Beware your conscience; obey the Board

Hello Spinnortality followers!

This is a quick note to let you know what I’ve been up to for the last two months!

(Psst! You can also wishlist the game here to get a nice, helpful reminder when it’s out! 😀 )

Ethics and Consequences

A lot of people have pointed out that, without the voices of victims, Spinnortality would just be a fun “let’s screw up the world” simulator. I’d like it to be a bit more than that, and hopefully comment on some real-world problems, so I’ve added more emails from people whose lives you’ve ruined, as well as two new characters you can connect with and, possibly, disappoint. (For anyone who played the prototype, think more Journalist characters.)

Enter the Board

The Board have appeared a little bit in previous builds, but only as distant mission-givers. Now, though, you need to stay on task, stay in the black and stay on the public’s good side, or the Board will kick you out.

Those are the basics, but if you like the sound of that, you can read more in the latest Kickstarter update. I’d tell you more here, but I don’t want to spam you 🙂


Hello newsletter people! Just wanted to let you know there’s a small update on my Spinnortality progress.

The quick version:

  • There’s now a Spinnortality Steam page! I’d be delighted if you put it on your wishlist.
  • The moon is coming along nicely.
  • I had to spend a lot of this month taking advantage of funding opportunities that were too good to pass up, but the game is still on track.

Thank you for your attention!

Dev update: Agendas, and bodies in vats

Hey all!

Spinnortality’s coming along well and I thought you might like a quick update! This is where I’m at right now.

And apologies to anyone who Kickstarted the game – this is a duplicate of the KS update you just got.

The quick version:

Basically I added a “grow bodies to transfer your mind into” interface, changed up the agenda interface and added some new interface features to make the moment-to-moment busywork less busy. I’ve also tweaked some algorithms to make the game harder in the mid-game.

Game features:

  • completely reworked agenda system and interface. Missions have been moved into a new window until I figure out what to do with them.
  • new feature: you can no longer just click to transfer your mind to a new body. Instead you gain access to the biolab, a place to grow artificial bodies which you can then transfer your mind into. (See pic above)
  • there’s now an agenda for turning any nation into a corpornation without destroying it first. Should help with late-game drag.

User Interface:

  • there’s now a clickable nation menu (top right of screen, see above); can be ordered by culture values
  • there’s a product readout (top left, see above) which tells you how successful your product launches are at a glance
  • there are now clicky interface sounds! Thank you Anthonyyyyy. (Anthony is my music guy who also made the clicky sounds.)
  • emails now have back/next buttons
  • volume controls are back (options menu)
  • added markers to culture sliders for readability
  • you can now skip the current part of the tutorial, or disable the tutorial completely
  • game now asks if you’re SURE you want to relaunch an already-successful product. This is to help players who don’t understand that products don’t need to be constantly relaunched.

Game tweaks: 

  • espionage is now cheaper and faster, which should make it more appealing. “Incite riots” (the black op for destabilising nations) now pushes a nation towards chaos more quickly. Nations near chaos may fire a random event allowing you to push them further into chaos.
  • expensive projects don’t make so much money, now. Some random events have been put in place that make things harder if the game’s too easy. This should nerf players who do so well at the start of the game that it’s a cakewalk financially.
  • shortened the opening tutorial so players get into the game faster.

Kickstarter: final 72 hours!

Hey lovely followers! Just a quick reminder that the Spinnortality Kickstarter will finish in just under 72 hours! If you didn’t want to pledge until later, now’s the perfect time to do that.

The campaign’s been very successful and we’re now at 112% of our goal – in other words, I get to do this full time and focus on making the game as great as it can be! But you might want to back for other reasons:

  • Rewards: maybe you want to get access to beta builds? Or name a rival corporation? Or, if you have tons of money, help me write some random events? These things are all available!
  • Stretch goals: As of writing, we’re at €11,286. If we make it to €12,000 then I’ll add a system where players can colonise the moon, choosing to turn it into a theme park or a giant billboard or, if you’re old-fashioned, just a good ol’ Death Star.

Here’s that Kickstarter link again.

There’s no pressure, of course – the campaign’s already funded – but I thought you guys might like to know this stuff 🙂


Spinnortality is now live on Kickstarter!

Hello all!

The Spinnortality Kickstarter is now live, and I would really appreciate your help!

If you’re thinking, “Which game was this again? Why did I follow this?”, let me fill you in:

Spinnortality is a tongue-in-cheek (but unsettling) game about an ominous cyberpunk future controlled by megacorporations. You run one of those giant, evil companies, so it’s your job to research horrible products, then convince the whole world that they’re awesome so you can turn a profit.

It gets more complicated from there, of course: you’ll control media outlets, change the culture of entire nations, start riots, bring down governments, remake the world and become immortal through weird cybertech.

If you like cyberpunk you’ll like this, I think: most games focus on the small-fry, not the corporations themselves. If you’re worried about the power of big companies in the real world, you’ll also like this: a lot of the mechanics were inspired by real-world scandals, events or corporate powers. And you’ll like this if you enjoy being the villain.

I would really appreciate any help you can offer. If that’s a pledge, great, thank you so much! And if you can’t pledge – or if you can, but you really love this project – I could really use the social media exposure.

A short message along the lines of “This is a great game, if you like cyberpunk you should back it” plus the link would be amazing, but I know it can be awkward and intimidating posting those kinds of things on social media. So I’ve made some tongue-in-cheek marketing images that you guys can post on social media if you’d like to help spread the word but aren’t sure what to say. Just please make sure you include the link to the kickstarter!: http://thndr.me/mtXXK7

Here’s that link again: http://thndr.me/mtXXK7

Wish me luck, and thank you for following me this far!



Spinnortality will have a Kickstarter!

Hello followers! It’s been a few months but I’ve been hard at work on the game, and have a big announcement:

Spinnortality will have a Kickstarter!

You can sign up to the Thunderclap here – this is the easiest way to support the campaign.

You can also preview the Kickstarter here.

Why Kickstarter?

There are a few reasons, but the most important is that I don’t know how much more to work on this game. I could finish it up in a few months by just polishing everything and adding a few things, or I could work on it for another year and keep adding new systems and mechanics. The question is, how much more should I do?

That’s where Kickstarter comes in: it allows me to gauge interest in the game and establishes a budget. If I don’t make my goal, I just add the absolute necessities, do some polish and bug-fixing, and release it. If I make my goal, I add more random events and maybe an extra mechanic or two. If I make lots more than my goal, I work on it a lot more, adding whatever mechanics and features I can afford given my budget.

Essentially, I want to make this game as good as it can possibly be, but I also live in the real world where I need money to eat and pay rent. This is the best way of reconciling those two things.

Also, several email followers have said that they’d like to support the game with some kind of crowd-funding. I think this is the best way to make that happen. A few people mentioned Patreon, but I think it’s fairer to those who do pledge something to have a fixed pledge amount rather than an ongoing, monthly thing.

But isn’t the game nearly done?

Yes and no. As I said in an earlier update, I could have rushed the game out in August but I chose to work on it for longer. August was an unusual month: I had loads of free time and thought I could rush the game out by crunching. Now that I’m back at my job and working my normal hours, I have a lot less time to work on the game. So what would have taken me one month in August will now take me 3-6, because I have to work my day job to make ends meet.

Again, this is a good reason for a Kickstarter: if you guys pledge enough for me to live on for a few months, I can seriously reduce my hours (even quit if I’m lucky) and free up lots more time for development, which would speed things up a lot. What I want is to be able to work on the game without my job distracting me and breaking up my development process.

OK, when is this Kickstarter happening?

On November 10th: next Friday.

How can I help?

First of all, you can join the thunderclap campaign. It’ll “clap” your social media when the KS goes live. And if you like, I would really appreciate it if you posted a regular message on your facebook/twitter/tumblr when the times comes. (I know this can be awkward and intimidating, though, and you don’t want to clog up your friends’ feeds with random stuff, so no pressure!) But both of these things are really important: I think social media reach will be the number one thing that decides how successful this KS will be.

I also need feedback on the Kickstarter page! You can preview it here and leave some feedback. I need this page to be as good as I can possibly make it, so any feedback is welcome.

Thank you everyone! I know this is a big step but I really think it’s the right one for the game.

New Release Date

Hello everyone!

First off, thank you so much for all your interest and support. My little game which started as a fun one-month project now has hundreds of newsletter followers, thousands of homepage views, has been streamed and Let’s Played despite its unfinished state and was previewed in PC Gamer, a site I’ve been reading for years but never imagined I’d be in.

It’s this interest that’s made me rethink my priorities a bit. When I first settled on the August 31st release date, Spinnortality was a silly passion project that was sucking up my dev time. I loved it, sure, but would anyone care if I just stopped work on it? Would anyone notice? Better get it done ASAP, launch it and move on, chalking it up as a long, time-consuming learning experience.

But now people would notice. Other people want to play it, and have! Often for several hours! The reaction to the game is nothing to write home about by normal gamedev standards I’m sure, but it’s far more than I, working alone in my apartment with zero budget, professional experience or brand recognition could have hoped for.

So Spinnortality isn’t some silly side project now. It’s a thing, and a thing I want to do properly. What does that really, ultimately mean, for the game and for me going forward? I’m not sure yet, but I do know I need more time than I counted on. Could I crunch for 3 weeks and make my original August 31st release date? Absolutely, but the game would be less than it could be. I’d achieve my original plan  “Get this done so I can make something else”  but I don’t think that plan suits the game or its audience any more. I’ve got to push back the release date. As of now, the release date is “…when it’s… done?”

I’d love to be more specific and pick an actual date, but I’d probably miss that one and disappoint everyone…? I’m not just being vague and lazy: I’ve been living off savings for the last 2 months in the run-up to what I thought would be launch. But come September I’ll have to start working again. To further complicate things my work is not exactly regular at the best of times, so my schedule is as unpredictable as Schrödinger’s Cat playing roulette in a tornado, to coin a unique image.

What I can promise is the game will be finished at some point: I’ve been working on this for almost two years with zero budget or external support (barring my wonderful, supportive and creative girlfriend), so not much can stop me at this point.

Thank you again for your enthusiasm, your interest and, I hope, your patience.