Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary: Lots of Goodness!

Saturday, Feb 27, 2010: Red is progressing very nicely. We'll have that proposal spit-and-polished and ready to send to the publisher next week. The game that I imagine in my mind would be awesome. Let's hope it becomes a reality.

Spirit is not only progressing extremely well in terms of the game itself, with very positive feedback regarding the quality of the game from publishers, but we also got two juicy bites from publishers this week. Very nice! Usually, I hear a lot of "Cool, we'll hopefully have feedback for you next week." Man, I've heard that a lot. :) Next week can easily turn into a month or five. I sent the Spirit playable demo to publishers on Monday, and I've already received some very interested responses from two publishers. I doubt they're reading this, but if they are - thank you for your quick response and interest in our game. We have received counter-proposals, and we're discussing payment schedules and royalties. If a publisher takes the time to propose something back to you, it is a good sign that they're actually interested. I can't let myself get my hopes up too much, but I am excited at the prospect of finding a publishing partner for Spirit. It is a game that I think people will really appreciate on the DS. I know I wanna play the final game already! ;)

As usual, I'm still waiting on feedback for Stars, Crew, Jack, Face, and Shapes. I think three of those are probably dead at this point.

A new proposal has emerged from the vault; an old puzzle game that I've been kicking around for what seems like years now! Let's call that Puzzle. Two different publishers have shown interest in any puzzle game concepts we have for a potential DSiWare game. So, I spent some time this week finishing that off and making it presentable as a proposal.

Hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary: Making Some Great Progress

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010: We got the creative brief for Red. Yes! Now we can geek out on all of the yummy details and create our proposal for the game. We have until the beginning of March to submit our proposal. Like I mentioned before, this is a huge license with a huge publisher, so I'm not going to be able to say much about it without being sued and subject to public embarrassment. Sure, I know I am already subject to public embarrassment each time I add anything to my blog, but that is just something I have to live with. :) Regardless of what happens with this project, and whether we get it or not, this project is going to be great. The publisher is setting it up for success, which is very encouraging.

Spirit is progressing really well. We're wrapping up the demo this weekend and sending it off to publishers next week. We have focused on a combination of core gameplay and presentation. It is important to present something which provides fun gameplay as well as something that looks professional and coherent. I think everyone will be surprised when they find out what we're working on; it is very different from what we've developed before.

Still waiting on feedback for Stars, Crew, Jack, Face, and Shapes.

I don't think I'll be going to GDC after all. It is best for me to stay here and focus on creating proposals and working on Spirit.

Hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Monday, February 15, 2010

My DSiWare Fun - Episode 2: Spotto! and Prehistorik Man


My Description:

Use the stylus to aim and shoot bombs into the mouths of ghosts to destroy them.

My Experience:

Wow, what a lot of fun. I first learned of this game today. I saw a screenshot and thought it looked pretty cool. I read the description, which sounded suitably silly, and then I noticed it was made by Nintendo. That's always a good sign. And the price is just $2! It has a flavor that is similar to Henry Hatsworth's theme, which is always a good thing.

My Advice:
Buy it - it's two bucks!!


My Description:

Control a "prehistorik" cave man in a 2D side scrolling adventure. There's a story, but who really cares? I don't. Originally developed for the PC and later brought to the SNES, and perhaps a few other platforms, Prehistorik Man is a 1990's retro revisit.

My Experience:
I have been seeing videos of this game crop up occasionally for some time now, and they always caught my attention. Not sure why I found the idea of playing as a cave man interesting, but for some reason I did. The controls are OK. You can walk, run, jump, shout, and swing your club. There are many hidden items to collect, and there lots of levels to visit. It has most of the same ingredients as Super Mario Bros., for example, but none of them have been implemented as well as SMB. If you've already played New Mario to death on your DS, then Prehistorik Man may serve as a fun platform game diversion, but don't expect the same level of quality or satisfaction.

My Advice:

Try it before you buy it - it may not be what you want it to be.

Until the next installment of My DSiWare Fun, go out there in DSiWare Land and have fun with your Nintendo Points.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

What Do I Want?

I want to make games that demand your attention, not because their contents are controversial, but because they are great. Great in some way. Great to you. I have a strong desire to create new places of fantasy that become real in your mind. Places that you will grow emotionally attached to. These places will offer challenge, reward, fear, and joy. They will be both mysterious and comfortable to you. I want to introduce you to characters that amuse you, puzzle you, scare you... connect with you. They will be dependable; they will be there when you need them. They will never fail you. When you're not wanting to traverse, converse, or subvert, I want to give you the perfect toy to play with. A toy that will bring you many hours of enjoyment, only asking little of you and giving infinity in return. The sights, the sounds, and the sensations will grip you with their intent, designed to convey a true moment in life. What I want is pure. What I want is fantasy. I want this for you, because many others have given this to me.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary: Some Good & Some Bad

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010: The development of Spirit is progressing well. The foundation of gameplay is in place, and it's playing great. We're now moving onto adding AI so there's an element of challenge and an objective. I sent out a revised proposal to publishers, hoping it catches some attention. This may be a project that plays out like Dementium: The Ward did, where we developed a substantial amount of the game before finding a publishing partner.

We've received some new information on Red, which is rather exciting. We should be receiving more details next week.

Warriors is a no go. The publisher went with a developer they have already worked with before. Bummer. But, what can you do?

Sent out a new mini-proposal for a title we'll call Face. It's a twist on Spirit.

Still waiting on feedback for Stars, Crew, Jack, and Shapes.

I am considering attending GDC in March. It is always a good opportunity to meet with publishers face-to-face and discuss ideas.

Kind of a short update this week. Hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jools Watsham's Developer Diary: Great Progress and New Proposals

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010: We've seen some great progress on our new game that we started last week, Spirit. We had started with a foundation that we created some time ago. We weren't sure how much further we could push it. We need speed for this game. After many hours of adjusting numbers on my end, genius coding on Bob's side, and some great looking art from Gregg, it is achieving what I had hoped it would. It's not perfect yet, but it's close. Very exciting! We should have a rough playable demo that we can show interested publishers by the end of next week. By the end of February, we'll have a pretty awesome demo to shop around, which will have all of the presentation trappings that are so important to convey the spirit of the final title.

I had mentioned that one publisher was interested in applying Spirit to one of their IPs. Let's call that project Crew. Anyway, we got the proposal for that completed and sent out on Tuesday. Hoping to hear back on that next week. I think the proposal came together really well.

I'm still waiting on feedback for Jack, Stars, and Shapes, and the creative brief for Red. I am told that we'll start discussing Red next week with the publisher. When I hear back on Stars, it is possible that we'll need to produce a more detailed game design doc to expand upon our proposal.

I booked my hotel for E3 this week. I'll be staying at Hotel Figueroa. I haven't stayed there before, so it'll be cool to check out a new hotel. It is Moroccan in theme! It is located quite close to the convention center (one block away), which is a huge bonus. I'm not sure how well my new titanium heel is going to cope with the tremendous amount of walking required at E3... should be interesting. Going through the airport metal detectors should be fun too.

I also created a new proposal this week for a publisher that contacted us. It is a licensed title. These types of proposals are officially called Request For Proposals (RFPs). Let's call that project Warriors. I am told that we're pitching against three other developers, so I guess we have a 1 in 4 chance of getting it.

OK, I'm going to get the rest of my day started now. Hope you're having a great day. TTYL.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mark Bozon Leaves IGN

Mark Bozon left IGN today. I am sorry to see him leave. He is staying in the industry though - so that's good. I hope his next place of employment treats him well.

Mark is a great journalist (sure, he's been victim to a few typos), a great gamer, and a great dude. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Mark a few times. He's the type of person you want writing about - or even making - video games because he's passionate about them.

Just wanted to say good luck to you sir.