Chasing Pumpkins is a game about a little girl named Lily who wants to save Halloween from evil pumpkins.
The project was cancelled in October 2018, but a playable version was released worldwide for free.
Requiem For A Game
In 2010 I decided to start my own company with the best intentions to create great games and it was all going to be awesome!
I thought I would start by creating a remake of a game I loved in the early 1980s with a little twist. I made a prototype for a browser game that seemed fun to play and started thinking about what my next steps would be.
Knowing my lack of experience in creating games could become a problem, I started working for a game studio while also working on my own project. Working for a game studio is a lot of work for not a lot of money though, so I ended up putting my own project on the side more and more. Because I felt this defeated the purpose I ended up quitting my job and finding a better paid job that would allow me to spend more time on Chasing Pumpkins. I was feeling optimistic again!
The next big hurdle was that I am not a talented artist and I wanted the game to look good. With no resources to speak of I decided to work with students. That didn’t work out at all. It turned out to take up all of my own time and resulted in nothing I could use. Luckily I was able to save some money to hire someone. It was expensive but seeing the main menu still makes me smile today.
In the mean time the players were moving to mobile devices. I knew I also had to switch platforms if I wanted anyone to play this game. The amount of time I had to work on the project became less because of some issues in my private life and the idea of rewriting all that code was so depressing I stopped working on the project again for a while. At this point it started to look like the game was never going to be released. My friends and family started to give up hope as well, saying creating a succesful game is not for everyone.
I really regretted never releasing the game though, so in late 2016 I decided to go for it. This time I was going to do it right. I joined an acceleration program, wrote the game in a new programming language and hired someone for the audio. The lovely music made the game come alive. More artwork was created, including the lovely intro.
I finally had something I thought was worth showing people in the summer of 2017. I went to GamesCom to show my game to players and publishers.
…And it turned out the gameplay was not great. The changes I had made to the design to go mobile didn’t work well. And talking to producers and other developers also made me realise that the game didn’t fit any audience and that it was unlikely that this game would ever become a success.
Like many others before me I made some basic mistakes. I didn’t do any market research, didn’t think about business models, and I thought I could obviously create something people would love without even asking them what they like in the first place. By now more money and time went into this project than I’ll ever get back. It was time to “kill my darling”, but because I still hope someone will play the game and like it, a playable version was released in October 2018.
trailer of Chasing Pumpkins
The original trailer of Chasing Pumpkins that was used at GamesCom 2017.