Roxy's Quest for Full Time Gamedev

I want to do gamedev full time, but I need your help!

By Jess

Published on October 2, 2023, 5:28 pm

Tag: random thoughts


I want to do gamedev full time, but I need your help! I'm testing out doing monthly rounds of asking for money on Kofi to help, which will supplement what I get on Patreon + other means. If you haven't yet, you can also get Cosmogelica in Early Access on Itch! You'll also get a Steam Key which, you can't use now, but you can still activate it and when the game comes out, it'll be sitting there nice and comfy in your library waiting for you.

Note: I'm writing this entry as a sort of thought dump, so it may not be as organized as they normally are. Sorry! However, I'm trying to at least format it in a question/answer format, so any questions you have can be answered.

What's Going On?

Gamedev is time consuming. I know it, you know it. Did you know that I used to work full time on Shield Cat? It's true! Leading up to the SAGE 2022 demo especially, I spent several hours a day every day working on it. However, I realized that like, with what I was getting at the time in support, it came out to about $3/hour to work on it. That is far below the $15/hour minimum wage around here haha.

So, with Cosmogelica, I've backed off on it. This is why progress on the game is a lot slower than it was on Shield Cat, because I'm pacing myself based on the amount of money I make. However, I'd love to go back into it full time. Releasing Cosmogelica into Early Access on Itch was a way for me to try to get some extra money to help fund the completion of that game. However, it didn't really pop off as I had hoped. So, that's why I'm trying this now.

At the time of writing, it's October of 2023. I'm gonna test out how trying to ask for a round of money monthly will do. I've had to ask for support online before, and people have been very generous with it, but it was all quite impromptu, and usually when it was really a bad situation. I would rather just pre-emptively try to get money, so I can spend less time worrying and more time actually working.

You Want Cash?

I think it's no secret by now that I'm a broke ass bitch lmao (this is my site so I can swear as much as I like.) The monthly support on Patreon is great, and I very much appreciate it! However, it doesn't cover all my expenses, and unless I like, get a whole ton of new Patrons, I don't see that changing any time soon. It is nice to have a semi-reliable source of income though, but I know not everyone is comfortable with or wants to pledge on Patreon. That's why I'm trying to do the funding rounds of money through Ko-Fi. I'm hoping that if I can organize the support I get, it'll be more consistent and I can spend less time worrying and more time working.

As a side note, did you know you can also support me monthly on Kofi? It's true! It also counts towards the goal I set on there, so that's cool too. You get credit in the game as well.

What About Commissions?

I want to step away from those. I've realized I'm in this discouragement loop where I've had a queue for years but I've never been able to catch up on it, because every time I get close, I find myself needing to take more. I want to, at the very least, break this cycle for a little bit and have a moment of time where I don't owe anyone any art. I think the last time I had an empty queue was like... 6? 7 years ago? So I think you can understand my frustration.

I would just love to catch up on the commissions and be done with them. Then maybe I could draw without guilt, and even do gift art for friends. See, I've been drawing less lately because whenever I do, I go "Oh I should be drawing the commissions" but that's work, and sometimes I just wanna draw casually. What ends up happening is that I don't draw at all haha. I'm proud of myself though because, despite everything, I've never really let the commission queue get out of hand.

Do You Feel Guilt?

I feel it immensely! Whenever I have to ask for money online, I feel guilty. I feel like I'm some kind of failure, you know? That's why I want to try formalizing it, so instead of like, "oh I had to ask for money again this month, I suck a lot" it's more "I'm asking for this round of money to support me working on the game this month." (Note: I also feel guilt for charging for commissions, and also for charging for the game. I don't like or care about money, but we live under capitalism, so I have to care.)

I think the issue right now I'm facing is that, because my income is so unstable, I just end up getting filled with exisential dread every month. This makes it hard to work, which means I'm both taking longer to make this game, and also not really working on art. This is not helpful or productive to anyone lmao, so yea, this is what I'm trying to fix here.

What Do You Do With The Money?

Pay bills, mostly. I got lots of debt that built up over the past 10 years or so from just being in a progressively worse situation, made even worse by having to step away from my job and subsequently trying to make it online. I also haven't really been able to save up for taxes either. If you remember that one post from last year, it'll probably make a second round in spring haha, unless my support dramatically increases.

I do not live a glamorous life lmao, I hardly even go to the grocery store unless I have to. If you're thinking "oh I'm gonna give Roxy money and she's gonna buy that RTX 4090" nah I won't (Unless I come out with the game and it makes me loads of money, in which case... nah, I still don't need a card that powerful. No one does. I just picked it for the meme.)

Note: If you want more details about my financial situation, and what my general expenses are, I wrote about it in much more depth in this blog entry.

How Long Will You Do This?

Until Cosmogelica comes out and hopefully makes me some regular income. Like I said, it didn't pop off that much on Itch, but also, it's Itch. I think many people will prefer to get it on Steam, which is shown to me by how many people have added it to their wishlists already. I know Cosmogelica is a niche game, and I'm not gonna be Toby Fox 2 over here with it, but I think the people who I'm targeting will really like it (they already quite like it.)

My goal for Cosmogelica is to release it sometime near the middle or end of 2024, though if I get lots of money, I can have it done sooner (And I'd rather get it done sooner, both because I want it done (it was supposed to be a quick project) and also because I know people want me to work on Shield Cat again, and I want to too.)

What About Publishers?

I don't want to get a publisher for Cosmogelica, both because I want to keep control over it, and also because I don't think it's gonna make enough to have it pay back the publisher for any funding + make me some money. Now, if Cosmogelica pops off, maybe I can get one for consoles, but that's far off in the future and I'm promising nothing. In the meantime, I'd love to make Cosmogelica without having to worry much about finances, and just to concentrate on the game without that worry and without the worry of publisher meddling.

Thank You!

Sorry this post isn't very organized, I get really anxious when talking about money and finances and I'm trying to do my best here. I wanna thank everyone who's supported me so far on this gamedev journey. I've been at least able to scrape by on what I've been getting, and I feel very fortunate for that, you know? Not everyone can be so lucky, and I feel bad asking for even more, but it's just tough out there. I know times are tough, especially right now, but I don't want to give up! I wanna bring you guys fun games and make people happy. That's all I can really ask for.