i’m very excited to announce Spellirium, an epic word puzzle adventure game.
Spellirium will do for word games what Puzzle Quest did for Bejewelled. You will play in a fantastic dark fantasy world armed with a small wooden grid of letter tiles – the SpellCaster – which can change reality with the words you spell.
Spellirium has been in our development queue since we founded Untold Entertainment. We were so booked up with contracts that we couldn’t get cracking on it.
In fall 2008, we applied for a provincial government grant called the Screen-Based Content Initiative.
Me: i can haz munny?
The jury rejected Spellirium for a few reasons:
- the $150k (!) budget was too large for a casual game prototype
- we failed to adequately assess market risk
- we did not include project oversight in the budget (ie we didn’t include a role for a producer or a project manager)
- we weren’t clear enough about what we were building
I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again
Later the next year in Spring 2009, we came back with a 70+ page document for Spellirium and applied for the Interactive Digital Media Fund, also offered by the Ontario government. This time, our project description was meaty and picture-laden at 25 pages. We included time and money for a producer. We wrote a solid market analysis. And we reduced our budget to around $80k, half of which the government would front if we were approved.
Once more, our application for Spellirium was rejected. Here are a few of the reasons:
- the budget was too small
- the jurors were not confident that we could produce a game of sufficient quality at the $20 price point we proposed
- one juror played the very early proof of concept version of the game, and didn’t like it
Needless to say, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort for a little two-man shop to keep itself going and to write up enormously demanding applications like these. The government invited us to re-submit Spellirium for another review some time in November. The prospect of going through this process a third time is harrowing, and we could use your help!
Introducing the Rubber Room
It looks so cozy!
We want to address that one juror’s concern about the Spellirium prototype, so we’ve made it available to you to play in the Rubber Room, the new section on the site where we’re putting all of our gameplay experiments and half-baked ideas. We would LOVE for you to try out the prototype, and then give us feedback. Let us know if you like it or if you don’t like it, and give us details either way. If you are a lurker, now’s the perfect time to stop lurking and post a comment, because we could really use your help!
Your feedback will help us decide whether or not to carry on with Spellirium. And if we DO decide to keep at it, your comments will help shape our next application to the IDM Fund.
Thanks so much, everyone!
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