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...

Like Spaceteam? Want to support my work?
Join the Spaceteam Admiral's Club!

Spaceteams For Everyone

First, a small celebratory note: Spaceteam was first released on November 29th, 2012, so last week was our 2nd anniversary! I never could have predicted or planned how these two years would unfold. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Second: the Physical Membership Packages should have all arrived by now, so if you haven’t received yours yet please let me know.

I’ve been a bit quiet lately but that’s going to change soon. In the new year I’ll start working on Blabyrinth and keeping a more detailed and frequent developer diary. I’m very excited about actually making it happen. Blabyrinth has been in my head for too long and I need to start playing with it!

Here’s what I’ve been working on recently:

New Custom Versions

The “High Commissioner” Kickstarter tier offered backers an exclusive private version of the app. One person officially holds this rank. Apparently, organizations with budgets big enough to afford this can’t justify spending the money on crowd-funding, but they can contract me independently. Which is exactly what happened, twice, since the Kickstarter finished. So I’m now working on three customized versions.

  • The official commissioned variant, which will be designed for younger kids and available for free to everyone.
  • New: A university-commissioned version for teaching ESL (English as a Second Language), also available to everyone.
  • New: A private version for a company to use at a conference to teach people about computer security/hacking.

Doing these new projects now (they were both somewhat time-sensitive) means cutting into the time I have to work on regular Spaceteam features and new games, but I decided to say “yes”, because:

  • They are all inter-related, involving customization and lexicons, so I’m able to integrate some of the changes back into Spaceteam and the Lexicogulator, making them better.
  • They have money attached, which means I can extend my funding for another few months (notably, more time than the work will take).

I’m still experimenting with different ways to fund my games, and this is what I meant when I reserved the right to make smart decisions and tweak the schedule a bit. I think it’s time well spent and I hope you understand. I’ll continue to document decisions like this that affect the overall plan.

The Lexicogulator web-app

The final version is being tested right now!

It’s more than just a fun Kickstarter reward, however:

  • I’ve had a lot of requests for customized word lists. The Lexicogulator solves the problem in a general way so I don’t have to do custom work each time.
  • I hope that other players (you!) will create and share Lexicons that will help keep Spaceteam interesting with very little involvement on my part, which frees me up to work on the new games.
  • I wanted to experiment with a “modding” system to use in future games. I like the idea of being able to add new things without making a dedicated update and submitting a new build to the App Store. I also like the idea of other people being able to modify the game. The Lexicogulator will serve as a foundation for further experiments like this. I’m already imagining ways that both Blabyrinth and Shipshape could be opened up to modding.
  • I now have some (basic) experience building a web-app that connects to a database service, which I previously knew nothing about. This is probably good for my career in general :)

The in-game Admiral’s Club Members’ Area

Custom controls and medals in honour of our Commanders

I’ll be in touch again in a couple of weeks to announce the release of all these features. Until then… Space out!

– Captain Spaceteam