It’s been about a year since I wrote anything on this blog…so I should probably do an update! The longer it gets, the more epic I think my return to posting should be….
But I don’t think anyone wants me to write a book length post about every tiny detail related to finding a publisher and starting a company.
So I will keep it brief…here we go in quick fire bullet points. Speed Metal Style…let’s do the whole history of everything from the start until now…
1 – Leave job as lead designer at lucasarts after well over a decade of having a job designing games….and go indie.
2 – Do some coding, I am a designer not a coder, but I somehow make 5 games on iOS:
- Hiragana Pixel Party
- Space Lift Danger Panic
- Atomic Test Pilot
- Heart Beaten
3 – Get two part time jobs, being a designer on a serious game, and a game design teacher, essentially they both form a full time job, but somehow I still found the time to make some games..
4 – Realised that my part-time full-time work status meant that I wasn’t really getting anything ambitious done, so I took a step back and started making an amazingly huge epic game of epicness….set in space.
5 – At the end of February I took a few days off my epic space game to make a mini game jam game on my own…I just wanted to release something new before I got back to the big game. 4 days later I had a prototype…but not a game ready for shipping. I was now double screwed, as I had two giant games. I called the new game Tiny Dice dungeon, and decided I could finish it in a few weeks.
6- In May Casual Connect came to Singapore, I got some free tickets and the chance to demo my game to publishers….Gasp!!! my little game was popular, I wasted no time in signing with Kongregate, because among other things they liked Pixel art.
7 – it took a couple of months to get the contract worked out…I had to start a company, because for legal reasons Kongregate (or probably any publisher) aren’t going to engage in business with just me. (epic space game collects dust)
8 – Employed Cindy, and Chiny, Cindy helped balance the game, and eventually started drawing better art than me and become a vital part of the games development. while Chiny helped part time with networking. (as in network coding, not hanging out and getting drunk with strangers)
9 – Interns came and went, Chiny went, Eggone came and took over the network stuff, and a few other technical things and dwarfed me with his giant brain…I also eventually stopped teaching, making Springloaded my only job (even though it’s one I wasn’t being paid for)!
10 – we launched to test markets in November (I think!? which was a little later than originally scheduled) and the game did OK, we got around 30K users, and the game showed potential…so our mighty publisher suggested we spend more time on it…(we felt we could spend a lot more time on it!)
11 – Sam Barnard joined the company, and shares the same name as my sister, but is a man not a girl, and is not related to me in anyway (as far as I know).
12 – The game got selected for the showcase at PaxEast, so me and Cindy went to Boston.
13 – Tiny dice came out globally in April on iOS, got a feature and landed well over half a million downloads.
14 – The game came out in May on Android…(later than we planned)…and that is where we are!!! Kongregate have been a massive part of getting us here, and this is hopefully only the beginning!
Obviously that is the story of Tiny Dice Dungeon….other things that happened include:
1 – Became a licensed Nintendo developer
2 – Started making a brand new game for Wii-U, but eventually put it on hold as we were too busy.
3 – Became a Playstation developer, and started planning the future….
4 – Signed some contracts with Microsoft….
5 – Got a new team, the Console team! A dynamic duo who are focusing on taking our games to console.
6 – Started a new mobile game….
7 – Had a new hire, Tommy, who started on coding playable web things…(it is currently his second week)
There are now 9 of us here, although there aren’t actually enough desks for us all…so that makes things pretty crazy. As you can imagine we have more work flapping around us like suffocating fish than we know what to do with, so I haven’t really been updating my blog, it’s just work all the way!
While I started as a full on solo indie developer, the company has kind of become a real company, and the people that work here are as much a part of any game as I am. I am forever in debt to the folks that felt it was worth jumping in working with me, from publishers to developers…while it is far from easy, and even further from smooth sailing, it’s a pretty amazing / exciting spot to be in.
I will try and write some more interesting things on this blog in the near future, however, I probably can’t be as open as I used to be. Before I was just writing about my own ups and downs, but now there are other people involved I don’t feel it’s fair to say anything about them seeing as they aren’t writing it themselves…but I am sure I will still have things you can find interesting….