Loren Ipsun and the Quest for Monetization

Hill House has been up for about a month, and it has been an interesting experiment so far. I wrote Hill House for fun, but once it was completed, I wanted to see if I could make some money off of it. Hopefully, recoup some of the hundreds of hours the initial game took. And thus began the monetization experiment.

My first attempt was to see if donations were viable. I figured, "This is a super niche market. People will realize how lucky they are to be catered to, and show appreciation, right?" Well, 5000 people later, and only 2 people agreed. Clearly, not a good model.

My next attempt will be to have a "premium" service. Treat the base game as a demo, if you will. Future updates will include content only they can see. Let's see how that goes.

What is coming

I have a couple of expansion packs planned, although the ones past the first are subject to change.

No dates for the expansion packs will be given. They are a staggering amount of work and time.

The Text Adventure

It all started in 2008. I was doing a lot of travelling for work at the time, which left me in strange and boring places, with naught but a computer for entertainment. I originally envisioned a short story about pair of people thrust into mysterious circumstances. I used myself as a model for the main character's actions. "What would I do?" That became a recurring question, and much more interesting to think about than the actual writing. That was when I realized that the story would be better served as a text adventure.

I started "Camp" shortly afterwards. It was incredibly ambitious, considering that I was writing the story, the engine, and learning the language simultaneously. After a good amount of progress on the engine, I realized that the scope of what I was trying to achieve would take years, so I sidetracked "Camp" and decided to make a more streamlined (and bound) experience. I was a big fan of the Hill House threads on Bearchive, particularly with the "consequences for your own choices" subtheme that permeated the threads, so that seemed like an excellent, and implementable place to start.

My original intent was to make a small game with no real storyline, that focused on the types of objects you would find in the Addventure. The scope quickly grew to encompass over 20 rooms, multiple endings, a storyline (albiet an epistolary one), and a number of technical experiments to see how far I could push the engine (the brown potion, the vending machine, the mirror). I worked on it on and off for several years, as inspiration, waxed and waned. In early 2012, I decided that it was "Good enough" and sent it around for beta testing. Deciding if any project is complete is difficult, but with endings in place, this seemed as good a point as any.

I would love to work on Camp again some day. The scope is quite staggering, so if that gets released, it will be in bits and pieces, not a complete package like Hill House. There will be multiple NPCs, each with conversation options, a routine, quests, and challenges. Basically, it will be transformation survivor.

Want to get in touch with me? Send me an email at dragontaur@gmail.com.