In Startup Freak you take the role of a budding entrepreneur, and grow your very own software startup from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar company. Along the way you will have to overcome countless challenges. But the ultimate question you must answer: are you a Startup Freak?
All Reviews:
Mixed (27) - 62% of the 27 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Apr 12, 2018
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The game is very much playable and fun as it is today. But a game in this genre begs community input to help with balancing, general improvements, and most importantly adding new features that you like to see.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan on spending a minimum of 5-6 months to take the game into full release, however depending on the amount of community feedback and interest we may extend this. Also remember: a full release doesn't mean we won't continue to improve the game!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We will be looking for player feedback on what features to work on, but we also have ideas for our own! All changes can be categorised into three areas:

Small:

  • Balancing improvements
  • Ongoing bug fixes
  • Minor UI improvements

Medium:

  • Translations (see note below)
  • Adding meaningful effects to tasks at Level 10+
  • Tutorial improvements

Large:

  • Late-game challenges such as lawsuits / patent protection of features
  • New industries / product types
  • Complete overhaul of the store/shop UI
  • Other requested features

Note on Translation

The game already has support for localisation, however the expense of having the game professionally translated is not within our current budget. This may change depending on how well the game does, however we are also looking into crowd-sourcing it. If this is something you want to help with, please let us know!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“All features described in the About this Game section are implemented. You are able to build out a product, hire employees, rent different offices and furnish them, market your product, manage infrastructure, pitch to investors for cash, change your branding, and more. There is a simple progression system via Milestones, whereby you try meet various goals for each milestone. Currently the "win condition" for the game involves selling your company for the highest possible valuation.

The game is quite stable and playable in its current state. You can play the game from start to finish, and there is a clear win state. Bugs are always in the forefront of our mind, as we would like to maintain a stable and playable build.

Note: we do have a mechanism for forward migrating game save files and we will do our best to maintain comparability with every release. However there are situations where this is impractical and you won't be able to load your save game, during early access.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“At this point the plan is to increase the price slightly (probable $1-$2) before going into full release. Short discount periods will be available at the beginning of both early access, and full release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Since the beginning of development, all features, tasks, and bugs have been publicly visible on our Trello board. Furthermore community interaction also happens on on discord as well as email. Additionally we will introduce a new voting system for the community to vote on features and improvements. Stay tuned!”
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Recent updates View all (19)

January 12

Beta 0.11.0 is Here!

G'day Startup Freaks!



Version 0.11.0 is indeed here. Now I know it has taken a while to get there, but that's not for a lack of working at it! This release focuses on some big UI changes which involved complex changes in the code. Excuses aside, let's have a look at what's in this build:

New Store UI

The biggest change in this release is the introduction of a new UI for the store. One of the biggest issue with the previous UI was that getting to and placing furniture was clunky and time-consuming. There is now a new slide-in UI on the left hand of the screen where you can get to the office store, as well as offices and logos. More importantly, when placing furniture you can easily span around and place multiple instances of the same item. The UI remains translucent while this happens.




Post Level-10 Task Perks

Another important change is that now all backlog tasks provide some form of bonus or benefit beyond level 10 (some tasks previously would have no additional benefit after this level). Here is a full listing of all tasks and what you can expect beyond level 10:

  • Infrastructure - Reduce overall infrastructure cost by 1%
  • Branding - Increase visitor count by 1%
  • All Marketing Tasks - Increase visitor count by 1%
  • Market Research - Continue opening up more areas on the product map
  • Job Advertising - Continue to increase the pool of candidates
  • Company PR - Continue to increase candidate quality
  • See Investors - Continue to find new investors
  • Office and Supplies - Reduce office rent by 1%




Other Improvements

Beyond these, many more bug fixes and improvements have been made to the game, such as:

  • Context menus are much improved. A lot of annoying situations where the context menu would popup, for example when dragging the product map, have been fixed.
  • Did a lot of balancing, and made the easy industry (Photo Sharing) easier and more accessible.
  • Fixed one of the offices having a $0 monthly rent (I apologize to all squatters).
  • Fixed a bug where a very large company valuation at the end of the game would actually cause the total cash to become negative.
  • Many many more fixes.

So What's Next?

Startup Freak has come a very long way since its early Beta versions on itch.io, and eventually its Early Access release on Steam. I have added a few large scale features, as well as many smaller improvements and fixes. At this point the plan is to put the game into full release some time in March. My focus will be to add extra polish and balancing to the game, fix any bugs, and also add content where possible. I'm also keen to add/improve some tutorials so that new players have a better idea of how to progress in the game.

The honest truth is that because Startup Freak launch was smaller than I anticipated it has not been possible to dedicate full time, and/or more cash to it. It remains something I work on in my spare time while holding a full-time job. Therefore it has made more sense for me to improve and solidify what's already there instead of indefinitely adding big new features and bloating the game without consolidating them.

I'll continue to do bug fixes and minor improvements to the game beyond the full release. I really appreciate all your support and feedback.


Happy Starting Up!
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August 31, 2018

Beta 0.10.0




Hi Startup Freaks!

Yes, Beta 0.10.0 is finally here and to celebrate, a 20% promotion will be kicking in shortly! Without beating around the bush, let's get into what's new:

Copycats and Patents

I had already talked a bit about this in a previous update, and it has evolved since then. Let's go over the basics:

  • Around the mid game competitors will start copying your features. Copying a feature will take several sprints so you'll have a bit of time to react.
  • A copied feature will have its rating reduced by 50%.
  • You can now "patent" a feature. You can see both the progress of your patent, as well as progress of copying (assuming the feature is being copied).
  • Patenting a feature has an upfront cash cost and uses Operation effort. So you'll need to plan accordingly. Remember, it may not be cost effective or necessary to patent every feature.




Traffic Shifts

During the game you may also receive messages telling you that the market is shifting. This means that there is a change in which regions (continent) most of your visitors are coming from. In turn and over time, your user base will also shift. Ultimately, you need to be more aware of where your servers are and move them to more optimal data centers.


Data Center Statistics

Related to the above, I have added a bunch of statistics for the data centers which describe a number of things like the percentage of total traffic that's being generated by visitors and users in each region, any external traffic being directed, and also the current server capacity. This will hopefully give a bit more clarity about what's actually happening and where you should optimally place your servers.




Other Improvements and Fixes

Other changes include:

  • Requested feature outlines now continue to display when designing performance features, security features, and tests, so that you can avoid them easily.
  • When a new network topology is researched, clicking "Open Infrastructure" in the related notification automatically opens the topology tab.
  • Opening mailbox now always automatically shows Inbox and is scrolled to the top
  • The pie chart for marketing activities now has distinct colors for each of the 15 activities (rather than white for many of them).
  • Replaced a couple of place-holder icons.
  • "Clown Conference" event now correctly displays as a negative event.
  • Reduced the pitch of all sound effects when running a sprint so it's not as harsh as before.


What's Next

I have a couple of important items that I would like to address in the next release:

  1. There is some important balancing that needs to happen, especially around the leveling of backlog tasks. Currently most backlog tasks max out their effect at level 10, and beyond that have little to no effect. I would like to either cap them out at 10, or give a meaningful use to them beyond that. Either way I'll also be looking to increase the effort curve for getting that far (it gets a little too easy towards the late game).
  2. I'll also be looking to completely change up the "store" UIs, including the furniture, offices, and branding. The current method of having the UI slide out for every item placement is just too clunky.
  3. I'm also experimenting with adding some more milestones and challenges, and some added Steam achievements.

I'm always on the look out for new and meaningful mechanics or late game challenges to added. So far I have had a couple of failed attempts at this. Mostly this is because "Startup" is such a broad topic, that most mechanics end up needing to be very abstract. Unfortunately abstract mechanics, while interesting, don't feel as satisfying of concrete things and don't make you feel the fantasy of running a real company. But that's the challenge of design!


Anyway this has gone on long enough. I'll do my best to release the next update more quickly.


Happy Staring Up!
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About This Game

In Startup Freak you take the role of a budding entrepreneur, and grow your very own software startup from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar company. Along the way you will have to overcome countless challenges, from building, testing and securing your product, to devising the ideal marketing strategy and securing investment. Through it, you must ask yourself the ultimate question: are you a Startup Freak?

Build a stellar team

Your staff are everything especially in those all-important early years. Hire an awesome team, skilled in technical, design, operational, or sales aspects of your startup.


Build out your product

Create your very own product by researching the market and building bigger and better features that match your users' demands. But building features isn't everything! You must ensure they are tested and bug-free, well secured, and tuned for performance. Features can also be upgraded and enhanced, for example by incorporating responsive design, or adding accessibility.

Plan your infrastructure

Even the best software is worthless without the right hardware to run on. Manage your data centres across the world, by researching better and more powerful servers, and dealing with ever increasing and shifting user traffic to your services.


Find the right sales channels

Not every sales channel is created equal. More importantly, not every sales channel works well for all types of product. It's your job to use data, and a bit of intuition, to figure out the best go-to-market strategy and win against the odds.

Tune your pricing

Pricing software is more art than science. Plan a pricing strategy, test it, and adapt to the market.

On-board investors

Early stage startups are always in dire need of funding. But pitching your venture to a potential investor is no easy feat! Research and understand your would-be investors, put together a convincing slide-deck, and watch them offer you millions for a small share in your company. P.S. don't forget to haggle!

Deck out your office

What startup doesn't want to be the talk of town for its fancy office? Buy all sorts of gadgets and furniture for your office and give your employees yet another reason to stick around.


Make a big exit

Sooner or later, every founder wants to make an exit from their startup and see the fruits of their labours on a check. The number on that check is dependent on every single decision you have made along the way.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Graphics Card

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