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:
Mostly Positive (21) - 76% of the 21 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 (17)

August 15

State of Affairs #4

Patents

I thought I would quickly share a couple of screenshots to explain how to the "patent" mechanic will work. The idea is that at some point later in the game, you will start facing competitors trying to copy your better features. You'll see a message like this:



As the text explains, a copied feature incurs a rating penalty. Your options are to ignore and let it happen (can be a valid choice), or patent the feature. Features that are being copied will be flashing so you will be able to identify them. You can file a patent from the feature details screen:



Patenting has an upfront cash cost, and will use up operations effort. Both go up exponentially based on the size of the feature so you'll want to think twice about patenting every feature.

Once the feature is patented, you'll see a special striped border around it:




I'm still trying to balance this feature so the numbers are all still being changed, but so far I'm happy with the overall design and I think it adds another dimension to the game.


Infrastructure
Besides the patent mechanic, I also wanted to pay a bit of attention to the infrastructure section. There are two changes I'm making here for the next release:

  • Adding a "detail" view. One the of the things that was sorely lacking here is numbers. You will now be able to see a few key information such as visitor vs user traffic being generated in each data center, how much traffic is coming into a data center from outside (i.e. from other data centers that are not active), and most importantly the exact server load that is being used in each data center.
  • Currently the spread of visitor traffic among regions is randomized at first but remains constant throughout each game. I am changing this so that throughout the game there are occasional shifts in where visitors are coming from. This should keep this part of a the game more dynamic and make you need to keep in top of where it's best to place servers.

I'm still a couple of weeks away form uploading this update; mostly focused on play-testing and balancing. It'll get there soon :)

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July 8

State of Affairs #3

Hi Everyone,

As you have noticed, the last update, 0.9.0 was a little while ago. This is just a short update to let you know that development is still progressing with Startup Freak, alas a little slow at the moment. My purpose here is not to make excuses but I just want to give you a bit of background and context as to why this is:

  • Startup Freak, as you might know, has been a passion project and something I have worked on tirelessly in addition to my day job for the past 2.5 years. A huge amount of my personal time, including nights and weekends have gone into it. The past couple of months I have let myself reclaim some of that time and focus on other things. Keep in mind I'm still working on the game; just not as much.

  • I have done a good bit of brain-storming around larger system / feature changes. One of the areas, for example, is the concept of a "super feature" which requires you to do all sorts of research and information gathering to work out the optimal shape, size and make-up of the feature (filled a few butcher-papers worth of ideas). However I have not been able to settle on a good / meaningful / interesting concept here. This kind of goes back to one of the primary difficulties I have had with the design of this game: because a "Startup", even a software one, is such a broad and all-encompassing subject, it's really hard to design something that puts you in the shoes of an entrepreneur, allowing you to make meaningful decisions. Either I have to add an incredible amount of content to the game (something that is beyond a 1-person studio), or I have to settle for more generic / abstract features, which is something that I have already had negative feedback about.

    In short, I'm parking some of these ideas until and unless I can come up with something really enjoyable and meaningful, and can be at least somewhat concrete.

  • For now my focus instead is going to be enhancing, improving, and increasing the depth of existing features. I'm currently actively working on a "patenting" concept whereby your features are at risk of being copied by other companies unless you protect them with a patent. This will build right into the backlog / feature UI and should add another interesting element to balance.

  • Beyond what I have said above, I'll be adding some more informational UI, for example to the Data Centers, to give the player more understanding of what is happening. That and a few more improvements will be coming in the next release which at this point will likely be in August.


Thanks again for all your support and understanding, and making it this far in a text-heavy post! I'll be aiming to put out update posts more regularly to let you know of the progress.


- Poya
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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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