Hi, I'm Henry. In 2012 I quit my job as a programmer at BioWare to spend a year making my own indie games. This blog is about what happened next...

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Berlin, Toronto, and a special announcement...

I have some big Spaceteam news to announce...

Spaceteam Logo

Spaceteam is heading to another reality! VIRTUAL REALITY!

A company called Cooperative Innovations has licensed the Spaceteam name and are making a VR version of the game. Read the full press release here. I've already seen some early demos and they're capturing the chaos and humour of the game well. They're planning to launch it later this year and I'm excited to see the finished product!

Cooperative Innovations logo

I'll be sure to mention any Spaceteam VR news here on the blog but you can also sign up for a Spaceteam-VR-specific newsletter from the Cooperative Innovations team here: Spaceteam VR page

Blabyrinth icon

Blabyrinth in Berlin

In April I was in Berlin for the A MAZE. festival where Blabyrinth won the Human Human Machine Award! I was very happy and it's a great start to this new promotional phase of development.

AMaze. Award

The game was demoing well with very few bugs/crashes, however... when the judges got to my station to actually test the game for judging, two unexpected things happened:

  1. They almost immediately started ringing the three giant bells in the demo level and accidentally discovered the secret melody to open the Treasure Room, skipping over a bunch of clues. (Note to self: should I allow these kind of accidental shortcuts in the game?)
  2. Then, three of them went to explore behind a pressure-plate-activated portcullis and the fourth unwittingly locked them all inside and then promptly stepped on a cage trap, thus trapping the entire team. Luckily they still enjoyed the experience :) (Another note to self: should I allow all players to be trapped at once, or artificially rescue them somehow?)

The festival was great for playtesting: I got to watch a steady stream of brand new players interact with the game, see their reactions, and discuss with them afterwards. I took a lot of notes :)

I was there by myself working the booth for 4 days, and the exhibition was open until 1am every day, so it was pretty tiring! I took some breaks but not enough.

Phil (my musician) mentioned something recently that I had never really thought about: it's kind of weird that games can win awards before they come out. It's not true for most other creative industries: music, movies, books, etc.

Blabyrinth in Toronto

In May the whole family went to Toronto for TCAF (the Toronto Comic Arts Festival) which had a small games presence organized by the Hand Eye Society. This time I had Phil to help with the booth and the show only lasted two days, so it was much more manageable.

Everyone seemed to like the game. Quite a few Spaceteam fans stopped by to say hi. And we got a bunch of new sign-ups for the mailing list.

More than one person mentioned that Blabyrinth felt a bit like an old game from the 90s called Indiana Jones Desktop Adventures (and another called Yoda Stories) so now I have to check those games out and get some inspiration!

Henry at the TCAF booth

The image on the TV is from a rough-cut of our new trailer with some storyboard graphics. We'll be recording some live-action footage for the trailer soon!

I am now a Corporate Overlord

After working under my own name for 6 years as a Sole Proprietor I finally decided to get an accountant and incorporate my business, which will hopefully save some money on taxes. Canada, and specifically Québec (where I am), has some great incentives for video game developers but I've never taken advantage of them. My accountants are going to help me apply for SRED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) and the Multimedia Tax Credit. Possibly others?

My company's official name is now... drumroll... 9397-6124 Québec inc. (it was cheaper and quicker to register a numbered company) but my "trade name" is still Sleeping Beast Games. And since I'm in Québec I also have to have a French name (which I needed Phil's help for): Jeux Le Dragon Dormant.

Now that I'm starting to promote a second game it looks like I'll need to spend some more time on my website and branding to connect everything together.

Until next time!

~ Henry