That's right, today is the official release day for the download-version of Unemployment Quest!
All backers who selected any reward level should have gotten a secret download link, if you didn't send me a message ASAP and I'll get it to you!
For now, the game is only for sale through unemploymentquest.com but I expect to get it onto other digital distribution sites before long.
The whole process has been really satisfying. My initial goal with distributing the game was mostly to be able to sell discs at a convention; I was inspired by tales of the "olden days" of PC gaming where teenagers like Richard Garriott would put their little derivative dungeon crawler in a ziploc baggie and sold it at a local computer store. These days, making games is easier than ever thanks to game-making utility programs, but games rarely feel as personal or accessible as they did in my view of decades past (possibly clouded by nostalgia). So making this game and getting it out there feels like a really special experience to me. I'm so thankful that it's gotten the kind of support it has and am glad to see it take off as it has.
I also know that the experience of joblessness is really common in the world, despite not being depicted often in entertainment. I don't know about others, but I've found that a lot of people don't even understand the kinds of emotions and mental states that go along with being unemployed. It's a terrible thing and I hope my game can connect to others who are going through the same thing I went through. This might be a really pretentious artistic goal, but I think it's important to have unemployment be present in the creative works we consume. I hear politicians talk about people without jobs as if they're not even human, "leeching off the system without contributing anything" and saying that the reason people don't have jobs is because they "don't understand what work is" or something similarly demeaning. I want this game to just get our body of media a little further away from that kind of toxic ideology, without being an overtly political game. I know this makes the game sound haughty and pretentious for a little computer game, but I think it's important to try to aim high in terms of creative goals! I'm glad that at very least the concept has connected so strongly with others.
I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks of the game and to reading reviews!
It's also worth noting that I really would like to make an upgrade/expansion/freeware-prequel/sequel at some point, but I need to take a break first. I really got deeply involved in this game over the past few months and I feel like I just have to back away for a while.
Some people have asked about future games I might work on. I actually have a game that's completely different from UQ in mind which I'll be working on with a friend, but it's far too early to announce anything yet.
I'm looking forward to getting the CDs back from the replication company. I'll be sending out a survey to get addresses from everyone who's getting a physical reward next week. I've already got two huge boxes filled with bubble mailers and am still on schedule to get everything out in July!
Thanks again once again for all the support!