And Now We Have A Dev Blog...
As an indie developer/graduate student, it is sometimes hard to keep up with all the various social media requirements of "making it" as an indie. You have to have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, a blog, and a bunch of other various social media outlets in order to draw attention to not only you but the games you are trying to promote. I find that sometimes this gets in the way of actual content creation as you spend so much of your time spinning an administrative vortex. For a small team, it really is a tall order to fill. That is why for a while I chose not to document my ventures as an indie (which includes the formation of this company), however, recently one of the projects we were working on this past fall (Unboxed VR) was accepted into a game festival in Vienna, called The Big Indie @ Reversed. This to me acted as affirmation that I was doing and focusing on the right things but now that our game will be in front of more people AND we have additional projects coming up the pipeline people may be interested in my (and my teams) experience trying to "make it" in indie development (while still being in graduate school).
Now as I mentioned, sometimes I feel that maintaining items like a blog and a twitter take away from the time spent actually creating. As my team grew from just myself into to a two-person team (soon to be four) I hope to have a bit more time to maintain these items. However; as a rule of thumb, the work comes first so I cannot promise updates every week but I will try my best to post about notable design decisions, big milestones, any interesting "business-y stuff", and my specific thoughts on how I view design as a practice when it does not conflict with developing our games. I hope you find something interesting here especially if you are fellow aspiring indie!
As a jumping off point, it would probably make sense to give you a brief overview of where all of our current projects are. Feel free to check out the individual project pages if you want more information on the game itself!
Unboxed (VR) - Unboxed was the project that started this company. As a small VR game that promotes mindful play, release, and relaxation it was an extremely interesting project to start with. The project actually began as a project for a class in my graduate program and ended up taking off when we showed it at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair where we were met with much praise even when the game was in an "Alpha" state. We offer the Alpha as a free demo but are now working on the Beta release which is to release on June 1, 2018. Unboxed was accepted into The Big Indie @ Reversed in Austria so we are excited to demo the Beta for the first time there July 4th - 8th!
You Busy? - You Busy is another interesting project as it began as a project for an Art Games class in my graduate studies. The game was initially modeled off of corporate processes at my last job when I worked as a project manager/business analyst. It began as a satire on corporate process on how we perceive "efficiency" and there are still notes of that in there but it became a much more fast-paced collaborative mini-game where players work to get as many "tasks" turned in as possible while needing to get "approval" from other players or the AI. As other projects have taken priority we only have an Alpha demo of this 4-player game (available for free) and it is not currently being worked on until some of our resources finish up other projects.
Untitled (iOS/Android) - Now, I cant reveal the title just yet (as we actually still do not have a final one) or a ton about the game (as it is in extremely early development) but I will tell you are next biggest priority is a mobile game that is all focused on the movement of the player and exploration of the space. The game is created in Unity like our other projects and swipe and tap are the two key forms of input. I chose to make this game button-free in terms of the controls to give people flexibility as to how they want to play (i.e. not needing to actually hold their finger on a specific location on the screen). Currently, we have an early prototype and we are testing game feel and levels to determine the difficulty curve and what parts of the game we want to accent most for the best overall player experience.
All of these projects have sprung up and have been created since October of 2017 so the team has been busy and has grown exponentially! I am excited to welcome two more team members to assist with the iOS game and potentially help improve the other projects that are already on their way. Thats all for now... see you next update!