Valencia might not be the most likely choice to start a new indie game studio, but here we are. Exiles by choice, we left London behind for a different but no less exciting adventure.
I have learned a thing or two working in the City and my key takeaway was that creating a team that has great chemistry and works well together is the essential foundation for any successful venture. In that regard I believe that hiring folks for a game studio and an early medieval ship crew follows the same rules.
Our mission at Sunburned Games is to make great games, and to have the cojones (in the case of the ladies, metaphysically ;)) to create something that is different to the lion's share of games out there. Not just because we want to, but because we strongly believe that gamers deserve more choice than two or three art styles and game types.
We have a social responsibility goal, which is to create as many job opportunities as we can for local artists and developers, and I am very happy to report that all our three permanent employees (even if the number is small) are from Valencia. Axel, our technical director, is Valencian too, but as he has worked for studios in Brighton, London, and Barcelona I am not adding him here. Going forward we are aiming for an exciting mix of local and European talent. At the moment we have Kevin, our art director, representing the UK.
But enough about us - you came here to read about the game.
What have we done so far?
We started work in April (2015) and in addition to the art style - including characters, cards, environments, user interface, screens and side-scrolling animation - we matured the design and defined the core architecture of the game.
Our engine of choice is Unity 5 and we decided to build the multi-player using Playfab and Photon at least for now, and until we have seen what Unity themselves pull out of the hat this year.
We also created concept art, animation and screen prototypes, a selection of which will be added to the media section of this site in the coming days and going forward whenever we add more content.
How do we work?
Our schedule is based on weekly scrums, and our approach is agile. On the development side we are using Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate with Unity integration utilizing Visual Studio Online and TFVC - all of which we can use for free as we are part of the Microsoft BizSpark program. It is not the most lightweight of toolkits, and if we notice that it slows us down in the future we will switch the repository to Git or maybe even migrate the project to the Unity solution once it supports PC builds. The artists work in Photoshop (surprise) and After Effects. We also use After Effects to create trailers and animation prototypes.
When can you try the game?
Our release plan is built around three milestones:
- Demo - Fall 2015: We are building a multi-player combat demo which we will launch for our Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns.
- Early Access - Spring 2016: This will include the single player campaign and multi-player combat. The scope of the early access release is impossible to confirm now, and we will make a quality based decision before we lock in the date.
- Release Proper - Fall 2016: Early access is a great opportunity to listen to players and improve the game. But we don't want to stay in early access forever, therefore we are planning to release the full game in 2016 as well.
If you have any questions, you can email me (email@example.com), comment here or use our forum.