How an indie game dev managed to gather a theorycrafting community

The Five Nights at Freddy's indie video game trilogy procures fast fright, reflexes and coordination challenges, and on top of that, a generous layer of theorycrafting. How did game creator Scott Cawthon managed to cram so much in such modest budget games?

The first Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) game synopsis is the following: hired as a night shift security guard to monitor child entertainment animatronics at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza restaurant, you'll find that those animatronics have a recurrent habit of wandering close to the office from which you cannot move.

The Office

Fortunately you have access to a comprehensive live camera system to monitor the various rooms of the building, allowing you to spot the animatronics and activate the various protection mechanisms before... But the seemingly innocuous cheerful characters wouldn't harm you, do they? Oh and you have a limited amount of electric power to activate lights, cameras and blast doors to get you from Midnight to 6AM safely.

Each night shift starts with the playing of a recorded message from a mysterious man (Phone Guy) who is trying to help you get through the nights. However, from the first night on, each subsequent message will be shorter and contain more freaky details about Freddy Fazbear's Pizza restaurant past.

Five Nights at Freddy's, come for the fright, stay for the theories!

Spoiler Alert: If you intend to play any of the three games, which I strongly recommend you if you're not too sensible, don't read the rest of the article which contains MAJOR SPOILERS.

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  • I honestly find it ridiculous that this series is already going for it's fourth installment when the first game came out last year...
    This guy found a bunch of idiots easily amused (or terrified) with almost nothing, and he's milking them blind.
    I have way more respect for game developpers studios that work for 3 years straight to make their game, than this guy who found a simple formula that somehow worked (to me, it's mere luck, nothing else) and keeps making games out of it until it stops working.

  • He's milking them blind $5 or $8 at a time, he's not very good milker!

    I think you make the mistake of confusing video games scales. Sure, Scott Cawthon created and published 3, and soon 4 different games on his own in a relatively small timeframe, but their scale can nowhere be compared with a single game a studio would create over the course of 3 years. The latter game would not be sold for less than $10 either.

    What about the yearly schedule of sequels of the Assassin's Creed franchise? Is it the same type of milking to you?

    Also, would the first game not be as successful as it was, Scott Cawthon would not have been prompted to create more games in the series.

    Finally, what defines to you a "proper" video game experience?

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