In Indie Game HQ’s latest interview, we got the chance to speak with Tommy Bergeron, the sole developer behind Indie Game Story. His Indiegogo campaign is currently at $360 out of the $1,000 goal and has 20 days left. Tommy plans to use the money to continue with his graphic artist to revamp the art style, acquire music, and pay for a Steam Greenlight entry fee. Planned features for Indie Game Story include a non-linear story for endless replayability, monthly content updates, and creating the feeling that you’re running your own indie development studio. If you’d like to back this project or learn more about Indie Game Story, you can find links below the interview.
About Indie Game Story:
Indie Game Story is all about choices. You start alone with very little money and a crappy computer. You must start freelancing to be able to pay for the bills, and once you ready you can start to fill your office with awesome stuff, hire more employees to help you, manage them, make difficult choices to stay on the track against other competitors (which on phase 2 is against the whole world). Shortly put, it’s about optimizing revenue, having a blast while unlocking exciting new objects, new offices to rent and also developing your own indie games!
Indie Game HQ: Thanks for speaking with us today! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tommy: You’re very welcome! My name is Tommy Bergeron, I’m a 24 years old developer, I’ve been developing software and websites since I was 12. Video games have always been an important part of my life. I still remember how excited I was when I unwrapped my first Super Nintendo back in the days. A whole new world opened up for me, a world where I was able to do whatever I wanted and be whoever I wanted.
That’s where it all started, but when I was younger I always thought video games were too hard to produce or needed a super huge team, even if it always been my dearest dream. Until last year when I realized I wasted so many years doing complicated software for mean and greedy people when I could have developed games for nice and lovely people. So here I am now, doing what I love for people who care and who love games.
Indie Game HQ: What inspired you to make Indie Game Story?
Tommy: So many different points got me into developing Indie Game Story. First, I always loved simulation games. I spent countless hours playing Theme Hospital, Sim City, Rollercoaster Tycoon and lately Prison Architect.
Second, I must admit that after watching Indie Game: The Movie I really got pumped. I thought to myself, “great people and very small teams successfully released awesome indie games. Why couldn’t I?” Phil Fish (creator of Fez and Polytron) is from the same field of work as I, so it all seemed so possible after watching him getting his dreams done.
Finally, I get most of my inspiration for this game from my past experiences as a programmer, a freelancer and an indie game developer. I’m trying to mix all of these experiences into one great game that will simulate the whole thing. You’ll start small, and if you want to, you’ll go big.
Indie Game HQ: If you hire a professional artist, what style will you be aiming for?
Tommy: I already hired an artist, as you might have seen from the Indiegogo campaign page below the “Why does the game need funding?” header. I paid him once to draw enough graphics to show off on the campaign.
Now I need more funds to pay for the rest of the game graphics. The style I was using for development was really ugly and basic. The latest screenshots are featuring the new art by the artist I hired, which look awesome. So that’s the style we’re aiming for. The art is still a bit rough around the edges, but the game is still really early in development and will get better and better overall.
Indie Game HQ: How large can a studio become?
Tommy: So far, offices can contain about 50 employees. Like in real offices, an employee needs a computer and a chair (at least) to get work done, so right now offices can have about 20 working employees at the same time. Though, this is for the early alpha releases. We will scale the game more once we get the first alpha testing done as we are focusing on basic mechanics right now.
Indie Game HQ: What customization options will be available to players?
Tommy: Players will be able to buy various things from the shop (using only in-game currency), rotate them and place them wherever they want. The shop will feature computers, desks, televisions, game systems, furniture, vending machines, and even more surprises.
Also, players will be able to name their studio, founder, and their released games. We are still planning on multiple customization features as we develop the game so I can’t say more yet, but trust me there’s not an office that will look and work the same.
Indie Game HQ: Will players be able to develop for multiple platforms, or just PC?
Tommy: Sure! A lot of surprises are still yet to be announced about this, but I can tell that there’s going to be a variety of consoles to develop for, with different challenges related to each.
Indie Game HQ: In what ways will players be able to increase the happiness of their workers?
Tommy: Every little detail will be important, as in real life. Did you ever have to work with a keyboard with sticky keys? Were you productive that day? I don’t think so. Same for your employees.
Buy them a better computer, he will work faster. Buy them a television and they will be more than happy to take a minute to enjoy and relax in front of it. Employees love to see how their work is appreciated, so never forget to show them how grateful you are!
Indie Game HQ: When an employee becomes hungry or tired, what happens if you ignore their needs?
Tommy: Oh noes! You gotta take care of them! If an employee’s morale falls down, that employee will leave the office forever lowering productivity for a short while as well as losing all this employee’s experience and attribute points, but I’m sure people will take care of them, eh?
Indie Game HQ: Do you plan to update the game with extra content after release?
Tommy: I sure do! A lot. I intend to push monthly content updates after release. I’d love to introduce crazy awesome stuff such as a Google nap chair, pool tables, super computers, decorations for your office, and so much more.
I have so many ideas for content that will alter the gameplay. I will also push bugfixes and new features with these content updates. There’s always room for improvement, and I want this game to shine like a diamond.
Indie Game HQ: For those that don’t know, what will the funding go towards?
Tommy: We are currently fundraising for the modest amount of $1000. Most will go to the hired artist, the other part will go for sounds and music and the rest of it will be for a Steam Greenlight license.
We’re operating on a small budget. Right now we are trying to get as much done with the least possible, to keep an acceptable price ($10 upon release) and a good and fast workflow (the lower the costs, the less time it takes to get the money and the more time we can spend on development).
Indie Game HQ: What will happen to Indie Game Story if you unfortunately do not reach 100% funding?
Tommy: There will be a hugely disappointed community. We are all working very hard around the clock to get this funded, to make it look as good as possible and to realize this dream of mine. If we don’t reach 100% funding, I will have to get rid of the artist and go back to my old ugly graphics making the game unappealing. The game’s development pace will also have a huge drop since I will have to go back to draw everything myself. Oh the pain.
To make it short, if we don’t 100% funding: There’s a good chance that the game won’t ever get done.
Simply writing about it is making me feel bad. So please spread the word around and if anyone has a dollar left in their PayPal account: please be generous. You won’t regret the investment, we are very serious about what we’re doing right now.
Indie Game HQ: Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything you’d like to add for our readers?
Tommy: It’s been a total pleasure to answer your questions. Nice choice of questions by the way!
I’d like to take a minute to thank every one of our supporters. Our community is growing faster everyday, and to my own surprise people are really getting into the game and want to help us achieve our dream. I really appreciate all the time and commitment the community is giving us. Even if you don’t donate any amount of money, the fact that you’re there everyday to retweet, post on the forums and encourage us is a boost for us.
We also can’t forget about how great websites such as IndieGameHQ are taking the time to cover and publish articles about us. You guys rock!