The End

The story so far…

Well 2008 was a funny old year. It was the best of times… It was the worst of times…

We’ve been going as a business for the past 5 years, we ran out of initial capital a long time ago with a couple of bad investments in our browser based games, so we’ve kept going through contract work which sadly, together with the responsibility to work on the browser games, never quite gave us enough time or money to work on what we wanted. That all seemed about to change in 2007…

I’d managed to get a well paid contract working on a massively multiplayer mobile phone game called Football Pro for Sports Pro Games since May 2007, Football Pro v1 was completed at the end of 2007, and they paid me a retainer until they started on v2 in the April, along with a couple of other bits of work they needed doing. 
Version 2 started with a new client-side team, and was due for completion around August-September time of that year. 
So all in all things were looking up. 

Then things took a decided downward turn, Marie and I were married in July 2008 (that wasn’t the downward turn btw ;)) only to come back from honeymoon and be told that the contract would be cancelled as SPG had pretty much run out of money.

Unfortunately, that hit my company at exactly the wrong time as, among other things, the credit crunch hit, and no less than 5 contracts that I had lined up pulled out or were postponed due to lack of funding.

So I’ve ended up in the precarious position of having to find another job, at least for the time being.

I decided to aim for local game developers to see if they had any positions, so I hand-crafted some of the finest demos to best show off my ability.

Then Free Radical Design went bust laying off 140 staff.

Great, so suddenly the literally just one or two available jobs in the area suddenly have over 140 potential candidates.
So far I’ve had two “thanks but no thanks” responses and nothing at all from the others. :(
To be fair, I asked for feedback and one of the rejections basically said they’ve had to reevaluate their projects for this year and have put a full stop on recruiting until they know what they’re doing, so not only were the gracious enough to reply to my request for feedback, which is a rarity these days, but also it wasn’t a problem with me which makes me feel a lot better! :-)
 

But, in the funny way of things, it has actually inspired me.

I found time to catch up on websites such as AIGameDev.com and join some new ones such as GameProducer.net

Also I had used XNA to develop some job-hunting demos because I do like C#, and I found it very nice to use.
One of these demos was an old demo favourite of mine called Space Merchants. It’s basically an AI  demo showing off a space ship using  finite state machines and steering behaviours to navigate and trade between two (or more) space stations.
I’ve written it a couple of times before in C++ but this was the first time I was happy with it.

Now that things aren’t working out on the job or contract hunting front I’m inspired to expand it into a full top down 2d using 3d space game with trading, tactical combat, RPG elements.
Whether it will be finished soon and be profitable only time will tell but I’m hoping to be blog about the experience here amongst other random wittering.

This brand new blog is one of the other items I was inspired to setup. I’ve been meaning to start the web logging malarkey for a while now. Besides giving air to your hot air, it’s generally considered as a good marketing tool especially for an Internet driven business, and hopefully will encourage some interesting people to comment.

I just hope I can keep it up-to-date, intelligent and witty enough to inspire people to regularly visit… I make no promises ;)

So here it is;

 

The Beginning…
 

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