It’s been a long time since our last update, (about 3 months) but we’re excited to get things started right this new year. So we’re going to kick things off with a massive update. Buckle up, this may take a while…
State of Deadwood
First off we’d like to apologize for the lack of updates over the last few months. You guys are the best community in the world and we appreciate your patience. Just to assure everyone right off the bat. Yes, Deadwood is absolutely still in development. But more on that later. There’s a lot that’s happened and a lot to get you caught up on so let’s get down to brass taxes…
In December we moved the entire studio over to a new building. It was a massive undertaking and honestly we’re still unpacking boxes. For the 6 months before the move we were on the second floor of a Bank of America building. It got the job done but just didn’t feel like us as it was very corporate with lots of little offices. It was also more money than we wanted to spend. So we found ourselves a nice little chapel that we now call home. That’s right, we’re working out of an old church built in the late 1800s! It even has a bell we can ring to annoy our neighbors! It’s more charming and fits our culture so much better. We’re not sure if we’ll be here a year or longer, but it’s nice to be back at work.
As some of you have already noticed, we recently launched our brand spanking new website. We were hacked and lost a great deal of content. Thankfully we were already working on a new site. But this is why we had about a month where all we had was a coming soon page. The goal with our new site was to create something that better reflects what our company has become over the last year. You’ll notice that Deadwood still has a presence there. But the plan now is to do most of our Deadwood related stuff over on deadwoodgame.com. Which also got a new face-lift by the way! From now on “The Log” (which is our Deadwood micro blog) will be featured here instead of the studio website. Also, don’t forget about our discuss forums, they went down for a while due to the hack, but are now back up with a new post about designing Roguard.
The big “C”
In the spring of last year we got the horrible news that our co-founder and lead programmer Keith Lackey was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough time for everyone here. Now before we spiral away into a whirlpool of depression, we’re happy to report that as of earlier this month, Keith is finished with his treatments and is cancer free! So of course we gave him a big hug and then put him back to work.
Well if that title doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what will. We strive to be as transparent as possible with our community, and so we thought it was time to shed some light on how Deadwood is actually being made/financed. You might ask “Wait mysterious person who writes the Deadwood updates, what are you talking about? Deadwood was funded through Kickstarter already!” Well yes, we did hit our goal thanks to all of you wonderful people. However, after everyone takes there cut and you set aside funds for reward fulfillment there’s not as much as you would think. We used our Kickstarter funds very responsibly and managed to stretch it out over 6 months with our then team of 6. We’re talking Ramen every night survival here. We were in negotiations with multiple investors during this time. But we just couldn’t find a fit. And so we made the decision to open our doors to contract work. This would allow us to fund Deadwood ourselves.
So for the last year we have been juggling contract work as well as Deadwood development. Put simply, our profits from contract work goes right back into Deadwood. As we grow our contract division, we also grow our Deadwood team. We’re happy to say that we have grown our company from 6 to over 20 now with half of those people making Deadwood. But this game is a huge undertaking and even our current team isn’t enough, we’ll need to keep hiring. Therefore, we keep growing our contract side. So far everything is going better than we could have hoped. And we’re excited to keep growing our studio.
There’s nothing more important to us than completing Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse. We have so much of our own time, money, and straight up sweat in it that we can say with absolute certainty that it will get done. We’re just not committing to a firm release date. Because it’s not fully funded, it’s better to not make promises on a date we don’t know if we can pull off. But rest assured we are always working on it and we will announce a date when we’re confident we can hit it. It’s our goal to make it the best game we possibly can.
Some of you have asked about the status of the Alpha. Unfortunately, the alpha falls under the same category as the release date. We are working hard towards releasing it to you guys, but we want to make sure it accurately reflects the finished project. As soon as we have something releasable, rest assured we will share it with you all. We can’t wait to show off what we’re doing and are working hard towards doing just that.
Our team is growing!
Over the last year we have hired a ton of people. You can learn more about them on the team section of our new site. Actually, we’re growing so quick, we have a couple new guys that are newer than our new website. Haha. We have Eddie, an awesome animator who comes to us from the amazing studio Monolith. And we have Josh, a very talented level designer formally of N-Space. While Eddie is mostly doing contract work. Josh is 100 percent on Deadwood. We’re excited to have both of these guys on our ever-expanding team.
Here’s a fun announcement! For those of you who miss our monthly Twitch streams, we’re excited to announce that we will not only be starting the stream again, but we’re going to do it every week! Tune in next Tuesday as we kick things off again!
Quick Deadwood Update
We are knee deep in Deadwood development and unfortunately, most of what we’re working on we can’t show you. But we did scrounge together a couple new pieces for an area we can talk about. Let us introduce you to Philichop, the eccentric leader of the notorious woodchuck clan. These guys are lovable mercenaries who sell their turret defense and barricade systems to the towns that can afford their protection. Imagine if the lost boys grew up and decided to make barricades for people. Below is a small sample of what goes into a small area of the game. ie: Concepts, Models, Storyboards, Level Layout, etc.
Wow! That was a long update. If you're still with us, thanks again for your patience and excitement for our (not so little) game. We'll be back next month with more Deadwood goodness!