Wow, it's been a really long time since we blogged. Sorry about that, if anyone's missed hearing from us.
Lots of stuff has been going on, we've been very busy, games have been made, we've started to grow a bit & work with more people, trying new and interesting things.. Miles and his wife Janis even had a baby! (Samuel Ian Tilmann). Still, for some reason there wasn't motivation to blog about anything here. One part is we've spent too much time on computers and when we're not making games, we're living life, going outside, interacting with humans, etc. I think another part of it was that we were working on games for others ever since Dino Run was released. We do our best with every game project we work on, including games for hire. We want to love & enjoy them too, but it looks like it took until now to get inspired & feel there was something truly exciting to report... which is, we've begun working on Gamma Bros 2!
I'm very happy about this. (this is Rich speaking, by the way). So is Miles, and so are Buzz and Zap. They've been restless & look forward to some new adventures. Our favorite chip-tune-master Mark DeNardo is cranking out some really great new music for GB2 as well. the original team (Mark, Miles and I) are on it, plus Wayne Marsh to handle the programming and Graham Lackey to help with additional pixel art, including some of the new environments they will travel to.. Ideas aplenty. we've already scaled it way down from our original plans for it.. We must take care not lose the heart and simplicity of the Gamma Bros universe, and also to plan for a game we can actually produce and finish within a year. so, YAY!!
We've also begun working on a few other new Pixeljam games since Dino Run was released, including what may be a fun little Pixel Game Maker, a game about a Llama, a new pinball style game, a new Pixeljam website that will be partly a collection of minimal games in itself. And more games, actually.. The Bee game and Moon game are still waiting to be returned to, but we won't be able to do that for quite a while. Dino Run 2 will probably go into development before either of those, and that's a couple years out I think. But they haven't left our hearts. not mine anyway.. Before it's all over, I really want to make that moon game..
Anyway, in this time we've been growing a bit as a company. We've begun working with great new programmers, and another pixel artist, and collaborating here & there with others on misc projects. Working on games-for-hire has allowed us to (most importantly) stay afloat! I mean, we give our games away for free for the most part, and you think people donate? ha! it would really, really help, but the vast majority of people just don't support in that way.. Some licensing income for our games on some portals helps bring some income in for us, but not nearly enough to keep going. Not yet, anyway. We'll try to do things differently with GB2, have more of a plan going into it.. but we'll likely have to stop in the middle of development and do some more games-for-hire when we're low on money again.
Doing the client work is also helpful because we've gotten a lot of experience, developed great new tools and discovered better more versatile ways of making games. We've been able to "break in" the new people we're working with on these client games (they are all truly angels to us), and moving on to our own games again now will benefit from that. We've also seen more clearly that by not working on the the most treasured & exciting ideas we have, we are not completely fulfilled & satisfied. I even like the games we've made for clients quite a bit, but even just beginning to work on GB2 is a whole different feeling than doing games for anyone else.
This is not to say that we didn't really give ourselves to the jobs we've been doing for others, we do, but in the end, the other companies own the games, the artwork, the names.. and we can't revisit those worlds unless the clients want to, so, even as the games were mostly our ideas, heart & soul, it's like having a baby for another couple.. you can't allow yourself to get too close since they will be taken from your arms at birth. (Kind of an extreme example I suppose)
I know I've already written a lot, but there's much more I'd like to write about now. Just get me going and I start to see all the newsworthy stuff I could report. But, as always, time is limited and I should get back to working on the games themselves. I'll write another blog very soon, with links to the games we've done.. and pictures and things.
Thanks for reading. And of course, feel free to Become a Pixeljam Supporter so we don't have to stop working on Gamma Bros 2 halfway through or sooner.. breaking the momentum will not help.. If you want to send ideas on what might be a good incentive to help people to want to donate, we're all ears. (or eyes, in this case).
PS. We started a twitter account recently (http://twitter.com/pixeljamgames) and use that to post game release news and other stuff now and then. follow us there if you like.