Legend of Dungeon Devs Live in an All-Purpose Treehouse

Legend of Dungeon Devs Live in an All-Purpose Treehouse

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If you're a starving artist, apparently one solution is to build your home eight feet off the ground.

If you're interested in becoming an indie game designer, there's one warning you'll frequently hear: You shouldn't be doing it for the money. While there certainly are success stories, developers usually face a starving artist period until they can make a living from the craft (if at all), so certain sacrifices have to be made. For some, that means getting a second job or not buying that house you wanted. For Alix Stolzer and Calvin Goble, the husband and wife team behind Legend of Dungeon, that meant moving into a self-designed treehouse that met all their personal needs. Although when you think about it, designing videogames in a treehouse with your spouse sounds less like "sacrifice" and more like "marriage as imagined by six-year olds".

"While money was coming in from our games, it really wasn't enough to pay the bills," Stolzer told Joystiq. Instead of juggling between a day job and developer's duties, the pair moved to a mountainside forest in Vermont, where they built a spacious looking treehouse that allowed them to live on $150 a month plus food expenses. Thanks to solar panels and a convenient location within cellular internet coverage, Stolzer and Goble were even able to continue producing games.

"We sold our house and used as little money as possible to build a small house-tent thing eight feet off the ground, on a platform our friend had made out of four trees," Stolzer continued. "We spent maybe $1,000 on it, really using thrifty things like greenhouse plastic, and making our own solar panels, etc. It's an awesome adventure, but the downside is it slows down game development."

Legend of Dungeon's Kickstarter provided more than enough income to switch to full-time development, but Stolzer and Goble still technically haven't moved out. While staying with family until the game is finished, both partners are more focused on conventions like PAX East, and enjoying how well Legend's beta has been received. Despite their success, Stolzer and Goble still haven't forgotten the circumstances that led them to move eight feet off the ground. "I would say to anyone looking to save money: Look at your absolute basic necessary living requirements and meet them," Stolzer said. "The rest is bonus, and it's up to you if you want to pay for them or not. That doesn't mean you have to live in the woods, but you also don't have to live like everyone else."

Source: Joystiq

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It's nice they had each other. I wouldn't want to go off and live in a tree to design vidogames by myself: I'd like know somebody was rooting for me.

Quite the spartan lifestyle. Though to be able to make a home for $1000 is pretty sick.

It's good things are looking up for them, but considering how awesome a self-sufficient treehouse is, I'd be reluctant to leaf too.

DVS BSTrD:
It's nice they had each other. I wouldn't want to go off and live in a tree to design vidogames by myself: I'd like know somebody was rooting for me.

Yeah, since I found it, that pun counts as mine!

OT: I honestly can't imagine it, but it oddly doesn't sound horrid so long as you're that type who doesn't require lots of personal space.

Edit: Let's just hope after Legend of Dungeons, they branch out a bit.

As cool as that sounds, I have a few issues with the story. One, how are they planning to live through winter? Last I checked, Vermont can get pretty chilly in January. So the treehouse would be, by necessity, a spring-summer affair. Two, solar panels come that cheap? If yes, time to get some for my place. Three, and that's more of a question for the Yankscapists out there - is it legal to do something like that on public land in the US of A? I'm just wondering how much of this story is "self-sufficient living on $150 a month!" and how much is "we have a friend with access to post-hurricane building materials, solar panels and a lot of land in the forest".

RyQ_TMC:
As cool as that sounds, I have a few issues with the story. One, how are they planning to live through winter? Last I checked, Vermont can get pretty chilly in January. So the treehouse would be, by necessity, a spring-summer affair. Two, solar panels come that cheap? If yes, time to get some for my place. Three, and that's more of a question for the Yankscapists out there - is it legal to do something like that on public land in the US of A? I'm just wondering how much of this story is "self-sufficient living on $150 a month!" and how much is "we have a friend with access to post-hurricane building materials, solar panels and a lot of land in the forest".

I imagine they already have a heater and insulation in the house if not then I guess blankets (but I think they thought that through) and the solar panels might depend on where you buy them from cause and the size of the place and whether it's on grid or off grid the one I looked at was off grid and cheapest one was $960 and for the forest thing I really can't say cause I am quite curious as well
O.T. I would love to do that but I'd have to get over the lack of space

RyQ_TMC:
As cool as that sounds, I have a few issues with the story. One, how are they planning to live through winter? Last I checked, Vermont can get pretty chilly in January. So the treehouse would be, by necessity, a spring-summer affair. Two, solar panels come that cheap? If yes, time to get some for my place. Three, and that's more of a question for the Yankscapists out there - is it legal to do something like that on public land in the US of A? I'm just wondering how much of this story is "self-sufficient living on $150 a month!" and how much is "we have a friend with access to post-hurricane building materials, solar panels and a lot of land in the forest".

Apparently they made their own solar panels. I have no idea how one goes about that, and it sounds like it was only enough to charge one laptop at a time, but there it is.

Fanghawk:
Apparently they made their own solar panels. I have no idea how one goes about that, and it sounds like it was only enough to charge one laptop at a time, but there it is.

My guess would be a contraption which uses coils of black-painted garden hose to heat up water and generate steam to drive a turbine, which would then produce power. Cheap and doable, but not very efficient and only working on very sunny days. But if you say it could only power one laptop, it might be that kind of household contraption. Which ties back to my question about seasonality, because that solution wouldn't work in winter.

Sorry for being so critical, I'm actually really curious as to how they accomplished that.

EDIT: In winter, you could use an alternative source of steam (like copper coils in a compost heap), but that would require alternative sources of energy as well (e.g. in my example, compostable material).

Devoneaux:

DVS BSTrD:
It's nice they had each other. I wouldn't want to go off and live in a tree to design vidogames by myself: I'd like know somebody was rooting for me.

Yeah, since I found it, that pun counts as mine!

/implying that I didn't leave it there for you to find in the first place.

And yet you still can't find an avatar :P

RyQ_TMC:
As cool as that sounds, I have a few issues with the story. One, how are they planning to live through winter? Last I checked, Vermont can get pretty chilly in January. So the treehouse would be, by necessity, a spring-summer affair. Two, solar panels come that cheap? If yes, time to get some for my place. Three, and that's more of a question for the Yankscapists out there - is it legal to do something like that on public land in the US of A? I'm just wondering how much of this story is "self-sufficient living on $150 a month!" and how much is "we have a friend with access to post-hurricane building materials, solar panels and a lot of land in the forest".

I've had my heat shut off during winter months in the American Northeast & it's survivable, as long as you insulate well & don't mind wearing a coat 24/7

As far as the legality of moving into public woods, eeeh.... people do it; if it's a remote area (maybe), they generate their own power (yup), and use cellular internet (yup), who'd even notice?

I'd bet it takes a lot of searching to find someone who wouldn't just move into a treehouse with you, but build solar panels, design video games, and I'd imagine tame a legion of chipmunks to fight crime, with you.

Badass.

DVS BSTrD:

Devoneaux:

DVS BSTrD:
It's nice they had each other. I wouldn't want to go off and live in a tree to design vidogames by myself: I'd like know somebody was rooting for me.

Yeah, since I found it, that pun counts as mine!

/implying that I didn't leave it there for you to find in the first place.

And yet you still can't find an avatar :P

I will not be constrained and conform to your ideals of avatars! Stare long into the blankness of my avatar! It matches the blankness of my soul!

RyQ_TMC:
As cool as that sounds, I have a few issues with the story. One, how are they planning to live through winter? Last I checked, Vermont can get pretty chilly in January. So the treehouse would be, by necessity, a spring-summer affair. Two, solar panels come that cheap? If yes, time to get some for my place. Three, and that's more of a question for the Yankscapists out there - is it legal to do something like that on public land in the US of A? I'm just wondering how much of this story is "self-sufficient living on $150 a month!" and how much is "we have a friend with access to post-hurricane building materials, solar panels and a lot of land in the forest".

Also there is the issues of sewerage. I don't suppose you can get mains sewer 8ft of the ground in trees. Also issues over fire safety and there is no way you could bring up a kid up there.

 

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