Alexis Kennedy Making the Most of the Indie Games Market
Alexis Kennedy has been building games for more than a decade. In 2010, he founded Failbetter Games where he developed Fallen London and other games based on story. In 2016, he founded Weather Factory in London along with Lottie Bevan and launched the card-based Cultist Simulator as a Kickstarter. The project went past its $38,152 goal, accumulating $104,283 in funding, and was published by Playdigious in 2018 for PC and in for mobile the following year.
Alexis Kennedy began indie game developing on a six-month hiatus from his consulting job. Though the way got a bit tricky, it’s paid off for Kennedy and Weather Factory.
Kennedy prefers to measure success in terms of making fun games and having fun doing it and not putting financial gain first. He characterizes this as the pursuit of the indie, which is to focus on one thing, whether it’s fun, profit or safety, and to make that one thing the most important priority.
This approach has led to a somewhat more proprietary design. Since the game is based on the point of view of a scholar of the occult striving to see the other side of the exterior world, learning the rules of the game is a similar process of discovery. This has proved polarizing for the audience and a challenge in terms of communicating the value of the game and gaining an audience.
However, Weather Factory has achieved a consistent following by trusting in the ingenuity and attention of a niche market that would be impractical for larger developers to pursue.
At the same time, one of Weather Factory’s future prospects is a title centered on a librarian’s managerial duties in an occult library, which would be somewhat less dark-toned and have a more even learning curve.
Cultist Simulator is available on PC and Mobile through App Store, GOG, Steam, itch.io, Humble and Google Play