Incubating at Failbetter: Pixel Trickery

By Failbetter, October 9, 2015 · Failbetter Incubations

A guest post from our first incubee, after his game was 300% funded on Kickstarter

Greetings, scrumptious acquaintances. Did I get that right? I’m Harry Tuffs, an indie dev making a game called A House of Many Doors, and over the last few months I’ve been incubating at Failbetter Games.

It’s been a fantastic experience, and I’d recommend it to any other small first-time indie in the London area – especially one making a narrative-based game. But what exactly is ‘incubation’? And when will I hatch? Will it be a horrific body-horror sort of thing, or more of a spiritual awakening?

Well, that final question is still open-ended – all I know is that I woke up this morning with a perfect crack running down from the corner of my eye – but I can answer the first.

Incubation means sitting in the corner of the Failbetter offices and basking in their friendly, warm atmosphere while I quietly get on with development. It’s not exactly an internship – I’m not helping Failbetter with Failbetter-related things. Failbetter are instead giving me a lovely environment to work in which comes with free fruit, coffee, and wisdom.

The wisdom has changed my life more than the coffee or fruit. A House of Many Doors was recently fully-funded on Kickstarter, and on the long path to getting to that point, Failbetter helped guide me around innumerable pitfalls, sometimes so tactfully that I barely noticed. Thanks to Failbetter, I was warned about the intensity of the pre-Kickstarter period, and the amount of preparation that I’d need to do. They helped me make practical changes to my development schedule, reminding me that things like adding audio assets would take time that needed to be accounted for. And they helped me think strategically about how I present my game to the world – providing helpful advice on both the language I use and the game’s trailer, which thanks to their help I was able to make faster, punchier, more interesting.

They’ve also given me insight into the Failbetter process – I’ve been able to sit in on meetings and writers’ workshops, and listened to them discuss and debate everything from narrative direction to business strategy. This has been hugely helpful – just seeing how they approach problems has helped me change the way I do the same, on a smaller scale.

There’s one last thing, too. I can’t emphasize enough just how useful it is to be able to get out of my bedroom and surround myself with people. Making an indie game is a lonely process sometimes, and the office culture at Failbetter is friendly and funny and kind.

I would encourage anyone else in my position to apply for the incubation scheme. The culture, the environment, and the advice – these are the things that Failbetter can offer a small indie dev, and they are invaluable.


Leave a reply

Aysha Nov 19, 7:39pm

Wow, Kit. Linda just finished wrtinig her next post: The Belly of the Whale, big dreams as initiation! If it were my dream, this is DEFINITELY an initiation dream. My cat dream, with the rib cage in the cat's mouth, is also (according to Linda's projections) an initiation dream of sorts. Ryan commented that I have to go through the mouth to get to the belly of the whale. (I could go on about this, but I won't.)On another level, if your dream were mine I'd contemplate my possible role as psychopomp or someone who guides initiates through the birthing process. I feel like these disembodied heads are lost souls (like the ghosts in Harry Potter!). They remind me of our Western addiction to living in our heads and forgoing our connection to the body and more primal awareness. Also, they remind me of the disconnect that happens when we forget our ancestors and ancient practices like shamanic initiation or just initiation in general. Furthermore, this dream may be a lifework dream, giving me a clue about my role as midwife , a role in which I help assist people as they become more aware of the importance of initiation, ancestors, and a need to go in the right direction or a healthier direction for humanity.On a global scale, if the dream is for the community, I see it as a call to be reborn into a higher awareness, one that is going in the right direction. Thank you so much for sharing.

Nathaniel Oct 10, 9:38am

Thank you for the insight!

The Kinetopede Upgrade System | a HOUSE of MANY DOORS Oct 9, 1:13pm

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