So, this was the month - the big publisher push. It's really hard creating publisher demos, because you have a finite chance to impress someone and you know yourself (after playing your own game over and over again) what flaws you're exposing, but simultaneously trying to convince someone to ignore these small blips and give you £250,000. It's hard.
Out of all the companies we sent our demo to (12) only 4 got back to us. This is most likely because they're inundated with games each month, I mean a note to say they've received it would still be great, but hey, business can be harsh.
The companies who did get back to us were by and large, very friendly and gave us very detailed and useful feedback - some of it we can't do anything about such as animations (which basically means a financial cost to us). Other areas were design related, which we can help, albeit it takes time. Time which we're running out of.
One point in particular was that Grove sells itself on this idea of solving puzzles with multiple approaches, giving the players agency. Except we weren't really giving them a chance to do that in the demo (there's a few reasons for this which i'll explain in a minute). So by and large, we give the player potions (a tool) which provides them with x3 abilities (mechanics): each potion affects Edric, L-P1N and the environment in different ways.
For example, the Sun Tonic changes:
· Edric - gives him a torch to light the area up
· L-P1N - use it on L-P1N to act as a moveable sun, allowing plant life to grow towards him. Or place him underwater and he'll heat up the water to create a geyser.
· Environment - use it as a blow torch. So, you can set things on fire, including gas spores to create constant light in dark areas.
Imagine, with each potion you can approach a range of obstacles in so many different ways. It's pretty cool. However, the two potions we've currently created are the 'bread and butter' potions - meaning showcasing this is actually really hard to achieve. We're still brainstorming ways we could show things off without having to build another potion, because time is money, and to stress, we're running out of time.
Things like this are actually more frustrating then stuff like not having access to cool slick animations. Because we know we can do it, if we realised this a good few months back we would have built a potion.. So it's a kick in the teeth.
As we've only had a couple of responses, we're still holding out hope for publishers, but it may be time to rethink funding strategies over the next month. For now, we carry on submitting pitches.