Come on here, dear boy, have a cigar
So, Somewhat Software is going corporate.
What does that mean?
Well, first of all, I am not making games as a single dev anymore. Me and business partner Danny Something decided to join forces and start a company under the name Somewhat Software, to continue the work I started on my own back in 2017.
I can't speak for Danny Something, but I was becoming miserable working an office job (in software development, btw). Neither the positions nor the workmates were an issue : I was blessed with great work opportunities and I recognize it. But I was getting bored, inefficient, disengaged. And the reason was simple : Somewhat Software was slowly picking up steam, getting more and more popular, and it totally got to my head. When I say popular, I mean it in very humble terms : barely 1K followers on Twitter is a poor metric to start a company on. But I figured that if I pursued simple, low-stakes business goals, I could make a (meager) living out of it. A lifestyle entrepreneur, as they call us. I somehow convinced Dan to take the same plunge and join me, which is sort of insane to me, if I think about it too much.
The long road
So as a creator, as a brand, Somewhat Software basically went sort of silent from summer of 2020 until now. We went dormant, busy taking business classes for the latter half of the year, in order to be fully prepared to launch a company in January of 2021. Which is basically how it went down. We are now a legit corporate entity, although I'm personally still struggling with how to handle this 'corporate voice' on social media. We can't pay a salary (we're only two employees at the moment) but we are supported by government help for autonomous workers, at least until the first profits come in.
The goal then, of course, is not to become a big studio. I am fully aware of the kind of products we want to design, and understand we will never have mass appeal, especially if we don't want to compromise and really stay true to our design ambitions. So we need to stay small and nimble in order to stay profitable. Will the company grow to a sizeable team given the opportunity? I kinda hope not...? The vision I have for Somewhat Software Inc. is to become some sort of rock band of a studio : three or four members at the most, making regular short games that we really want to make without bending to the market's will.
We'll see how long we can keep this punk attitude. Hopefully long enough so I can retire knowing I paid my mortgage doing what I love. As I said, humble goals.
What is next
Starting April 5th 2021, Somewhat Software will be reaching out to an even larger public than before with the release of I Make Saint - Steam Edition. I had to plunge back into this old, grim project in order to bring it up to date and in a releasable state, and I plan on writing about the experience of working on IMS - SE in a later blog post. I am very nervous at the idea of showing this specific game to a larger audience, because I am scared it will be misunderstood by many players. Not only does it contain some demanding, delicate and difficult subject matter, but I feel it is not a 'game' by Steam standards. You know the deal : walking sims get a bad rap. Why am I trying to make a career out of the genre again?
So yeah, that's it for now. Whenever you look at Somewhat Software Inc. in the future, I hope you don't think of it as a soulless monolithic corporate thing. We are very much just a couple of guys making small, quirky games and plan on staying that way for as long as we can.