Part 10 in our Creator Spotlight Series
JJ Costello describes his in-development game, Cold Comfort, as “the love child of Rainbow Siege Six and Left 4 Dead.” JJ originally conceived of the concept for Cold Comfort in 2016. With no background in software development or animation, though, he initially struggled to bring his ideas to life.
With the help of a 3D artist, Costello was able to turn his Game Design Document into concept art. It’s now a 30-person project, though still unfunded. All contributors work on Cold Comfort in their spare time while employed at other jobs. “If we were all professionals and dedicated to Cold Comfort 100% of the time, and were financially stable, our productivity would drastically increase,” says Costello. “That said, what we have achieved under these circumstances can only be described as a miracle.”
Costello isn’t wrong: while Cold Comfort doesn’t yet have a prototype, its site shows impressive art, a detailed back-story, and development that’s well underway. “This project relies heavily on eye-candy, which is one of the reasons why we use Gfycat,” says Costello. “We have a very active Discord community with almost 1,000 members, who want to receive progress updates.”
Costello says that in the making of indie games, showing is better than telling. “There are plenty of indie dev teams making amazing projects. If we want to be able to entice new fans or get our present fans pumped, we need to push regular content updates of our development process, he says. “GIFs are the perfect solution. Sure, we have devblogs, where we discuss the process in depth, but seeing a 10 second GIF sums it all up.
Costello and his team are currently seeking investors, and hope that their game’s visuals, captured in GIFs, will attract the right eyeballs and convey the game’s animation style and mechanics. “For lack of a better term, a(n animated) picture is worth a thousand words,” he says.
And the game’s style, ultimately, is what makes it special. “Cold Comfort is first and foremost a 5v5 tactical PvP, (in layman’s terms, it’s a multiplayer first person shooter). However, the world and lore of Cold Comfort are just as important to the game as the mechanics,” says Costello. “Simply having multiplayer functionality isn’t anything special, but making the game world seethe and throb as realistically as possible is the key here. Immersion through believability will ensure that players are able to delve into the world of Cold Comfort and lose themselves in the moment, at least temporarily.”