I’ve been quiet for a few months, but it’s with good reason: I’ve been setting up some pretty big changes for how I do game development! I’m super excited about what lies ahead, and can’t wait to tell you about it.
First, though, let’s ask a difficult question.
How hard is it being a one-person dev?
I recently met Martin Nerurkar, the guy behind the evocative post-apocalyptic deck builder Nowhere Prophet – a game that took five years to make. He told me that if he could change one thing about how he made that game, it would be to find a way to not do it alone.
Not even cyberpunk CEOs can do it alone
What Martin said matched my own experience! There’s so much to think about, so many plates to keep spinning, so many hats to change between, but one human head can only wear so many. Not to mention the day-to-day feeling of being overwhelmed, and always wondering: have I missed something incredibly important? Will that mistake, whatever it is, cost me my business and my future?
I eventually realised that if I had some help, this whole gamedev thing would be a lot more manageable. Enter Danny Adams,
a good friend of mine my best friend forever and always. [Danny, stop editing this, I’m trying to introduce you to the nice people.] We’ve already worked together on a small project: The Embers of the Stars, a bittersweet Twine game about the end of the universe. We discovered that we have similar design styles, love working together and are naturally on the same page when it comes to pretty much everything game-related. I realised he was a perfect fit, and asked him if he wanted to work together to make games?
I don’t remember his exact response, but it was something along the lines of “omgsqueeeeeeeee ^^”
So for the last month or two, alongside game stuff (don’t fret, we are always working on game stuff) we’ve been figuring out how I can legally give him money for work (which is harder than you might think), applying for grants, and…
Founding a Studio
You heard that right! Together, Danny and I are Clockwork Bird, a studio dedicated to making offbeat narrative games.
I’ll still post any major news here, but if you want to stay in the loop about what we get up to, you should sign up to our newsletter on our fancy schmancy new site which I made and am totally not way too proud of.
You should also follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram. Join the Clockwork flock! Seriously, we’d really appreciate as many people as possible, we want to make sure nobody gets left out of the loop. 🙂
I figured you all might want to know who this mysterious new person is, anyway, so here he is with a few words!
The bit where Danny says hi
Hello everyone! I’m Danny and it is a pleasure and an honor to make your acquaintance. I was born and raised in the good ‘ol US of A and moved to Austria in 2014 because apparently I wanted to try playing life on hard mode. I now live in Graz with my wonderful partner and our precious puppy Kaya!
I like to think that I’ve been a game designer basically my entire life… The first game I can remember making was a strategy board game based on Age of Empires II, it was never playtested or published, but also I was 11 years old so cut me some slack.
I started seriously designing games when I discovered the world of storytelling games (basically pen and paper RPGs without the pens and paper), and my first ever attempt, Stardust, won the 200 Word RPG Challenge in 2016. Since then I’ve developed a few more games in all shapes and forms, but most of my time has been devoted to getting my Master’s degree in Game Studies and Engineering.
I’m so excited and honored to be starting this adventure with Jamie and can’t wait to see where it takes us. I look forward to getting to know all of you better and hope to build a beautiful community of game players, developers, and enthusiasts!
Back to Jamie!
First, I’ve got good news: we still want to localise Spinnortality into more languages so as many people can play as possible. To that end, Spinnortality will be released in French soon! We’re not really sure which blogs or influencers to talk to to get the word out about that, so please get in touch if you know a bit about the French-language gaming scene and want to give us some tips.
Now the bad news. The more I think about it, the more I realise the code base for Spinnortality is confusing and tangled. I’m worried that the more I add to it, the more chaotic and difficult to manage it’ll become. So for now, we don’t have any plans for more Spinnortality content. I’m truly sorry about this: when I started work on the game I didn’t know how to write organised code, so the whole thing is a bit of a mess, and since the game’s already out it doesn’t make sense to spend time and money completely redoing 3 years’ worth of code.
Not to worry, though, because we’ve got exciting new plans for the studio from this point on. Some things we’re thinking about:
- Doing some streaming: either us playing games together or individually, or development streams
- Blog posts analysing games we find interesting
- A patreon with cool behind-the-scenes reward tiers so you can take a look at work we might not normally have time to polish up and release
- A new Kickstarter, for a game I will only tease here… code name “Androids are people too” 😛
And that’s all for now! Don’t forget to sign up to that newsletter and our social media channels, and we’ll be in touch soon with more studio news.