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June 26, 2019
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Ryan Sumo's Blog


I am the lead artist/CEO of Squeaky Wheel, an indie games studio based in the Philippines.  We released an allegorical political strategy game called Political Animals on November 2016 and are currently working on the Early Access title Academia : School Simulator.





Member Blogs

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Mon, 07 Jan 2019 10:22:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Indie
I reflect on Squeaky Wheel's 2018, opining on conventions, keeping up motivation, and how the Steam algorithm changes affected us.

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Mon, 19 Nov 2018 12:23:00 EST in Production, Indie
I talk about some of the productivity tools like Flock, Hacknplan, and Airtable that we use to make making games easier.

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Mon, 21 May 2018 10:00:00 EDT in Indie
I've soured on game conventions as a good means of marketing, but found something else that will keep me going.

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 07:01:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Indie
Despite getting front page exposure on Steam, our launch for Political Animals did poorly. Academia : School Simulator's launch sold almost 3x more units without a Steam feature. I explain why I think this was the case.

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Fri, 25 Aug 2017 10:58:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
A quick guide to making a decent (but not necessarily the best!) indie game trailer.

Posted by Ryan Sumo on Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:29:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
A short defense of Introversion's decision to make Scanner Sombre, despite the "obvious" choice of a Prison Architect sequel.

Ryan Sumo's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 12/10/2017 - 07:01]

While we did make an ...

While we did make an assumption that Academia 's likeness to Prison Architect would be something that works in its favor, I think it 's only in hindsight that one can make the assumption that it was going to be a surefire success. We certainly weren 't sure it would ...

Comment In: [News - 06/23/2017 - 06:38]

I think a lot of ...

I think a lot of people are looking back at Prison Architect with rose colored glasses. I would argue very strongly that when they launched Prison Architect as an Early Access title it too was in a relatively niche genre at the time and there was no expectation that they ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/18/2017 - 10:46]

Hey Matthew, thanks for writing ...

Hey Matthew, thanks for writing this. We 're currently mulling Early Access/Kickstarter ourselves for our next project and this has given us a lot to chew on. r n r nWanted to ask about your example of a positive way of responding to player feedback. You said : r n ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/21/2016 - 12:47]

Of course I try not ...

Of course I try not to think too much about that as without a publisher this game wouldn 't have been possible anyway. r n r nHaha I had a similar situation when we launched our game, looking at the numbers and thinking hm. If we didn 't have a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/10/2016 - 10:11]

Yeah, our break even is ...

Yeah, our break even is looking more like two years at this point. Luck and timing definitely has an effect.

Comment In: [Blog - 11/11/2016 - 09:42]

No worries. This wasn 't ...

No worries. This wasn 't meant to be a definitive description of what happened, merely an analysis using one specific model, aka our game. Every model or every game always comes with certain assumptions, which I tried to explain in the different sections of the article. r n r nThe ...