Winter slog

When you are working on your first big game project- one that involves years of work and thousands of dollars to pull off, talking about the downsides of the work can be difficult. During hard times, it doesn't always feel right to talk about your troubles publicly. You don't want to give a negative impression of the project to folks who might be interested in it. But making games is a really painstaking process, and from the majority of other developers I've talked to, the bliss of game development is pretty much always punctuated by pain and difficulty. With that in mind, MAN, Novemeber, December and January have been really hard for our adventure game, Thunderbeam. While we were lucky enough to pull off a modest Kickstarter campaign (20k) back when the game was mostly just a glimmer in our collective eyes, it was obvious after about a year of work that we wouldn't ever finish with all of us splitting time between dayjobs and the game. We brought on a dedicated programmer, Paul, and Scott and I started paying him and artists out-of-pocket after our Kickstarter funds ran out. After a really productive month in October, Paul had to take a full time dayjob, I got cut from a dayjob that I had taken to pay contractors, and a team member suffered a serious family illness. The iOS market also got very weird for games, enough that we've had to work to ensure that we will be able to release on desktops as well as iOS in order to recoup our losses. Here's a look at the master branch of our code repo. You can see where things kind of fall off during winter and I started to do as much work as i could myself. During the last week we've had an incredibly generous helping hand from another developer named Eliot Lash. Things are starting to look up again. I just wanted to take a second and thank everyone who has continued to support the project and offered words of encouragement and suggestions. It's been especially helpful hearing from other developers talking about difficult first steps. It feels sometimes like the game is taking so long to finish, but it's not even old compared to a lot of longsuffering indie projects- and as Miyamoto said, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad".

Wiley Wiggins, February 03, 2015