Yearly Look Back

2 Hit Studio is back on for 2017

Hi world, it's been a little while since we last stuck our head up and said hello, hasn't it? Let's talk about where we've been, and where we're going from here.

First of all, how have you been? Well I hope? Still playing lots of games? Did you miss us? We sure missed you!!

 2016 was a very quiet year for us. I'd like to talk a little bit about why that was. For those of you who don't quite know us yet, 2 Hit Studio is just two brothers, Matt and Adam (me) Carr, making games out of passion in our spare time. Sometimes people mistake us for a full time studio, assuming we have things like an office and regular 9-5 work hours and so on. But it's not really like that! We make some money from making games, but at least for now, it's nowhere near enough to pay our bills. So gamedev is something we juggle between regular paid jobs, family and friend commitments, personal time to relax and so on. It's hard to complete a big project working like this (and games are BIG projects) and sometimes we push ourselves too hard, but we love games and our dream is to do this full time, so we're not prepared to stop.

You've probably heard stories of indie game developers who turn their game project into their entire life, coding away at the exclusion of family and friends and basically any worldly enjoyment. Well, we're not prepared to do that either. It makes for a good story, and I think it's easy to respect people who work that way and hold them up as "true auteurs", but honestly fuck that. We want the balance. We want no love lost for games. We both have beautiful loving partners, and we'll do right by them a million times before lose it all on some dream project.

I say this to preface why 2016 was so quiet: for Matt, it's pretty self explanatory. He had a second son in late 2015. I'm sure I don't need to go into the productivity loss there! For me, things were a bit different. In 2015 I was freelancing web development while running this studio. Only, I wasn't actually very successful as a freelancer (I'm not very outgoing and hated prospecting for clients), so I had a lot of time for 2 Hit Studio. I was making enough money to tread water, but not really enough to save to get ahead. I was also entering the third year a long distance relationship with my partner. We were both fed up with the long distance arrangement, we both wanted to get a place together, but I had no cash. I wanted to stop being the broken wheel preventing us from really starting our lives together.

So 2016 very much became the year I got serious about getting a full time job. First I had to train my web dev skills up to scratch, then I found a job in the city. As anyone who's held a full time job will tell you, the first 3-6 months of your first full time job are basically a write-off in terms of creative work on the side. First just adjusting to the schedule messes with you, then the job itself tires you out, then you've got to learn to manage the small window of time you get to yourself each night. The particular job I took involved a lot of overtime, too, which made things even more difficult.

2016 in a nutshell

We still worked hard despite it all though! We managed to push out the Steam release of Fatal Theory (including a Linux and Mac port and large art updates) in September. I rebuilt this website you're looking at now pretty much from scratch, because the old one died and we needed a new way to communicate with you lovely lot. I practiced a lot of pixel art. Meanwhile Matt, entirely on his own, was able to push out a 2D animation tool called Frame Boy, a Udemy course on making games in C++, and a sweet little boardgame. What a machine!

So things have crept forwards, while other things have admittedly fallen to the wayside. The two most important to me of the latter are a) our communications about our activities (I know these have been sorely lacking) and b) Starslinger Kings, which went untouched for nearly an entire year. I'm presently rectifying both those issues.

So what's the plan moving forwards?

Often, whenever we come back from any kind of hiatus, we post a "hold onto your butts!" type message where we promise to hit it harder and more consistently than ever. We do this because we deeply want to believe it, and often make good on it for a few months, then for one reason or another lose momentum again.

I'm not going to make one of those promises this time. I'm just going pledge to keep going this thing going, in one shape or another, for as long as I can.

Generally, though, here are our aims for the next little while:

  • Publish weekly Monday (for now) blog updates on our work and progress

  • Work towards a new Starslinger Kings demo build, and pipeline allowing us to release more frequent demo builds

  • Experiment with streaming/Youtubing development regularly

  • Set up infrastructure to better foster communication with players (you! <3)

So that's it for now. Tune in next Monday to hear about all the changes I've been making to Starslinger Kings, and we'll try to get some sort of comments happening before then too.

Adios Wreckers!

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