Hi everyone!

I am Verena, or Ren for short. I am the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Follow the Feathers, a small Indie Games Studio from Vienna, Austria.

I’m here today with the rest of my team:

u/Foxician - in charge of game design, VFX, project management

u/derHuber - in charge of programming, tech lead, finances, project management

u/RangerRegelt - in charge of tech art, level design, web programming

We met during our time at University and have worked together as a tight-knit team for the past six years. We focus on developing cozy and family-friendly games set in colorful, fantasy worlds. In 2016 we developed and released NIVA which has been downloaded over 70k times (https://followfeathers.itch.io/niva). In 2018 we founded our own indie studio and have since then been working on Weaving Tides which is a Zelda-inspired adventure game where you ride carpet dragons to patch up a magical, woven world! Weaving Tides has recently been successfully funded on Kickstarter (http://kck.st/35j7zJh) and is planned to release towards the end of this year.

You can ask us all kinds of questions like:

  • How to found an indie game studio?
  • How to get funding for a game idea?
  • How we gathered interest for our games?
  • How we develop the textile world of Weaving Tides?

So let’s get this started! Ask us anything!

Btw our answers, especially regarding funding and education, are based on our european experiences so please take them with a big grain of salt if you are from anywhere else around the world.

Proof: https://twitter.com/FollowFeathers/status/1264141844310642690

UPDATE: end of AMAThanks for all of your questions! It was really fun talking with you and we hope our answers were helpful to you and your career decisions.

If you still want to learn more about Weaving Tides or exchange your gamedev thoughts and ideas feel free to join our discord server: discord.gg/followfeathers We have a welcoming and helpful community there which we are very proud of : )

Comments: 161 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

bestCallEver33 karma

Another question, how did you get NIVA to 70k downloads? Did you do aggressive paid marketing after release (and if so, what types?) Or was it more of an organic growth.

What would be your top advice for someone who has created a fantastic app or game and just needs to get it in front of a larger audience? How did you create and then continue to Foster and Stoke that growth, or (again) did it just take off through word of mouth?

Edit: I realize there were thousands of things you "did" that helped get NIVA successful, just asking for some key actions or occurrences (maybe even out of your control) that really tipped the scale. Thanks again for a good ama hope you get a lot more questions

Ren_Dem51 karma

We didn't do any type of paid marketing or ads for NIVA. Most of the marketing we did was social media marketing and at that time we still used tumblr to share gifs and screenshots. The game was picked up by octocurio who shares a lot of gaming gifs and had a very wide reach on tumblr at that time and the post about NIVA went viral.
NIVA was also released as "pay what you want" on itch.io and thanks to that quickly reached the front page where it lingered for at least a week or two.
The game was very visually appealing and it was basically free if you decided to not pay anything. Because of that a lot of small streamers and Youtubers picked up NIVA which pushed it even further.
I think we also (by chance) hit the perfect timing to release the game. Since the release of Journey there weren't many popular relaxing exploration-based games and NIVA was the first (or one of the first, I obviously don't know the whole games market) with a forest theme. Very shortly after NIVAs release a lot of nature and foresty exploration games were released and a lot of them went big. So I feel like there really was a demand for those types of games. All this showed me that it is important to observe the market to find your particular niche. For Weaving Tides we tried to not leave things to chance.

If you are creating a game/app and can't invest large sums in ads or a marketing you have to do a lot of legwork. I cannot recommend one particular thing since the popularity of Weaving Tides is the sum of all the things we did so far.
We started to share our progress basically at the same time as we started to work full time on the project about 2 years ago. We posted very regularly and tried to do at least 1-2 project updates a week. We also tried a variety of different channels before we found the ones which work best for us (Twitter, Newsletter & Discord)
Early in the development of Weaving Tides we also went to a lot of gaming events where we showcased the game. Events never have a huge impact on tangible things like wishlists or news coverage, but what it did for us was that we found our most dedicated fans there. Those who stuck with us during the whole time up until now, who are advocates for the game and who basically built the ground work for the community we have now.
One more things which is really important imo is try to make friends with a lot of devs who are in the same place as you are. (Who have the same experience, a similar amount of reach, a similar game and so on) It really goes a long way when you cheer each other on, give shout outs and exchange tips.

SexualPicard9 karma

Unity?

Ren_Dem11 karma

Yep Unity : )

JewishBoi109 karma

Hey, When did you start making video games? has it always been your passion, or is it something you got into a few years back?

Ren_Dem12 karma

Games and video games in particular always played a very big part of my life. I often noted little game ideas and came up with my own card game. And while I always wished I could make my own video games I never thought I actually could do it until University where we had lecturers which directly worked in the industry and where I met my team.

GeistUnit9 karma

How do you guys and gals go about funding and financially supporting yourselves?

Ren_Dem24 karma

A lot of our initial funding came from our own savings (from jobs we have worked previously and freelancing) and through private loans from our families. Once we had a working prototype we also applied for a governmental grant which funds projects at the intersection between business and art. Throughout the development of Weaving Tides some of us also did some freelancing on other projects. We also tried to simply save money wherever we could. Two of us are renting a flat with four rooms. Two of those rooms are bedrooms, one is a living- and meeting-room and the last one is the office for the four of us. Thanks to that our office and living costs are extremely low. Now that we are getting closer to finalizing our game we did a Kickstarter campaign in order to be able to afford polishing it.

Tenzu98 karma

Do you think the story in a game is more important than Gameplay? Do you think those new "cinematic" press-up-to-walk AAA games are gonna become the norm for single player action games? Why do you think AAA studios are trying so hard to make their games so "movie" like?

Ren_Dem15 karma

Story can be more important than gameplay in some cases especially in narrative-heavy games, but generally I’d say the gameplay is most important.

Cinematic experiences in games have been around for at least ten years now so I believe they will always remain part of the gaming landscape.

I think a lot of AAA studios make their games movie like because their high production quality is an eye-catcher and simply a lot easier to market than a game that has mediocre graphics but absolutely amazing gameplay.

Raelis_Ortha7 karma

What are your thoughts on people streaming your game? Would you be okay with them using the same or similar assets from the game for their streaming UI?

I know that personally I would like to make my stream look as cozy as your game whilst streaming it, but I definitely don’t want to step on toes when it comes to the assets.

Ren_Dem14 karma

We love to see people stream our games! And it is also fine to us if you use cropped screenshots or other Weaving Tides assets you find online for the streaming UI (at least as long as you are streaming Weaving Tides - if you want to use it for other streams we'd have to take a closer look at it first)

We also share any WT streams we find so feel free to send us a link to your channel when you're streaming and we'll share it with our community.

Adelysium6 karma

So I’m probably waaaaay late, but I sincerely hope you consider responding!

I have quite a few friends in various areas of expertise that are insanely smart and I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing us together for a business. I have a few questions pertaining to this possible endeavor:

  1. Do you feel like those with the computer science background will feel like they’re putting more in than someone else on the team who doesn’t?

  2. How do compensation packages even get worked out when you don’t truly know what the outcome of a venture like this will be? I know that probably should be part of any business plan, but just curious on your experience.

  3. I know it’s going to be difficult. But I really don’t know, do I? (I know this really isn’t a question :P)

Thank you!

Ren_Dem4 karma

A well-balanced team which trusts each other is valuable groundwork for every start up company so I'd say do it!
1) To build a gamdev company you will need a lot of different skill sets to get it running: programming, art, music, finances, marketing, project management, just to name a few. All of those skill sets are valuable. If everyone pulls their weight no position is worth more than another. It is also worth mentioning that biz dev roughly takes the same amount of time as game dev. So you as a team will spend about 50% of the time working on the game and the other 50% keeping your company running and marketing your game.
2) If you are starting a company with very low funds or no funds at all you will need to find team members who are willing to share the risk and be co-founders of your venture. All four of our members own 25% of the company and equally share any risks and any profits which come from it.
If you just need someone who helps you out on a few things and the work doesn't amount to a full time position you can pay them a smaller sum up front and promise them a certain percent of the sales of your final product (through a simple contract) to make up for it.

Madan22046 karma

Which of the weavers you’ve created is your favourite and why?

Ren_Dem6 karma

I think everyone in the team will answer differently, but my favorite is Twill the violet Weaver, because she is very impulsive and has a fun, playful personality. I also like her special move where she spits out her ribbon instead of flying over enemies/obstacles to tie them down. This is on par with my usual gaming behavior since I prefer long-ranged classes such as archers or mages.

Madan22046 karma

Thanks for the quick response, I love them all and I’m really happy each weaver has their own individual personality. And they’re all so cute! My personal favourite just from looking at design might be Kilim (is that the right spelling?) because they’re just really cute to me

Ren_Dem3 karma

Yes the spelling is correct!
Kilim has a warm and protective personality. He is really the type of guy who easily gets along with anyone and loves to tell dad-jokes.

HiveQuest6 karma

Hey guys - very excited to see where you take Weaving Tides & congrats on reaching your KS funding goal!

As you know the Hive Quest KS campaign is coming soon so I had a couple questions ;)

How many folks hit the 'notify' button on the pre-launch page before you went live?

Did you do anything specific to point folk in that direction before launch?

Many thanks!

Ren_Dem9 karma

We had about 120 people who set a notification for the campaign - perhaps more. Sadly I didn't note it anywhere. We did a giveaway through gleam.io where we raffled off three Kickstarter packages (containing the game, artbook & OST) to everyone who completed the tasks. The tasks were things like set a notification for the campaign, follow us on Twitter, check out the Discord and so on. It went fairly well despite being on short notice (we only had it running for about three weeks). I think for a gleam campaign to really work you need at least one month and at best two months.

Other than that we told our community pretty early on that we wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign, asked them what kind of rewards they wanted to see and simply talked about it. I think this also helped a lot to get everyone ready and hyped up for day 1 : D

Scratchandicap5 karma

How did you get funding to get started?

Ren_Dem7 karma

A lot of our initial funding came from our own savings (from jobs we have worked previously and freelancing) and through private loans from our families. Once we had a working prototype we also applied for a governmental grant which funds projects at the intersection between business and art. Throughout the development of Weaving Tides some of us also did some freelancing on other projects. We also tried to simply save money wherever we could. Two of us are renting a flat with four rooms. Two of those rooms are bedrooms, one is a living- and meeting-room and the last one is the office for the four of us. Thanks to that our office and living costs are extremely low. Now that we are getting closer to finalizing our game we did a Kickstarter campaign in order to be able to afford polishing it.

(copied from a comment above which had the same question)

MattyCHam5 karma

How does someone break into writing for video games?

Ren_Dem6 karma

Writing for video games has most likely one of the most ambiguous career paths. It is usually extremely difficult to directly land a position as a narrative designer or quest writer as your first job so here are some tips to start out:

Try to take part in as many game jams as possible and build your network through them. Take the role of a writer in the team, but try to help out with other tasks as well. A somewhat related position would be Level Design. You can work on your visual storytelling skills while creating levels and dressing sets.

Think about which kind of game productions you would like to have been a part of. Write additional quests for these existing games. While writing those quests always keep the game's mechanics in mind as well as the experience of the player. This will show possible employers that you are able to work within an existing framework and will give you a better undestanding of how the narrative has to interact with the game mechanics.

Create a Twitter account. A very large part of the game development industry is active on Twitter. Interact with other smaller devs on the platform to further expand your network and keep your eyes open for recruitment announcemens you are interested in.

bestCallEver3 karma

I keep checking back on this thread and just wanted to say I'm so glad you got a lot more questions, and answers like this have made it a truly great and valuable AMA, one of the best I've ever read. Thanks again for taking the time, I know you've made a lot of new fans in the process.

Ren_Dem1 karma

Thanks so much, that is really very kind of you to say! We tried to give everyone the best answers we could and make it worth their time. Thanks as well for taking the time to read through all of it. Take care!

Stormybabe884 karma

Long stitch or cross stitch?

Partly asking because hey, sewing game! And partly because I’m sinking even more of my life into my project and I’m almost on the final stretch xD

Ren_Dem2 karma

Most of the embroidery I have done is needle painting with some special stitches sprinkled in like french knots - so long stitch. What kind of project? I'm curious °-°

Stormybabe885 karma

I don’t have a recent photo that shows off the whole work, but I just finished this page of my Link to the Past Light World cross stitch. It’s been a marathon of work and I’ve learned a lot of lessons working on it. But it’s been a labour of love.

Ren_Dem2 karma

WOW! That is breath taking! I'm getting anxious only thinking of how many hours this might have taken. Are you going to frame and hang it once you're done, or do you have other plans with it? (Also sorry for turning the AMA around now haha)

Pixel art really offers itself so well for cross stitching : D it's like those two things were made for each others.

NeckronRolls4 karma

What's your take on post-launch content updates, ie DLC?

Ren_Dem5 karma

NeckronRolls

If a DLC adds content which should have very obviously been part of the main game or was even promised as part of it they are simply malicious or a result of bad management.

But DLCs can be a very vital choice to expand the longevity of a game and offer a new gaming experiences for old players while ensuring that the company which makes the product doesn't go under.
To me a prime example of a great way at handling DLCs is Klei entertainment with their game Don't Starve. The base game offers hundreds of hours of playtime and even without the DLCs the gaming experience doesn't fall short in any way. If you decide to add the DLCs onto the game your gaming experience is basically renewed and you can add another couple hundred of hours onto your already impressive steam record : D

nhoka4 karma

Hi guys! First off, congrats on your persistence and talent and getting your project off the ground! I am actually an actress and I’ve been doing dubbing and voice over for some years, and am interested in entering the video game world (I love games with an actual storyline like Witcher, Diablo, Zelda, etc, and characters you can develop and fall in love/hate!). How do you, as a startup/smaller studio go about finding voice talent for your games? Thank you and GOOD LUCK

Ren_Dem6 karma

We haven't been actively looking for voice actors since we don't have any fixed plans yet to include voice acting in the game. But if we were to do so we would definitely put up a public casting call on Twitter and we’d most likely also use relevant sites like castingcall.club

Best of luck to you too on your voice acting career!

WaitImAnAdult3 karma

Have you any tips for someone looking to set up a business in the art world? Would be especially thankful for any tips with writing a business plan!

Ren_Dem3 karma

WaitImAnAdult

We honestly also had no clue about business plans before we started all this so I bought a bunch of books on founding a business and business plans. Most of them were german so I don't have any english recommendations except "Business Plans for Dummies".

The three most essential questions of a business plan are:

  1. What is the USP?
  2. How will you market and distribute your product?
  3. How will you finance the production?

  1. One of the most important parts of a business plan is the USP or unique selling point. What makes your product truly unique and desirable? Which problems of your customers does it solve? Identify what makes your product unique and desirable. Find out why people would want it.
  2. To get a better grasp on marketing and distribution we did a lot of lookalike research: What are games similar to ours? How many people are working on them? How long were they in production? How long are those games? How much do they cost? How many units did they sell? Where can we find their communities? We took all of the data we could find and put it in a spreadsheet to analyze it. This helped us a lot with setting realistic expectations regarding sales and also with finding out what we needed to focus on in our game in order for it to be attractive to those who play similar games. We also did a lot of research on how and where those teams presented and marketed their games. Having a lot of competitors to compare your product to and underline your decisions will also give your business plan more credibility.
  3. For creative projects you initially will need to rely on your own savings or money from family and friends. Banks usually only give out loans to projects which invest it in physical goods like heavy machinery (which the bank can collect if the debt is overdue). Another option would be angel investors (which are really hard to come by) or public grants (which are different in every country and sometimes non-existent). If you live in Europe you could look up the grant „creative Europe“. An option for artists would also be Patreon. For Patreon to work you will need to put in heavy community-building efforts and it would most likely not fully finance your monthly expenses, but will take some strain from your savings.

I don't know where exactly you want to set foot in the art world but I think regardless of what you do it is essential to reach out to others in your field of work who are at a comparable spot in their career as you are (same amount of experience, similar amount of following/fame), befriend them and build your network. You can use this network to lift each others up, exchange information and perhaps even collaborate.

Indexerrowaty3 karma

Wow. This game looks so good. How long it took to make it?

Ren_Dem4 karma

The first idea for Weaving Tides came up about three years ago. It has been in production for roughly two and a half years now where two of those years were actually full-time. Among the four of us we spent about 15-20k hours on the game and building our company.

jatzy33 karma

Hello! Thanks again for this AMA; Where does one begin to start their own company?

What programs should one learn?

Is solo work a viable option or do you think a tight knit group is the way to go?

Is University necessary to create games? Or do you think it’s something that can be self taught?

Ren_Dem3 karma

Where does one begin to start their own company?
Read books about founding a business, find out if you have a local start-up center or business agency who offer courses on bizdev.

We also had similar questions in this thread regarding business plans so if you just search for this keyword you'll find more of our answers on that topic : )

What programs should one learn?
That really depends on which direction you want to go. Art, programming, project management? If you want to do things solo or in a really small team it is best to learn an engine like Unity or Unreal Engine as well as a 3d modeling program like Maya or Blender 3d.

Is solo work a viable option or do you think a tight knit group is the way to go?
Both options are viable. It really depends on the kind of person you are. Do you have a strong inner drive and want to learn a large variety of different skill sets? Then going solo might be a good option. Do you want to focus on a specific field and feel more motivated with other people arond you? Then it is a good idea to find a team.

Is University necessary to create games? Or do you think it’s something that can be self taught?
University is not necessary to learn how to create games. There are a lot of amazing online resources. However University will give you a big headstart when it comes to building a professional network. You will find a lot of likeminded people there who might become future team mates. You will most likely also have lecturers who have been a part of the industry for a long time and who can potentially recommend you to a mentor, scholarships or a workplace.
A good place to learn more aboutthe industry is the GDC youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JB7TSe49lg56u6qH8y_MQ

maplesyrupsucker3 karma

Do you have a Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash donation address? Would love to share some support.

Ren_Dem4 karma

We really appreciate your kindness, but we do not have a Bitcoin donation address.
Our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter is still active: http://kck.st/35j7zJh (however KS only accepts credit cards)
Other than that it really helps us a lot to simply wishlist the game on steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1075170/Weaving_Tides/

Bogg993 karma

I have an interior design background (and interior architecture degree) where a large part of my work experience has been in 3d modeling and rendering. Since I've been out of work during the pandemic I've been teaching myself 3d animation and realized that I really love the animation and world building. Is that enough to begin to transition into vfx and game design or would I need more of a programming background? Are there jobs in the gaming industry for 3d modelers and renderers with a non computer science background?

Ren_Dem2 karma

You can absolutely find a place in the gaming industry as a 3D artist or animator. The larger the studio is the more specialized the positions are they are looking to fill. If you want to work in a small studio where you have more creative control of the product I'd recommend not only learning 3D and animation but also getting familiar with an engine like unreal engine or unity and learn how to correctly import your assets and perhaps even learn how to make some basic shaders.
If you want to work on large productions I'd recommend really specializing your skills to a very particular niche. Since you have an interior architecture degree this is the perfect groundwork to build onto - study interior architecture in games, build your own game environments inspired by it and fill your portfolio. A big difference between 3d visualization for architecture and games is performance.
You will have to get familiar with optimizing your meshes, sculpting programs like Zbrush and baking different kind of maps.

You could also take a look at level design. A lot of level designers study architecture and interior design in order to better understand the navigation behaviour of their players and improve their maps.

Batsticks3 karma

What inspiration and motivation to create and develop this beautiful indie game?

Ren_Dem2 karma

I hope you don't mind me copying this from a similar question:

For both NIVA and Weaving Tides the first ideas came from Ren. She's a real goldmine when it comes to initial ideas for our projects ; )

For NIVA we don't remember how exactly the very first idea came to be, but it revolved around being a mighty forest god in a magical forest. There wasn't one specific source of inspiration, but many different ones like games like Flower and Journey and various Ghibli movies.
For the inhabitants of NIVA's enchanted forest and its puzzle mechanics, the anime series Mushishi as well as documentaries about forests were an invaluable inspiration to me. Telling you about this reminds me that there were so many more ideas for further puzzles and hidden secrets, but only a few of them could make it into the game - but I guess this is true for almost every game out there :' )

For Weaving Tides the first inspiration sparked on the same day we exhibited NIVA in a small Austrian town called Hallein. When went for a walk Ren saw a tree whose bark looked almost like it was woven. This and her previous education at a fashion school made her instantly think "what if the whole world was woven?". She was fascinated by this thought and further explored it: how would such a world function, which creatures would live in it? After revisiting this idea for one year, she pitched it to the three of us and we decided to go forward with it.
So the woven world was the base for Weaving Tides, everything else came afterwards. In one of our Kickstarter updates we wrote about how it went from there: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rendem/weaving-tides/posts/2832747

ElCidTx3 karma

How much capital did you need to start your studio? How did you raise the money?

Ren_Dem3 karma

To found our studio and get started as a company we needed around €60k. I have to mention up front that we are from Austria and therefore didn't have any student loans like the ones common in the USA.
One year before we started our studio (and also already during our university studies) some of us did some freelancing and some worked full-time at other studios to build up some savings. When we founded the studio each one of us four founders invested €10k from their personal savings. A bit later we also aked our families for some private loans which amounted to another €20k. We promised to pay them back as soon as we find some other form to finance the project.
Within about 3-4 months we built a prototype and a fairly elaborate business plan. With that we applied for some creative project funding from the Vienna Business Agency. A couple months later we were granted the project funding which amounted to around €70k. Our plan B, in case the project funding would fall through, was to do work-for-hire and freelancing to finance the intial production.

link37103 karma

Why did you choose textiles as a theme? Was it the aesthetics or something else?

RangerRegelt5 karma

The mastermind behind the idea is Ren, so I'm sure she will elaborate more on this ;)

Ren won us all over for the idea when she showed us the first concept arts of how such a completely woven world could look like. It felt so epic and I couldn't wait to recreate it in 3D and brainstorm ideas of how the main stitching mechanic could work :)

Ren_Dem5 karma

I think the first prototype we built also played a large part in pursuing this idea further. We did several smaller game jams before and also brain stormed other ideas, but we usually met a point where we ran out of ideas of what else to do with the mechanics we came up with.
When we made the first prototypes for Weaving Tides and played around with actual yarn the ideas just kept coming. It was super fun and exciting to just talk about all the possibilities we had. I also did some knitting and embroidery and showed the others fun things I discovered while doing so. The whole creation process was so fun that it felt very natural to push on with the idea.

Xbooow592 karma

I don't want any money, but can I do some voices for whatever your next game is?

Ren_Dem2 karma

That is a really kind offer. For now we don't know if we will need voices for this or our next project, but if we need them we will definitely put out a public casting call through all our social media channels and casting sites like castingcall (dot) club

Also don't undervalue yourself! It is always best to ask for a fair compensation because first of all you won't get exploited and second it reads as way more professional to the people who you want to work with.

(had to delete the other comment since it didn't show up - most likely due to the link to castingcallclub)

Spectre_Fighter2 karma

Is the team aware that in 0:48 of the (Steam) trailer, you spelt enchantments wrong?

Ren_Dem8 karma

Unfortunately, yes :' D We only realized it when the trailer was already released everywhere (mind you at that time at least 5-6 english native speakers had already seen it and given us feedback, none of them caught the mistake) so we will have to live with it.

brabarusmark2 karma

I'm looking to get into video game writing. Are there any resources you have that could help me out?

Ren_Dem2 karma

Writing for video games has most likely one of the most ambiguous career paths. It is usually extremely difficult to directly land a position as a narrative designer or quest writer as your first job so here are some tips to start out:

Try to take part in as many game jams as possible and build your network through them. Take the role of a writer in the team, but try to help out with other tasks as well. A somewhat related position would be Level Design. You can work on your visual storytelling skills while creating levels and dressing sets.

Think about which kind of game productions you would like to have been a part of. Write additional quests for these existing games. While writing those quests always keep the game's mechanics in mind as well as the experience of the player. This will show possible employers that you are able to work within an existing framework and will give you a better undestanding of how the narrative has to interact with the game mechanics.

Create a Twitter account. A very large part of the game development industry is active on Twitter. Interact with other smaller devs on the platform to further expand your network and keep your eyes open for recruitment announcemens you are interested in.

(copied from a similar question above)

If you are just starting out and want to learn about writing for games there is no better way than to analyze the kind of games you would want to write. Don't only analyze the writing itself but also analyze it in the whole context of the game. The narrative usually comes AFTER the gameplay and basic level design are already set in place so it usually serves the purpose of giving the other features context or a goal for the player.

Watch a lot of the narrative related and non-narrative talks on the GDC Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0JB7TSe49lg56u6qH8y_MQ
Those are an incredibly valuable resource.

MetatronLived2 karma

Hello! I have been doing game audio for about a year or two now, but I feel like it's become super hard to really get a foot in the door anywhere since the market for game audio is so full of people right now. Do you have any advice for people who are looking for a good way to promote themselves in the game dev field in general?

Ren_Dem3 karma

I wont lie, game audio is possibly the most oversaturated position in the gaming industry right now (sorry!). We get requests to collaborate from composers every day despite having a demo with full music and SFX.

I think the best way to get your foot in the door is to find local gamedev meetups and network with other people there. Take a look at their projects, give feedback and show them the work you are most proud of. Talk and get to know them - basically - make friends.
Take part in as many game jams as possible. It is a lot easier to find team mates for small new projects and once they have had a good working experience with you they will very likely get back to you for bigger projects or recommend you to their peers. Game jam projects will also give you a way better understanding of what game projects actually need.
Create a really good portfolio: The problem I have with a lot of audio applications we get is that they are not really relevant to us. Many audio artists have portfolios full of cinematic scores wich are arguably beautiful but nothing we can use for a cute and quirky indie adventure game. So create categories in your portfolios for different genres and also include SFX. Learn how to create good SFX which work in-game. Don't only make tracks available but actually show videos of games or game jam projects in your portfolio which you did the SFX for. It is so important to see your work in context!
Learn how to implement audio into the engine with tools like Fmod. This is incredibly valuable and something that you should present very visible in your portfolio! Implementing audio is paintstaking work and a lot of that goes into making the audio dynamic, well mixed and ensure that it acts as a supporting cue for the gameplay not as a distraction. If a tech artist or programmer have to do it (which don't have a lot of experience with audio) it will simply end up sounding terrible. So an audio artist who is good at implementing their work is worth their weight in gold!

I hope this didn't discourage you! There definitely is a need for good audio artists who have a great grasp for what a game production really needs. Best of luck to you!

VESTINGboot2 karma

Dead space or resident evil?

Ren_Dem2 karma

Resident Evil, never played Dead Space.
I mainly used to play Resident Evil on Arcade in one of the local gaming halls years ago.

VESTINGboot2 karma

Hmmm...interesting, what kind of impact are you hoping to leave in the industry?

Ren_Dem3 karma

There are a variety of things we would like to achieve short- and longterm. Overall we hope we can contribute to making the gaming industry a better and more welcoming place.

First of all we want to pay forward what we have already received from other devs in the industry. We share everything we learn and mentor younger devs to make the games industry welcoming for newcommers.

Our games also focus on being cozy and relaxing. The gameplay is a lot more forgiving than in other games. From what we have seen we know that this invites people who don’t have any former gaming experience to pick up games which helps broaden the landscape of what is considered a game/gamer.

Long-term I want to help diversify the gaming landscape. I want to see and work with more women, more people of color, lgbt+ people in games. Once we have the chance to scale up our company I want to actively seek out talent among those groups of people.

Joliet_Jake_Blues0 karma

Why do so many indie game developers think we want to ask them questions?

Ren_Dem1 karma

Joliet_Jake_Blues

We get questions every day from our community about the game and from other developers about bizdev, marketing and whatnot. Since our community has grown quite a bit recently we thought hosting an AMA was the best way to get a lot of questions out of the way at once. When I started out I also appreciated being able to ask other devs andartists about their career and tips for my own so I'm paying it forward.
We also love talking about our game (it's our baby) and not wanting to talk about it usually means that you and everything you do is practically non-existent.

broughtonline-2 karma

When will Anthem 2 be released?

Ren_Dem1 karma

Let me consult my magic 8 ball:
"Maybe later"