Against the Wall – My (not really) October Challenge

Posted by (twitter: @michaelpconsoli)
November 9th, 2011 7:42 pm

When I first read about the October Challenge, I was inspired, though I kind of missed the mark in the end. I had been working on a game called Against the Wall for months, since the LD #20 really. It was my dream to make it my first commercial game! Thing is, I was promoting it minimally, nothing much besides a couple forum topics, a blog, and an under-used Twitter account. I had been working on fulfilling my dream project in near secrecy, a bit afraid of the reception my rather unconventional first-person platformer might have received.

When I saw the challenge go up, I accepted it… sort of. I knew that the game would not be finished within a month, and I would be unable to sell any real copies. Instead of following the LD’s challenge, I started to follow my own hacked version of it. I’d make a Kickstarter project and recieve crowd-funding rather than sell a completed game. I also decided to add a new level to the game with some additional strangeness that would be a hook for people playing the alpha.

I was pretty preoccupied by this whole thing, making a video of me feverishly explaining the game and why I needed donations, scripting the new level, debugging constantly, and putting together a few new art assets. I was so distracted that I completely missed the deadlines for a some major indie games festivals. But no matter, My Kickstarter project was the real goal here.

By mid-October, I loaded a new version of the game and prepared to launch. It was a rather nerve racking experience, putting my game out there for the whole world to see, exposing it to potential scrutiny and so on. Nonetheless, I managed to press the launch button… five days later after my Amazon Payments account linked up with my new bank (a requirement for Kickstarter). I used the extra time to fix some of the more atrocious bugs, add checkpoints, and test the thing repeatedly.

Then I launched it. The praise was mostly positive, and I was happy. A little while later, a friend managed to get my game on a Kotaku article, which gave my site over 15 thousand visitors!

At the end of the month, after receiving a good number of donations, I had to decide whether to submit the game to the October Challenge. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I felt as if my game did not qualify, being unfinished and lacking any real sales (the major rules for the competition). I hadn’t made a single dollar, Kickstarter only cashes out once the threshold has been reached. Instead, I opted to walk away from this particular challenge, satisfied in my own little victory.

Just thought I’d share it with you, and at least update everyone on that my LD#20 game has been progressing. I’m looking forward to the LD#22 and all the crazy game concepts that the community will come up with!

3 Responses to “Against the Wall – My (not really) October Challenge”

  1. Patacorow says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen this. Let me say this: POTENTIAL POTENTIAL POTENTIAL!

    The game looks fresh and beautiful, it slightly reminds me of Mirror’s Edge.

    You should totally focus on environment and audio to help build atmosphere, which is a huge portion of the game. Make the player feel like he’s free, climbing the tallest tower in the world without any worries or doubts. Immersion is an important aspect which you should really consider.

    I’m going to pledge 15$ today, I can’t wait to play the full version.

    Good luck! 😀

  2. Grungi Ankhfire says:

    This is the kind of occurences that makes me cry for a linux Unity Player (at the very least) version… I will try to use wine though, because the vibe this game gives off is completely amazing. That windmill makes me think of ICO, which is a Good Thing.

    Hope you’ll achieve great things with this !

  3. PoV says:

    Good story. I hope you meet your funding goal.

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