By Nati Martinsson.

Killmonday Games started with the idea of achieving creative freedom in the form of video games. Interactive experiences that would explore life in-itself, and with it play and the whole range of feelings. As you know, we have released two games, Fran Bow and Little Misfortune, giving us economic freedom. After the release of Little Misfortune, we wanted to expand the company, from being two people, Isak and I, to a larger team, so we could release something more complex. 

The journey into expanding the company was incredibly scary and difficult, as none of us had previous experience being company owners and for that matter, bosses. We just wanted to create!

Details from the project “Benjamin Game”

To make possible the goal of expanding the company to later create more complex games, Isak and I got to take the role of “boss” and start guiding others to understand our vision. But things were not as expected. There were a lot of Human Resources matters to attend. With more people we needed better communication skills. We needed to understand how to delegate and how to navigate the everyday with feedback, guidance and creativity.

I saw the need to study, to gain insights on how things could be done. I read several books about company building, management systems and how to be a better leader. I attended a few courses in leadership both digitally and on sight. All of this, while also keeping an eye on the team as individuals, guiding the game projects we were creating and managing the Killmonday Shop. 

Details from the project “Fran Bow 2”

My body was becoming a sad, angry, resentful husk, as I got less and less help from my partner, as the system to drive the company became more complex. Isak was withdrawing from the responsibility as the stress was eating him alive. And indeed, I have no idea how I kept carrying this goal forward for so long myself. I was tired and saw no meaning in a lot of things I was doing, but it was for the “greater good”. The bigger game! While I was getting sicker and sicker. And this is due to my incapability to ask for help, open up and show myself vulnerable. I wasn’t able to ask for the right support and I was being a people pleaser with my employees. *Side note: This made them respect me less and less.

We did achieve a lot of things during this period, though, but my energy wasn’t keeping up and it wasn’t sustainable. And many of the projects weren’t completed either.

Details from Fran Bow Chapter 6

I was focused on achieving, to feel more secure about myself, my worth. To feel more loved or accepted. And it shames me to realize this now. It is a valuable experience for future endeavors. I’m already worthy and my skills mirror the experiences at this moment in time. I can’t be more nor less. And my creativity moves with me. It took a few trials of canceled games, before we could finally realize; we can’t keep doing this. It’s making us miserable. It’s eating the creative soul of our beings

We haven’t been able to release or stick to one project for 4 years now. We have been sharing with our fans news about the Benjamin game, about a Fran Bow DLC and Fran Bow 2. We did work on all of these projects, believing this was what we could do together, but we always came to a point where things didn’t go where they needed to. The latest project we got to cancel was coming along good. Until we realized if we do this we’re gonna go broke. 

This year ends with us needing to
let people go. To take a step back and heal the physical and emotional wounds of burnup and resentment. This year ends the story of expansion, as a traditional company, with employees. We do need the help of others, but we will take the approach that has worked for us before; freelancers. Yeah!  

Collaboration with freelancers for Fran Bow Chapter 6 minigames

We have decided with Isak to let go of the idea of traditional company building. And refocus on the meaningful stories that we envision and we are eager to redefine and re-discover our creative nature

 We are getting there, little by little, and as time is a layered reality, we know we will make it. But we don’t know how or when yet. I know there is a little lady and a tall skeleton in a tophat taking good care of us. This year we were able to release Fran Bow on consoles and that was a great achievement. We also got the opportunity to work with Makeship and release really cute plushies of our beloved characters. This year was about realizing who one really is and accepting it and loving it, is the biggest achievement yet, personally at least. 

Now we are 3 beings working at Killmonday, Isak, Linda and I… We have become the triangle at last. 

Thank you for being part of our journey and taking your time to read. Please reach out if you have any questions! 

Happy times, many hugs and love, 🤗 

yours truly, Nati