Salvage Trader 1.0 has Launched

Salvage Trader, station interface
After a year and a half, a Kickstarter and a team of helpers, Salvage Trader finally saw the light of day. My little baby has been released into the world, and I could not be happier.

Granted, there were bumps and bruises along the way, from a fraudulent backer, to three of us burning the midnight oil on the eve before launch, to get as many details added as possible. There are still many such details left, but we are saving those for a future update. For now, we celebrate.

The game itself is a casual strategy thing, made to be played through in a sitting or two. For now, it’s Mac only, but a Windows 8 version is 80% done.

If you’d like to learn more, and possibly get your hands on a copy, head over to salvagetradergame.com and check it out.

All Games, All the Time

Working on AAA game titles by day, and my own little indie game by night. For a few months now, this has been my life. It’s fun, it’s everything 12-year old me could have ever dreamed of, and it’s a lot of hard work. Though I’m currently working overtime and out of the house 14 hours a day, I do not miss trying to eke out a living as a photographer, which is kind of awesome.

Bound by NDAs, I can’t talk about the AAA title I am attached to, but it involves Microsoft and some cutting edge gaming technology. And I can safely reveal that it’s exciting to be part of a huge production. My role, as an assistant LQA test lead, has me talking to testers, other leads and producers, and I get to see what goes on at different levels. These are multi-million dollar titles, and pretty much a completely different world, compared to the one I live in on the weekends.

My own game – Salvage Trader – has a four person team: an artist, a composer, a PR/marketing person, and me for everything else. I started a company, Tagunda, but there are no actual employees – everyone is a freelancer, except me. There is no office except the one in my apartment, and project management is all done online, using the excellent tool, Podio. Communication flows easily on such a small team, and everyone is genuinely excited to finish it and see the result. My only complaints are, that I’d love to have more time and a bigger budget. But when is that not a concern?

On the day job, there are many more people involved. In fact, I don’t even know how large the production is. I’ve never met the actual developers, nor seen a line of code. Assets come from multiple locations, depending on their nature, and just managing all these is a major task involving lots of people. With such a large production, communication can be a challenge. There are many links in the chain, and thus many places it can potentially break. Like I said, a different world.

So, while life isn’t all fun, all the time, it is all games. Somehow, though not often at the day job, I still find time to play. I do think playing is a necessary part of making games. It’s not enough to just do your own thing – you have to see what else is out there. Not because I see other games as competition, but because it’s both fun, eye opening and inspiring to play.

For more on the projects mentioned, check the sites linked to in this post. You can also find both Salvage Trader and Tagunda on both Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to follow/like, and you can follow the process and development.

Greeny is about to die…

greeny-loading

UPDATE: Greeny’s Run has a new home! Get the latest alpha, or play the game right in your browser on the Tagunda website!

Greeny is a small fellow who happens to be green and slightly wobbly in nature, and he is most unfortunate. Trapped in a 100-level deep dungeon, his only hope is to rely on your guidance, to take as many Meanies out with him as he can, and gather all the riches! Only you can help little Greeny out!

My Salvage Trader Kickstarter is running right now. If you haven’t seen it, please go take a look and come right back. I’ll wait here. All good?

Running a Kickstarter is more stressful than you might expect. Exciting, yes, but it also makes me nervous and slightly obsessive. Maybe because it’s my first, who knows. Either way, I needed a distraction to take my mind off things, especially during the first few days. Enter the Gamemaker engine, and as a result of playing around with that, Greeny’s Run!

Greeny’s Run is a teeny tiny top-down dungeon survival game. I made it entirely within Gamemaker, with the exception of the app icon and splash screen (done in Photoshop) and the music, “Goat 145 + Stem” by stellarartwars, a creative commons track from ccmixter.

Download Greeny’s Run for Windows [FREE!] (July 14th, updated to alpha 4) See above.

Controls

  • WASD to move.
  • Arrow keys to fire.
  • Space bar to reload.
  • Esc key to pause.
  • M to toggle music on/off.
  • P to take an in-game screenshot.

See “Greeny’s Run” in action:

Also, find it in the Steam workshop, and don’t forget about the Salvage Trader Kickstarter!