State of the Studio 2018

A look back at the past year and the one to come.

State of the Studio 2018

Note: This post originally appeared on our Patreon.

Back in our Doggins days, we started a tradition of writing "State of the Game" posts, where we'd step back for a clearer look at where we were in development and what was to come. They usually coincided with change: new year, new direction, new news.

Last year, we did our first State of the Studio post, and not only did it energize us for the year ahead, it marked a change in our thinking. We'd released two projects at that point, and we were getting to know Brain&Brain a little better. It had a shape.

This year, we went official-like and spent hours talking things through in a library meeting room. Here are those things.

What's Behind

2017 was a quiet sort of year for us, an in-between year. After 2016's whirlwind of travel and releasing Burly Men at Sea, that's no bad thing. But our quiet year did see a few cool moments.

  1. Our first books. We released a set of Burly Men at Sea books, which is actually a big project in its own right, though it remains a quiet one by nature. Some are beginning to sell out, but it won't be the last you see of them. *Wink.*
  2. Our first console release. We worked with Sony to bring Burly Men at Sea to PS4/Vita in September, with a team who were as excited as we were. It's currently on sale there, so now's a good time to pick it up!
  3. Some cool shows. Burly Men at Sea also made a few unexpected final appearances throughout the year, including at E3 and the Smithsonian (!). A small one we enjoyed and are excited to see grow is XPO, in Tulsa.
  4. A screenplay. David finished writing his second feature-length screenplay in November. Once his second draft is done, we'll begin working together to prepare a pitch and start shopping it around.
  5. Patreon! Our first couple of months here have been a lot of fun. We've been sharing secret news, resources, and our process with patrons, and there's a lot more to come as work progresses on our new projects.

Aside from that, we moved into a mill, traveled to Norway, accidentally biked 56mi, camped under desert stars, evacuated a wildfire, ran some races, and became good friends with our mill neighbors and the local game dev community—which unexpectedly have some crossover. The Ozarks fit us well. This place has claimed us more quickly than any, and though we're still saving for that alpaca farm, we already feel at home.

And though they aren't yet in the "complete" column, a good portion of 2017 was actually spent on our new projects—which brings us to…

What's Next

This is where most of our discussion took place, centered around the realization that our biggest project is a bit too ambitious in its current iteration.

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be exploring three possible solutions, all of which we feel great about but need to think through. Though a lot rides on the decision, we're actually more excited about possibilities than worried. There is a chance we'll have to throw out some work, but we'd rather do that than realize next year that we should've course-corrected when we could.

"RISK is our BUSINESS," said Captain James T. Kirk, of the starship Enterprise. That doesn't really apply here, but we quote it a lot because Shatner's delivery cracks us up.

Boldly going,

✴ Brooke & David