Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary: Looking for gigs...

I will continue to upload video blogs via YouTube and add them here. You can access my previous video blogs here.

Just to bring you up to speed with what has happened prior to this week: Since E3 (May 2009) I've been in talks with publishers for our next game. And, unsurprisingly we are still in talks with no game signed. Yikes! We completed Dementium II for Nintendo DS in November 2009, when it was approved by Nintendo. Yes! Always a great day when you receive that email.

Dementium II has been met with extremely positive response in its previews, which is simply awesome. Typically, previews are more factual than impressions. To receive such positive feedback in previews can be somewhat rare. For example, IGN's Mark Bozon had this to say:

"Dementium is back alright, and it's shaping up to be a far better - and more chilling - experience than the first game."

"It's apparent in my first few hours with the game that Dementium II is leagues above the original both in technology and in overall execution."

"For me the first few hours of the game have been a mix of admiration for the construction and design of the game, mixed with the occasional startled jump or panic-charged sprint from area to area."

Very nice - thanks Mark! Glad you're liking it. Here's the link. Now, onto more current events...

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010: This week has been quite eventful. Currently, we have about six potential projects that we're talking with publishers about. Three of them are DSiWare games, Two of them are DS retail (in a box, on a shelf), and one is an XBLA game.

I have been courting one of the publishers since May 2009, when I met with them at E3. It is quite incredible that it can take that long (and longer) to secure a deal. I showed them our Maximilian demo, as well as a current build of Dementium II. They really like what we're doing on the DS. They're currently showing some interest in taking one of our DSiWare concepts and slapping their IP on it, which would essentially result in a re-skinning of the current design: new artwork / same gameplay.

One of the DS retail games I just sent out to publishers on Jan 21, 2010. I created a three page document that outlines the major features of the concept, as well as sales numbers of similar titles, and a milestone schedule showing dates and costs. I sent it to 16 publishers... yeah, that's a lot. And, you would think that it will surely find a home, right? Let's hope so. It is a concept that both Gregg and I are really excited about. It is a genre we've wanted to work on for a long time. It is not an FPS. It is not a platformer. What I like about this game concept is the combination of creative fun and sales data to back it up. Often, games can fall into one of those categories, but it can be difficult to find a game that you want to work on that falls into both. I've heard back from a couple of publishers who have some interest. One suggested an XBLA version of it, so that's where that came from.

The other DS retail game is almost too good to be true. It is a HUGE licensed title with a HUGE publisher. I am very excited by the prospect of it, but I can't let myself get too excited as projects can easily slip away for one of a 1000 reasons. I have been told that we'll receive a creative brief by the end of next week. We will then create a one page write up of our concept, which I will then fly out to present to them in person. Man, it would be amazing if we landed this deal. It could quite possibly turn into an annual project, which would provide a great sense of security for Renegade Kid. Always searching for the next project is very stressful. Alleviating that a little with an on-going deal would be simply wonderful.

OK, that's about it for now. I hope you're having a great day. Talk to you later.