Indie publisher Devolver Digital is making a new game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with the help of Mega Cat Studios. The game, Fork Parker’s Crunch Out, is a game about the dangers of crunch, and is seeking to raise money for the charity Take This.
You code 90 hours and whadaya get?
The game gets its name from a rather touchy term in the video game industry. Crunch involves pushing employees long hours for weeks or months in order have a game ready for its release date. “Jokes” about doing it greatly upset people, and Night in the Woods creator Scott Benson spoke out against it. It turns out that many people can’t be motivated past a certain point, even if you offer free pizza, free beer, and the possibility of keeping their jobs.
Mega Cat Studios describes the retro management sim as such:
Devolver Digital CFO, Fork Parker, enjoyed a life of luxury and spent his days watching the profits roll in from the lucrative indie game publishing industry. However, an upstart new publishing label threatens to take his beloved market share, forcing the handsome executive to take matters into his own hands and start ‘motivating’ his game developers by any means necessary. Meaningless elements like “artistic integrity” and “engaging gameplay” are out the window as efficiency and deadlines now dictate the studio’s every move – welcome to crunch time.
The gameplay revolves around playing the titular CFO as he tries to keep the employees motivated. You can give them coffee if they’re lagging behind, or flat-out electrocute them if need be. You can use the profits from shipped game to buy amenities like better coffee machines. If you’re lucky, maybe you can get that big game out without your employees committing justifiable homicide.
Only 1,000 copies of Fork Parker’s Crunch Out are being made at $50 each, with the special edition costing $150. All of Devolver Digital’s profits will go to the charity Take This. Take This is a non-profit charity that helps with mental health services and awareness.