Budget Cuts is a VR stealth game for the HTC Vive, currently in development by Neat Corporation.
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Release Date:
May 31, 2018

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Notice: Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. See the VR Support section for more info.

Available: May 31

This game will unlock in approximately 9 days


Recent updates View all (15)

May 16

Developer Spotlight - Freya

As we’re getting closer to the release of Budget Cuts, it’s time to share our final Developer Spotlight with you all. Meet Freya, one of the co-founders of Neat Corporation, working on the game.

Hello Freya! Can you tell us what you do?
Hey! I'm Freya Holmér, co-founder and technical artist here at Neat Corp! I generally hover around the tech artist role, which is a bit of a hybrid between a coder and a graphics artist. I spend most of my time with gameplay/systems/tool/shader programming and 3D-modeling. Given the small size of the team though, I sometimes do some game design as well as level design when needed!

What’s your background with games?
Ever since I got a hold of a game with a level editor, it set me on a trajectory to work in games. I found it deeply engaging to both experience games and to create those experiences myself. Aside from making smaller tile-based levels in simple games, I think my first attempt at making something in a 3D engine proper was at the age of 9, in the Serious Sam level editor. This was shortly followed by creating levels for Unreal Tournament and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The second big stepping stone for me was when I started using Hammer, the Source engine level editor, to create levels for Garry's Mod, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. This was the first time I did playtest sessions with several iterations, and eventually found my levels nearing the level of quality the original game's levels had.

After that, I eventually used those levels together with a document outlining the creation process to apply for a game design school here in Stockholm. Among other smaller projects, I joined the team working on Unmechanical to do modeling, shaders and level art, followed by working on a few levels for The Ball. After that, I got introduced to the Unity engine, which opened up not just modding and level creation, but proper game creation once I got used to coding. By the end of that education, I started my internship at Avalanche Studios. During my time there, even though it was a great work environment, I slowly realized I belong in smaller teams. I worked for a few smaller studios doing freelance work, before developing Shader Forge, a node-based shader editor for Unity. Around this time is where Neat Corp was founded together with Jenny Nordenborg, which eventually led us to where we are now with Budget Cuts!

What’s your all time favourite video game?
I'm going to cheat and pick multiple favorites because there are too many good games.

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus was my favorite growing up, because of it's well-balanced mix of puzzles and action, together with a simple but engaging story. Some of its mechanics are pretty genius as well. It had a feature where you could possess enemies and control them instead of your main character. The reason it's cool is that even though it makes you powerful, it makes sure that enemies still are threatening, because you know how powerful they can be. They never stopped being intimidating for this reason, so wherever you couldn't possess your foes, you had to find other ways around the threat they posed.

I rarely play racing games, but TrackMania is probably the game series I've spent most time playing of all. The appeal of it was less about cars and more about having fun and mastering your skills in interesting tracks. Its level editor is partially what got me into game development in the first place as well.

As for more recent games, for its atmosphere and experience of playing, I'd put Kentucky Route Zero, Thumper and Life is Strange high on the list.

Games that left a lasting emotional impression on me has been Undertale, The Talos Principle and Night in the Woods.

Finally, at least once I week I put on my neon orange dancing shoes to play Dance Dance Revolution. It's my workout routine nowadays.

What does a normal day in development look like for you?
I usually arrive at the office a bit late, due to my malfunctioning circadian rhythm of 26 hours instead of 24. After getting myself a nice cup of non-coffee, I sit down at my desk and start working on the task that I either left unfinished the day before, or the one I should be focusing on based on our priorities. At least, ideally. It's often hard to resist working on the most recent thing that popped up. I'll usually be coding and fixing bugs, especially now nearing release, which ranges from behind-the-scenes systems like the save system, rendering tech, internal tools for our level designers, hardware support, or the more user-facing stuff like gameplay code, setting up the main menu, and so on.

My own work aside, throughout the day there's a lot of communication between all of us in the team, given the scope and complexity of our project. This can sometimes be a bit exhausting, but it's all very much needed in the end!

What’s the most challenging part of your work?
Balancing features on what we want vs how much time we have vs how valuable it is for players. Some of us in the studio, myself included, are pretty hardcore perfectionists. I used to consider it a good trait to have, which it is, to a certain extent, but when it goes too far it basically means that you never see anything as finished. You only see what's left to be improved upon, forgetting that what you already have is good enough. It's easy to get stuck in the habit of simply adding improvements as you see them, but this is a dangerous path when you have a deadline and more important things to work on. This is something I've personally changed quite a lot in just these last few months. I'm increasingly aware of how much there is we won't be able to make, which is frustrating, but also liberating to see it more clearly instead of blissfully working in the dark.

What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?
Seeing players smile and enjoy playing the game is extremely rewarding. The only thing I find even more rewarding is when our game inspire others to be creative themselves. Personally, I also find game development to be so immensely deep, given that it covers an incredibly wide skill set across an entire studio. There are always new things to learn - solving problems I've never solved before is exciting to me!

What are your hopes for Budget Cuts?
I hope people will enjoy the experience! I'd love to see more full-length games and experiences for VR, which is partially why we started on this journey. I hope we can inspire other developers to do the same. I really do feel like VR is a whole new way of experiencing media, and we need more content tailored specifically for the platform out there, that can show it properly to people, instead of just 360° videos and ports of existing games.

What’s the best/most challenging part about working at an indie studio like Neat Corp.?
The best part of a small team is how close everyone is. You know everyone not just as colleagues, but as friends! It's always nice to eat lunch together and chat just about everything. The most challenging part about an indie team of our size, I would say, is how to balance divergent goals and needs. Sometimes, not everyone wants the same thing. When that happens, it's hard to know how and what call to make, when it's just one person's word against another. We've usually just talked everything out until we reach some sort of conclusion, which works well, but is very time consuming in the long run as the team grows.

How can we spot your work in-game?
I've created the portal locomotion system, from both the translocator device itself, to the portal technology and its design. I've also done most of the hand/tool/weapon interactions and various 3D models! The interior walls/ceiling/floors models are all procedurally generated using my internal level editing tool. I've also worked on many sub-systems such as the save system, reflection rendering and hardware support as well. The rest is somewhat invisible given that it's mostly tools to boost the effectiveness of everyone else :)

Is there anything you’d like to add?
Pi was a mistake, these people are wrong

You can follow Freya on Twitter, Twitch and Youtube to see more of her work (and the funniest game dev tweets!).

That’s all for now! Thank you for supporting us on this crazy journey. <3
11 comments Read more

May 9

Updated Release Date: May 31st, 2018

Dearest future employees of TransCorp,

Due to some unforeseen obstacles in the development of Budget Cuts, we’re going to have to delay the release date of the game. The new release date will be May 31st 2018!

The reason is simply that we want to release Budget Cuts in a state that we’re proud of and know will be enjoyable throughout the entire game (without killing our devs in the process).

We’re very thankful for your understanding, and please stay around for May 31st to enjoy your brand new super-efficient robot colleagues with complimentary motivational guns! You’re going to get so much work done!

- Team Budget Cuts

24 comments Read more


“Budget Cuts, to put it bluntly, is the future. The act of sneaking around, of taking quick action when spotted and then getting into a kill position with a knife, or making that perfect throw ... it's a rush that I might never have experienced in a game before.”

“Budget Cuts reminds me of classic Valve single-player games. That’s a very, very exciting thing.”

“I can’t wait to play more of Budget Cuts, which might be the best, most interesting VR game I’ve played.”

About This Game

Budget Cuts is a VR stealth game for the HTC Vive, currently in development by Neat Corporation.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer
    • Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 1500X
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 980/1060 or Radeon RX 480
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