There's been a whole load of change here since Rapture shipped, not least with Jess' announcement a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to write and let you all know what's going on. Firstly, a huge thanks to all of our fans and friends in the industry and the community who wrote mails, tweets, comments of support. This means the world to us as a studio, and to me and Jess personally, so it's hugely appreciated.
So we're actually in a pretty good place right now. A couple of years ago we shifted from making Pigs to making Rapture. To be exact, we handed Pigs over to Frictional on Friday 1st February 2013 and we started work on Rapture on Monday 4th February 2013. This is the first time since we started we haven't jumped immediately from one project to another - we've never had any time to reflect and figure out what we want next for three or four years, so this is something we're relishing. We're (however) already working on a project that we hope we can share with you in a couple of months time, and prototyping a few different ideas for the next game, including Total Dark, which we're delighted to have got prototyping funds for from Creative Europe. That's going to be a pretty serious departure from our normal games, so it's very exciting. No news about that right now apart from some very cool concept art that was drawn for us by the mighty Jake Gumbleton.
Secondly, we moved! We're in amazing new offices just around the corner from the old ones, where we got born as a studio. It's bigger, with lots of space to grow and do exciting stuff. We're still moving in and making it our own, but it's already a great place to work and we're dead happy here...
Thirdly, we got a new producer - meet Martin, who's taking on all things production. We're really pleased to have him join us (actually he's been with us since September, but this is the first opportunity to say a proper hello). I harassed him into writing a bio:
A passionate gamer and industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience, Martin eked out the beginnings of a games career in 1995, within the savage confines of the Mindscape QA department. Drowning under a sea of edutainment titles too numerous to mention, he eventually made good his escape and moved to London to work as a Game Designer for interactive TV channel Playjam. Leaving the world of single-button games behind in 2001, he took a Senior/Lead Design position at fledgling studio Wide Games in Brighton, and dove into the murky world of ‘traditional’ game development. In early 2004 Martin was part of a small group of former Wide Games staffers that founded Kuju’s Brighton studio, later rebranded as Zoë Mode, where he made the transition from Design to Production. He has spent the last 10 years honing his management and agile development skills working as Producer, Executive Producer and Game Director on a variety of titles and platforms. Visions of Reader Rabbit haunt him to this day.
So what's next?
Well, we've got plenty to be getting on with. We spent a few hours playing with our shiny new Vive kit which arrived the other day, which was amazingly fast to get up and running. Everyone keeps telling us our games would be perfect for VR, so we've started looking at that (waiting for an Occulus kit right now). We've been continuing to work on porting Dear Esther from Source to Unity, which is getting closer and we're hoping might be ready sometime in Spring next year - and of course that's exciting as it makes a console release a viable option (and yes, it makes looking into a VR version of Dear Esther also something we can investigate fully). And yeah, that's pretty exciting....
So it's all go. We're not very good at taking it easy. What I'm hoping is that I'm going to get the opportunity to spend some time playing over the next few weeks as well, as I've not really had time to play that much in the last year. If you're following us on Twitter, you'll see I've been diving through old Tomb Raider games, which is lots of fun, and I'll try and assemble some thoughts on those fairly soon. Then I've got to hit the list: Tomb Raider reboot, Life is Strange, TLOU PS4 version, Bloodborne, finish Shadow of Mordor, Knock Knock, Sunset, sink more time into Sunless Sea... oh lord that's a lot. And that's all got to be done before the next Far Cry lands, or I'm scuppered, especially given Just Cause 3 isn't far off and then it really is game over.
Oh, and we played Until Dawn. A lot. And really, really liked it. So I'll try and get it together to write about that as well.
Like I said, not very good at taking it easy. More soon