Believe it or not, Cold Comfort has been in the works for over a year already. I started working on the initial concept in January of 2016. Back then, my concept was to kind of “reverse-engineer” a game, and that concept still holds true today.

What do I mean by “reverse-engineering”? Well, the standard way of game development is deciding on  the structure of a game and its mechanics; and story and lore and MARKETING and RESEARCH are left by the way side more often than not. The objective isn’t to necessarily reinvent the wheel, but to create an engaging and FUN experience for the player.

We’ve all stumbled upon a gem of a game randomly that really “wows” us, and you wonder why nobody else has heard about it. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find the the website and the complete online marketing presence of the game does not do the game justice. “We’re game developers, not marketing dweebs!” they’ll say. True enough, but ignoring or investing a minimal effort on this aspect is a fatal mistake. I’d even venture to imply that marketing is as equally important. Sacrilege? Mayhaps…mayhaps.

Ah…the joys of programming! Errors on top of my warnings 🙂

Taking bits and pieces from other games and bashing them together can be a daunting task, but with enough planning the proper elements can be surgically utilized to enhance the player’s experience. And of course, taking it one step further and starting with the marketing concept and working backwards is the plan here.

There very well could be many reasons why devs don’t this, and who knows, maybe I’m completely off base here, but I guess only time will tell.

Approaching game development from the perspective of the end user is perhaps not necessarily a novel approach, but I’m not a programmer myself, and only started dabbling with the Unreal Engine a few months ago. Understanding the basic mechanics and limitations of a game engine is important of course when developing a game, even for a “creative” like myself.

For big IP’s, having the marketing department work on their end parallel to the game development is essential, but for a small indie studio that’s not always possible. One could argue that presenting a game premise with only concept art and flowery words “isn’t a game” as such, and that would be correct. However, understanding the brand concept and laying out the groundwork, the lore and the world of Cold Comfort was my first and foremost concern.

I knew from the get-go that I wouldn’t be programming the game myself, or doing any of the miriad of other tasks involved. I also knew that without a publisher or an external development team, it would be difficult to achieve my goal. As I’m funding the development of the game myself, I knew that I couldn’t afford to hire individuals to work on it without having to take a loan out or sell a number of internal organs.

So here’s the rub. How does a one-man-show get other talented individuals interested and invested in their project?  Reverse engineering!

Having an idea is one thing, but packaging that idea and making it palpable not only for perspective players, but potential team members is essential.

I am in no way implying that concentration on marketing is indicative of smoke and mirrors. I fully intent to follow through with my “promises” however, things are always subject to change, and as the old saying goes “you only have one chance to make a good first impression”.

Having a defining identity in the sea of indie game’s is important. Now I’m not saying that I’ve mastered this, not at all! This is definitely a work in progress, and an experiment if you will.

But I consider myself privileged to welcome 5 new team members to the project; which I doubt would have happened if I decided on another approach.

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