About nmeunier

Freelance Writer / Game Journalist specializing in geek and gaming culture.

[Updated] HELP! One Day – $1 Dollar – 1 Game : Crowdsourcing My Workday

Update: The game Alpha is coming along! I’ll be working on it all day today (Friday), too, and I’ve decided to keep the pre-order/buy/support page up until the end of the day just in case anyone wants to still help out and get access to the game (I’ll be closing it to any new supporters later today. Thanks so much for your support so far, everyone! I really, really appreciate it! Let’s see if we can hit 100 supporters by the end of Today! I’ll be updating this page throughout the day with supporter numbers and WIP game art/progress.

Original post 8/27/2015 – So things have been a bit tight lately, and I just had a pretty significant freelance project fall through at the last minute yesterday. It would have sustained me through the next week’s worth of work and generated a big chunk of much-needed income.

Instead of freaking out, I’m turning a potentially bad situation into an opportunity to do something neat. And I need your support to make it successful!

Today (and probably a bit of tomorrow), I’m doing a mini game-jam experiment to fundraise a bit of income and create an interactive fiction space exploration game in Game Maker Studio. I’m loosely calling it DOOMEDSPACE.

My goal: 300 supporters 100 supporters!

[Current supporter total 20/100!]

The idea, here is to jump-start the project while offering a chance for folks to kick me a bit of money in exchange for very early access to the alpha of the game. It’ll be a short thing, but my plan for it [detailed below] will have a bit of randomness and branching paths. It’ll be cool.

In order to make this work, I’ve set a target goal to shoot for: 300 supporters however many I can get or 100! That’s a lot of people, but it’s also the minimum number of folks I’d need to raise enough to cover a day’s work on this. I’ll be starting the project today anyway, but it’s a nice way to try to gain back a bit of lost income this week and do something cool for folks.

The details!

  • You can support the project (and me) for a $1+ minimum suggested donation right here on Itch.io (if you want to pledge more, awesome, since Paypal takes a 33% cut).
  • For your donation and support, you’ll get access to the short early Alpha build of the game (PC only at the moment but planned for iOS too) along with future updates and the full game when it’s done. I’ll also add you to a big thank you that gets sent out later this week.
  • This crowdfunding experiment will ONLY last today (and maybe tomorrow). I’ll be taking the purchase page down by the weekend, so act fast! Any supporters will get a download of the Alpha version this weekend + the full game later when it’s done.
  • Please share this on social media and elsewhere!

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The Game

Systems failing…your ship is disintegrating around you…where will the wormhole send you next?

DOOMEDSPACE will be a short interactive fiction game about a doomed space explorer rocketing away through a wormhole in a ship that’s ratting apart. Each run will randomly send you to a different alien world, where you’ll crash land and be faced with exploring and surviving whatever you encounter there.

The game won’t be ONLY text. I plan to incorporate some light gameplay elements and will make each short world you explore have a different gameplay experience.

What I’m proposing to create this week, over the next day or so, is the first short planet adventure you crash land into. It won’t be super long, but I plan to make each of these adventure vignettes strange and interesting. And I’ll be adding more and randomizing them in the finished game (you’ll be able to unlock each one for future play as you find it).

Thanks for your support! Please spread the word!

So that’s it! Please considering kicking a minimum of $1 donation to support this project and get an early alpha copy of the game (sent out by the weekend). You’ll help me out and get something neat in return. Cheers!

I’ll post updates on my progress (both the game and number of supports) throughout the day below!

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Art Dump Updates (as they come together):

Video above (yes, I know there’s a typo in there. It’s WIP.

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My New Kindle Book + Horror Game Hybrid Is OUT NOW!

pressimage2One afternoon in May, I was steamrolled by one of my more hair-brained ideas that just seemed so weird, crazy, and exciting that I couldn’t NOT drop what I was doing and figure out how to make it happen.

I decided to make an interactive fiction dungeon crawler game on PC using Twine. Then I decided that I’d only release the game INSIDE a Kindle book on Amazon. Then I decided that the book would also be a massive diary documenting the ins and outs of the entire project. The whole thing? One big wacky experiment that mashes-up self-publishing with indie game development and DIY creativity.

Boom. And I gave myself a little over a month or so to complete this ridiculous task.

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The Personal Benefits of Specializing in A Freelance Niche

nichecoversmallHere’s a short excerpt from my new book, The Niche Freelancer: How To Craft The Lucrative Writing Career of Your Dreamsonly $2.99 on Kindle! Enjoy!

A quick glance at the freelance writing industry as a whole reveals there’s no lack of competition. Pick an industry, any industry, and you’ll find lots of skilled freelance writers doing quality work for a very diverse range of clients and publications. Competition is fierce, even in smaller markets, and it’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd simply for just being a good writer.

Niche freelancing is your secret weapon.

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Grab My Freelance Pitching Guide Resource for FREE!

23 ways to improve your pitches copyI’ve got a new series of freelance writing books rolling out shortly, so I figured it’d be a great time to overhaul, update, and release my free pitching guide, 23 Ways To Improve Your Freelance Pitches.

This 40-page PDF mini-guide for freelance writers is packed with tips to help you hone your pitches and land your dream gigs! It’s available exclusively to anyone who joins my Freelance Insider mailing list.

Sign up today, and you’ll receive an instant download link to the guide. You’ll also be the first to find out about gig leads, exclusive content, special offers, freelance-related book launches, beta reader opportunities, and other unique tidbits of awesomeness! Don’t sweat it though, you won’t get bombarded. I only send out sporadic emails every so often when important things come up.

A Great Chat with Joanna Penn on Self-Publishing, Writing for Games, and Indie Development

I’ve been a long-time fan of successful indie author Joanna Penn and her excellent writing podcast The Creative Penn, so it was really awesome to be invited on her show to talk about writing for games, indie development, interactive fiction, and self-publishing. We had a great chat, and the interview is now live!

You can watch the extreme bearded edition of the interview above, or listen-in on The Creative Penn podcast. If you’re into writing and self-publishing, definitely check out Joanna’s other excellent guest episodes!

twinecoverDuring the interview, I also talk about Twine dev stuff, how that might of interest to authors, and my new self-publishing/horror twine game project: This Book Is A Dungeon [This Dungeon Is A Book], which you can pre-order now to save 30% off the full price ($9.99)

Announcing: “This Book Is A Dungeon [This Dungeon Is A Book]” Pre-order and Demo!

twinecoverI’ve been working hard on a secret thing this past month. Something that blurs the line between indie game development, self-publishing authorship, and, well…weird creative book/game hybrid experiments.

Today, I’m excited to roll out the official pre-order and playable demo of my latest crazy project, This Book Is A Dungeon [This Dungeon Is A Book].

Whether you’re into games, into self-publishing, into game development, into interactive fiction, or into ALL OF IT, I hope you’ll take a second to check out this neat experiment, and consider supporting it with a pre-order! It has a little something for everyone in those assorted camps.

***So what IS this weird book, game, errrr… thing?***

In a nutshell, it’s:

1) A dark, horror-tinged Twine game dungeon crawler (think interactive fiction or choose your own adventure but with cool pixel art)…

2) …that’s being distributed inside a paid Kindle book on Amazon…

3) …which documents the entire game development and design process as well as the inner workings of this entire strange self-publishing / indie game hybrid experiment from start-to-finish. Whew!

It’s a game. It’s a bookumentary. And it’s a self-publishing experiment that blends the two together. Wheee!

Launch Date and Pre-Order Discount!

The project will officially be launching on July 12th for $9.99 on Amazon’s Kindle storefront, and will include the book and a link to download the game itself within the back of the book. The game itself will be playable on PC and Mac via a web browser (you can play it offline).

If you want to support this weird experiment and save a few bucks, early adopters can pre-order the book right now for $6.99 and get a 30 percent discount! I appreciate your support.

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Play the DEMO

I think the book aspect of this project is going to be super interesting, and it’s really coming along like a rocket at 23,000+ words and counting. It documents the day-to-day aspects of designing and building this game as well as the creative process. I also spend plenty of time talking about the writing and self-publishing aspect of the project too, so it’ll be a neat read regardless of what camp your in, creative-wise.

But I’m equally excited the game itself, and you can playtest the first core area of the dungeon RIGHT NOW by downloading the DEMO right here! Do you like Dungeons & Dragons? Dark fantasy horror? Weird stuff? Choose your own adventure games? All of the above?

You’ll dig this. At least I hope so.

I’d love to hear what you think and get any feedback, so free free to ping me on Twitter or email. Also. Warning: this game is dark, grisly, and a bit gory. It’s not for little kids. Just sayin’

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And Please Help Spread the Word!

The self-publishing experiment itself is a huge, and frankly risky, piece of this project’s complex puzzle. I’m essentially designing and building a game, writing a book about the entire process, and launching it all from start-to-finish in under two months.

That’s CRAY-CRAY!

But it’s also part of the fun and the experiment.

If you enjoy the demo, or are interested in the project, I definitely appreciate your support via pre-order. If you’re a member of the press (or a podcaster or a blogger) and would like to chat about the project, about indie game dev stuff, or self-publishing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m always up for interviews.

And if you’re just a regular human on the Internet who feels like sharing news of this thing with your peeps, that’s also super cool.

Thanks again! Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride through July, and this is only one of several big things I’m working on.

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