The danish developer Coredumping recently announced its first commercial game, Software Inc., a management game centered around running a software company.
Kenneth Larsen, the man behind the project, was motivated to create a game about software development. He is a huge fan of the genre, but he still felt that something had been missing from the available titles. “Most of the game/software company tycoon games are great, but it feels like they end right before they get interesting, which is what I wanted to change with Software Inc.“, Larsen says.
Larsen has primarily been working on games in his spare time as a hobby that has followed him since he was 13 years old. He explains that: “the first programming job I’ve landed has been in an insurance company 1.5 years ago, so I don’t have much experience in the industry. Most of the game is based around what I’ve read, learned through my education or guess work.“.
Larsen continues to explain that he wants to make the game easy for modders to change, as “Game development has been a hobby for me for 13 years and this is a big part of the reason I want to make the game moddable, if someone feels the game is wrong in some parts, they can change it themselves. I do feel a bit uneasy about implementing game mechanics I know nothing about. The stock market system, for instance, is based on a 2 page article I read somewhere, I know nothing about economics.”
Since the game started as a nothing more than a hobby project for Larsen, it has given him a lot of freedom to iterate throughout the years. Therefore, the game has seen several changes throughout quite a few iterations, and Larsen explains that he rebooted the project three times before he reached the current state.
“The mechanics just weren’t coming together or I couldn’t get something to work the way I wanted.” Larsen explains.
Elaborating on the different iterations and versions of the game, Larsen explains that “One of the attempts was actually a university manager, i.e. manage your own university, hire teachers and make courses, but the entire game hinged on what grades your students would get, so 90% of the time was just spent waiting.“.
Creating the game wasn´t just an issue of finding the right game design, however. Larsen also experimented with his own 2D engine: “Two of my attempts were in 2D, in an engine I developed myself, and I spent most of the time just getting it to run properly. I suddenly had an idea on how to make the building mechanics work on multiple floors without stressing the computer too much and it ended up being what the game is now.”
Software Inc. is slated for release later in 2015 and will arrive as an early access game on Windows, Linux and Mac. You can support the game by voting for it on Steam Greenlight.