinion. I don't know what my big secret is. Tbh I feel like a big fraud. I really do, I'm not just being self deprecating. But I do have to counter that mentality with almost foolish confidence, every day. And yes, the fan base has been building slowly. I've been making games for more than a decade, so it takes a long time. Yes, a major event was my inflection point. I was very lucky and blessed when Unity Technologies reached out in 2015 and asked me if I wanted to be in a little mini doc that was going to be shown at The Game Awards. If anything, it didn't really do much in terms of gathering steam or a following, but it made me realize my worth. The truth is we all carry infinite worth inside of us, but we wait for someone important or someone famous or some company with money or a boss or a teacher or social media to tell us about it. We have tremendous value, but most of us never see it, and never let our talents shine in public, let alone in private when we are alone. The single most important thing is to look yourself in the mirror, remind yourself of your infinite worth, and go out and make a fool of yourself.

bananani8 karma

That Coma game you did way back when was one of my biggest inspirations going through multimedia school. thanks for that, Also can I be a QA tester on Once upon a coma? (it's an AMA I just thought I'd ask)

indiegamesarefun6 karma

Aw thx that means a lot! Email me via my email on my website (atmosgames.com) about being a tester!

gotsanity8 karma

As a indie dev looking to break into the market what kind of advice can you give those dad of three building his first commercial game?

indiegamesarefun12 karma

One big piece of advice: you have more time than you think. I have a daughter, run a game studio, work out 5 times a week, am writing a novel, and spend way too much time on Reddit. I once told myself I didn't have enough time, and then decided to test that. Turns out I can get a lot done in my free time, especially because my wife is so gracious about it!

kemotaha8 karma

Thanks for your games. I backed Pinstrip unsure of what to expect but loved the game. Coma looks interesting and I am excited for it.

My Question is what keeps you motivated during the times where you don't see a lot of progress in what you are working on?

What keeps you from giving up on your dream of making video games?


indiegamesarefun8 karma

Moments like this. Yeah yeah, perhaps that's an eye-roll statement, but it really is true. I certainly strive for a second wind, and if I can find it on Reddit or Kickstarter, I'm going to focus my energy on that. getting the community involved, and hearing their praise/criticism puts a fire in my belly I can't quite explain!

semi_colon8 karma

Given that it's Kickstarter, did you ever consider not actually developing the game, taking the money and fucking off to a private island?

indiegamesarefun20 karma

Hahahha Nope! Believe it or not, 50k doesn't really get your very far in life. I can imagine I would be stranded on the private island in less than a year haha.

rgkavodkar7 karma

  • How long did it take you to master the basics of game development?
  • What's your game engine of choice?
  • What engine would you recommend for people who are just picking up game development?

indiegamesarefun11 karma

  • For me, I've been constantly learning since I was 16. You're never really a master because the industry is always changing.
  • Unity 3d
  • Unity 3d!

Kirby5097 karma

This is a little late into the ama, but Erik is a great friend of mine and I'm glad the game you guys are making is doing well!

My question for you is, how do you feel about working with such a great dude as your games programmer? Would you be able to do this as well without him or do you feel fortunate that he's working on the game with you?

indiegamesarefun9 karma

If u/Shadowspaz was not on board I wouldn't be working on this game haha. He's been super instrumental in ensuring the game feels tight, fun, and enjoyable! He's also a really good friend, and an honest dude.

grimfear286 karma

Do you plan to ever intertwine your games in a way that Bioshock has with unexpected connections, since you say the games take place in the same universe?

indiegamesarefun7 karma

Certainly! My games tend to focus on the spiritual and cerebral, which I think allows various characters and concepts to mesh in ways they wouldn't in the physical world :)

Wooshio5 karma

Do you still find time to play games your self? If so what game are you currently enjoying the most?

indiegamesarefun10 karma

I have the time yes, but I don't do it often. Believe it or not, I don't find it very pleasurable. I'd rather watch let's plays. I know, I'm a huge hypocrite! :/

Blinks-ap5 karma

What was your first reaction to noticing how much you raised and how much everyone has backed this idea? :)

indiegamesarefun5 karma

I was thrilled. I remember picking up my daughter from her crib, and walking her through my neighborhood, grinning ear to ear. I just knew then that I didn't have to look for work, and I could continue making great games!

DiedrichVK5 karma

How many people are on your development team?

indiegamesarefun8 karma

I do all the art, music, design, and story. Erik Coburn is the coder! He's brilliant, and gives me time to focus on what I do best :D

ashlit19983 karma

Following this question for you and Erik: How easy is it for you two to communicate your ideas to each other? Do you ever have moments of misunderstanding? If so, how quickly do you solve the issue?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

We sure do. I’m a very fly by the seat of my pants kinda guy. I’d rather things emotionally feel a certain way, so I’ll change things to fit a global feeling. Erik likes to keep things pretty scheduled and stick to a plan to ensure we are staying on budget. It really is the perfect relationship because he balances me out. Any time there are confusions we just hop on the phone and work it out. It’s always pleasant.

Rivalistic4 karma

Have you ever written your own game engine?

Shadowspaz14 karma

Erik here, programmer for Coma. :)

Coma uses a pretty customized engine for a lot of parts- Particularly the physics.

It's all built on top of Unity, but starting out, the idea for the game was a lot simpler than it is now. As such, we really didn't need all the fancy collisions and physics of the entire Unity physics engine- It just felt like a bunch of junk we wouldn't use. So we built our own, simplified version.

Then the game got bigger, and so did our physics. It's still a much simpler system than Unity's default, but it has the advantage of feeling complex. Pete can be nice and bouncy, with fluid movement. The Spiders are jittery and random. Other enemies are heavy and stompy, or light and floaty, all built on the same system with some tweaked variables. The trick was to create a physics engine that felt complex and dynamic to the player, while in reality, keeping everything nearly identical in terms of functionality.

It's been a ton of fun to write so far. :)

indiegamesarefun11 karma

Erik's physics engine is crazy robust. Let me say that I used Unity's built in physics for Pinstripe, and it was a huge pain. It's not super conducive for 2d games. Way to go Erik!

compsci20004 karma

If you had to compare your vision for this game to any game currently released, what would you compare it to?

indiegamesarefun7 karma

BOTW. Because of the music, and just that vast feeling of nature.

frogpolice3 karma

What engine did you use and what kind of hours were you working on it? I'm thinking of making my own game but because of work and school I don't have much time.

indiegamesarefun7 karma

I used Unity. In college, I worked on Pinstripe after school (and sometimes during lectures). I was absolutely obsessed :D When I got married, I would wake up around 5:30 or 6 am, work for an hour, and then go to work as a graphic designer. I'd work through lunch, and then often times come home and work for another hour. My wife was very gracious during this time!

lomhow12343 karma

What's the worst and hardest part about making a game?

indiegamesarefun5 karma

Hardest part is abolutely 100% staying confident! I spent 5 years working on my previous game, and even after release, I really wasn't sure if I spent my time wisely. A lot of family, friendship, and time was sacrificed during development, so I'm never fully sure if my time was worth it :)

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Hardest part of making games is staying confident! I've spent the last year working on Once Upon A COma, and really, it's a decade old idea. Trying to convince yourself that your spending your time wisely is certainly tough!

NotCron3 karma

Kevin's friend?

indiegamesarefun4 karma

Sure am. Me and Kev are good buddies.

indiegamesarefun3 karma

WHOA! Thanks for the amazing questions everyone! Getting some traction on Reddit has always been a little dream of mine. This is super fun! Trying to answer as quick as I can :)

Insomniacrobat3 karma

Why are the vast majority of AMA's basically just advertisements for products?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

If you read through our convos I hope you feel differently. Thanks for the question!

RedrexXx2 karma

Will it have any Switch Physical copy pledge?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Still looking into this! Keep your eyes peeled!

TheSeaOfTime2 karma

What was the best and worse part of making the storyline?

indiegamesarefun8 karma

My favorite part was "pitching" the storyline to my office wall. Basically, I find it super helpful to pitch your story over and over to a pretend audience, for me, I pretend to pitch to a studio in Beverly Hills, and imagine them being super skeptical and impatient haha. If you feel that audience is glazing over, it's important to re-craft your story so it's sticky, punchy, and makes sense in a couple sentences!

adamk33n3r2 karma

What about Pinstripe are you most disappointed with and how are you addressing that in your next game?

indiegamesarefun5 karma

I got a pretty crappy review from GameSpot. It hurt a ton amidst a bunch of good reviews, and I think I focused on it for months! Wasn't really a healthy mindset but it still bothered me :/ I'm looking into adding more gamey elements, like action adventure mechanics, while still maintaining a focus on narrative and story.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Did you play Pinstripe? If so, what would you have done differently if you were me! I'd love to learn from you!

Aquagrunt2 karma

What's was the biggest piece of feedback from Pinstripe that has changed something in Once Upon a Coma?

indiegamesarefun8 karma


Good questions! Specifically, I feel I left out "gamey" elements, probably because I didn't quite know how to do that. I did some research after it's release, and realized adding action and adventure, not at the expense of the story, might be a great idea to help encourage players who enjoy a challenge!

BrushGuyThreepwood2 karma

Beautiful game. I liked it.

Do you have any plan to create a quest-style game like Monkey Island or anything similar?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Actually, Pinstripe (my last game about a minister in Hell) takes elements from Adventure Games like that. But, I actually want to stay away from typical Adventure Game tropes for Coma. Although, tbh Adventure Game tropes are often difficult to fully define haha. What's your fave Adventure Game?

muchamp2 karma

Love your work, man! You guys are in South Carolina, right? You think we'll ever get more game development in the state?

indiegamesarefun5 karma

Maybe if we adopt stuff Georgia is doing!

Antarktical2 karma

I am trying to build a english -spanish translation company my own with zero money. Would you let me do the translation into spanish for free?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Typically video game studeos hire translation companies because they have to trust them. I don't know Spanish, so there's no real way for me to know if your translation is good. Because I don't know you, what if you decided to translate the game poorly? Just devil's advocate! :)

TwitchMoments_2 karma

How did you advertise your kickstarter and did you ever imagine ever working on a huge project such as this one?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

I can't spend too much time focusing on advertising on the Kickstarter, but I can talk about marketing games in general! Marketing games requires a heavy focus on building relationships in the industry. If you sent out two hundred emails to industry professionals asking for their guidance about your project, you might get ten emails back. Of those ten, you might get some people interested in putting you on their shoulders. :)

greenlion982 karma

Will you add an FPS component to the game?

indiegamesarefun5 karma

Like Banjo Tooie??

I_smell_a_dank_meme2 karma

Hi! Do you mind telling us about the process of creating a game? Like having an idea first, thinking about story elements, drawing until eventually programming - what is your personal workflow? Also which software do you use? Thank you!

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Certainly. I think the best answer I have is here: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2018/02/07/pinstripe-available-now-xbox-one/

fjccommish2 karma

Do you need a voice?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

We're not going to be doing voice acting for Once Upon A Coma, mainly because it's so old school, and hearing a voice in my head when playing a game is so much funner in an old school platformer than voice actors. Pinstripe had voice actors, and it was fun too. Just trying something different for this one :)

Xystem42 karma

Just one question.

How’s your day going so far?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

One of the best days I've had in a long time. Jim Sterling just posted a review for my last game Pinstripe. And, this whole AMA thing is super duper fun! How about you? How's your day going?

Xystem42 karma

I’m doing pretty well, thanks! I’m going to give Pinstripe a try later today, and you’ve already gotten me hyped for Coma. Plus I slept in for the first time in a while today, and I’m feeling pretty refreshed!

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Hey thanks! I love that! I haven't slept much either. Last night was one of the first full nights of sleep I got in a while. I feel amazing!

tokepocalypse2 karma

Congrats on your recent launch and kickstarter success! Did you go to school for music/art/game design? I really admire how you can do all of these, giving you the power to really sculpt your ideas. Also, any tips on how someone can learn music/art for video games?

indiegamesarefun5 karma

I went to Clemson University (about 40 mins from my hometown cuz I'm a wuss who didn't want to leave home). I got a degree in printing, just the technical side. I did not like it, but felt I should finish school like a good boy :) Everything I learned was from Google and just staying motivated! For me, when I have an idea, I have to see it come to life, no matter how much googling or how much I don't know. I recommend having an idea you are passionate about, so passionate you don't see any other path except to see it come to life! Thanks so much for your question!

smellygeorge2 karma

What's your biggest piece of advice for KS launch day - what one thing is the most important to do to give you the best chances of having a good first day? I ask because I'm launching my KS campaign March 1st.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Reach out to fellow creators (email me from my email address on atmosgames.com) and get their advice. See if they will give you a shoutout. For me, no amount of social media posting and emailing youtubers and press was enough to move the needle on the first day. That said, JackSepticEye did eventually play, but that was after the campaign was funded. It was all (and I mean ALL) about other campaigns reaching out to their base, and giving my campaign a shoutout (and a first 24-hours incentive: free stuff of some kind). Even if you have an explosive first day of social media post (I had a thunderclap with a reach of 705,845 people) and it made the campaign maybe $2k. Social media is great, but it's not enough :)

ErwinAckerman2 karma

Are you gonna really tell me that's not Black Parade era Gerard Way?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Hahahahah. Love Black Parade.

wherewolfwolf2 karma

I was doing some research for the 1920s, and I found out that alcohol was highly illegal up until 1933(I think), so was Ted really going to a speakeasy with the gangsters, getting moonshine?(last bit is kind of a joke haha)

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Wow... I haven't thought of any of this. Moonshine.... strange how the moon plays such an important role in the game's story. Thanks for mentioning this!

surpriseskin1 karma

Any support planned for Linux users?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

You bet! Just curious, what about Linux keeps you using the platform? I've tried it but I don't quite understand it haha :D

RaenefBlu1 karma

Hi Thomas! What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced or still face as a creator and how do you overcome them?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

  1. Money: although the funding for Pinstripe was thankfully exactly what it needed to be, it was still a struggle to drum up all that cash. It was certainly hard finding funding for Coma as well! The KS campaign for example took almost 4 months of work to get just right!
  2. Finding Self-Confidence! It's tough to write music, illustrate, design, develop, and maintain a project for years, and constantly remind yourself it's actually worth-while!

What are some challenges you've faced in your creative/career pursuits, if any :)

WhompO1 karma

It looks fantastic! I'm a music producer/composer and I've been dying to get into video game music production. My question is, do developers hire people like me, or do they pick it up themselves like you did, or rather find free soundtracks out there? What would be the best way to get my foot in that door?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

Developers, especially indie devs, don't pay much. Trust me :) It's not because we're cheap, it's because our games are super low budget. If you want to start though, making friends (most of my friends are scattered across the world) with indie devs and showing genuine interest in their work is key! They want to hire people they trust. Then, once you have a great portfolio, start befriending bigger industry professionals. Just don't work for EA :)

indiegamesarefun1 karma

Do you have a portfolio? Send it to me if you can!

OtterApocalypse1 karma

Linking to a kickstarter page that doesn't appear to directly reference your Reddit name seems like... less than complete proof of identity.

And while I don't necessarily question that you are who you say you are, you might consider adding something else? I notice your Twitter post refers to the AMA, though again, it doesn't match or mention your username here.

Just throwing that out there.

indiegamesarefun1 karma

I like to stay anonymous on Reddit :) But I'll change it if I can!

Archimedes131 karma

Hello Thomas! I’ve loved all of your games so far and can’t wait to get my hands on your newest creation. What I’d like to know is; how much of “you” goes into these games? I know that you do damn near everything yourself when making your games, but what I mean is how much of your own personal feelings, dreams, insecurities, etc. do you utilize when going through the creative process. All of your games have felt so heartfelt and meaningful in one way or another, and I’ve always wondered if these are the product of a creative imagination or something more personal to the creator.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

My creative process always involves meditating on the darkest parts of me, and then fighting them with beautiful things I've learned from my parents and my friends. An example of this is: heartbreak from high-school + encouraging words from my mother = a nostalgic story element in a game about something like this. Does that make sense?

takeoutthebin1 karma

What are your passions aside from making video games and how/when did you first know you had a talent for making video games?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

My dad bought me an old PC for my birthday. We didn't have a ton of money but he specifically looked for a cheap PC that could handle Flash (the animation software I used). I learned Flash, and obsessed over it. I made an animation that was Dragon Ball Z, and it was absolute garbage. But I was obsessed. I guess I knew deep down my obsession for computer animation was a signal that I perhaps had a gift. From then on I kind of knew :) Are there any creative fields you are passionate about yourself that you realized you wanted to be a part of when you were younger?

muhanja1 karma

What methods did you decide to use to make the game and what were the hardest parts to create? What part was the most satisfying to make?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

not speaking from a code perspective (that's my coder Erik), the character design was actually the hardest. Much like graphic design and logo development, designing a character means the character should look iconic as: 1) a thumbnail 2) a silhouette 3)up close. This is a huge challenge. Believe it or not Pete was a little boy in a monkey suite for a couple weeks, because for some reason this was the best solution I could think of to solve that problem. not kidding.

Bananza2521 karma

Will we see any Easter eggs towards Pinstripe in Once Upon a Coma?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Maybe! That's a good idea! Did you play Pinstripe? If so, what kind of easter egg do you think would work?

oyofmidmidworld1 karma

Do you give the characters voices in your head as you’re creating/conceptualizing them? If so, does that help shape the way they look?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Haha fun question! It kinds of depends. Sometimes I just made a character look really stupid and start saying words to myself while I'm designer, just for fun. So Punky in Coma is one of my favorite characters, and that's how I made him :)

Bandison1 karma

What's the best game engine? I've been trying to learn Godot because of it's simplicity and open-sourceness. Do you have any recommendations and tips?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

I can't tell you what the best game engine is because it really depends on what you are making. But it you want something simple, easy to learn, and robust (meaning you can port to pretty much everythin) I'd say Unity. But, really it all depends! Here's a great article about that: http://blog.liveedu.tv/10-free-game-engines-create-game/

TypewriterError1 karma

(realized someone posted almost the same question I asked a minute before I posted mine, so for the sake of adding new info I'm asking another)

How long have you thought of the whole story for Once Upon a Coma? Did you create the original game and then keep it in your mind, letting it grow into where it is now? Or did it go away for a bit until later?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Since I was 17. I'm 27 now. So, about a decade. I like to think of creative ideas as kind of a fine wine :) But, honestly, I kind of forgot about what made that game special until a year or so ago! My dad and Z (the owner of Serenity Forge) reminded me of what made it so nostalgic and special, and I'm trying to ensure I keep those parts of it in this version. Great question!!

El_Enemigo1 karma

Hey Thomas! Your story was really inspiring and Im a backer of your campaign from day 1! Now with the question:

You compose some aspects of the music of your games, which means you have flirted with other art forms apart from gaming; even if it was for your own game. Have you thought about the possibility of your creations reaching new forms of media? Like a Pinstripe movie? Or a Coma graphic novel? Would you sell the rights of your work to see it adapted in some other format?

Thanks for your passion and your hard work, my friend! 🙂

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Thanks so much for the kind words El_Enemigo! Yes, I'm more than flirting with this idea. I'll keep you posted! Are their any film adaptations of comics or video games you really love?

El_Enemigo1 karma

Im very curious about the Bloodborne comic that is coming out. And I think that the Cuphead guys are sitting on a pot of gold. Imagine a netflix cartoon series with the adventures of these cups!! 😂

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Oh wow! I love Bloodborne, and had no idea a comic was coming out! YESSSS. Wow, good thinking about Cuphead. That would be super cool.....

aaronjm901 karma

The environment in once upon a coma is very cartoon but in a dark way. What inspired you to make such a unique art style for the game?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

I'm in love with the art-work of Eyvind Earle. Here's a piece I really like! http://gallery21.com/originals/#gallery/1375/582 What kind of artwork or artists do you like?

yoonjelly1 karma

Where do you find inspirations for your game series?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

The Legend of Zelda franchise is hugely inspirational for me. I also find a lot of inspiration in films like LOTR, Hatty Porrer, and M. Night Shyamalan films. Strange combo I know, but I think mood-wise all of those films have a similar dark, gloomy, cozy feeling. What inspires you in life/creativity?

FlacidGnome1 karma

You said you experienced burnout and depression between Pinstripe and Once upon a Coma. Other than the encouragement of loved ones, would you say that Once Upon a Coma "saved" you by giving you renewed vigor and purpose?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Not exactly. But it was close. Something I didn't mention in the video was Breath of the Wild. I was super inspired by that game, and found myself dreaming of ways to make Coma more like that! So I think Breath of the Wild "saved me" :) What game, if any, saved you in a moment of depression or a difficult time?

Honduriel1 karma

How long did it take you from having the idea to takeing the risk of actually committing to doing it?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

For this game, it was an instant inspiration. Same with Pinstripe. I'm a bit impulsive, to my detriment many times :) But if you have an idea, and it hits you hard emotionally, I recommend pursuing it. Products and projects are nothing unless the idea sticks emotionally in the creator's heart! Just my opinion

garfi3ld1 karma

was it scary when the kickstarter took off?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

For this one, not so much. But my first campaign in 2016 was emotionally draining. I celebrated the first day (we hit 28k in less than 24 hours) with a big glass of whiskey, but once that wore off the next morning, I realized how many people were counting on me to do a good job. That was certainly scary. But I followed through and released a great game, so I don't have any doubts I can do it again, and better, especially with the help of my coder Erik Coburn!

IProvideThePaint1 karma

Do you think game design tends to be autobiographical? What in your life inspired Pinstripe and do you think the things and feelings you experienced post-Pinstripe will find their way into Pete's mind?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

If it's a low budget game, yes, I've certainly seen that trend! It's hard not to be autobiographical when you are doing a good chunk of the work. Pinstripe is also inspired by the culture I'm embedded in, for better or for worse. The story certainly has religious themes and allegories, and for me to ignore the fact that I live in the right wing bible belt of the world would do you question a disservice :) Are there any autobiographical games or films you really enjoy?

DudeBrahMcgee1 karma

Is Sans Ness?

indiegamesarefun10 karma


StormTrooper_18G81 karma

How should I begin my path to becoming a game designer or indie dev? I'm in my early teens and I've been thinking about my career.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Let me ask you a question before I answer: what makes you passionate about game development? What makes your heart flutter, or start to pound? For me, it's the idea of building a world that makes me feel like when I was a kid exploring. That's driven me to make games like that over and over. Ok your turn! Go! :)

Yare_Daze1 karma

What do you recommend for someone who is currently a Games Art and Design student? Also, is there a good platform to look into meeting other folks interested in partnering up for projects. (I’m looking to get into the art side of things and would love to meet someone to see about making a small game)

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Just keep at it, and don't compare yourselves to students around you. You can always work harder than typical students :) I don't know of specific platforms to meet people, but just find people on Twitter who's work you appreciate, and reach out to them!

RealDonPaolo1 karma

Hey Thomas! Just recently I replayed Coma, because I love it, and I noticed a lot of dialogue changed. The sister was no longer potentially locked in the basement, but instead lost in Shill Bend, and any references to death were replaced with something more anodyne. When did you make this change, and why rewrite some of the script of Coma so much later?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

Well, it's not 100% a rewrite. Remember, Once Upon A Coma is a sequel :) So, all the original dialogue still remains, but, the question does remain: why do so many characters seem similar to the original? Hopefully you'll discover that answer when the game is released! Did you enjoy the original?

semi-newto1 karma

Wow, I remember playing coma years ago on newgrounds. I loved it! How did you get started on it? In the technical side.

indiegamesarefun2 karma

Aw thanks Semi-Newto! That means so much to me. My brother taught me HTML when I was in middle school, and that was a great start for me to eventually learn JavaScript and Flash! I'm thankful now I don't do much of the coding. It kind of wears me out because I'm not really built for that kind of thing, like my coder, Erik is!

anihilator9871 karma

Hey I'm going to uni for computer systems engineering and love to code, have wanted to make a game for a while, what are some tips to help start or get the ball rolling?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

Let me pull in my coder, Erik. He should answer you shortly!

flmingstelthbnn1 karma

Hi Thomas! Really love what you are doing! My question is, when did you feel that you had gotten traction and were getting a lot of attention and how did you cope with that feeling of being recognized?

indiegamesarefun2 karma

That's a fun question. Usually the word "cope" and "being recognized" aren't put in the same question, but it's actually a very informed question. The first time I felt "recognized" was when The Game Awards showed my story. It was incredible. My Twitter exploded and I love it. But then, once the "getting noticed" goes away you kind of crave it daily. I'm at the point now where I don't really care about getting recognized. I just want to be a good dad, husband, and make great games. I used to dream about being famous or sitting down on a talk show talking about my games, but now I just dream about pushing my daughter in her stroller in the warm summer air. Feel free to roll your eyes haha but that's absolutely 100% true. Can't wait for the summer!

ScrootMcgoot1 karma

How we're you able to raise such a high amount? How did you promote your Kickstarter?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

I'm very lucky and very blessed. I feel super fortunate. That said, I planned for several months, 40+ hours a week, for it. Spreadsheets filled with contacts, plans, YouTuber schedules, were part of my daily routine. I also reached out to about 20 other Kickstarter creators, and asked them to kindly share my campaign when it launched. This is why the campaign exploded on day 1. Immediately when I hit launch, other campaign's backers (about 20,000 individuals so far) were motivated and at-least took a look at the campaign. If you can get 1% of those to back, that's good news! There's a whole list of things I could mention, but that's the important stuff! Are you thinking of doing a campaign?

parkerhdavis1 karma

When you read about how indie/minimal masterpieces like Shadow of the Colossus managed to be so powerful with relatively little time or money, you often see directors or designers like Fumito Ueda talk about design by subtraction—that it's not what you can manage to fit in, but what you can manage to cut out.

In that vein: while working on Pinstripe or now on Once Upon a Coma, what have you found to be the mechanic(s) or idea(s) that are most tempting but that you have found most beneficial to cut or avoid?

Thanks for doing this AMA and for making games like you make. Can't wait to see your newest project continue to come to life!

indiegamesarefun1 karma

This is a super cool question. My answer is CURRENCY! It's so tempting to just throw in a currency/economy in the game. But that's not really what Coma is about. My developer Erik keeps reminding me of this, because I so badly want to include it just because it makes things so much easier. Currency forces the player to slow down, but we need to find a better way to do that that fits in with the personality and simplicity of the game!

parkerhdavis1 karma

Ah I really dig that response. Not even mentioning the problems that some developers have had with turning in-game currency into a lever for manipulation, the notion that even the flow and pacing of the game itself needs to be true to its heart is a terrific example of being artistically intentional with all facets of a game's design.

Thanks for the thoughtful answer and good luck with the rest of the Kickstarter and the project!

indiegamesarefun1 karma

Exactly. Don't get me started on the manipulation aspect >:C

MammonLord0 karma

"...you must learn various pieces of music... [and] ...play them on your old piano..."

Musical puzzles in games are often a bit clunky and tend to become rote memorization.

Could you talk more about your plans to elegantly implement the musical component?

indiegamesarefun0 karma

Sure! Like legend of zelda, memorizing music will be a nice learning curve. The plan is to only learn 5 notes per level. So, a total of 25 notes. Each song will build on top of itself, and create a final piece of music :) That's all I can disclose for now.

Thebathroomistaken0 karma

Hello Thomas

My question for you is what is favorite part of making a game? e.g (Programming,Animating,OST)

indiegamesarefun2 karma

I can tell you off the bat it is NOT programming :) That's why my friend Erik Coburn is doing the programming, and I'm doing everything else. I think I really like writing the music. I just had a long convo with my brother about this. We were watching La La Land, and we started talking about music. He told me I should consider eventually JUST writing music for a career. I thought he was crazy, but I thought about it a while and realized I always feel at peace writing a piece of music (see what I did there?). Are there any artistic forms you really love pursuing? I'd love to check out your work.

tman10150 karma

What is one of your favorite games of all time? What do you love about it, mechanics, story, music, etc?

indiegamesarefun3 karma

Wind. Waker! The music, art, and feeling of exploration you just can't beat (well, maybe: BOTW). I specially love the faith Nintendo put in the player's maturity: you must patiently sale for sometimes twenty mins just to get somewhere. Time to put the controller down and make a sandwich! What about you??

Thnift0 karma

What was the moment that you thought to yourself "I can do this full time"?

indiegamesarefun1 karma

I think it was when I had interest from publishers. Publishers are often a fail-safe for indie game devs. They provide funding, support, and encouragement when devs don't have the support themselves. They really are something I never thought twice about until I got an email from a publisher.