Or, in search of surprise and delight: the Shaggy, the Baggy, and the Craggy

Tanya X. Short is the Captain of Kitfox Games and game designer of Boyfriend Dungeon, Moon Hunters, Shattered Planet, and more. She also co-edited two textbooks on procedural design in games.

In every field of design, be it product, graphic, game, or interior design, you will find a hallowed glade in which razor-minded producers and visionary aesthetes meet called “elegance”.

Elegance is a popular place. Dieter Rams, a massively influential product designer and successor to Bauhaus, popularized the functionalist school of thought, invoked famously in the…

Sometimes it’s reasonable, but it’s never helpful.

This is part of a series on indie studio management, written by the Captain of Kitfox Games, Tanya X. Short. Follow the Kitfox Medium publication to read all the entries so far.

Envy and jealousy are a real problem for creators. They can not only make you feel horrible, sapping any creative energy you might have had… they can also destroy relationships.

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Can’t be productive and make good stuff when you feel like this. Unless that poetry I wrote when I was 13 was actually really, really good.

You might pull back from or even antagonize people who you used to be friends with or admire, preventing future collaborations you can’t even dream of yet. …

The answer: it’s complicated, but… $3?

This guest post is by systemchalk, data analyst extraordinaire and guest blogger here. He is happiest when wrestling with numbers. He writes here, streams here, and tweets here. We’ve edited his wording a bit, but his analysis is presented here with his approval.

Imagine a game (released or upcoming) and guess how much an individual wishlist for that game is worth. This question is surprisingly difficult to answer. There is considerable discussion about wishlists as an indicator for future sales and ways of getting more of them, but there has been less attention paid…

Business, software, and game jargon, all in one place.

This is part of a series on indie studio management, written by the Captain of Kitfox Games, Tanya X. Short. Follow the Kitfox Medium publication to read all the entries so far.

Indie studio heads are expected to know about many different fields, even though it’s nearly impossible for them to have that knowledge before they begin. And if you’re in the midst of negotiating a deal, it’s usually undesirable to interrupt negotiations in order to ask for clarification of terms that the other party seems to assume you know… further, chances are

This glossary errs on the side of…

A practical guide to the basics of studio leadership.

This is part of a series on indie studio management, written by the Captain of Kitfox Games, Tanya X. Short. Follow the Kitfox Medium publication to read all the entries so far. See the first one here.

For the purposes of this article, whether you’re a traditional for-profit corporation, a non-profit, a partnership, or a worker’s co-op, I’m going to assume that the primary goal of your studio is to survive to make the next game, and hopefully the game after that.

If that’s the case, these questions will help protect your bottom line — the money you need to…

Learning things one 15 second video at a time.

By Victoria Tran, Communications Director at Kitfox Games, an indie studio in Montreal. Currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us and publishing Mondo Museum and Dwarf Fortress.

Ah, the ever evolving landscape of social media.

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A few months ago, Tanya (Kitfox’s captain) and I decided to open a TikTok account for the studio. There are several reasons we decided to, the main 3 for me being:

  1. I’ve wanted to make more video content for Kitfox, but Youtube videos were too much of a time investment, especially considering my workload.
  2. Twitter, while a great platform for reaching gamers and game…

How do your games (current and future) fit into your long-term studio strategy? What even IS a studio strategy?

This is part of a series on indie studio management, written by the Captain of Kitfox Games, Tanya X. Short. This is the first of the series. Follow the Kitfox Medium publication to see them all when they come.

Most indie studios don’t survive to ship a second game. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not because their first game doesn’t sell well — plenty of surviving studios had disappointing sales for their first game. Kitfox is one. Studios close because they didn’t adequately plan for disappointment and strategise around how to survive it.

So, what’s your next game going…

An indie game studio’s guide on finding the perfect fit.

By Victoria Tran, Commnications Director at Kitfox Games, an indie studio in Montreal. Currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us and publishing Mondo Museum and Dwarf Fortress.

Sometimes, your community grows to a size where you can no longer reasonably keep track of it by yourself — you need to sleep, go to conventions, do other work, etc. At this point, you’ll probably need a mod or two.

And honestly?

A community is only as good as their mods.

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Shoutout to my mods IslaWoof, Kalan, Clinodev, Rose, Jo, and WhimsicalPuck ♡

So let’s talk about how I found Kitfox’s mods on Discord, what qualities I generally look for, and management techniques!

When Do I Need a Moderator?

How much did a streamer with 250k followers impact the sales of Six Ages, five months after release?

By Victoria Tran, Communications Director at Kitfox Games, an indie studio in Montreal. Currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us and publishing Six Ages, Mondo Museum and Dwarf Fortress.

Getting hard stats from streams has always been a bit messy — sure, your game is likely getting visibility, but is that doing anything? Are there sales? How many people check out the page? And even then… what if the game has already been out for awhile?

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Figuring out social media so it feels less like a butt. Maybe it will be butt goals, even.

By Victoria Tran, Commnications Director at Kitfox Games, an indie studio in Montreal. Currently working on Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us and publishing Mondo Museum and Dwarf Fortress.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord, Reddit, TikTok, whatever.

We’ve all heard we should be on social media because it’s good for ~game marketing~ but… Do you actually know why? What are you looking for? Are we suffering on these hellsites with no purpose? Is life meaningless? WHY DO — okay sorry.

We’re going to talk a little about basic metrics you should look out for on social media. But! Don’t get caught…

Kitfox Games

Games with dangerous, intriguing worlds to explore. Currently: Boyfriend Dungeon, Lucifer Within Us, Dwarf Fortress, Mondo Museum • kitfoxgames.com

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