A lot of people have said eloquent things about how much Game Dev Barbie means to them. I just wanted to share these pics my little wannabe game devs and I took. We had a great time this school holidays making our little indie game dev barbie team! Next we’re going to make a little PAX booth 🙂
Clear your calendars, hold onto your hats and get ready to make some noise because Ninja Pizza Girl is releasing on Steam this Wednesday 30th September! (7pm Aussie time, Extremely early Wednesday morning pretty much everywhere else).
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our amazing game developer friends the game is everything we dreamt and more! The visual effects look great, the sound effects sound great and the story even has an ending 😀
Our youngest child was an adorable toddler when we started work on Ninja Pizza Girl. Now she has her own game ideas (and Princess Fairy Spy-Pirates has real potential). Raven was 15, an amazing artist but miserable at school. Now she’s a happy uni student, making friends and learning about things she’s passionate about. I think she even eats vegetables most days.
Jason and I have a few more grey hairs and a little more game-dev paunch than we’d like, but we’ve had three great years working together to create something we’re very very proud of.
We hope you like it!
On Wednesday, it would really help if in between dodging ninjas and and having refreshing cups of tea you let the world know that the greatest pizza-delivering platform game of all time has arrived and is ready to play here. The Disparity team fully endorses Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagrams and yelling loudly on street corners to let the world know how awesome Ninja Pizza Girl is.
Steam reviews really heaps so after completing your A+ rating, collecting the last piece of salvage and unlocking the final achievement why not click that little review button and let the Steam community know what a great time you had.
A lot of amazing and unexpectedly wonderful things have happened to me this year, but this has to be the amazing-est. On Tuesday, at Australia’s inaugral Women in Games Awards, I was awarded this beautiful thing. I can’t find the words to tell you what an honour it was to hear my peers, mentors and got-your-back-girls cheering when my name was called out. The hugs and genuine congratulations have me left me riding a crazy high all week. It was brilliant to sit in a room full of game industry peeps, and for them to be almost all women. Everyone of those ladies is awesome and I’m looking forward to next year already. Hell, I’m looking forward to twenty years from now xx
Next Saturday my gorgeous Violet, our baby girl, will turn 6. I won’t be there to see how early she jumps out of bed, or whether she loves the robot unicorn I picked out for her (spoiler alert – she’s going to love it, it’s a robot unicorn!). Her big sister is full of plans to make her birthday cake. My kids spend months selecting a birthday cake. I’ve made about fifty of them, I think. Some have turned out better than others (pirate ships are really hard), but all have become a story, part of our family lore. Violet always wants a turtle cake 🙂 I’m good at making turtle cakes.
But I will be half a world away talking to hundreds of people about creating empathy with game narrative. It’s a great honour, and it never ceases to amaze me that people care what I think about this stuff. After the panel I’ll rush back to my booth, part of the Indie Megabooth, no less, and I’ll spend the rest of the day telling punters and journalists about Ninja Pizza Girl, and how I’m making it with my wonderful family. People will tell me about their experiences with bullying, about their wonderful daughters, sisters, cousins. They’ll laugh with delight as they play my game. My game! My heart will happy and full and my head will be spinning. I will lose my voice many times.
I know many parents miss their kids birthdays, for all sorts of good reasons. I know I have an excellent reason for missing Violet’s. My girls are already planning the business trips they’ll take when they’re grown ups. The life they envisage for themselves has no limits. The first time I went to a convention without Jason everyone I met was shocked. No one was mean about it, they were just … really surprised. But here’s the thing – Jason hates to travel alone, whereas I kinda like it. We both feel that it’s really important right now for there to be visible female game developers, so it makes sense for me to represent us, right? Also Jason did a lot of trips to the States when the girls were babies, and I swear to God every time he went they all got gastro and I spent the week cleaning up vomit so he totally owes me 🙂
Violet doesn’t even care that I’m missing her birthday, she just thinks it’s cool that she gets a second one when I get back 🙂
But if you see me at PAX East, and I’m a little bit weepy, don’t worry. I’m stoked to be there. I’m having a wonderful time and I’m honoured and so happy that my little game is making people feel things. It’s just that there’s a turtle cake on the other side of the world that I didn’t get to make.
We’re just about to put down our polishing cloth and head to Melbourne, for GCAP and PAXAus 2014. If you’re there, please come visit us! We’ve got a giant poster full of pixels, cool stickers, badges, and some nifty cards 🙂 And don’t forget to check out Nicole’s panels. She’s organised her very own panel, Political Proactivism for Geeks featuring Melbourne’s very own Member of Parliament, the CEO of the Australian Library and Information Association, the organiser of Govhack Melbourne, and couple of Aussie game developers who have actually made games with a political message.
Nicole’s also taking part in Grow Up and Take Responsibility, which is at the same time as the Good Game panel, so there should be lots of seats 🙂 and she’s super proud to be part of Women in video games, Improving things for everyone.
We’re hoping to have time this year for a wander around and maybe a board game or two. And of course we’re really looking forward to showing off Ninja Pizza Girl and meeting lots of really cool and interesting people! Kickstarter backers get free hugs, or if you’re not into that touchy feely stuff, friendly salutes.
Oh, and press people, we’re always up for a bit of collusion and corruption!
We did it!
We reached our goal with 38 hours to go, which sounds like a comfortable margin, but it felt right down to the wire!
Kickstarter has been a hell of a ride. I feel incredibly lucky. I thought we were prepared, going in, but with the benefit of retrospect we really weren’t and without the support of our friends, family, our backers, and some wonderful members of the games industry and games press who connected with our story and our message we would never have made it.
Our backers supported us in amazing ways, from carrying our stuff to tweeting about the game, to doing lets plays and posting links on their favourite forums. Travelling around the world and hugging each and every one of them probably isn’t practical, so we figure the best way we can thank all 1404 of them is to get to work and make Ninja Pizza Girl the best we possibly can.
The kickstarter predictors only reached a consensus about 20 hours before our campaign finished. By that time even I was fairly confident we were going to make it! Future kickstarters, you really should avoid them all together, but you probably won’t so you should know that Kickspy was by far the most accurate, and seems to account for the U shaped curve of bipolarization the best.
Oh, and one more thing I wish I’d known going in, only 16 percent of our backers found us on Kickstarter. We tried to err on the side of not being spammy, but you really do have to work hard and get your message out there and keep it circulating all month, it’s the only way people are going to find you.