Monday, June 4, 2012

An Overdue Update Ahead of E3

It's 5:25 AM the Monday before E3 officially kicks off (unofficially it's been going for a few weeks it seems), and I find myself coming to following a midnight nap induced by Polygon's party and all their free drinks. I didn't have all of them, but I had some of them and that was plenty enough.

So what's been going on since I last update oh, um three months ago? Well quite a bit.

GDC 2012
Just a really nice time in GDC getting to see some old friends (and meet new ones) from all over the globe. I learned a bunch of good stuff and had a lot of fun hanging around with Brian Provinciano (Retro City Rampage) for much of the week, and had a blast showing Valley to the crowd at Crashfaster's rather incredible chiptunes and indie games party at the DNA Lounge. Big thanks to Adam Rippon (Dragon Fantasy) for getting me involved. Here's a video tour of the space right before people were let in:

PAX East 2012 and AVWW's Launch
Another incredible, but extremely exhausting, experience. Exhibiting is just an incredibly taxing thing. I knew this, but you really don't understand it completely until you've been through it. Still it was unbelievably worthwhile, as we got to shake hands with a lot of the predominantly east coast press as well as show the game off to tens of thousands (and as a bonus have it focus tested by hundreds).

Not only that, but most of the Arcen Games team was able to get together for the first time and really get to know each other in person (three of us are in North Carolina, one in Georgia, and I'm in California). I actually flew over a week ahead of the convention with my wife and daughter to visit Chris Park and his family for a few days before the team flew up to Boston. While there were a few frantic moments thanks to my lack of preparation for PAX, we were able to spend a solid amount of time just kicking back and taking in what the Park's told us was the best time of the year in their parts. The whole two weeks over on the other side of the country was great.

Once I returned home it was time to actually launch A Valley Without Wind. After some 15 months of active development the game released the week of April 23rd through our store, as well as on Steam and various other distributors. The amount of press, and where it came from, blew us a way. Things went well on the sales front too, which is always a good thing as far as keeping a job you love. :)

E3 2012 with IndieCade
A bit after the launch we received an email informing us that AVWW had been selected to be showcased by IndieCade this year at their E3 booth. That's what I'm gearing up for this week. I'll be there June 5-7 during exhibiting hours to chat and have people demo the game as we prep its 1.1 release to coincide with the show.

Other Stuff
Still writing for MCV and just moved over from DIYGamer to IGM (Indie Game Magazine). I had to start writing about indie games again now that I finally have a tiny bit of free time. It was driving me crazy not to.

Also I just put together a page for my talks and panels should you be interested. More updates soon! (Well sooner than three months from now I'll promise that much.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Update as I Head to the City of Rice-A-Roni

I haven't updated in forever, so let's do some catching up. Here's what I've been working on the past couple months:

A Valley Without Wind Launches This Month
I'm really excited about this. Chris, Keith, Pablo, and I have been working on Valley actively for well over a year now (with Josh joining in and contributing heavily along the way). It's become one of the single longest projects I've personally ever worked on (along with Blokes which I'll talk about next). And it'll be out this month!

We just moved into the final beta stage for the game, and have all sorts of new stuff to check out (trailer, screens, info, and such).

Blokes Kickstarter Filming Complete
Another item I'm ecstatic about; as it's also one of those year plus projects that just runs you through the full gamut of emotions. We completed filming the first two episodes of the comedy series with the success of our Kickstarter effort fueling our budget.

I'm out of town this week (more on that below), but after I return I'll be sitting down with the director to take a look at a cut of the footage. Blokes is something that has built a lot of momentum and given me a lot of confidence as it progressed. I both wrote and starred in what we've done thus far, so you can imagine how acute my feelings are for it. Specifically my hope for it succeed, and my fear that it may totally fail. That's yet to be determined, but based on how the shoot days went I feel really good about it.

We're hoping to have the episodes out of post production for everyone to see either this month or next. For now, you can check out a bunch of great photos of the shoot by Erik Fischer.

MCVonline US Correspondent
Being hired on at MCVUK was a really cool and unexpected development that came about back in December when they sent out word they were looking to add a US writer to their staff. I've followed along with MCV years ago when i was covering the AAA beat much more, and jumped at the opportunity to join a publication with a solid track record under its belt.

It took a bit of time to figure everything out, but it was finally announced a couple weeks back and I've been writing for them every weekday since. So far the work isn't daunting, and I love working with the guys in the UK office.

Anyway, add another gig to the list. ;)

I gave my first industry talk! I had a ton of nerves about it, but to combat that I prepared a bunch. It's all about making PR, marketing, and community management work for you as an indie developer. So if you're not that, or not into marketing you probably wouldn't be that into it.

For those who are, here it is (view a list of all the #AltDevConf videos here):

Off To GDC
I'm packing for San Francisco as I type this. I'll be in town all week for GDC, doing lots of cool stuff. So if you're around, look me up!