March Kandria Status Update - Gamedev

2020.03.01 11:57:06

Another month has flown by, and this one has turned out to be much more exciting than I ever anticipated! Primarily this is due to me making a surprise decision to try and apply for a grant to help get this project funded. This prompted a lot of changes, which I'll talk about today.

If you're new to Kandria (formerly named Leaf), you can find a brief description of the game in the trailer embedded below, and a longer description in the document linked after.

Now, before we get to talking about the development, I'll talk a bit about the grant and how it came to me applying for it. It starts in the late summer of 2019, when I finally decided to push myself a bit outside my usual social boundaries and visited the Zürich Game Developers meetup. From there I learned about Zürindies a weekly get together, which I started to attend every Saturday. This has been absolutely fantastic for my morale and my interest in working seriously on the game. Fast forward a couple of months, and some people banded together to open a shared space for game developers in Zürich called the Swiss Game Hub. After hearing that most of my fellow Zürindies people decided to take up the offer and work there a couple of days every week, I made the jump as well. I've been there twice a week since January now, and it has been pretty good!

Sometimes there's also small events being held at the game hub, one of which was about the Pro Helvetia institution, a Swiss culture fund with a division for interactive media, or simply: games. They offer grants for both studios and indies alike, with different categories for pre-production, production, and post-production. With a little bit of a push from the other Zürindies attendees, I made the decision to try for the pre-production grant as well. The past two weeks have then been a rush to get things ready and done for the grant application, which is due today.

In order to apply for the grant there's a bunch of restrictions, but also a bunch of things you need to hand in:

  • A game design document pitching the game
  • A budget showing your expected expenses and income
  • Market analysis to show what you're targeting and what sales you project
  • A short trailer to describe your game
  • A playable demo of the game
  • A CV for every person on the core development team
  • A website (Optional)

That's a lot of stuff to get going in two weeks, especially when you don't work full time on the project and there's a lot about the game that's still very brittle. I also had no experience with budgeting at all, so that part caused me a lot of confusion.

Nevertheless, the application was completed! Now it's all up to the jury to see whether they like my pitch well enough over the surely many others to fund it. According to what others have said, it'll take a few months for the jury to make the decision. I don't intend on relying on the grant for the development of the game though, so I won't wait with bated breath and just proceed as I would have anyway.

One of the most important changes I made along the application preparation was to finally pick a proper name for the project. Some of you may still remember the game with its prototype name “Leaf”, which was only picked because I had to use anything at all to name the project. After lots of deliberation and indecision I finally settled on “Kandria”. The name itself has no meaning, it was picked to sound good and avoid collision with other games and projects. I think it does a pretty good job at that.

Now that the application is complete, I decided it would be best to publish all of that material I had to make for it too, and use it to do my first serious attempt at marketing Kandria a bit. So, without further ado, here's the pitch trailer for the game: