Alexis Kennedy and Weather Maker Finding a Story-based Indie Games Audience with Cultist Simulator
Alexis Kennedy and Weather Factory have used creative budgeting and originality to carve out a place in the indie game market. Cultist Simulator, a card and story-based game on PC and mobile, is a dark and challenging Lovecraftian game of learning by your bootstraps, created from the point of view of a novice seeker in the realm of the occult.
While this type of no-hand-holding gameplay has been a bit divisive among the gaming ranks, it’s a unique approach that has enough intrigue for a sufficiently sustaining niche market.
Alexis Kennedy rates success according to a fun developer’s and gamer’s experience, where money is a priority but secondary. He even advises picking either fun or profit to focus your energies on, once engaged in the indie games developer’s business. For Alexis Kennedy, having a limited budget has resulted in a necessarily focused design and a better product. And while keeping business going has required resourcefulness, taking on many departmental roles and releasing a number of titles, it’s resulted in designs true to Weather Factory’s vision and an engaged audience on both PC and on mobile.
After founding Failbetter Games in 2010 and releasing such story-based games as Fallen London, Alexis Kennedy and Lottie Bevan co-founded Weather Factory in 2016, subsequently launching Cultist Simulator as a Kickstarter. The project exceeded its funding goal by more than double and Cultist Simulator reached the PC market in 2018 and became available for mobile in 2019.
Cultist Simulator has been nominated twice at BAFTA and now comprises more than 110,000 words translated into Russian and Chinese. It’s available through Humble and Playdigious for $19.99 on PC and $6.99 on mobile – including the Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS platforms – from Humble, Steam, GOG, itch.io, Google Play and App Store.