I take pride in being from the Windsor, Ontario. That being said, I also know it’s very easy to make fun of. It’s one of the most southern parts of Canada, at the very bottom tip of Ontario. It happens to be a major border crossing with the United States, being across from Detroit, Michigan, which has its own infamous reputation. We used to be a city with a big part in the automobile industry, until it crashed in the late 2000’s and we were left without any real identity. You could write a joke book of “dissing” Windsor based on this information alone.
However, I’ve spent the last couple of years living near enough to the downtown area to start to notice public events that make our city what it is. One of our biggest identities right now is comic books: we love them, and 2015 has been a big year of showing it, with multiple comic conventions and even an art gallery exhibit.
“Comic Book Syndicon,” one of several Windsor Comic-Cons in 2015
For several months I’ve promised to write a retrospective about the release of my first game “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth.” But then it was released on Steam, on IndieGala, and available during the Steam summer sale. Then I was working on my second game “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament,” which took longer than expected, but has now officially been released for one week. This gave me a lot more perspective to write about, and a year after the first game, I think now is the time to write about it from a functional point of view. This summarizes in-depth time and money spent and made for my first two indie games as an indie developer, which were not necessarily successful, but hopefully helpful for others wondering how their experience in game development may go.
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” is officially available now on Steam (and soon other stores)! Hooray!
Buy it here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/388680/
Plus, if you are still unsure, please try the free demo of the game here: http://unfinished.fromdustscratch.com/#system
Plus, see this little launch trailer!
The game is also trying to be on IndieGameStore, MacGameStore and WinGameStore. I should have remembered they need a few weeks to prepare a store page for it, I only submitted the game last week. Hopefully anyone who doesn’t want to use Steam can use other outlets by the end of the month.
I always feel insecure when releasing a new game, or even revealing it for the first time, knowing that this is what it is, and not everyone will like it. A few close friends tried the game for the first time this week, and while they certainly weren’t the intended audience, their appalled reaction when I said I planned to sell it was discouraging. I was tempted to not release the game at all.
Disclaimer: I am the developer of this game. Which makes it a conflict of interest that I would write a review. But with the expected lack of written scored reviews elsewhere, I felt it best to write something as unbiased as possible to make sure people know what they would be getting into should they buy the game. It also acts as a release for me, a psychological exercise after releasing my second game, having doubts about it. In the meantime, there are a variety of preview posts and playthrough videos online that I encourage you to check out.
“Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” starts (after a minute-long cutscene of the main character being drawn) with a stick figure in a white empty level. Rotating the camera, you see a blue pencil drawing, slowly moving away from you. With nothing else to do, you move towards the pencil. As you get closer, the perspective looks odd, especially when you rotate the camera and look at it from a different angle. A thought bubble and audio prompt suggest something about a wall: after moving around the wall you see that the pencil was just a flat texture on a large wall that merged with the rest of the white background, and that the wall hid what looks like a more interesting space of old paper making up a level to explore.
In a way this speaks to what you are getting into with “Unfinished.” There’s worthwhile game and story to find here, but most people would likely give up in frustration before even thinking of going around the wall. Even then, those who stay might be disappointed with their reward.
I’m now on the verge of releasing my second indie game, “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” on Steam. For both this and my previous game, I questioned myself about what to charge for it. What price should it be set at? What general rules should indie developers use? No one knows, but here’s an informative opinion that may or may not be completely wrong.