You take on the role of manager at a small (but growing!) talent agency. As you cultivate and train the newest generation of young pop stars, you'll have to decide who to hire and who to fire, who gets promoted when things go well and who gets reprimanded when things get sour. The personal lives of these young celebrities are a part of your business, and the life of a pop star isn't always a happy one. Their crowning personal achievements can be your greatest commercial successes, but their emotional meltdowns and PR nightmares can spell financial disaster for your company.
It's not just the idols you have to worry about. The world is full of gossip magazines, super fans, and rival groups, all thirsty for a scoop on the latest scandal. There's a lot of people who want to tear you down and are willing to play dirty, but try not to let it get to you. It's not personal, it's business.
Idol Manager is a business sim about conquering the entertainment industry using any means you deem necessary.
Decide how to deal with crises including gossip, vandalism, stalkers, or threats directed at your agency and the pop idols you manage.
Manage relationships between the different idols in your group, as you deal with cliques, internal feuds, and bullying.
Keep morale in the group high for better performance and be careful with your decisions - giving obvious preferential treatment to some girls is a recipe for disaster.
Grow your fanbase by varying your tactics and appealing to a wide variety of demographics.
Try to bring your group to mainstream stardom without pissing off your hardcore fans, who are easy to milk but hard to please.
Produce singles, hold concerts, organize huge TV events and overseas tours to capitalize on your group's popularity and bring in revenue.
Just make sure to budget some leisure time, since an overworked depressed idol can become a ticking time bomb for your agency.
Develop your agency's building. Start with simple offices and dance rooms to produce content and train your idols, and end with your own cafe and theater to create a steady stream of revenue. Hire and train staffers to help deal with logistics and keep your agency running smoothly.
Discover substories - chains of events and visual novel segments, many of which are triggered by your play style.
Each substory can play out in multiple different ways based on your decisions, often causing serious consequences for your playthrough.
$9,000 - Mature content
While the base game will allow you to engage in scandalous activities with your idols, we still have to leave a lot to your imagination. Hitting this stretch goal will let us expand this part of the game with significantly more content and art.
$15,000 - Female manager
If we reach this goal, we'll add the option to play as a female manager. This will include a different appearance and animations for the player sprite, new CGs, as well as minor changes to the game's script.
$20,000 - Mod support
If we reach this goal, we'll release editing tools for you to create and add your own events and substories to the game, along with tools to replace the game's graphics or make UI tweaks. Want to add your favorite idol group, or turn the game into K-pop Manager or Boy Band Manager? Now you can. Modders will be able to share their work via Steam Workshop.
$30,000 - Vocal Music Tracks
If we hit $30k, we'll be adding vocal tracks to the game's soundtrack, including both original music and licensed tracks. You'll encounter some of these vocal tracks during the game's story, and be able to unlock some of them through gameplay as you achieve higher levels of musical mastery. Once you've unlocked a vocal track, it can be played as BGM, or play it in a sound gallery that includes all of the musical tracks you've unlocked.
$40,000 - Asynchronous Multiplayer
If we reach this goal, we'll be adding the option for asynchronous multiplayer! Playing the game with multiplayer enabled will change some ambient details in the game, such as seeing songs from other player's groups appear in the charts. Additionally, with the addition of multiplayer comes the possibility of stealing idols from other players!
If you offer enough money, you may be able to entice an idol from another player to join your group. But beware - poaching talent from another player will allow them to make an attempt to do the same to you, so be ready for the possibility of retaliation. The cost of a poaching attempt and the probability of successfully stealing an idol away from another player will depend on the strength and experience level of the idol you are trying to recruit, as well as the strength of their relationship with that particular player. If you want to prevent your best talent from being stolen, make sure you treat them well to keep their loyalty!
$50,000 - Idol Manager on Nintendo Switch
If we're able to unlock this, all backers who pledge $40 or more will get a Switch copy of the game in addition to the PC copy they're already receiving. This comes with a bit of a caveat: we don't want working on a Switch version to slow down the game's development, so any work on the port would have to wait until after we're done with the PC version; that, combined with the process of getting approved, would mean that the console version would come quite a bit later than the PC version, likely some time in 2019.
$15 Student: Get a Steam key or a DRM free copy of the game. We plan to release Idol Manager for Windows, Mac and Linux in 2018.
$25 Intern: Participate in the closed alpha testing of the game. We plan to start the alpha in the first half of 2018. You'll also get access to our private forum and your name will appear in the game credits.
$40 Talent Agent: You'll be competing against many other idol groups in the game, and backers of this and higher tiers get to name one of them. You'll also receive digital copies of the soundtrack and the artbook/guidebook.
$60 Manager: Physical edition includes a game DVD, a soundtrack CD and a booklet.
Early Bird tier includes free shipping
$100 Production Manager: Physical version of the artbook/guidebook. Hard cover, at least 48 pages.
Early Bird tier includes free shipping
$180 Producer: Design a random event that will be accompanied by an illustration. Pick conditions that can trigger it and effects of player's decisions.
$300 CEO: Design a substory - "substories" are chains of gameplay events and visual novel segments which progress depending on the player's choices. Backers of this tier will work with our writer and gameplay designer to create a substory and have the opportunity to choose how the substory is triggered and what the effects of the player's decision will be.
Hey! I'm Max, the designer and programmer of Idol Manager. Thank you for your interest in our game!
Idol Manager is a hobby project of mine that I started three years ago. I love management sims and I love Japanese idols, and there was no game available in English that would combine the two in the way I wanted, so I decided to make one myself.
For a long time I’ve been playing around with different ideas and prototypes, iterating on things that worked and throwing out things that didn’t. The real development began in January last year, when I restarted from scratch code-wise, but with a pretty solid idea for what the final game will play like.
In addition to obvious production tasks like releasing singles and holding concerts I also wanted to focus on fun things like public scandals and relationships of idols with you and each other.
Another important point was to give players a variety of choices with no unnecessary moralization. Whether you protect and care for your idols’ needs or overwork and discard them when they become too resentful is up to you, as long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences.
If you’ve been following the development of Idol Manager, you could notice that a lot of progress has been made in the last year:
- Almost all systems are implemented, so I’m mostly working on stuff like balance, progression and fixing bugs.
- About 75% of the art that we have to have in the game is done.
- The story and events are still pretty far behind though, that’s what we’ll be working on the most this year.
So far me and Kuiper (co-designer and writer) have been working on the game as a hobby and commissioning art and music. Unfortunately, it won't be possible for us to fully realize our vision of the game like this. We're facing two options right now: either reducing the scope and cutting features, or seeking additional funding to not compromise on the quality of the game. This is why we decided to run a Kickstarter campaign.
The base goal will pay for about half of the content we need, and I’ll pay for the other half myself. Of course, the more funds we gather, the more stuff we can add to the game, with expanded dating substories being the first stretch goal.
If you're excited for Idol Manager, please consider backing us on Kickstarter to help us create the best game we can!
Max Rogozin | Designer, Programmer
Justin Kuiper | Co-designer, Writer
Aiwa | Artist
Catherine M. | Pixel Artist
Kobishi | Composer
Cover art by Ninamo
Trailer music by Naisu
Risks and challenges
Making games is hard, and sim games is not an easy genre. Implementing, fine tuning and balancing all of the game’s systems requires a lot of iteration and testing, which takes time.
Our goal is to make a highly replayable sim game, filled with interesting decisions, surprises, and secrets to discover. We’ve already built a solid foundation for the game, so most of the challenges we’ll be facing going forward are of the creative nature.
In software development and especially game dev, things often take longer than expected. We know how frustrating it is when developers of kickstarted games go silent for long periods of time, so we can promise to always keep you in the loop by releasing monthly updates no matter what.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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