Dev Log #1 – Beginning of a Journey

I’m excited to be writing the first dev log for Lemonade Stand Simulator Game! I want to pull the curtain back on the game development process, and do it very early into the games development. Often it seems that dev logs start when there are some cool assets to show off and somewhat of a bigger amount of progress compared to where our game is at today. Although I think readers will get a better picture and idea of the process of this game development journey by starting this log early.

One of the reasons why I decided to develop Lemonade Stand Simulator Game was seeing that there was a steady demand for this genre of game, but not many high quality games to fill it. Those that did exist were pretty much the same concept, a simple day/night cycle where you set the quantity of lemons/sugar/water and customers come pass by your stand. This genre has been used as a learning tool but there’s so much more to learn from running a lemonade stand/business than just managing your budget/stock. That’s where the idea to create a more full fledged Lemonade Stand Simulator Game came from.

Part 1: Naming the game

You might have noticed our game has a little bit of an odd name: Lemonade Stand Simulator Game

You might be wondering, why did I choose to add the word “Game” to the end of the Lemonade Stand Simulator. I can see how this seems to be an odd choice, but believe me there’s logic to this decision. My background in SEO played a big part in naming this game. While having a great name is an important asset, it doesn’t really mean anything if nobody can find your game.

Being an indie game studio with a tiny budget/team means we don’t have the resources to push this game through as many marketing channels as I would like – but there is one marketing channel that I believe will drive customers to our game for a tiny cost. That marketing channel is search. Since demand for a lemonade stand simulator game already exists, users searching on Google, Steam and eventually the app store when we develop a mobile version could be the perfect target audience. Without many amazing games already filling this niche, we’re able to genuinely create the best lemonade stand simluator game on the market, even as a tiny indie studio. If we succeed at that, those searchers will be funneled directly to us at no additional cost.

Let’s look at the numbers to see what kind of demand truly exists:

As we can see in the screenshots there’s almost 2,900 searches happening every month in the United States for “Lemonade Stand Game” this is our target keyword that I want our site to show for. If only a fraction of those searches can be converted into sales our little indie studio will officially be in business. Today we just lose money 😅

Lemonade Stand Simulator was a bit of a more catchy name, it also was unique enough to improve our odds of us taking the #1 spot for the search tem “Lemonade Stand Simulator” and ensure that users that were searchign specifically for our game would be able to find it as the term “Lemonade Stand Game” is much harder to show for in Google since the competition is more tough. I wanted to ensure Google and other search engines knew that we were indeed a game, and give us an extra chance of showing for “Lemonade Stand Game” on Google and other search engines, thus I’ve tacked the word “Game” onto the end of our name.

Part 2: We have a map?

Once I had put together the assets for our game, I wanted to construct a basic map that covered the main starting points in the game and would give me a sense of how big the town of Citrusville would be. While many points of the map are still unknown, constructing a basis for the main areas of the game that will contain the first set of quests made a duanting task more manageable. So the V1 of our map is now complete and ready to showcase, yet I’ll admit there’s many missing areas and lots of work to do from here. But it’s a start!

Part 3: Map Building 1 Quadrant At a Time

While we don’t have the full map completely figured out, we have enough to start building out some of the main areas such as the first points the user starts in and the nearby school. I’m attaching some teasers below, but I want to remind everyone that we are still extremely early into this game and many things could still change.

Part 4: Next Steps & Future

Our priority right now is focused on getting the basic finctionality and map areas completed so we can create a trailer and start building hype for the game. At the end of the day the success of this game won’t just be based on the quality of the game (although that’s a major factor) but also if we’re able to market it successfully and generate a playerbase.

To complete a basic trailer we’re going to need the following things to be completed:

Lemonade Stand Establishment:

  • Main map areas need to be built out.
  • A simple interaction for squeezing lemons and pouring juice into a pitcher.

Game Environment:

  • Characters or assets representing children and townspeople.
  • Basic roaming functionality for the player within Citrusville.
  • Customer Interaction:
    • Simple interactions with customers at the stand.
    • The basic mechanism for offering taste tests to customers.

Lemonade Customization:

  • Basic functionality to experiment with different ingredients. (Crafting Feature)

Business Expansion:

  • A representation of expanding by having multiple lemonade stands within Citrusville.
  • A simplistic team-training feature or representation.

By focusing on the things we need to done to create the trailer we not only push the game forward towards release by building out vital features but also give players a glimpse into what they can expect upon release and start generating hype!

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