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We need your help to Prove Love Is Real and make a FREE Chuck Tingle Adventure Game for all True Buckaroos Who Kiss.
2,450 backers pledged $85,448 to help bring this project to life.

Happy New(s) Year!

Posted by Zoë Quinn (Creator)

That's right - we're way overdue for an update post! Thanks for bearing with us backeroos. Here's what's been going on:

As some of you may know, I had a book come out this fall and a 3-month countrywide tour immediately afterward. Naturally I was hoping to get the game out before having to leave on that because I had some vague idea that it sounded like I might be a bit busy during that time and as the programmer and lead design, writer, etc etc that could possibly slightly result in a bit of a tiny delay. "Not a big one!", I told myself as even the work leading up to the launch started to get more and more intense. "Hell, I've done train jam, I've worked on the road plenty of times, I can still get stuff done AND launch a book AND be on the road for three months. How hard could it be? I don't even have to release a patch!" 

This was ahhh... somewhat naive, as anyone with common sense who hasn't been driving their brain into the dirt crunching on trying to finish a game before a book tour might immediately be able to tell. My bad on that one, legitimately. 

But! The tour gave me a lot of perspective. A lot of you probably know that, because there were some of you at every single tour stop, always asking about the game in an excited way that got me excited to finally get off the road and back to work. I love working on this thing. The team's great, the actors are great, Chuck is great, butts are great, comedy is great, fmvs are great, what's not to love honestly? I love it a lot, and I can't wait to share that love with the world.

I started to notice some common things though, meeting so many of you lovely folks and getting far enough out of the video game industry echo chamber that I was basically roaming around in a totally different industry for a few months there. Quite a lot of people wanted to play it, but weren't super into games as a whole cause there wasn't a lot of stuff out there for them, or they hadn't had a console, or they just didn't know weirdo indie games like this even existed. That reminded me of how I'd deliberately tried to focus on browser based game development before now - the accessibility of not having to download anything or own anything that you wouldn't already have to find out about the game was extremely appealing, because I've always wanted to reach people who haven't found out that games can be for everyone yet. I don't like making it hard to play my stuff. The first version of this game that I ever prototyped actually *was* browser based, but that ran into performance issues not worth getting into with anyone who hasn't asked for someone to ramble about RAM indefinitely. 

This came at a time where I've been trying to wrestle with a few Extremely Large questions I'd been wanting to avoid answering, largely about the sustainability of doing content-driven weird stuff in the PC/Console market, especially as a, well, let's say heavily politicized figure in the industry? How much of my time is going to be eaten up if I put something as queer and weird as this on something like Steam with moderation of comments sections and review bombing? When a lot of the audience I want to reach isn't already following gaming, how can I make it so they can find my work? 

Then I kind of had an a-HA moment after talking with enough people who I'd met in the publishing industry on tour who had never really considered themselves someone who would be interested in games - a lot of them actually already were, but were not counting the games they had on their phones as "real games"

It seems so obvious in hindsight, I regret not seeing it sooner: I could attempt to solve these issues by switching over to focus on making games for mobile devices, where adoption is extremely wide (92% of Americans own a cell phone, 45% own a tablet, compared to 40% who own consoles) and the audience is very different. With The Tingler, I had already been designing with accessibility in mind with regards to the control scheme - nothing about the game would have to be compromised. It actually lets me do some additional cool stuff I wished that I could've done before.

I've done design stuff for mobile before but I haven't done the tech side of things until now, so I've been playing the decision extremely close to my chest so I don't promise anything I won't deliver on, but I feel after this long I owe y'all some answers. Everything *seems* like it's going to be a smooth transition into finishing off this game with being played on a mobile device in mind, but I don't want to say that without the caveat of "I'm still verifying this with several amazing mobile devs way smarter than I am to make sure I'm not about to be hoisted by my own hubris" added in the mix. Absolutely no one I've talked to so far has any doubt about it being a better fit for the game, but hey, game development is fuckin' wild sometimes and we're all kinda figuring out a surprising number of things as we go. 

I hope that's ok with you. I'm making the call that I think is ultimately important for this game, and likely the rest of the games that I'm directing down the line. I know this project has wildly exceeded our initial, extremely humble scope of "tiny game with butts and love and unicorn underoos" and into a much more content-rich, SAG-AFTRA project with actual celebrities and a half a dozen totally different minigames. I know all this backend stuff is also boring as hell and doesn't really leave me with the cool gifs and animations to show y'all like the other updates, but I feel like I owe it to you all for making this possible to at least give you a glimpse of what's up, even if it's a lot of extremely unsexy techie and logistics stuff. Don't worry - we'll still be releasing on PC/Mac regardless, but I'd like to have a simultaneous mobile launch as well, with the design optimized for that format. I'll confirm with you all when we're sure.

So! That's a lot of words to say this - sorry for the lack of updates, the book tour and reworking Crash Override (the resource center) for our 2018 goals hit me harder than I'd anticipated, but ultimately I think it'll be worth it because I'm actually really excited at the possibility for this game to get into the hands of people who didn't know you could shake a butt around to cast magic and draw dicks and prove love is real with the handsome body of a living video game. 

Love you backeroos <3 Thank you for your continued patience.

- Zoe

Gilda Maurice, Asher, and 49 more people like this update.


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    1. Ryan Leach on

      Hey Zoe! Has there been any progress made?

    2. Missing avatar

      wulfae on

      Mobile gaming makes sense, and I can see how accessible it can be. I really like the idea of engaging people who game on their phone with quirky games that aren't just trying to sell them micro transactions!

      Coming from a country with ridiculous phone plans (spoiler: it's Canada, our phone plans are some of the worst in the world I've been told) I do worry about the size of the game.

      I also have an android phone, and I know an android port is much more difficult than an iOS port, and usually gets pushed way back and/or forgotten. I am hoping that won't be the case, but since there are approx 1,75 million android devices... I can see the issue.

      PERMISSIONS. Please please please don't ask for my contacts, my connected phone, all of that crap. You don't need it for this game, and I will not install anything that asks for that. My phone is old enough that I can't upgrade to the version of android that lets me individually allow permission categories, so it is an all or nothing decision for me.

      It would also be helpful to have a space on the eventual website where you explain why these specific permissions have been asked for, and what disabling them would do to the game. (For those lucky people who have an slightly newer phone than I.)

    3. Zoë Quinn Creator on

      To answer everyone's questions at once:

      1 - The controls as currently designed are "drawing", pointing, and clicking, so the control scheme should be a pretty natural fit for mobile.
      2 - PC/Mac plans are unchanged and there will be a release on those platforms as promised, no worries there. The main development concerns are asset-based and making sure we can get approved on the app store given the game's raunchy content, which is something we're looking into still, and talking with a lot of folks about before we spend *any* time on it, since we don't want to waste dev time on a dead end there. The post was meant to say that we're doing mobile *as well*, or are at least hoping we can, but a pc/mac release will be out either way. The goal is to serve more people, not less.
      3 - "Niche" games and Steam aren't the problem as much as "controversial" developers and the amount of labor that goes into managing unmoderated platforms like Steam ends up being. To give y'all some idea of what I mean by that, I had multiple people helping to remove things like links to nude photos of me, my phone number, threats to me, etc off Depression Quest's steam page as well as trying to moderate the community forums (a feature you can't turn off) because people were going in there and trying to harass other folks who were talking about their depression into killing themselves. Considering this game's developer and content, I'm pretty worried about a repeat issue and want to reduce the amount that this game can be used as a place for people to scream at other people. We're kind of in a weird and experimental corner of game dev with this game, and figuring out where it should live is a bit more complicated as a result.

      That said, I'm definitely listening to all of your feedback, and mainly just trying to be as open as possible about the process and why we're choosing to make certain decisions - and this decision is one that I'm not 100% on because there's no clear-cut answer. I hope this helps and that y'all don't mind being looped in on the decision making process!

    4. Missing avatar

      Rob on

      lookin forward to playing the butt game on the bus, sharing good bits with seatmate

    5. Johnny Freedom

      Oh wow, I'm actually really excited for this change. Thanks for all te hard work you do!

    6. Cathy Mullican on

      As one of those backers who pretty much only plays casual games and mostly on my phone, I support this plan!

    7. Missing avatar

      Xargos on

      Glad to hear all is well.

      I understand the idea of creating mobile games as a way to reach larger audiences, but to be honest I have never been keen on the idea of large games on phones. Touch screen controls just don't work well for many games, even the largest of phone screens are small, and storage space is limited. I've skipped many mobile games for these reasons. Desktop and laptop computers offer a lot more to work with.

      I hope that if you intend to do a mobile release that you do not delay the PC and Mac versions just to get a simultaneous release. If it does get delayed because of a change of scope it will be a kick in the pants to backers that expected to see a computer game delivered.

    8. Missing avatar

      Aubourg Camille on

      Happy new year, congratulations for your book and good luck with the project.

      All of that nice stuff aside, I have to say that your decision of going full-mobile worries me quite a bit. First, although I do own a smartphone, my subscription doesn't include internet and downloading a game on it, even a small one, would be both bothersome and pricey. Second, a phone's screen is small, the speakers are shit and I hate touch-controls. Third, having the game on Steam would make it much easier for me to share it with friends and show it around.

      I don't hate the idea of a mobile port and think that it's an ultimately good move for you and the game, allowing you to find your audience, but I still would like for it to be a PC version available somewhere (preferably on Steam for reasons explained above). I understand the concerns about Steam's like of moderation, but you are going to get backlash for this game anyway (sadly, you could do anything and you would be getting backlash) and the app-store isn't much better at moderation.

      Anyway, it's your game, you can do whatever with it, but I'd still like the opportnity to play it, and I know I won't do it on my phone. 92% of America might own a cell phone but 1) I'm not American and 2) it doesn't mean that all of them are willing to play game on their phones.

    9. Charles Miller on

      If you're targeting mobile, is there anything specific you're planning to do to make sure the game can get through the iTunes Store review process unscathed?

    10. Missing avatar


      I agree with Iron Curtain - a LOT of indie developers are on, although I understand you want a wider audience.

      I can't disagree with your idea, but...with your content I'm not sure they'll let the game into certain app stores. They're notorious restrictive and a wide swath of complaints could have the game taken down in an instant. I think placing all of your chips in one basket just isn't the best idea (if I read what you wrote correctly. If you meant doing it on mobile AS WELL, then I think it makes sense).

    11. Irfon-Kim Ahmad on

      Happy New Year!

      I can't in all honestly say that this isn't a disappointment to me. I do play games on my phone, but they tend to be a very different type of game -- abstract puzzle games like Sudoku and 2048, partly because of the size of the interface elements and vision and because my time playing on my phone tends to be very strongly interrupted. I don't think I would have backed the project had it been targeting mobile from the get-go.

      I'm also wondering how successful releases of games like Dream Daddy fit into the dialogue about "niche" games on Steam.

      That said, Kickstarting projects isn't buying software, and I still hope this project is hugely successful. Also, I want you to make the game you want to make. So if this is the change you feel is right for the game (and obviously you know the game better than we do at this point), then go for it! Even if it's not the game I was hoping for personally, knock it out of the park as the game you want it to be. :) Change is a risk of being a Kickstarter backer, and it makes me happy that this project is a thing, regardless of platform.

    12. Iron Curtain (Chiptunes) on

      Also, Happy New Year! It was rude of me not to say it in the last post, so I apologize.

    13. Iron Curtain (Chiptunes) on

      Zoë, I have a few questions:

      1. Since Steam is a non-starter, how about How about the Windows/Apple App store? (God Forbid) GOG? Steam isn't your only option.

      2. Will the mobile versions take extra development time? They both need approval of Apple and Google, in addition (Then again, on Android devices, they could be side-loaded).

    14. Ken Gagne

      Thank you for the upgrade — a great start to 2018!

    15. Away on

      Love is real <3 Happy New Year!