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Previous Bite Sized Reviews: Age of Undead
Gamedev Interview: Final Profit
I have a new interview for you all! Final Profit is a pretty ambitious management sim, blending some awesome side quests, hilarious dialogue, and a well-crafted fantasy world together. Big thanks to Brent for taking the time to answer my questions. No big intro from me on this one, so sit back and enjoy. You can buy Final Profit on Steam here:
Let’s start off with an introduction! Please tell me who you are, and what do you do?
I’m Brent Arnold, an independent Australian game dev. For over 3 years now I’ve been developing Final Profit full time on my own. Since its launch in March I’ve continued to support it with updates. Previously I was with an indie studio where I worked as the cinematographer on Necrobarista.
What game/studio are you currently involved with? And what position?
I’m a solo dev currently. So my position is whatever is needed at the time.
What advice would you give those who wish to enter the industry?
There’s a lot of nepotism in game development so make connections with people. Most of my industry jobs have been sent my way through people I met at uni. Another big factor is luck so be persistent.
If you still have time to play video games, what are some of your favorite ones to play?
I still find the time, though it’s less often that I’ll stick with a game to the end these days. I often find myself wandering back to Minecraft and Subnautica, a more recent addition has been Wobbly Life which I’ve found very impressive. And I’m about to dive into Baldur’s Gate 3 which I suspect will be a lot of fun.
How did you get into your chosen field in the industry?
My career path was a bit of an accident. I studied animation and design, intending to go into 3D animation. I’d been making short films and managed to win some awards with them, but then a cinematographer job at an indie game studio was sent my way and I ended up getting it. I’d made games as a hobby so it wasn’t entirely unfamiliar, just unexpected.
After that job was finished my city (Melbourne, Australia) was in lockdown so I went deep into hobby game dev to occupy my time. I showed what I had to some friends and they said “Wow, this is actually good”. So I decided to commit to the project and that became Final Profit.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Marketing. Communication does not come naturally to me as someone on the autism spectrum, and it’s tough to convince people to give something new a chance. I’m always second guessing what I put out there, wondering if it makes any sense to others.
What lessons have you learned during your time in the industry?
Read the fine print and keep your receipts. A lot of people in positions of power will have no issues exploiting you for their gain.
What are your future project(s)?
Currently I’m still supporting Final Profit through updates. Beyond that I would love to make a sequel, I’ve got some really cool ideas that I wanna explore there. But that is going to depend on how well this game sells.
If you couldn’t be a game developer, what ideal job would you like to do?
I likely would’ve gone into technical animation for film and tv. Setting up animation rigs was something I enjoyed a lot when I was studying. I think what appeals to me most in the work I do is that it’s like creating and solving a puzzle simultaneously. So it would have to be something where that still applies.
What are your greatest challenges during the development of Final Profit?
I can come at this from a couple of angles. Researching capitalism for the game led me to a deep understanding of how broken it is, mentally that’s quite a frustrating situation to have put myself in. And as someone trying to sell a game I have to become complicit in the system as well. It’s a conundrum, but dev gotta eat.
On the development side of things there were multiple times where I’d programmed poorly in the early days and had to go back and do a huge amount of tedious edits to make something compatible for new systems. An example of this is that the customer logic is so convoluted. It makes it difficult to add things that affect them, this was very noticeable when I implemented equipment (which happened very late in development).
What are your plans for Final Profit during 2023?
I’m still working towards the major Faeona update which will include a new shop and a bunch of side content. That’s been my goal since shortly after launch but I keep getting side tracked with cool ideas, or sometimes suggestions from players. Smaller updates are likely to continue on the way there (I just put one out this morning!). In theory after that milestone will be when I begin work on the sequel if I’m able.
What games were your greatest inspirations in designing Final Profit?
It’s an odd pair, Fable 2 and Digimon World 1. More the vibes than the mechanics, the open ended exploration and secrets. Though some mechanics do take direct inspiration. For example there’s a shop minigame in Digimon World 1 that I suspect is where my shop RPG fascination came from. And the real estate system is inspired by the one in Fable 2.
What is your ideal video game if money and time was no object?
I kinda feel like I’ve made it. Though with money and time I would put more work into the graphics and expand pretty much every system.
More about You
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watch shows and anime, play games, hang out with friends on discord, make music, read, do deep dives on my special interest topics.
Coffee or Tea? Or (exult deep breath) what other drink do you prefer, if you like neither?
I’m a coffee lover, though I enjoy tea a lot as well. Back when my mum was alive one of the things we would bond over was when I’d brew various teas for us.
You can travel anywhere in the universe. Where would you go, and why?
Wherever the friendly advanced utopia aliens are at.
Pick any three fiction characters. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
Jasnah Kholin (The Stormlight Archives).
Kettle (Assassin’s Quest)
Nico Robin (One Piece)
This is my dream team to go on a diplomatic crusade to dismantle capitalism and replace it with something more sustainable and fair.
Finally, what superpower would you most like?
Probably airbending. Though the Hana Hana no Mi appeals to me a lot as well, I like a power that you can get creative with.