So, after many years of running away from Game Development, we were finally convinced to do a reprint for W&W (and we are here to explain the reasons why it was so hard to convince us).
W&W for Dreamcast, is available now for less than $10. That Sounds Great! However, including world-wide shipping, cost was closer to $18, which is a downer.
Well, how about we lower the cost of world-wide shipping?
Thanks to our publisher, DragonBox, shipping included, W&W is now less than $14* (don’t forget to add your own VAT in Europe!).
(For the 50 customers who already purchased it for the old price, please contact us! We will give you a nice deal ;) )
Now, some inside story about our re-release…
Why didn’t we do it earlier?
Many emails, including some hate-mail from people who had to buy W&W from Ebay (sorry!) hit our inbox telling us how hard it was to get a hold of it.
So why not just reprint it and that’s it?
Sounds easy, but the truth is that reprinting the game means people will want us to go back into Gamedev even more, and truthfully, it hurts to see people disappointed about our projects, namely Little Ninja.
So, the solution is just spending a few hours a week doing Gamedev on the side, as a hobby? Right?
Because Game Dev is not like writing a book, doing art, making videos, or podcasts.
Yes, there is material of amazing quality in all these that surpasses that of a video game.
However, a mistake in a book means a typo or grammar mistake. A problem with a video means some jaggy frames. Stuttering in a podcast makes you sound like a n00b. Nobody likes these, but in the end it’s fine to err.
In programming and in Gamedev, however, bugs or glitches can go from funny (yes, this happens in 2015. And to John Cena!) to catastrophic (yes, even Batman is not safe), and we’re not talking about something that happened ten or twenty years ago. This happens now.
Especially in lower-end programming, everything needs testing. Imagine yourself trying to write a thousand-word essay (which accounts to around 100 lines) without any proofreading, and handing it to your teacher or publishing it on your blog. Ouch. No way right?
Now imagine that instead of writing 100 lines, you need to write around one thousand times that. Basically, doing a game can take that, and it took us that much for W&W.
It’s a terrible analogy, but it does explain how massive some projects that may look simple can get.
“I don’t believe you! Gamedev is not so hard, you’re just a bad programmer”
Sometimes I have this thought in my mind too. Actually, most days.
However, let’s see what Kickstarter says.
Here is a sample of 12 projects that never saw the light. Yes, they have ten or twenty or fitfy times the amount of funding we had. With some of them having $500,000 of funding it seems like they could just hire more developers and just do it.
Well, years pass by and many of these projects are either completely cancelled, MIA, or post one update every few months saying how close the game is to release and how tired the devs are.
“Oh, but those are “modern” / 3D games, that doesn’t happen with 2D pixel art games.”
Because I love 2D games, I won’t mention any in particular (and please refrain from doing that on the comments) but feel free to do your own research. There are ambitious 2D pixel art games with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of funding, announcing for a release date “next year”, but in reality being in development for three, five, or even eight years. Most of them with very few updates or screenshots, which of course, angers the impatient crowd.
I love these projects, their pixel art and game play look beautiful. I am happy to be a contributor. But I gave up on checking their updates and I believe people will do so too.
This is the reason we chose Patreon.
Our Patreon will not become an instant-hit, but neither do we pretend to spend 100% of our time doing video games yet. Our Patreon is meant to grow at a slow rate, as we keep doing proof of concepts, and your support motivating us in the right direction: do the Ninja Engine, or give up on it.
We don’t want you to break the bank, and if you support us for one month and decide to stop or lowering your cause, it’s totally fine! Really. We will still be friends, and you will still have good rewards.
However, if you can afford the extra $1, or $2, or $5 a month, or even $10 if you really love us, go ahead and give it a try. Don’t give us more than you can give, it will only please my greedy mind but not my developer’s heart. If you donate $2, that’s only $24 for a year worth of our content. It’s almost what I paid for IMAX with popcorn and drink last week.
Let’s avoid any talks about financing our game through Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It’s tempting, but in the end, it will lead Yuan Works, and all your hard-earned money, to its demise.
Most Indie Gamedevs are small developers, and we are not prepared to received hundreds of thousands of dollars all of a sudden. It’s like winning the lottery. And trust me, if I won the lottery tomorrow, you will never hear from me again (you have my word on that).
But your Patreon is confusing, I want Little Ninja, not the Blue Guy!
If I may be blunt, the main reason why we didn’t fall into development hell is because many, many of our projects have well-documented, well-planned proof of concepts. We started doing this when I was 12, and I didn’t stop until I was 24. We don’t like to share unfinished projects, but we will slowly share them with you.
Wind and Water also has a fully-functional proof of concept, obviously:
Codename: Chosen — or the little Bleu guy –, is our proof of concept for Little Ninja:
The reason Bleu is so important for us is that it will run on the same exact Ninja Engine that will power Little Ninja, and this is the reason why we want to fine-tune it to the max. If we can make Bleu fun to play, it will be easy to make Little Ninja fun, but not backwards.
Bleu is less challenging in terms of graphics, but design and programming-wise, it is a huge challenge to make put in tight mechanics. I will be posting frequent updates on our Patreon and if you follow me on Twitch you will catch some dev streaming from time to time.
If you really believe in us, early support will be the best, but, if not, don’t worry. In order to shape something beautiful, development will take time. You can come back in some time and see where we are at.
Bleu will have it’s own full-featured game (either really short, short, or not-so-short), but by the time this happens, we will have a bigger picture whether or not gamers like our engine, and most important, whether we like it or not, which will ultimately decide Little Ninja’s and Yuan Works’ viability.
Our promise with our Patreon is simple: as long as we reach our monthly goals, we will find the time for game development and dev blogging (the latter taking a lot of time). If you are unhappy with our delivery, you can tell us. We will understand.
Obviously, this won’t be easy. Maybe Robert Frost explains it better than me.
If we wanted to go the other way, we would team up with a Kickstarter marketing team, spend two months forcing our game engine without any thoughts on design, rush on making mock up screenshots, and offering irrealistic rewards for each stretch goal.
We tried “fast and exciting” before. Eight years later, we’d like to try slow, but steady.
Let us know what you think in our comments :)
* Note: Pricing is in EUR and the conversion to USD can vary. The pricing applies from July 6th onwards but can change without any notice.