Haunted Garage

edited in Projects
After many months of of experimenting with local illustrator, Jean de Wet, we have a prototype that has some legs!

It’s sort of toybox of whimsical instruments that you can tinker with to make songs/soundscapes.

Web build:
https://hauntedgarage.itch.io/haunted-garage?secret=dwO9je7dUzfDGXJpHrKFKxsASww
More:
https://www.instagram.com/haunted_garage/




The main question I’d like to pose is what do you think the best way forward is?

I think it will early access well. Its relatively low effort to add new instruments and we can update it regularly.

I am playing with idea of having a free version on itch and a paid version on steam, the difference being that the free version lags 1 or 2 updates behind the paid one.

Another way to go would be to have it be quite premium and only invite people to the beta over time. This would be better for garnering press interest, since you can offer them exclusive access, but I’m not really sure how much press is worth these days.

What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • Wassup Merrik!

    This looks pretty awesome dude! Dig the illustrations and its cool to hear everything mixed together.

    If your looking for some way to go forward. Heres another game that uses music building up together as the main game-play loop. Check it out for some ideas!


    Download ti Here:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bigbluebubble.singingmonsters.full
  • I dig this! Awesome :)

    I found it a little difficult to move around, and then I realised I could zoom out and life was better. Maybe indicating that somehow would be good, like a magnifying glass in the corner that toggle between zoomed in and out

    I'd also love to be able to move stuff around and make up my own setup. Put two microphones next to the one instrument and feed the one cable through some sort of effect. That might be a terrible idea in practice, and good luck with the audio processing (!), but I'm itching to do something like that as a player.

    I like how good what I made sounded, even though I have 3 musical left feet. Ok, maybe good is being optimistic, but I liked it :)
    Merrik said:
    The main question I’d like to pose is what do you think the best way forward is?

    I think it will early access well. Its relatively low effort to add new instruments and we can update it regularly.

    I am playing with idea of having a free version on itch and a paid version on steam, the difference being that the free version lags 1 or 2 updates behind the paid one.

    Another way to go would be to have it be quite premium and only invite people to the beta over time. This would be better for garnering press interest, since you can offer them exclusive access, but I’m not really sure how much press is worth these days.

    What are your thoughts?
    This feels very Hidden Folks-like, in a good way. Maybe following a similar model might work? I would love to try different scenes and try new things. It feels like what makes this enjoyable is: 1) the music, 2) the art, and 3) a sense of discovery and "collection" (in a weird way). If you can do more of those it feels like folks will keep playing, and yeah, it feels like if you have a good workflow you can keep adding more content during early access as it makes sense.

    What's the idea behind having a free version on itch for? A demo? Why not just have a demo that's just a single scene and then it has a nice "Wanna play more? Buy the full version, now in early access but already with another 3+ scenes and 8 new instruments"? BTW, I'm assuming you want to make some money with this because you plan to put it on Steam.

    Not what you asked, but it also feels like this will work really well on mobile as a F2P model. Buy individual scenes for some small IAP, or a bigger "premium" IAP to unlock everything. The interface seems like it'll work nicely.

    I'd love to be able to record and export little loops of this, for sharing on twitter et al. Wanna give your more "hardcore" players a reason to stick around and a bit of a community? Maybe have a custom mode where they can drop in whatever instruments they like? Maybe just have more complex instruments later, with more knobs to turn and things to do?

    Keen to see where this goes :)
  • This is my vibe.

    Are you trying to monetize this? Grow a large community for follow up games? What are your goals for this project?

    I'm going to go with the assumption that you wanna make cash dollar, grow a community that will feed into your next games. This is also based on some of the other projects I've seen you post around the net.

    So, with that in mind. I'd say don't do early access. Build a core app and sell packs of scenes, instruments etc. The pricing will be tricky based on how big the packs are and how much the core app was. I'll also warrant a guess that early access was because you'd like a stream of income/revenue to keep working on it. More assumptions.

    To maintain community growth, you'll need to release packs frequently and like @francoisvn mentioned. You gotta have sharing to social. Share a loop, share someone making stuff. To help the community grow "organically". Also, this model I say works well with mobile more than steam and itch but then again HIdden Folks gives off that vibe and did really well on Steam.

    My two cents.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • @DavidKnightRedDawn Thanks, this is a pretty interesting reference. I kind of hate it of some reason :p but I'm really impressed with the execution and playfulness of it.
    Maybe indicating that somehow would be good, like a magnifying glass in the corner that toggle between zoomed in and out

    I'd also love to be able to move stuff around and make up my own setup.
    -Will definitely give this some consideration. Magnifying glass could be a good indicator.
    -We want to explore in this direction and have more effects and instruments that can chain together.
    I like how good what I made sounded, even though I have 3 musical left feet. Ok, maybe good is being optimistic, but I liked it
    Very good to hear. We want it to be very accessible. So far the demo is mostly functional but we want to more playful visuals and animations fo more visually inclined players.
    It feels like what makes this enjoyable is: 1) the music, 2) the art, and 3) a sense of discovery and "collection" (in a weird way).
    This is exactly what we are going for so I’m glad that’s what you are feeling you want more of!
    We want have some sort of world that you explore collect more instruments and parts in but we’re still trying to figure out how that will work. We will definitely have light puzzle elements like finding keys that unlock additional functionality in instrument. Kind of like the room.
    Are you trying to monetize this? Grow a large community for follow up games? What are your goals for this project?”

    So the goal of the project definitely is money :p And to build an audience for future projects.
    I’m not really sure why I thought it would be an idea to keep a free version updated on itch tbh.

    [quote]it also feels like this will work really well on mobile as a F2P model. Buy individual scenes for some small IAP, or a bigger "premium" IAP to unlock everything.
    I’m not opposed to this but I have no experience with f2p, and would rather stick to what I know I think . Would be open exploring it when we port to mobile though. Steam early access feels like the most natural process to me and I’m quite keen on its community features. We’d like to eventually allow people to create their own instruments and sound banks with steam workshop
    I'd love to be able to record and export little loops of this, for sharing on twitter et al
    Will definitely want to have a record feature. I’ve been wandering about the whole share to social media thing and if that’s still relevant. Do people still use those features or just find theM obnoxious?
    Build a core app and sell packs of scenes, instruments etc.
    ...I'll also warrant a guess that early access was because you'd like a stream of income/revenue to keep working on it
    -We’ve been thinking of it as a game but approaching it as an app is worth considering, though doesn’t sound as fun from a community perspective.
    -Yeah, I want to hire someone to run our PR and marketing and need cash flow for that.
    It’s just much more fun and motivating to develop in early access where you are frequently pushing updates and engaging with the community.
    you'll need to release packs frequently
    We have a workflow where we can add a new instrument every week. I think if we are strict about the schedule it will be good for bringing users back.
    At least for the first few weeks. Once the project get bigger we’ll probably need increase the window between updates.




    Thanks the advice, definitely a lot of things I hadn't thoughT of.

    I think we're going to put a build on itch.io next week and the take it from there.

    Here's a build with a new instrument :D

    http://www.hauntedgarage.games

    image
  • Merrik said:
    Will definitely want to have a record feature. I’ve been wandering about the whole share to social media thing and if that’s still relevant. Do people still use those features or just find theM obnoxious?
    I think it depends on what you can share. If players feels like they made something unique, or something that says something about themselves, then I think they're keen to share. I definitely wouldn't force it on players, just give them the option and see if they use it me thinks.

    Thanked by 2Merrik Asriele
  • Really enjoying this! I think you've hit on a fantastic combination of aesthetics, music, and playfulness! The fact that it's more of a 'musical art toy' than a game makes me speculate that perhaps the website build approach is better than standalone. A link on the right website could push a massive audience towards it, but then I guess you would look at a free model with some other method of monetization (and I don't want to suggest ads as that might kill it's magic and awesome clean aesthetic...). On the gameplay side I think the option to record would be great, perhaps even having a machine with record slots, that you can then play back recorded loops layered on top of each other for more complexity. Other thing that might be cool would be a multiplayer collaborative jam mode. Other idea that popped into my mind was seeing this used as a live instrument with projected visuals in a performance context with other musicians or artists would be awesome! Keep tinkering!
    Thanked by 1Merrik
  • Coat Simon and Hidden Folks stylistics. :D Very nice!
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