State of the Studio 2019
A look back at 2018 and the coming year.
Note: This post originally appeared on our Patreon.
Measured against previous years, the past year was an exceptionally quiet one for us: no big releases, no festival tour, no project announcement. We even scaled back our social media usage. So what did we do?
- Reached two million players! After this year’s Burly Men at Sea Switch release, Humble Bundle, and PS Plus, our player base now numbers in the millions (⍤). Making ends meet between releases is tough, so we’re feeling a huge amount of gratitude that this helps keep bills paid for another year while we finish our new projects.
- Worked, worked, worked on those projects. Patrons have been getting glimpses of work-in-progress throughout the past year, but we’ve otherwise continued to work in secret. After a couple of high-level design shifts on our primary project, we’ve been working to finish out a playable slice of the game. Our experimental second project progressed more slowly, as intended, and we’ve just finished roughing out a build of the first chapter.
- Experimented with productivity. We tested a few iterations of our work week last year, some of which we wrote about here for patrons. The latest iteration, which we’ll also write about soon, gave us a huge productivity boost toward the end of the year.
- Got involved locally. One thing we love about living in a smaller city is that the creativity community isn’t oversaturated, and there’s more crossover between disciplines. Over the past year, we participated in a startup event, taught a kids’ game dev camp, were interviewed for a local magazine feature, and became co-organizers of our local dev meetup.
- All the small things:
- Built a new website and bespoke press kit.
- Opened a Brain&Brain shop with new merch.
- Released a digital edition of the Burly Men at Sea books, and wrote a making-of essay about the print edition.
- Interviewed by Kotaku UK.
- Updated Doggins and added an Easter egg.
Outside of Brain&Brain hours, we went backpacking, took up mountain biking, were cast as True Detective extras, traveled to Comic-Con, and ran away to a cabin on a Wyoming farm. David finished one screenplay, started two more, and got fifteen unrelated stitches. Brooke started working on a graphic novel, read 38 books, and learned to weave.
We’re currently talking with a sound designer who we’ll be bringing on as we spend the next couple of months polishing up a playable demo of our main project—which means we’re nearing that stage where it’s not secret anymore. Our second project is nearing a similar point, so expect to hear more about both projects this year!
Another thing we’re already working on is a Patreon overhaul. We’ll follow up with details in another post, but meanwhile you may start to see some changes here.
Finally, this March marks the five-year anniversary of our first release! We may have something special for the Doggins fans out there, so keep an eye out.