⭐ Forensic Friday 28: Happy New Year!

Welcome all the the last Forensic Friday of the year. Truly a miracle! We have been working on the game for over 2 years, neither consistently nor very productively, but thinks have been changing. In the past few months are growing commitment and motivation to finishing this game is culminated in actual hard deadlines we need to hit! Where 2022 was a year of reflection, collecting ourselves and figuring out whether this was the game we really wanted to commit to, 2023 will be the YEAR OF CONTAINCORP!!!! We are going to fully commit to this game and delivering the product, and a new year is the perfect stepping stone! Expect the community to grow on discord, and expect greater things from us development wise. The first half of the year shall be the climb to glory, and the second half shall be the polishing fall to the Kickstarter and early access release! so join us on the 2023 journey to finish Containcorp!

The Proper Proper Roadmap #

Being the brink of a new year, this is a proper dive into the next year for this project. In Forensic Friday 25, we gave a first look at an “ideal” roadmap. After some more planning and thought, we have an updated roadmap with more specific dates, and some aspects we overlooked last time. We plan on trying to stick to this as close as possible. We are well aware with previous experience that we may not hit deadlines, however if we find that we’re trying to be a little too perfectionist-esque we will stop working on features to hit the set deadlines, then come back to them during polish. The hope is that this keeps up momentum on the project, and avoids further burnout since we are almost guaranteed to be working on something new every few weeks. How this holds up over time will remain to be seen, but hopefully by this time next year we would be ready to get started with a Kickstarter! Below are the photos of this new roadmap!

FF28 - 30th DEC - Technical Debt: Writing Tests and Fixing all Bugs, Validating old features
FF29 - 6th JAN - Start Working on New Website
FF30 - 13th JAN - Technical Debt: Overhauling UI
FF32 - 27th JAN - New Features: Money and Grants, Guards
FF34 - 10th FEB - New Features: Prisoners Expanded, Gunplay
FF40 - 24th MAR - New Features: UI Building, NPC Staff Expansions i.e. Janitors/ Cooks
FF42 - 7th APR - Easter Break
FF44 - 21st APR - Doctors, Health system and body-parts refactor, Facility Raids
FF50 - 2nd JUN - New Systems: Water/Flooding, Manager NPCs
FF52 - 16th JUN - Milestone: Start of Summer, All features now in place.
FF54 - 30th JUN - Polish: Polishing existing features, UI Building
FF57 - 21st JUL - Final Gameplay Features: AI Storyteller and first 10 anomalies.
FF62 - 25th AUG - New Features: Start on making game moddable
FF70 - 20th OCT - Polish: Creating playable product, Achievements, Continue modding.
FF72 - 3rd NOV - Pre-Alpha Testing: Open up to a small group of testers.
FF76 - 1st DEC - Validation: Adjusting game design, balancing, bug fixing, streamlining.
FF79 - 22nd DEC - Kickstarter

Beyond Roadmap #

We have had some ideas for how things may end up going beyond this roadmap. If all is well and good, the game will be done by the end of 2023. This is an exciting prospect! But with the way we have been pacing and prioritising things, it may end up an eventuality. The only major hindrance is university. But if you notice, we have effectively split the year into to halves. I shall call these the Climb and the Fall respectively. What I wanted to point out is that if we miss things during the “climb” its okay, since we can use the momentum of the “fall” work on those features. Though I should point out this is not desirable at all!

You may also find it strange that we are devoting an entire half year to polish, but, as they say, the last 30% of development accounts of 70% of your time. Or maybe its 80:20. Who knows. All I know is that that sentiment is true. We really do need to spend as much time polishing the game as possible. Polishing isn’t just making sure features work correctly, it also means make sure gameplay is good and the game is well designed. This can be a laborious effort of tweaking and even changing things entirely, but it does mean one very exciting thing. You guys get to play our game! We will almost definitely release the game to you guys to have a playthrough and inform us of any issues. We would prefer to shadow your playthroughs in very controlled sessions, but we understand this could seem quite daunting compared to just playing the game alone and sending us a written report. Anyways, that is a issue for future time!

At the end of the year we will run the Kickstarter. The success of the Kickstarter is not critical to the games future, but would significantly boost its development as we could then work on the game full-time, which would honestly be a dream for us! Below is listed the various outcomes of the Kickstarter and what they mean for the game.

Kickstarter Outcomes #

Kickstarter Outcomes:
Success: We release the game on Steam Early Access. Work on game full-time.
Failure: We release the game on Steam Early Access. Work on game part-time.
Outstanding Success: Steam Early Access. Work on game full-time.\

Extra money means we can afford to:

  1. Market the game more.
  2. Hire more people to work on the game [Art, Sound and Music etc].
  3. Increase Scope of the game. i.e. Underground Overhaul, Field Exploration, More Anomalies, Containment-Breach mode

Game becomes Profitable: We release major DLCs every year, and continually introduce anomaly packs every few months. We hire more people to work on the game.. At this point we are a fully fledged game studio! This is when we begin to invest in PLASMARC OIL to pave the way for the future of oil!

As you can see in every outcome, we are releasing the game to early access. This is what I mean by the Kickstarter’s success not being critical. However, a Kickstarter failure would be a terrible outcome! I am not sure where marketing will fit in with all of this because we have a lot of dev hours we need to clock to maintain this roadmap! But, regardless, we have some ideas for organic marketing which will hopefully slowly build awareness around the game until launch!

Our MArketing Plans #

There is no denying that we need to start consistently building awareness around the game. We believe the hook is enticing enough, we just need a way to sell it; and most preferably, in an organic way too. I’d admit we haven’t being doing the greatest job so far. For over a year we haven’t bothered with maintaining an online presence, we abandoned our YouTube channel, and we now our website sits in ruins…

…We need to change this.

The issue with game development, especially indie game dev, is that it’s 20 jobs at once. Luckily only 10 jobs each between us, but don’t tell me you know someone who can hold down 10 full-time jobs at once, and also is still a university student! Naturally certain aspects of the process need to be sacrificed in favour of others. Such as us sacrificing making new art assets.

Out of all the 20 jobs. Marketing is one of those jobs, and it is a tough one; but it’s one we can no longer ignore. As inexperienced as we once were with programming, we both venture forth into the world of marketing with no knowledge or experience. However, we can look to others, to see what works; and that’s what we have done! To keep this short, our plans for marketing heavily hinge on 2 things. Steam wishlists, the ultimate goal,; and a social media presence, the metaphorical net that will sieve through the sea of people and capture some into our marketing funnel. I ought to make a new section for this!

Marketing Funnel #

A marketing funnel is a metaphorical term for finding people who would be interested in the game (our target demographic) and letting them know we exist, which hopefully leads some of them to investigate further, and fall further down the funnel to the single most important thing.

Steam wishlists.

Our aim, before the Kickstarter runs, is to have at least 10,000 wishlists. This is cited to be the almost magical number of wishlists needed to guarantee success. Second to that, we also need to build a mailing list, which is the true end of the marketing funnel. The wishlists are just a very much critical by-product of a successful funnel. All of this talk is us trying to say that our mentality will be to cast the net wide and broadly across the internet as possible, and set up all the things necessary to bring people towards our website, in which the rest becomes somewhat trivial. I will spare you the rest of the details as I am making this blog far too long, but in summary.

We really need to get our website back up and running…. ┻━┻ ︵ヽ(`Д´)ノ︵ ┻━┻

Case Closed #

The last Forensic Friday of 2022. Huh… quite strange really, perhaps spending some time recapping what we have achieved this year, and the awesome stuff that you guys have contributed to the project and (very large) community we have here. So alas! The case file continues, for one more section. The last encore before the end of the year!

In January…

@viable#8183 made an awesome list of Task Forces that exist in our universe. Lot’s of hard work! He also made an anomaly document. Perhaps the first recorded document using latex! (Nevermind @Dinobetes (Salt/Florida Man)#4249 beat him to it)

In February…

@Extrel#1172 figured out a way to generate anomaly documents using AI. Scary!

In March…

Nothing happened, surprisingly. Literally nothing.

In April…

CONTAINCORP MESSAGE ALERT We were silent for a few months, until we weren’t! We bestowed upon you all the feedback report to end all feedback reports! Also in Forensic Friday 12 we decided to switch things up and re-evaluate our priorities! (that was a long post) I also flaunted my door to door salesman abilities (non-existent) and we got a new influx of people, but not by the best of means!

In May…

It was a quite month, but the newly coined ethics branch had a lot to say

In June…

You guys got to posted awesome contributions to the lore! #public-corporation-data-feed channel was a good idea after all.

In July…

There was a long gap from us, but we finished “unmessing” the code up!

In August…

We had many amazing contributions, most notably @Dinobetes (Salt/Florida Man)#4249 and his almost 200 achievement ideas (we love all of them)

In September…

We decided to commit Forensic Friday more seriously! …and we started working on research and experiments!

In October…

We planned our assault against the merciless pipes. Will we win? Who knows! We also implemented friendships between NPCs. Isn’t that wholesome!

In November…

We got infected by the slog! It was a slow month of slog slowly eating away at our brains but we managed to overcome our slog. We conquered pipes! After many months of procrastinating it, it was defeated. May water ever flow throughout our facility.

In December…

Research and experiments were finished! We started a new blog, and are now committed to writing new anomalies every week. We also introduced plans for the new website! And most awesome of all, we rehashed the old lighting, and made it even better. December was a month of polish and bug-fixing… …and we finally got to take a break!

Server Highlights #

I’d also like to take some time to point out some of the server highlight of 2022! So here you go:

Not exactly in 2022, but this day last year, @Dr. TGW detailed his very “interesting” methods in Rimworld. 1

CONTAINCORP MESSAGE ALERT We had a brief moment of April fools infection 2

One of our most generous Patreon supporters received their first backer merch! A mug! 3

Idk what to say about this one… moving on! Also the parsley was quite nice… 4

I can’t even remember the original context for this! 5

Our most generous and awesome Patreon supporter also received some more merch!! (I think it’s pretty cool). Interesting tidbit about the “Not enough anomalies” tagline. That used to be the original name of the game! 6

And we can’t forget the amazing drawing skills of @Dr. Kleine Evengald . A wonderful drawing of some of the game’s anomalies! 7

That’s all I have for server highlights, lest this blog gets too long!

Case Closed #

That’s all folks, case closed. I hope you enjoyed the recap as much as I enjoyed ploughing through the server history to find anything interesting. I keep saying this, and I will continue to. 2023 WILL BE THE YEAR OF CONTAINCORP. Steam page, new website, alpha build, more discord members (hopefully), and a Kickstarter all by the end of the year, not to mention social media presence and YouTube content! I do not say it lightly when I say 2023 will be the year of Containcorp. We will put all our effort into hitting the roadmap, and hopefully all is well and good by the end of 2023. Otherwise without question the game will be finished by 2024. WITHOUT QUESTION. BUT 2023 is the aim, its the goal, and hell would have to freeze over and force the legion of demons to invade earth before we will give up on this game!

Any ado, time to archive this file, and make space for 2023. Thanks for reading, and the continual support over the past year. Signing off…

Much Love,
The Team,
Plasmarc Studios