Monday, May 13, 2019

Atooi Update

Wow, it has been more than four months since my last update! Time flies when you're having fun, and oh boy, we are having fun at Atooi Towers!

First up, Chicken Wiggle Workshop. My deepest apologies for the delayed release of the game. There are two main reasons for this:

1. We're adding more content to the game as well as polishing every aspect of it, which all takes extra production effort and time. The additional content we're adding improves the player's overall enjoyment and experience of the game - making it a much better title - while also addressing some of the feedback we received from the original release on 3DS. In short, we're adding our own internal stretch goals to the project, despite the Kickstarter not reaching those extra funding goals.

2. Sometimes we must share resources across projects to keep Atooi, as a whole, on track with our overall company strategy. We are always developing multiple projects simultaneously. This is to ensure we have a steady stream of releases and hopefully a steady stream of revenue. This enables Atooi to continue making great games. The adverse effect of this approach is that it can slow down progress on some or all of our projects for a period.

My current objective is to release Chicken Wiggle Workshop sometime in Q4 2019, which is the period of October to December this year. Please know that our number one goal is to release the best quality game, and we will do our best to release it as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

What else is going on at Atooi? Well, quite a lot actually!

At this very moment, all of Atooi's games on Nintendo Switch are on sale for 80% off in North America, Europe, and Oceania. That's right! Mutant Mudds Collection is $2.99, Xeodrifter is $1.99, Totes the Goat is $0.99 and, Soccer Slammers is $1.99. This means you can buy all four Atooi games for less than $10!!

There are some real gems in there, so it's definitely worth checking out if you don't already own all of our games. More info here.

What are some of these other games that Atooi is working on? Good question!!

Secret Project #1: We are wrapping up a very special physical release right now. That's right - a game in a box!! If everything goes as planned, it will be available to purchase in the next few months. I think this will be a very nice surprise for Atooi fans. Keep your eyes and ears open for more news on this very special release. We should have more news to share during E3, which is this June.

Secret Project #2: This title is extremely exciting and also extremely risky for us. We're throwing our hat into the ring of free online games for Nintendo Switch (and hopefully other platforms eventually). Insanity? Yes, probably! The game is progressing extremely well, so even if it is not a financial success, it will certainly be a game that I am immensely proud of, and a game I am looking forward to play with everyone fairly soon-ish. More news closer to completion.

Secret Project #3: We have a puzzle adventure in the works, which shows excellent promise. It is a concept I first created many years ago that we're finally developing now. It scratches a new itch when compared to our other titles. Exciting stuff. More news soon.

Treasurenauts!! Yes, we're still working on the game I first - mistakenly - announced way back in 2013. We're tentatively looking at a 2020 release. I won't have any new details to share until next year, I expect. The game is progressing very well. I am looking forward to share more on the game in the future.

Thank you for your continued interest in Atooi news. Happy gaming.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Atooi in 2019

Folks who follow my activity on social media may have noticed the frequency of my updates have slowed down to a halt in recent months. Nothing bad happened. I’m still alive. And, I’m still making games. So, what did happen?

It finally occurred to me that being so active on social media might be having a negative effect on my perspective of games, the community, my work, and my overall mindset. So, I tested my suspicion by taking a break from Twitter. My desire to check my mentions and timeline was still very strong, but I resisted the temptation to see what my thought process would be like on the other side.

To cut a long story short, I feel like I made the right choice. I prefer being somewhat isolated from the noise of the industry. That is not to say I don’t miss it. I do miss it. What I really miss is the wonderful people who would send me incredibly kind and supportive messages. Who doesn’t like to hear that, right? Being able to say thank you directly to the brave, beautiful, and kind people on Twitter is one of the amazing qualities of Twitter. Unfortunately, this comes with a negative flip side that I expect most people have also experienced on social media.

It’s more than that, though. Being fed the very latest beat on the pulse of the industry every five minutes of every hour of every day is not necessary and can be detrimental to the creative process. At least, to my creative process. I love videogames. I love playing them. I love making them. I probably love making games more than playing them, and I really love playing them! I have been making games for nearly three decades, and I remember the time before social media. Sometimes, too much information can be a problem – at least when it comes to creativity. Something in the vein of “too many cooks in the kitchen” mixed with “keeping up with the Jones” will maybe help explain how I feel social media has negatively affected my perspective on development.

Moving forward into 2019 I don’t have big plans for using social media much. Using Twitter has made me lazy with PR and getting the word out about my games, which is an area I need to be putting more effort into – not less! The data that I have accrued since starting to use Twitter in 2010 suggests that using it as a mouthpiece has not done as much as one would hope in getting the word out to existing fans of our work, much less outside of that core audience. As people’s timelines move by so fast, you’re relying on your followers being active on Twitter and you’re also relying on their retweets. It is all too reliant on luck, in my opinion. And that is too risky when one is trying to run a successful business. I’ll put my faith in other methods to get the word out about my games in future.

Anyway – onto 2019!

Chicken Wiggle Workshop is looking fantastic! Michael’s new artwork for the game is amazing, and the new music that Perry and Grant have created for the updated soundtrack is incredible. Playing the game now feels like a new experience. It’s so exciting. And that’s not all we have planned for the game! This is why development is taking longer than originally estimated. I want the Switch release of Chicken Wiggle Workshop to be nothing short of perfect. And it will be! More news on what new goodies we’re adding to the game soon! I think you’ll agree that it was worth the wait when that magical day is finally here. Thank you for your patience.

Treasurenauts is making progress – slow, but steady. Even though I am not sure if we’ll have the game finished for release in 2019, I am confident that we will make great progress this year. When this game is eventually ready for release, it will be fabulous. I have no doubt.

Other things in store for 2019 is at least one physical Switch release and one new little gem of a game. More news on all that when I have firm details to share. Oh, and on that note, I will be sending out press releases in the foreseeable future for all Atooi news announcements.

Thanks for reading.

Jools Watsham
Founder, Designer, Artist - Atooi LLC