Starting 2014

Hey everyone. A lot has been going on. We've had some crew shake ups over the Holidays. It happened last year as well. People on the team take some time off and reflect if they really want to be part of what we’re doing or not. It’s a hard thing being in a start up. No money coming in and still a lot more work to do... it’s certainly not for everyone.

I feel as though the team has gotten just a little too big to manage, so I've decided to downsize the team just a little. That means, I won’t be seeking replacements for those we lost. There are still a couple positions we still need to fill and I’ll continue to look for the right candidates for those. Otherwise, I think we're going to shrink down to a 15-20 person team size, at least for now.

So let’s get to some progress:

Not a lot of Raygun Rocketship news. I’m hoping we can finalize concepts for the remaining, unfinished levels in the game. We had to switch lead artists on the team, which I’m hoping doesn't slow us down too much. I've been working more on story lines. The marketing team has been talking about putting together a Kickstarter campaign for it. I've been on the fence with that for a while. Other KS campaigns for games in the same SHMUP genre are pretty dismal (nearly all successfully funded are less than $10 grand), certainly not enough money to make it worth it for paying the team of 6-7 people who've put nearly a year into it so far, but possibly enough to fund a decent marketing campaign. We’ll see. I know there are a few members on the team that are in financial trouble, but are so committed to this that they’re pushing forward. It really sucks that there’s not much I can do about that right now. A big KS funding round would be amazingly helpful.

Very little news on our casual game other than we have a basic story arc done. Now we just need to storyboard it out in combination with the levels. We only have a programmer and a story designer working on it right now, both of which are hard pressed for free time to devote to it. But I’m thinking we’ll probably announce it soon.

I think I mentioned our parody fighting game hit a snag a couple months ago and we decided to start over. We didn't get a whole lot done over the break on that in terms of asset competition, but we’re on a good path now. I think I mentioned I screwed up and added too many artists to the project and turned it into a cluster mess. I've re-assigned artists and one artist left the team entirely. Now we’re settled with everyone having a specific job they need to take care of. One of our artists has stepped up to be the Art Director on the project and I’m really happy with how she’s doing so far. This game will be entirely hand drawn. We've thought about going 3d since the very beginning. Recently, I even considered modeling, rigging, and animating 3d characters then rendering them to 2d sprites, so it would technically still be a 2d game. That would make things faster. But a hand drawn game should look better and, hopefully, generate the buzz we really need. I don’t want to quickly put out a game no one will care about, so it might be the better decision to take the long way.

Lastly, the Dawnshine table top project has been through a lot. I was taking a backseat role, letting the rest of the team do the designs while I just worked on lore, theme, and flavoring. I wasn't really happy with how the design was going, so when the design team fell apart and people left the team over the Christmas break, I knew it was time for me to step in, throw out everything that had been done so far, and start over.

I've decided to take the game in a deck building direction as the mechanic for an empire building game--thus merging two genres. Though I have the finished idea in my head, it will be important to play test and keep researching other similar games to see if there’s more elegant ways of doing things or if my brilliant ideas have been done to death in other games.

Aside from that, there’s a few cool things on the horizon that I hope to be able to post more about soon.

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