Ambition: A Minuet in Power

Created by Joy Manufacturing Co.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Where Have We Been?
11 days ago – Wed, Dec 05, 2018 at 11:47:04 PM

Mesdames et Messieurs,  

Normally our updates happen around the end of the month, but with the winter holidays approaching, it can become quite difficult to make time for well... anything. With that in mind, I wanted to give you all an update on our progress now, while it was still feasible.

While we're still working towards a beta launch for the game, one of our other focuses has been finding a publisher for Ambition. Over the last few months I've heard some misconceptions on what game publishers do, so I felt that this would be a great place to clear that up.

If you already know how that all works, please feel free to skip to the bottom to see a new location, new characters, and a question/informal poll for our fans!

 Companies that work on video games can generally fit into a one of three categories:

  • Developer - A company whose main focus is making video games, from code to art, design, writing and sound.
  • Tools Creator - A company whose main focus is making software that makes the act of creating a video game easier. These tools are generally sold to developers.
  • Publisher - A company whose main focus is promoting video games made by developers. This is everything from general marketing, to press relations, trade shows, and even talking with popular streamers to see if they'll play the developer's game at launch. Sometimes publishers even handle things like getting the game translated into multiple languages, or ported onto other platforms like the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, etc... 

While there are examples of companies that fit into multiple categories (like Epic Games, who are actually all three), most companies will stick with one specialty and try to do that as best as they can. 

Right now, with Ambition, we're looking for a publisher because we want the launch of Ambition to be as strong as humanly possible. While our team has expertise in a variety of things necessary for making games, we don't have much experience in regard to promoting games. You could make the best game in the world, but if nobody knows about it, they'll never buy it. While there are examples of games suddenly exploding in popularity due to word-of-mouth, those examples are rare. It's better to hedge your bets and come up with a proper strategy to promote your game.

Of course, publishers don't work for free, so when a developer links up with a publisher, the publisher receives a percentage of all sales revenue from the game. The more copies of the game that are sold, the more money the publisher makes.

Now, finding a publisher that has the time and expertise necessary to help you promote your game is harder than you would think. It can take months for both parties to feel each other out, to make sure that among all the possible options, this is the group they really want to work with. Developers want a publisher that truly understands what their game is about, and how to get it in front of people who will really care about it. Publishers want a developer who is making something they feel that people can really get excited about. As you can imagine, this process has been taking up quite a bit of my time.

Hopefully that makes things a little more clear, and gives some insight as to what we're doing on that end.

Not only do we have some new character art and background art for you to see, we've got a bit of an informal poll. 

When we present characters on a background, we can either have the characters on a fully in-focus background or a slightly out-of focus-background. While the in-focus background is more detailed, we're worried about the details of the characters being lost when side-by-side with our elaborate backgrounds. Of the two images below: which do you like better? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

Unblurred Background

Blurred Background

As for who these characters are, and where they are? Well, you'll find out who they are soon enough, but I can tell you that they are at the lovely 'Guinguette Paradis', a tax free bar/cabaret on the edge of Paris known for cheap drink, music, dancing, and entertainers. It's a favorite of people who want to unwind, have a drink outdoors, and don't have a problem with the rowdier forms of entertainment.

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!

All the best, 

 - Luther
 Game Designer
 Joy Manufacturing Co.

A Very Special Concert
about 1 month ago – Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 06:13:12 PM

Mesdames et Messieurs,


A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of having an excerpt of some of Ambition: A Minuet In Power's score performed live by a quartet from the Royal College of Music at a chamber music concert in London.

The concert was focused on game music that could be performed by a string quartet, and our themes for the Bourgeoisie faction certainly qualified! While, unfortunately, none of us got attend the concert ourselves due to our work schedule (being an indie developer is extremely glamorous, as you can tell), we still have these photos and recordings of the event.

The Bourgeoisie pieces in Ambition are some tricky writing, and the pictured musicians only had a week or so to practice and prepare, which only makes their performances more impressive. Eventually, the game's recordings are planned to be recorded in the controlled environment of the studio, but something about a live performance in front of an audience brings us closer to the authentic experience of hearing this this style of music, flaws and all, in it's original performance context.

You can listen to the recording of the music from the concert here.

Thanks for reading our update, and have a great day!  

All the best,  

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

Playtesting Session - Halloween 2018
about 2 months ago – Thu, Nov 01, 2018 at 01:47:59 AM

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Yesterday we showed off Ambition as part of the Playcrafting Halloween Showcase. Side by side with games from over 20 other indie dev teams, we demoed our game and got a lot of great feedback. Check out the pictures below! 

After all the excellent feedback we received, our team is working on tightening up the early experience for the player and making sure they get acclimated to the game smoothly. We're still working towards the beta, and it's exciting times over here.

Thanks for reading our quick update and have a great day!

All the best,

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

Exploring Paris
3 months ago – Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 01:44:08 AM

Mesdames et Messieurs,  

While our team tirelessly works on getting the beta ready for launch, we thought it'd be a good time to tell you a little bit about what you'll be doing in the game as part of your day-to-day, when you not attending galas, romancing the high society of Paris, and plotting the downfall of your most hated enemies.

On any particular day that the player isn't attending a party or going on a rendezvous with one of their romantic interests, they have the ability to explore Paris and visit a location in the city. 

While initially, you'll only be able to rest at home (which is important), you'll eventually discover interesting places all across the city. These will range from more functional locations like Fatima's dress shop 'La Petit Mogul' to interesting date spots like the exotic 'La Parc Monceau', where you can invite out your various paramours. 

We're really excited about this feature because we think it provides a few things that we feel are important to the game:

  • A Sense of Place - One of the more alluring aspects of Ambition is the fantasy of living in 18th century Paris. While it's possible that we could have made the entire game as a series of daisy-chained parties and story encounters, it felt silly to do that and keep the player 'cooped up' in a few locations with no freedom to explore a fascinating city during a fascinating time period.
  • Player Choice - By letting the player decide when and where they would spend their time in Paris, we're allowing for greater differentiation between each playthrough of Ambition. In a time before cars, cell phones, and internet shopping, planning how to spend your time was really important, as there was only so much you could accomplish in a single day. You only have one day before the next important party? Will you go out shopping, hoping to find the perfect ensemble, or will you rest up to make sure you're in tip-top form for a long night of drinks, discussion and dancing? 
  • One Thing at A Time - Paradoxically, giving a player too many choices and things to keep track of can lead to a kind of mental paralysis. If you've ever looked at a menu with a million choices and found yourself unable to pick anything at all, then you already understand this phenomenon perfectly. By limiting the player to doing one thing each day, it makes all of the player's options feel much more manageable.

Thanks for reading our update and have a great day!

All the best,

- Luther
Game Designer
Joy Manufacturing Co.

Join the 'Ambition: A Minuet in Power' Backers Only Discord Channel!
4 months ago – Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 08:49:03 PM

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