Tag: Indie Games


Hamsterdamm Has a Script! – Indie Game Scriptwriting

Hamsterdamm finally has a script! Woot!

We’ve come a long long way, from ideating this game in 2017 to having to shelve development in 2020 to restarting late last year. And we’re so excited about the progress we’ve made in such a short time.

There have been quite a few developments in the past few months, but one we always struggled with being new indie game devs is….how do we convey dialogue and action in this game?

We literally wondered….”Do we need something like a script?”

“I thought they only did that in movies….”

We came to realize that while this is a game, it still includes quite a bit of immersive elements that are similar to film. So, we began the process of creating a full-on game script for Hamsterdamm.


The Master Story Doc is a Lifesaver

First, we figured out that we needed to better organize and pull in the details of our game. We had loose Google docs of ideas, concept sketches, character bios, and plot points strewn over a variety of Google Drive folders and within Discord. While this is a natural part of the indie game dev process (and really any project where you’re idea may go through a variety of iterations), we realized that we needed to join everything together in a way that was easy for us to refer back to so we can begin creating a cohesive story.

So, we put together a master story document that included information about:

  • The entire story plot.
  • Narrative styling and tone.
  • Characters (including their personality, look, and the part they play in the story).
  • Chapters/levels.
  • Details about the world of Hamsterdamm.

It seems so simple, but this doc has become worth its weight in gold.




It’s allowed us to more easily onboard contractors we work with so they can quickly get a good idea of the story and tone of Hamsterdamm. Additionally, it’s created a great base for us to start building out a complete story with plot points and dialogue.

Arc Studio is Immaculate for Scriptwriting!

Next, we began writing the script. We’ve been able to use the exceptional (and incredibly user-friendly) Arc Studio for scriptwriting. It’s been amazing for writing dialogue, scene set up, and assigning character actions (it literally allows you to seamlessly change between formatting for dialogue, action, and scene-setting).

However, it also makes it easy for us to repurpose the script to jot down player actions and directions for our programming team (which is the next step).

Lastly…we also contracted a new writer to help with this effort (can wait to talk about them in the near future).

Sooooo….What’s Next?

We are looking to be done with the script by the beginning of May (Woohoo!)

We cannot wait to share more exciting stuff that is going on with Hamsterdamm. We have quite a few things happening in development and programming that we’re saving for our newsletter squad, so if you want to keep up-to-date on those details, be sure to sign up here (we only send bi-weekly/monthly emails, so we promise not to spam :-D).

Until next time, stay nerdy!!!!!




Favorite indie game posts of the past month!

Feature image: Photo by Chris J. Davis on Unsplash

So, it is true that we are on a bit of a development hiatus until spring of next year. However, we still want to share our love of indie gaming with you all!

We are huge fans of Twitter and the #indiegamedev community. So, we want to share some of the best tweets we’ve seen this past month.

Take a look below 😀

We feel like this describes every indie game dev at some point lol @the_datababe

It’s a beautiful thing that the gaming and streaming community has become so diverse. However, it’s always important to keep in mind how crucial it is to make others feel welcome — regardless of the language they speak or where they’re from. We can all put in the effort to do this. We love that this tweet by @_JaneyLaney conveys this.

You’d be surprised how putting things on the calendar and writing stuff down can propel your projects as an indie game developer. Big ups to @cgulley80 for pointing this out!

Honestly, there is nothing to add to this one. We all come to a point where we need to hear a message like this, so soak this one up. 🙂 Thanks for this one @MiaAmareVT

Again, the beauty of the #indiegamedev community on Twitter (and even IG) is the support and advice given from other indie game developers. So, if you aren’t already plugged in (or you are a non-dev who wants to stay up on creative games), track that hashtag and stay plugged in 😀

Game Updates

“Inspiration is a funny thing.”: Interview with Hamsterdamm Composer,…

A chance message sent our way on our Twitter account, led to a creative working relationship with Will Dodson, composer for film, television, and gaming. He’s a busy guy! But he took some time out of his schedule to talk with us about his inspiration as a game composer, and what he’s most excited about for Hamsterdamm.

Check out our convo!

What got you started in the video game music composing business?

I’ve been a composer since 2007, and since then I’ve had the opportunity to write music for many different forms of media. This includes films, documentaries, themed attractions, escape rooms, interactive media, as well as radio dramas, podcasts, and stand-alone instrumental album releases. However, l recently made the transition to game music, almost exclusively.

What inspires you in the music creation process?

Inspiration is a funny thing. Occasionally, something as simple as the rhythm of my car’s wiper blades can inspire a new musical idea. Other times it can be a more thought-out process. I do find that the best ideas come quickly.

Will’s piano and lab space 😀

What is your favorite video game music genre?

This is a hard question! If I really have to pick just one genre, it’s the original NES music, specifically Mario Bros. 1-3, and The Legend of Zelda series. Anything Koji Kondo touched is a work of undeniable genius.

Our team is small but full of inspiration, and every person is really trying to create something unique…

What drew you to the Hamsterdamm project?

I love what Nerdy Bear stands for, and the projects in development are absolutely fascinating. When I read the description for Hamsterdamm, and saw that one piece of game art, depicting the game’s lead character, I knew I had to work on this game.

What are you most excited about regarding the Hamsterdamm soundtrack?

The possibilities. To have the opportunity to bring this type of sound to a game like this is super exciting for me. Our team is small but full of inspiration, and every person is really trying to create something unique and special with Hamsterdamm.

To hear more about Hamsterdamm, and Will’s ideas for the music, sign up for our email list to receive our next newsletter! 

What other types of projects have you worked on?

In terms of video game music, I’m also the composer for Exibyte Studio’s Isles of Pangaea, Kova Kreative’s Johnny Pompadouri, an upcoming fantasy RPG called Arcadia, as well as co-composer for Glyde the Dragon, from Valefor Games LTD.

I would argue that game music has contributed as much to the arts as film music has, at this point.

What has been the most rewarding thing about working in this industry?

The people. Game people are almost always incredibly talented, endlessly inspired, and focused on doing something cool. When you link up with the right dev, you’re simply making games with your friends. What could be better than that?

Why do you feel that music has such a profound impact on gamers?

Oh man….when done right, it can be that final layer of icing on an incredible immersive experience. I would argue that game music has contributed as much to the arts as film music has, at this point. I’ve never met a person who doesn’t get warm nostalgic feelings when they hear Kondo’s Mario theme, or Tetris, or Final Fantasy, or Zelda…the list goes on and on. Music is the heart and soul of many classic games.

Where can people connect with you online and find your work?

William Dodson, composer for film, television, and media
On Twitter: @Will_Dodson1

We asked Will a couple of more questions specifically related to Hamsterdamm, its development, and how he plans to bring creativity to the music used. We will share that awesome part of the convo in our next newsletter.


What We Learned at Virtuous Con, Hamsterdamm Updates, and…

February has been a busy month at the NBS lair. From enjoying one of the coolest Cons we’ve ever attended to holding our first live Q&A, Feb was equal parts fun as it was hard work. We are on our way up the stairs of progress lol

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at NBS below.

The Joy That Was Virtuous Con

A couple of months back, we kept seeing tweets for Virtuous Con (Twitter is an excellent place to find out about Cons). So, curiosity got the best of us (and we’re glad it did!), and we immediately dug deeper. What we found had us immediately adding this event to our already-packed Google calendar for Feb 20th through the 21st.

Virtuous Con is an event that celebrates the work of independent science fiction, fantasy, and comics creators. From virtual booths for vendors to interactive panels, this Con had it all.

Bonus: One of the most awesome and special things about this Con is that it spotlighted the work of BlPOC creators.

Here are a few of our takeaways from attending this excellent event: 

Virtuous Con Created an Immersive Virtual Experience

If you are working on a Con of any kind this year, Virtuous Con should definitely be a model. They created an immersive experience that mimicked what an in-person Con would feel and bypassed the limitations of COVID-19. First, the conference tool they used made it possible to easily engage in video conferences with other attendees and participate in Con-wide chats.

Additionally, the layout was reminiscent of a conference floor with virtual vendor booths, multiple floors, and the opportunity to enter a panel discussion room. You could even pick seats like at a real Con. The Virtuous Con team thought of it all when they created this immersive Con experience, and it totally showed.

The Importance of Supporting Diverse Creators

We had the pleasure of attending the Women of Color in Sci-Fi Television panel. And one of the takeaways that we took from this exceptional discussion was how important it is to have people of color at the table and support them when they come. Panelist, and owner of the Interspectional podcast, Latisha Jones, knocked it out of the park with this quote: “Put me in the room, but expect that I’ll be there.”

This session was a great look into how to take the steps to be inclusive and truly involve people of color in the creative process to ensure our voices are heard.

The Intersection of Hard Work and Looking Beyond Perfection

How many times have you brushed off a project because you felt you couldn’t reach the level of perfection you had in your head? We’ve been there! Making Our Way: A Guide to Independent Publishing provided some insight into how to get over this hump. This panel included some exceptional titans in the comic industry, and each of their stories was an inspiration. The two quotes that resonated with us from this session were:

“Anything good comes with sacrifice.” –  Roye Okupe, Founder of YouNeek Studios,

“Nothing is going to be perfect, just get it out there!” – Jamilla Rowser, Founder of Black Josei Press.

For us, these have been two ideals that we have had to stick close to in our push forward with NBS projects. It was confirmation that we have the right idea to reach the next rung on the ladder.

Virtuous Con Was The Highlight of This First Quarter of 2021

This experience was the highlight of the first part of 2021. It was fantastic to see other BlPOC creators discuss their evolution, and make a difference in the world through their creativity. Virtuous Con’s next event is coming up this June, so please check this exceptional team out!

Hamsterdamm Updates

Things are full-steam ahead with Hamsterdamm. If you have been keeping an eye on our Twitter and Instagram, you might have seen our: “By golly we’ve got a menu” post (We were clearly going for Gomer Pyle vibes here lol). The developer that we are working in collaboration with created an exceptional menu, and laid the groundwork for the prototype for movement and physics within the game.

Hamsterdamm Indie Game Menu
The beginnings of a gaming menu screen.

We also have a settings page (woot!). Now, our amazing composer Will Dodson, the developer, and ourselves are collaborating in Discord to begin combining the music, gameplay, and aesthetic elements.

Here are a few other quick updates that our team is working on:

  • The creation of a health system,
  • A basic enemy spawn system, and
  • A level selection screen

We should have more updates within the next two weeks.

We Had Our First Live Q&A on IG and Twitch!

This past Saturday (Feb 27th) we had our first ever Live Q&A! For a little over an hour, we spent some time talking with some awesome folks (you all!) about: finding funding as an indie game studio, the inspiration for Hamsterdamm, the potential for a shared universe (yeah..you heard that right ;-)), where you can play Hamsterdamm, and whether we get down to the Backstreet Boys or NSYNC (the convo took a fun turn lol).

We had an amazing time answering your questions and discussing what is up ahead! To take a look at the fun we had on IG, check out our IGTV post on Instagram.

There is a lot happening at NBS, so if you want to stay up-to-date, be sure to sign up for our email list to receive bi-weekly/monthly updates (and upcoming freebies). (link)

Thanks for taking the time to hang out with us today!


Feature image: Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash