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Sometimes you read a story that's really hard to believe it's true but probably is. In this case it's Raymond Doerr of SixtyGig Games doing something absolutely nuts to secure funding for their games.

They are the developer of Rise to Ruins, a brutal godlike village sim that melds the god game, management, and tower defense genres. A game I'm actually pretty fond of, written in Java and with Linux support it's a fun way to spend a number of hours. It's a successful game too, going on to sell at least a few hundred thousand copies. After releasing Rise to Ruins out of Early Access, eventually updates slowed down even though many more along with another game are planned. As Doerr outlined in this rather personal post on Steam, there was a good reason for that.

Doerr goes into a little history about how Rise to Ruins (previously called Retro-Pixel Castles) got started and it's quite surprising. Doerr did the "totally rational" thing of giving up a well paying job at Lockheed Martin to "change career paths into a job with an extremely high rate of failure that you have literally zero professional experience what so ever in doing". They're just very lucky it all worked out…

Fast forward to 2020 and COVID hits, however, this isn't the expected issues of COVID causing major problems though. Rise to Ruins is still a success and fully supports their livelihood but not enough to fund a second game. So, what would any clearly sane person do? Jump head first into the stock market apparently. Yes, not a publisher because Doerr isn't a fan at all and not Kickstarter because it might not raise enough and "an already successful company running a Kickstarter for funding is bad optics in my opinion".

Doerr ended up managing to turn "$200k into $2.5 million dollars", even higher before a recent "tech crash" and now work will be refocusing back on Rise to Ruins continued development and work on the next game code-named "Project Mary". Sounds like it was pretty exhausting too as Doerr mentioned how it "impacted everything in my life, including my own mental health, that I'm still recovering from as I write this".

The post ended with "Funding Secured.".

Absolute madness. Always nice to get some insight into the behind the scenes of what some people go through though and Raymond Doerr is clearly very dedicated.

You can buy Rise to Ruins on GOG, itch.io and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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19 comments
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minidou 16 Mar
Stonk !

Important footnote :
Quote(EDIT/Update: No you ridiculously awesome goofballs, I didn't yolo into $GME. :P)
skye 16 Mar
Well if the dev needs some extra funding in the future this sounds like a good story for a movie
slaapliedje 16 Mar
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That is an amazing story, actually. I also feel the same way about publishers. They're usually the ones who end up taking away from the original vision of the developers. Though sometimes they are a necessary evil, as some games just like to sit in perpetual 'Early Access' forever.
ronnoc 16 Mar
I read the original last night and was blown away! Very cool and man is that dude dedicated. If you don't own the game, I can't recommend enough. And, if you're one of those "hard core" gamers, there's no way you'll come out of a session or five with RtR and say that it was "too damn easy"
TheSHEEEP 16 Mar
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Quoting: GuestYOLOing all your family saving because you hate the industry so much doesn't seems like an amazing story in my opinion.
You didn't read the article, then.

Stock market isn't gambling or YOLOing - those who invest a lot of time and effort to learn it and stay on the pulse can make a lot of money with it.
Problem is, you really have to invest A LOT of time into doing that, which Doerr did by apparently sacrificing his health for a while until the goal was achieved.

Which is honestly a relatively normal story for people passionate about something and pouring their all into it.
Samsai 16 Mar
It is a crazy story, and I think the article even missed out on one of the craziest bits. Not only did the developer give up on an avionics job at Lockheed Martin to make their own indie game, they did so after just a year of learning how to program in Java. And then they went onto study for a degree in a non-programming field concurrently to writing the game, so probably no learning software engineering principles there either.

It's basically a story of a series of massive all-in gambles that somehow all worked out. This man is an absolute mad lad and a credit to the industry.
Hori 16 Mar
It.s all fun and games but when you hurt your mental health and gravely endanger the your (or worse, your family's) financial security, it's really NOT something that should be praised and be proud of.

Lucking your way in life is not something that should be praised and advertised.
What happened there was a gamble, the money acquired is not really "deserved" as they are not a reward for something you've produced or offered.

The fact that they say fundraising is bad but yoloing and basically gambling is not is just making things worse and triggers me. At least with fundraising the money would have been the reward of your hard work.

Also advertising it in such a way that makes it cool/laudable/heroic is irresponsible and just promotes this kind of reckless behaviour that most often ends in serious losses or even bankruptcy.

PS: I've got nothing against responsible and productive investment (which I actually think it's really good thing). But this does not to seem to be that at all.
slaapliedje 16 Mar
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Quoting: HoriIt.s all fun and games but when you hurt your mental health and gravely endanger the your (or worse, your family's) financial security, it's really NOT something that should be praised and be proud of.

Lucking your way in life is not something that should be praised and advertised.
What happened there was a gamble, the money acquired is not really "deserved" as they are not a reward for something you've produced or offered.

The fact that they say fundraising is bad but yoloing and basically gambling is not is just making things worse and triggers me. At least with fundraising the money would have been the reward of your hard work.

Also advertising it in such a way that makes it cool/laudable/heroic is irresponsible and just promotes this kind of reckless behaviour that most often ends in serious losses or even bankruptcy.

PS: I've got nothing against responsible and productive investment (which I actually think it's really good thing). But this does not to seem to be that at all.
Dude chased a dream and caught it, what isn't to like about this story? Sounds like he took the current profit of the game and invested it wisely until it made him enough capital to fund future development. Where is the gambling here?


Last edited by slaapliedje on 16 March 2021 at 5:31 pm UTC
Hori 16 Mar
Quoting: TheSHEEEP
Quoting: GuestYOLOing all your family saving because you hate the industry so much doesn't seems like an amazing story in my opinion.
You didn't read the article, then.

Stock market isn't gambling or YOLOing - those who invest a lot of time and effort to learn it and stay on the pulse can make a lot of money with it.
Problem is, you really have to invest A LOT of time into doing that, which Doerr did by apparently sacrificing his health for a while until the goal was achieved.

Which is honestly a relatively normal story for people passionate about something and pouring their all into it.
Turning 200k into 2.5m because a pandemic struck and the industries went in chaos is nothing but a gamble that worked out.
Where is the input? Cuz the way I see it he just waited for the right moment and profited off a chaotic situation, taking a lot of money out without putting much in.
Arehandoro 16 Mar
Quoting: TheSHEEEP
Quoting: GuestYOLOing all your family saving because you hate the industry so much doesn't seems like an amazing story in my opinion.
You didn't read the article, then.

Stock market isn't gambling or YOLOing - those who invest a lot of time and effort to learn it and stay on the pulse can make a lot of money with it.
Problem is, you really have to invest A LOT of time into doing that, which Doerr did by apparently sacrificing his health for a while until the goal was achieved.

Which is honestly a relatively normal story for people passionate about something and pouring their all into it.

Rather off-topic, but stock market IS gambling. https://theconversation.com/the-financial-sector-is-professional-gambling-in-action-93102
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