Auden: Year One

It’s been one hell of a year.

I released my first game, Find Love or Die Trying, and I’m still speechless at how many hundreds of thousands of people have played it, from all around the world. When I read comments about the emotions that my game made them feel, I still feel like I’m dreaming. I’m blessed to be even able to consider making this my career, and not a day goes by where I’m not grateful for your support.

Though it might appear to be glamorous, it hasn’t been an easy year.

In January, I’d learned the hard way that a broken engagement, however amiable, respectful, or for-the-best as it was, was soul-crushing. For the better part of this year, every day was a struggle just to get out of bed, let alone work on a game. I crumbled with every thought. I couldn’t write, I could barely eat. I lost sight of myself. And I was terrified that those days would go on forever.

But they didn’t.

Thanks to the love and support from family and friends, whether we’d met through Find Love or Die Trying or otherwise, I can finally say, I’m back on my feet. And I want to say thank you, to each of you, for being a light that helped me find my way back to the path I was meant for.

Thank you so much.

What’s to come in Year Two

I’m back doing what I love most – crafting narrative games that can make people laugh, cry, and smile!

While I’m sure my second year will be an exciting one, I must say, I’m hoping it’s a bit less eventful (haha).

I’m currently working on two projects:

  • A follow-up game in the Find Love or Die Trying universe
  • A Soon-To-Be-Announced 3D adventure game (ETA Late 2022)

Find Love or Die Trying

I’m currently hard at work shaping up the concept for the second game in the Find Love or Die Trying series! My goal is to have fun with making it, same as it was the first time around, as well as to create more opportunities for players to role-play uniquely.

I’m aiming to achieve the following:

  • A more dynamic world where the player has more ability to change how events unfold
  • More opportunity to role-play and approach situations differently
  • Playthroughs and relationships feeling more unique based on player choices
  • Retaining the wacky combination of romance, comedy, and suspense that I loved writing from the first game

That said, I’ve got some interesting roadblocks ahead that I’m still figuring out how to manage. Though separation was amiable and respectful, it was also very expensive – and now, without dressing or exaggeration, I don’t have the money to fund extra help for my own games anymore.

While I feel confident I can do the writing, engineering, and music on my own, and thus save on development costs, I can’t afford to hire the artist I’d previously worked with for the first game, which would likely be the majority of the development cost for the second game.

With this in mind, I’m investigating doing the art on my own, though this comes with some drawbacks as well – the art style would be different, and likely not as polished as an artist with decades of experience. At the same time, I am personally wanting to do draw more, as I both enjoy it and want to get better at it. That said, I know that art style changes can be less than well received. It’s quite a pickle!

I’m also investigating different ways of funding. Though my preferred method is to make everything in-house (it’s more fun!), I am considering options such as Patreon to fund my game development moving forward. This would be a huge change and would likely require creating incremental builds rather than an “all-at-once-release” for the game, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel on that just yet.

I would consider Kickstarter, but at this point in time, I don’t have the funds required for the up-front investment.

There’s a lot going on here, and though it might sound kind of bleak at times, I am still having a lot of fun! I’ll have more to update on this front soon as I figure things out.

The topic of Kickstarter brings me to my second project in development:

Project TMBI

Though game development is what I love to do most, there’s many challenges in game development that are much easier tackled with a team, rather than as a lone wolf. Plus, it can get a bit lonely at times!

For quite a while now, I’d wanted to make a 3D adventure game. The workflow to create it seemed so different than a 2D one; there was so much to learn and try out! Though I had the story figured out, I was struggling to prototype the idea on my own.

Because of this, I asked if a good friend of mine, Rin Folia, was interested in making a 3D game with me. Long story short, Rin and I, alongside our mutual friend, Xerxes Qiu, have been working hard for the past few months on the demo of “TMBI” (name TBA) for Kickstarter!

It’s been an incredibly exciting experience so far, and it never could have happened alone. We’ve had the opportunity to work with incredible voice actors, compose music alongside fantastic musicians, learn from masterful 3D artists – it’s been a joy at every turn.

By sheer force of luck, I’d self-funded the TMBI demo before the amiable separation. However, given that funding beyond the demo on my own is no longer possible, I currently plan to go to Kickstarter when the demo is presentable. We’re aiming to reveal the demo before the end of 2022, or potentially early 2023. I’m hoping it will go well – this game’s going to be one hell of an emotional coaster, and we’ve put a ton of blood, sweat, and tears into creating it!

I’ll be posting more updates here and on Twitter regarding TMBI soon, stay tuned!

Conclusion

What can I say… it’s been a hell of a year.

With a follow-up game to Find Love or Die Trying and a demo of a new game, TMBI, on the horizon, I’m sure this next one will be an exciting one as well. Plus, with a new blog, I’m excited to write about what goes on behind-the-scenes! Let me know what you’re interested in reading about.

Here’s to the adventures to come, and I hope you’ll continue to join me on them, wherever they may lead!

Sincerely,

Auden C.W.


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