Alexis Kennedy is an indie game developer who co-founded the studio Weather Factory. His career began as a software consultant and he transitioned to working on video games during a six-month unpaid sabbatical. His first video game company was Failbetter which released several games, most notably Fallen London and Sunless Sea. Other games he has worked on include Dragon Age: The Last Court, Dragon Age: Joplin, The Night Circus, and StoryNexus.
He launched Weather Factory in 2016 along with Lottie Bevan. Their first game was Cultist Simulator, which was funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign. This game, which is a card-based simulation, was released in 2018. His company is now working on Book of Hours, which is planned for a 2021 release.
Alexis Kennedy says that most of his day is spent checking into Slack. His team works remotely and so this is his way of communicating with them. He lets his team know what he is working on that day and finds out what they have planned and whether they completed the previous day’s tasks. He has to switch tasks often which he finds stimulating but also challenging.
Asked about the current state of the mobile games market for independent developers, Alexis Kennedy replied that his companies like his live on crumbs from bigger companies’ tables. This is especially true for a company like his where the business model is to release premium games rather than free-to-play. The good news, he said, is that there are plenty of crumbs. As long as you keep your goals and budgets limited, and release multiple games, you can find success.
Cultist Simulator was marked by a high difficulty curve. Alexis Kennedy decided to go the other way with Book of Hours, making a game that is a lot more casual. It’s going to be a spooky, occult game with a gentler difficulty curve.