Sonic Toad Media and Consulting: Hop to Your Success Today, So You Can Chill on Your Pad Tomorrow
Sonic Toad isn’t just any old business consultancy or place where you can get help with the business of games and marketing: it’s about changing your outlook on business and life. This is the place to be if you’re pro-autonomy, pro-labor and want to build a life by your design.
It’s about reclaiming your time, proclaiming your creative and entrepreneurial vision, and leaping to the fulfillment of your dreams.
There’s a lot of struggle that goes with the indie developer life that people who don’t live it simply don’t understand: Development Hell and feeling like your game will never see the light of day while the distribution models for the industry seem to constantly change and keeping up with trends and the latest tools feels pointless. Working multiple jobs/gigs while trying to get a game released, all while people are telling you you’re stupid for following your dream. All creatives suffer some kind of stigma for being risk-takers, but there is really nothing compared to the vitriol that game developers receive for their craft despite all the eyesocket-grinding labor that goes into it!
This hasn’t even gotten into the conflicting information and outlooks that there are about pursuing self-employment altogether: whether it’s in the form of a studio, freelancing, the start-up path, or some combination of these.
You’re in the right place if you want to pursue a new career path that fits your lifestyle and values, or need a problem solved.
Why the name Sonic Toad?
Merriam-Webster defines “sonic” as “having a frequency within the audibility range of the human ear.” When it comes to the business of games and prospective free agents, our struggles definitely haven’t seemed audible to most human ears. For those who identify more with “reclaim my time” than “rise and grind”, we’re also hardly audible in the entrepreneurship sphere. Not anymore!
Then as for the toad half of things…
When I decided to form a second business and website, primarily as a place for my consulting clients to go, I could’ve just called it Rachel Presser Consulting, a combination of my initials, or something boring like that. Or consulted a thesaurus to dig up some dull synonym for “greatness”. Had I stayed in the financial industry, I probably would’ve had to. It was even suggested to me by a business coach that the Sonic Toad concept was "outdated", that cute names that have nothing to do with what you offer are a holdover from the 90s...thus proving my point that gaming industry norms are utterly inaudible. But game developers can take pride in their often strange names! Going from my experience in the instruction and convention circuits, also more likely to trust someone who looks and talks like them. Ergo, naming my new consulting and media biz after my (gone and missed) toad, Yael. She lives on in the Sonic Toad logos and the toad loaf memes on Twitter.
And Because Toads are Wonderful
Yael and I went through a lot together. Whenever I tell people about all her behaviors and the things she did, they’re shocked. I was very blessed to have Yael in my life. I miss her a lot. Not sure yet when I will hear the clambering of toady paws in my home once more, but in due time.
With that said, toads are very underrated and misjudged animals. People often hurl "toad" as an insult, but how can people put such a negative connotation on such sweet and peaceful creatures who can really take to humans if you just give them a chance?
Then as for this Rachel Presser character…
Full-time hustler, part-time shitposter, constant traveler who feels that life is too short to wonder what could’ve been. All you ever possibly wanted to know about my personal life that doesn’t get randomly dished out on this blog is on my Twitter feed (warning: contains rampant amphibians and leftism and some textual content that may not be suitable for younger viewers.)
I co-ran Himalaya Studios as CFO and Executive Producer from 2011-2017, with my first producer credit being Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements. I spearheaded our successful six-figure Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and teach classes in various business disciplines for game developers at Playcrafting NYC.
Subsequently, I’ve gone on to speak about business and crowdfunding issues for game developers at events like Indiecade, East Coast Games Conference, and Gameacon among others and am a frequent guest lecturer in MBA programs (both in and out of games-related disciplines.) I hold both a BS and MS in Accounting and am an Enrolled Agent (EA) in sporadic advisory roles, still licensed but no longer prepare tax returns for compensation. But when I still did, I prepared taxes for literally everyone from welfare recipients to multi-millionaires. I wrote The Definitive Guide to Taxes For Indie Game Developers in 2015 to provide the very first concise pocket tax guide with citations meant specifically for game developers and by a game developer.
Sonic Toad started out as just an indie game studio-like name for my consulting work but I decided to turn it into something more. Being a game developer who left the professional sector, I recognized the need for a new place for my compatriots to dish about the vagaries of the indie dev life. Not just on the business and creative sides of game development, but things like interpersonal relationships, the stigma of working in the industry, tips and tricks for those wishing to become intrepid travelers, finding other sources of income, and random rants I just felt the need to share with the world.