(Apologies for the outdated reference…remember, I’m kinda old. You’re lucky I’m not throwing out War Games references)
So it has now officially been over a year since we threw in the towel to pursue more meaningful and profitable ventures in the form of the day job. Does not actually feel like that long. It is AMAZING what can be accomplished when not preoccupied with writing and debugging code! I’ve remodeled and painted 2 rooms, started writing a book, revisited oil painting, built some patio furniture, brewed a crap-ton of home-brew and re-introduced myself to my family. The day job is proving to be pretty lucrative also, now that it has my full attention.
Of course, this is not to imply that spending hours of my day writing and re-writing and playing games wasn’t fulfilling. It just seems that, of all of my various ventures, the time spent vs. rewards received (both in financial rewards and in feelings of accomplishment) is by far the lowest. (That or I just suck at it!) That being said…
Things at the day job are in no way starting to calm down. In fact, my time commitment (and return on the investment of that time) is continually rising. Still, I find my focus being able to safely level off and my mind is more able to wander back…
Dammit, I know how many hours I spend doing this shit, and the meager results it yields, but I just can’t stay away! I’m drawn to the challenge! As a result, much of my free time this week was taking this platformer I’ve been toying with for a few months and adding a runner game to it. Still not going full-on balls to the wall with this, it’s just a casual hobby…
But damn, it feels kinda good to be back.
Not my game, but I did make a level in their level editor and thought that was worth mentioning.(Not #1GAM worthy of course…) Anyway, Windows Phone users can play it in “Portals 2D.” Totally worth the buck-twenty nine. (The game as a whole, of course – not just my level. Well, that too.)
Well, due to a newly found alignment of priorities, triggered by a realization that I’ve been mildly neglecting my day job responsibilities, we will be putting Lethal Martini Games and KOHO Games on the back burner for a while.
Late last year we came to realize that the indie gaming market has become quite saturated and the bar has been raised significantly, placing it well beyond our reach in our current personal and professional situations as a viable source of secondary income without the help of a full team (or getting fired from our day jobs, which would really suck). As our schedules are both quite random and have no way to dedicate ourselves to a team in a way that it would be fair to the others involved, our little project was downgraded to hobby status. That has lightened the burden a bit, and moving forward we planned to approach things a little more casually (saying things like “sure, I’ll see if I can spit out a Blackjack game in a week – why not?”).
However, even as a hobby, our available time has diminished down to next to nothing and even semi-seriously pursuing game production isn’t in the cards, at least for a while. I haven’t written a line of code in like 2 weeks (*twitch*). Not sure how this is going to affect the #1GAM challenge – we might still pop out some super simple works just to say we didn’t give up.
Speaking of which, this is in no way a declaration of surrender or defeat. We will not brand ourselves with the tag of “failed indie game developers,” because that would imply that we are done trying. We acknowledge that as a duo we are technically well beyond the prime of the average video gaming visionaries and that our games are fair to partly mediocre. (Or “shit” as one guy said, though I would have to disagree. I’ve seen shit games, and we’re not quite there. BTW – thanks, asshole – you know who you are.) Yes, we’re going to keep going, just a little slower than before (if that’s possible), and who knows? Down the line we might just get the itch to assemble a team and change the world of gaming as we know it.
But right now I have to place a parts order and take care of some other boring grown up stuff. I’ll check back when I can.
Cheers, and thanks to everyone in the indie gaming community, especially the XNA team and the XBLIG community (without whom I never would have even bothered trying in the first place) for being an amazing part of our personal cultures over the last 4 years, and hopefully again in the future.
Founder, Designer, Programmer – Lethal Martini Games and KOHO Games
Just a little side note – we’ve started the framework for a Hostile Hustle sequel… Hostile HELL! Nothing huge to report yet, we’re still whipping up a prototype.
It will be a similar concept, but less retro. We’re doing away with the static armadas and the unidirectional bombs and missiles and adding 360 degree firing, insane weaponry (for both player and enemies), and a TON of powerups! We’ll keep posting news as it happens…
Got the post-boss crash fixed, and I think we’ve found the glitch that’s causing the lockup after the load screen (We never could replicate it, but found one line that under the right circumstances could throw the game into an infinite loop). Hopefully an update will be coming soon, at which point I will hopefully be heating good news from those who ran into the problems!
So based on where Hostile Hustle is crashing on a small percentage of Xboxes, I think I’ve got it narrowed down to a storage device issue. It SOUNDS like it is happening when I tell the game that no storage device is selected, at which point it should just pop up the selection dialog. I’m banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what is different from one console to the next, and why not a single playtester or reviewer stumbled across this issue. Looking into streamlining options. Frustrated as hell.
Well, Hostile Hustle made it to the Xbox with a couple of bugs – one isolated, one pretty major. Please go here to see what issues have been found, or to report any issues you encounter on any version of Hostile Hustle. Thank you!