Artix Krieger | Saturday, January 12, 2019
QUESTION: What do you reward game devs with for going into overdrive and burning themselves out doing 4 months of non-stop holiday releases?
ANSWER: 1 week to build 6 new games. O_O BUT.. their game projects can be whatever they want :D
If you are a highly motivated creative person, then you 100% understand why a high pressure one-week game jam with total freedom to do what you want was the BEST REWARD EVER. It might be strange to other people. Some people would be scratching their heads thinking, "Why not time off? ...or something like that?". But creative people like you know that the best way to respark your passion is do something unusual that allows you to grow your skills and experiment with new ideas without fear.
Morale at the lab is at an all time high. Normally, I am the last one to leave the lab at night... but during the game jam people were there late into the night. Some as late as 1am on multiple days. There was so much excitement.
We split into many small teams. Dage & Thyton's team made a MechQuest shooting game. Korin's team made a game called "Dungeon Janitor"-- which is about... exactly what you are thinking. Llusion made a game about hugging cats. I never knew I needed a game like this in my life so badly before. Cysero & Oishii's team made a dungeon crawl story-based card game... which... is amazing. Yergen & Rolith made a 1st person 3D angry birds like game. It can only be assumed that punting moglins is secretly their long term goal. Warlic and I were experimenting with some stuff for AQWorlds:Mobile and I ended up making a game that revolves around making your sword bigger. MUCH BIGGER. Meanwhile, Zhoom experimented with WebGL... and, while I am not supposed to officially talk about this. He did it. He actually did it. He made a browser version of AdventureQuest 3D. I saw him logging in and playing AdventureQuest 3D on his browser with people on the live server. *Mind blown*
When the game jam started last week, there were, predictably, negative replies on social media complaining that we were doing this instead of <insert a very wide range of things that the posters felt were urgent to them>. I am grateful for those comments because they only posted because they cared and were legitimately concerned. Without actually being here in the lab, and seeing how run into the ground we were-- it is hard to understand why what we did this week was so important. We're not a giant EA sized company. But with our many games and weekly updates-- our small team certainly does the work of a studio 10x larger than ours. Our team needed this mental health week to recharge our creative batteries. The same way a race car on a long race needs to make a pit stop and gets its wheels changed. The expectation is we can go faster, long, and will be less likely to have a blow out with the new wheels :D
So how will you be able to play these new games!? We extended the game jam through the weekend so that the team could finish up their projects. True to the "way of the game jam" these projects are either prototypes, small-scope, or proofs of concept. On Monday, each of the teams will present their creations in the lab. Then, we will talk about how to best make them available for you to check out. Because we definitely want you to play them! We should be able to publish most of them to the web. Dungoen Janitor is a 4 player game designed for controllers.... so, we will have to see about that one. After we meet and review the games on Monday I can post and tell you what to expect.
Overwhelming success. I kept hearing people saying different versions of this phrase: "I love this challenge because it is the perfect combination of being in my comfort zone and also being pushed beyond it." I can not overstate the level of happiness and enthusiasm in the lab. Bringing this rekindled energy to AQWorlds, AQ3D, and our other projects is good for all of us. It also confirms a theory I had about the developers of Artix Entertainment... they really, truly, love building video games.