How to raise a fox without a cage
In September 2009, Guillaume and I became full time indie developers and started working on Seasons after Fall.
In September 2010, the game was playable by everyone in a wip version at the Festival du Jeu Vidéo at Paris. Two months later, Seasons after Fall received the title of “Best Game Project 2011” at Game Connection.
Will September 2011 be the release date of Seasons after Fall ?
That’s what we had in mind, but when we came back to work after our Christmas holidays we had a pretty bad surprise in the mailbox.
Two envelopes: one for Guillaume, one for me.
According to those letters, we will have to pay social taxes in 2011, quite a lot (fortunately, Buster is not concerned).
Well, it’s ok to pay taxes when you make money, right?
The problem is we don’t have money and we earn nothing from our work today.
As you can imagine, we had a pretty rough morning the day we received those letters…but quickly we decided that depression was not an option.
“If there is a solution to a problem there is no need to worry. If there is no solution, there is no sense in worrying either.”
That’s what the Dalai Lama could have said this morning if he was part of the team.
So the best way to manage this situation was simply to be flexible as indie developers can be and make wise decisions.
Our goal is to make Seasons after Fall, of course, but not exactly.
Our real goal is to make Seasons after Fall a great game.
Unfortunately, this “social taxes problem” is something that can prevent us to make this great game. If we can’t pay those taxes today, we will have to stop working as indies fulltime.
Some friends told us to ask for donations, but it makes no sense for us.
We donated to Daniel Benmergui and Terry Cavanagh when they needed help from the indie community, so we are ok with donations. But we are not Daniel or Terry: we have released only two short flash experiments and we can’t ask people to give us money because they enjoyed playing Tuper Tario Tros. or Greek & Wicked.
No, we need to make a real decision, and that decision is to continue making games and publish them.
Seasons after Fall has to be stopped for few months until we can ask for a public subvention and hire a 2D artist. Until then, we will not take holidays (cause the last time we did, the return to work was quite harsh).
Since a month, we secretely work on a new game that will be completed real soon, at the end of March. It means in less than two months, you’ll be able to play it on your TV and soon after on PC.
What is this game ?
Well, I prefer to cut the blog post here and open a new one.
We didn’t wanted to share with you this story until we can have something to show you. I hope you’ll forgive us to have been reticent to share our problems with you during this time.
Come back here tomorrow if you want to know what this new game is about.
Thank you for your support,
Have a good day, sailors!
Hm, I wish I could help you with that, but alas, I don’t have a source of income. Heck, I only have $20 as birthday money, and I doubt that’d help much.
Hold on friends, you’ll make it, no doubt about it. Good luck, and congratulation for your fighting spirit 🙂
Thanks always for your support, hope you’ll like the BMT thing :]
Haha, tu l’as découvert et commenté a ce que je vois. Pour le système français, on va essayer de le dompter. On a pas non plus a se plaindre de ce système, vu que jusqu’à présent on profitait d’un autre système français bien connu du doux non de Pôle Emploi ^^
Thank you for your sweet words! Your french is very good :]
Yep, we will try to work as hard as possible to avoid taxes bring us down. This tax story make us grow somewhere by pushing us to act like a firm, not just like 2 jobless man in a living room! I think it’s a positive point to retain from this story!
@Florent @NJ @Ludovic: Thanks for your interest in preorders :]
We already discussed preorders with William. But for now we want to first try to get some public subvention to funds the end of the development rather than opening preorders and don’t get too much preorders to afford the end of the development.
I really don’t know how many people will be interested in preordering the game. I really like preordering when the game is compatible with “Open Development” process (like Wolfire with their Overgrowth). I don’t think Seasons after Fall is a game that feet well with Open Development since the players will spoil themselves with the story, the puzzles. In a game like Overgrowth, it’s fun to make some sandbox environments and play with them.
If we can find a way to found, we will strongly think again about preorders, with an other game already released.
Yep, you may be right. But as I was saying to Florent, we don’t really don’t know how many people will be interested, and how big is the number of people following us.
I think making some little game like BTM may improve our visibility and enlarge the community around SSS.
If we don’t find funds, we will try to make some online survey to estimate the preorder demand.
With some luck, a nice little game could already be in stores to comfort potential preorderers.
Avoir un nouveau jeu déjà sorti peut que nous aider je pense (visiblité et crédibilité).
Au final si ce problème doit donner lieu à un nouveau projet, c’est très bien. L’idée d’ouvrir des pré-co pour season est très bonne aussi et ces quelques messages montrent que la communauté est prête à faire le pas !
I agree with Florent. It’s about communauty. You do have some players behind you. And maybe it’s a way to create participatoon without enduring co production…anyway another game is a great news for us players.
Why don’t you open preorder for Seasons ? I know it’s early but some people (including me of course) will definitely take it already.
As very young and small indie company, I think that you really don’t have to blame you or be ashamed to need money and to ask for it.
Damn, sorry to hear about your tax woes. Don’t let it bring you down and keep working away at it. You will get there eventually. Looking forward to your next blog post, with announcement. 🙂
Funding is a tough problem but there is always seems to be a way to make the games you want if you’re determined, honest and creative about it; I’m sure you’ll find a way to make the game happen. Bon chance.
Excellente décision, bravo pour ne pas vous laisser intimider par la taxation française ! Je suis à présent très curieux de découvrir votre nouveau jeu, vivement demain.
Well this is sad news indeed.
I hope you will be able to continue your projects because I truly believe you are very talented people.
And of course I will be back tomorrow ! 🙂