What we have learned, doing this just the two of us. And this is from my point of view of game development!
Making a big adventure game is a lot of work! When we started the idea of making Fran Bow, we didn't know how to make a game. I knew how to play them and what I liked and didn't like in games, so we had to learn. We decided to use Gamemaker 8.1 back then, since it was the cheapest and could do android easily, and there was a lot of information available to learn it fast.
Fran Bow was to be made a quick little game for us to learn how to make a game, below 50mb because that was the limit back then for android. That changed pretty quickly when we felt like we could actually try out a crowdfunding for it, because we fell in love with the game. There was a whole world behind the story that could be picked out carefully! So we succeeded with the crowdfunder and the game grew... a lot! We got around 28k from the crowdfunder, and with that we have now survived almost 2 years now! And the game is near completion.
Thinking about it, 28k isn't much for some for 2 years. During this time, we have barricaded ourselves in our home where we work. We turned vegan, for health benefits, good brain power and it's cheaper! So much food can be made for so little money that won't make you sleepy and let you work better, focused. We also left our social life 100%. We do meet with family sometimes, for birthdays and such. All our time goes in looking at the computer screens, and finishing off every work day with documentaries so the brains get new information occasionally.
Now the game is near complete, and it's starting to feel like something that has been a big part of our lives, that has shaped us as persons and that many are waiting for patiently, is coming to an end.. This feeling has come a few times, like when Natalia drew the last cutscene, when I coded the last room etc.. pieces coming to the end. Feels terrible! But that doesn't compete with the feeling of actually one day soon we say "It's done!" and don't work on it anymore. There comes the ultimate fear!
Our monetary resources has soon ended as well, we thought we would have been done with the game a year ago and that would have left us some money to save our asses if the game fails, or we could have spent that money in traveling around promoting the game even more. Now we will know if we have to move out the apartment the week after release and start going back to dayjobs in resturants and construction.. that's a big fear! We belive in the game though, because it has a meaning to it and we hope many will feel that. It really is made with passion, but in the end it's not at all about us, but the game. That will be the final test, it's all about the game and nothing else.
So for now, we have some thoughts left to add, doing the art for the minigames and sound designing. We have extremely strict deadlines nowadays when we have to have stuff done, or we will fall behind and that causes even more pressure and stress. We don't want to release this in chapters, or release it as a early acces game, because that wouldn't feel right for the game. We would love the money, because that would take away stress-pressure, but it wouldn't make the game justice.
Still depending on yoyogames making a little update on a feature they removed and hoping they will add it back before release, that stresses me out as well! Also, we decided to ditch the fancy orchestral-style soundtrack I made during this time and go back to the grimm ol' synth sound that we felt is more Fran Bowish. Now it sounds more like this (for chapter 3) https://soundcloud.com/isakmartinsson/the-city-under-my-eyes
We do have a new website ready, and will attack it as soon as we find some opening in time. Time is really valuable! I know I will be looking back at this soon enough, thinking "omfgs, remember when we made Fran Bow?!", and I can't see from where I'll think that, but it happens with everything! Important to stay in the present though, so you can savour the moments in to your brain memory.. good or bad, it's all experience!