It’s been almost 2 years since I hit the “New Project” button on the first prototype of The Song of The Fae (SoTF). Our little Unity project has grown from a few KennyNL sprites in a scene to almost 50k lines of code—though it’s still innocuously named “bard-game”.
We’re getting close to a game that we as developers enjoy playing. Even after thousands of hours of development we still find surprises and new situations. We’ve designed the game using a concept I call “concentric game loops” (brought up in the FTL postmortem). We focused all our attention on the combat encounters and iterated on them until they were intrinsically fun and only then expanded the scope to include moving between rooms etc.
We’ve gone from single battles, to multiple, to managing your units and now even planning out your route in advance. We still don’t know how the final game will look but we’re following the fun until it becomes clearer.
We’ve released three free demos so far showing our progress with over 5000 downloads between itch and Steam, but I think it’s time to stop calling it a demo and start calling it a game. Yes, it’s still taking shape and we have a lot we plan to add but it’s time to invite people into the process.
I can’t confirm the date just yet (stay tuned for more announcements) but we will be pursuing something I’m calling “Insider Access”. Which is like Early Access but more exclusive and better and totally different. I promise.
It’s become obvious that to realise our vision for SoTF, we need support. I mean that both from a community perspective and a financial one. So… We’re starting a Patreon! This is an experiment, I have no idea whether the tiers or rewards are what we’ll stick with long-term but right now the tier breakdown is simple:
Tier 1 (🍵 Cuppas)
support us because you’re nice
Tier 2 (♨️ Teapots)
get access to the bleeding edge build of the game for Mac or PC, the same version we’re testing internally
Tier 3 (🐲 Jasmine Dragons)
access to the source code of the game itself
I’m nervous about how to get the specifics right on this one, but I’m proud of my approach to building this game and I think it’s a shame that games are typically closed source by default.
I want to invite everyone in, to experience what we’ve created and to help us shape the development going forward. We’ve learned so much making this game that I’ve become quite passionate about teaching others. I get a lot of questions on twitter about how we achieve certain mechanics, systems and effects, so why not let people go right to the source?
I’ve debated how to approach this for a long time and have battled wave after wave of imposter syndrome. Can we really offer enough value to justify a Patreon? Can I post updates frequently enough to keep people engaged? Is the game even worth playing, let along paying for?
So, let’s find out.
Please, check out the Patreon and consider supporting our work any way you can afford to. The money will go towards basic recurring expenses for now (Unity license, accounting fees, web hosting). We currently cover these out of pocket and TwoPM has operated at a loss every year of its existence as a company (est. 2016 😅).
Looking forward, if our revenue grows beyond covering our operating costs it will allow me to spend less time at my day job and more time on games, art and community efforts.
I have big plans for the future involving education, open source and empowering others but it all starts here. Believe me when I say that every person and every dollar makes a tangible difference to our ability to keep doing this long term.