Yearly Look Back

2013 in review

2013, year of the moderate success
Written by Adam

So that beast of a year has finally been put to rest. It’s been a mixed bag for Matt and I, but we’ve come a long way. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

Matt became a father!

Making me an uncle (the cool uncle, hopefully). Wee bub Tristan was brought into the world by Matt’s amazing partner Kim, and it’s been a pretty wild ride since! He might have put the brakes on our productivity for awhile, but when you look at his smile you have to admit it’s a small price to pay.

Fatal Theory nears completion!

How was Fatal Theory looking at the beginning of the year? To be honest, I can’t even remember. It got stuck in development hell for a few months there, we were gunning the freelance work super hard to cash up before the baby came along, and then we were working on Starslinger Kings so it just kinda slipped to the wayside.

But we picked up the slack and now all the levels are in, all the story art and dialogue are finished, and we’re just a few allies and weapons away from releasing this bad boy! 

We got the game alpha-funding on Desura too, which has been ace because it led to inclusion in a sale on indiebundle.org that was great for us and scored us a preview with Capsule Computers!

 

I also revamped the trailer, feast your eyeballs

OUYA Create and the beginning of Starslinger Kings

One of the big events for us this year was the release of the OUYA. We’d backed it for an early development console and had high hopes for the thing! So when a competition to prototype a new game for it in 10 days with $20 000 as the top prize rolled around, we couldn’t resist. The result of those hellish 10 days was Starslinger Kings.

 

We got a survival mode up and running, and it's pretty fun if a little insane.

The plan was to continue the game, putting Fatal Theory on hold, and release it to the OUYA marketplace when it was fresh -- before it became oversaturated with titles. We made some good progress: we have all the game’s music, a lot of the art, and I’d wrangled Tiled to work as a level editor to make adding new stages quick and easy. So why did we never push through to the release? 

That was my fault. I had what was essentially a big breakup and spun out for awhile. Drinking and mindless freelance work were all I felt like doing. Not getting that game onto that marketplace early remains my single biggest regret of 2013. It was a missed opportunity. We’ll still release, but now OUYA’s marketing team have all but killed the fantastic little console and the spotlight is shining elsewhere.

Fate’s End Chapter One

Matt released the first chapter of his graphic novel! He’s rebooted his style for this so many times and gone over the story with me on so many drunken nights I’m so glad to see it splashing into the world. Go Matt!

I made a browser game for LD28!

LD28 came about in the lead-up to Christmas and I was too broke to get my girlfriend anything, so I decided to make her this game. It was also a good chance to learn HTML5 gaming and being part of a game jam is always a wonderful experience, so it was a super positive experience. And she loved it, so win-win-win!

Matt Made a Crowdfunding Platform?!

Haha yeah, seriously. Matt wanted to figure out how to process Paypal payments on our website, and that somehow spiralled into making a crowdfunding platform that relied on digital sales rather than pledging money for tentative rewards on the completion of a project. It was a neat idea and he got the framework fully functional, but we realised we were spread  too thin to do the groundwork and design required to start the thing up properly and get people using it. So it goes.

Where to from here?

Looking at the year just past, you can see a major trend happening. We’re scattershot. We start things and never really get around to pushing any of it to 100% completion. That’s our biggest flaw to address as a studio, and as of 2014 we are narrowing our sights to be laser thin. We’re focusing our energy: first Fatal Theory, then Starslingers, then Autumn Fall (yet to be announced, shh). No distractions this time. We’re going to ship these games, god dammit, and nothing in the world can stop us!

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