Doggins 10th Anniversary

A look back at making our first game, released ten years ago today.

Ten years ago today, we released a tiny thing into the world. We had no expectations, no audience, no experience. David, our unbridled optimist, had estimated a week of development. (It took two years.) On release day, we were showing the game at SXSW: tired, dazed, and very excited.

The message that started it all, back when called ourselves Inbetweeners.

In my highly principled naiveté, I had insisted that the best game experience was one designed for a single device—not platform: device. Doggins would be designed solely and uniquely for iPad. Not even for iPhone.

Back then, there was only one iPad size, so those inventory icons were designed precisely for a fingertip on that exact screen size.

And we did it. We released a game for one device. That’s crazy! I love that version of us. I even still agree with the principle, though I wouldn’t take that risk now.

Later, of course, we did follow up with an iPhone release and then Android. But by the time we started to kick around the idea of a PC/Mac release, we were already all in on the next game, and then another and another.

And so, for Doggin’s 10th year (or 70th, depending on which scale you use), we're finally returning to that forgotten desktop release—with a few bonuses!

Mobile Update

With the PC/Mac release, we’re giving the game an anniversary update on all platforms and adding support for Apple TV. We’ve chosen not to change much, to preserve that fragile time capsule of Brain&Brain 1.0-ness. Yes, we’ve learned a lot since, and some of it would benefit from change (looking at you, final puzzle). But we aren’t who we were then, and not even George Lucas pulled that off.

With that said, we are making some minor refinements here and there, along with one actual big change…

Restored Soundtrack

Thanks to a change in U.S. copyright law, we were able to bring back some of the 78rpm recordings we’d originally chosen for the game’s soundtrack! The release soundtrack was actually a last-minute compromise after learning we couldn’t license what we wanted. I couldn’t even bear to play it with sound for a long time after that, though it now feels as much a part of Doggins as the original.

We still had to substitute a few earlier recordings for those that aren’t yet in the public domain. Sadly, one that couldn’t be included is our favorite of all: King Oliver’s “Shake It and Break It.” I found this one while scouring Internet Archive, and we loved it so much that we later went on to buy an entire six-LP King Oliver collection!

P.S. For original fans, we’re including an option to revert to the original soundtrack, in case parallel Doggins universes is just too weird.

We don’t yet have a release date for the update, as we’re both working on it on the side, but expect it this year!