all rise! a new number has ticked over on the gregorian calendar!
so here’s a bit of what you can expect from different cloth in this year of two thous and thirteen.
1/ Derrick the Deathfin on some wholly new completely fresh and erotically charged platforms!
after a somewhat lumbering start wholly befitting of his deep set eyes and suspiciously laid back demeanour, Derrick has started to pick up some proper momentum. as word has begun to spread about his unique papercraft sillyness sales have started to point in the right direction, which is ace news and also means: new platforms coming soon! how soon? sooner than you could possibly imagine. but seriously, how close are we to release? closer than you could possibly dream.
2/ something rhythmically and mystically and spiritually related to lilt line
what is this thing? how does it work? who is going to fund it?
so many questions, young mannequin. all will be answered in due course.
it all seemed so straightforward at the beginning: funding was secured from Channel 4 & Screen Yorkshire. our partner agencies were on board. Different Tuna was set up. our explosive extravaganza was all laid out on paper: we were to complete our production run on our PSN game Derrick the Deathfin in 11 months, and launch in late summer 2011.
looking back now, that seems like the most ridiculous sentiment in the world. i’m not sure how any of us believed that would be possible. perhaps we were all on drugs. thanks to Ron, most of the papercraft creatures that made it into the final game still are of course.
some background: Different Tuna is a venture that consists of myself & Ron, specifically founded to make Derrick but one which is set to power over the awesomeness horizon in the future too. we were aided and abetted by contractors Tuna, ten24 & Pitstop along the way but we are a 2 man team. Ron makes everything look sexy, i do the rest. Ron has been beyond great, he’s a genuinely amazing & talented guy & worked for many many months for free.
but enough about Ron, back to me and my eternally expanding ego. i do game design, level design, development, frontend, press, business administration etc etc. it has been enough work to keep me at my desk for 12 hours a day every day for 2 years, and even after all that time I have no actual idea what the term “business administration” means.
as for myself? well I’m a ruggedly attractive, sensual yet dynamic independent games developer who managed to piggy back on the critical success and commercial catastrophe of my previous game, lilt line, to secure funding for Derrick the Deathfin. amazingly, I am married. astonishingly, I have two children as well, aged 3 & 4. they arrived with a complementary mortgage. so quitting a well paid job to pursue some half-assed dream about paper fish was probably a little foolish. luckily my gorgeous little family is inhabited entirely by angels and they all supported me 100%. well, my wife said it was okay and i promised the kids some crisps & a holiday if they kept quiet for a bit and that was that.
so long story short: turns out making a console game is a bit tricky, especially one made out of paper, and 11 months was wildly optimistic. in the end it took 24, but we only had sponsorship for 11. Channel 4 and Screen Yorkshire have been insanely supportive throughout the entire development of Derrick, but nevertheless after 11 months I needed to find income to support myself until the game was done. i certainly wasn’t about to give up, nor was i prepared to take a break and come back to the project a few months later. no sir, Derrick was going to get done & i would beg, steal and borrow the money to do so. Which is exactly what i did, apart from the stealing bit. Here’s how:
that was enough to finish it all up! since completing the game I have been on a promo tip as all my twitter followers will doubtless know (sorry everyone!) & doing some freelancing with the lovely folks at Preloaded too, which has helped out a bit.
due to sponsor requirements, revenue shares between those involved, platform costs and so on for each copy of Derrick sold i personally receive just under £1. it’s entirely possible, or indeed by the looks of things at the moment 100% probable, that sales will never amount to enough to pay back even a quarter of my personal debts.
but here’s the thing: i don’t care. i love Derrick. i’m deliriously happy that Ron & i managed to finish the game and make it so beautiful and fun too. i would do it again tomorrow.
here are some pics of papercraft models we have been using in the making of Derrick.
click on them for the nice big versions.
i have interspersed quotes from the film inception between the images to give them more of a contemporary edge.
“saito, I need you to take care of fischer while i go set some charges, okay?” “i’ve always hated this carpet. stained and frayed in such distinctive ways. but very definitely made of wool. and now… now i’m lying on polyester.” “mal, no!! jesus christ!”
that’s all very lovely, the more jaded & cynical amongst you might be thinking, but where the hell are the screenshots and in-game footage?
well, firstly i would advise patience.
secondly i would advise dealing with your hostility issues.
in this post i’m going to reveal all the sales figures for lilt line iphone since the dawn of time – which was around 1983 i believe.
before i do that though i’d like to point out that i love lilt line & am very happy i made it. this will not turn out to be a whining post about how piracy is ruining the industry, the world owes me more money, gamers are not discerning enough & all pensioners are sluts or anything like that. i threw that pensioner reference in at the end to check you were still paying attention.
right so here’s a chart* for you:
lilt line’s price has remained pretty steady at £1.79 / $2.99. you can probably work out by yourself that i am not a millionaire. yet.
all very interesting, and a lovely reagan-era bar chart, you might be thinking, but what is the point of this ramble? well, gaijin games, fully (or at least partially – sorry guys!) aware of the iphone sales, were determined to bring the game to the wii anyway. they knew it might well struggle to make money (or at least sort of knew – sorry again guys!). but they made it anyway, because they love the game. and i love them for that. how many companies do you know that would do something like that? don’t you think they deserve just a little bit of payback?
if memory serves i also get a slice of the pie, but that’s incidental and nothing to do with the general thrust of this noble, principled blog post.
right so here comes the big finish and plea for money:
~ lilt line wiiware is coming to europe this friday, march 11th ~
so far the wii version has sold 3,756 copies in the us. if we don’t get past a threshold around twice that in america nintendo will never pay us anything.
the eu store has a similar threshold.
you know what to do.
* disclaimer: numbers might not be 100% accurate. i had to appoximate based on income as i don’t keep formal records. or indeed informal ones. also this is the first time i’ve ever approximated based on income. in fact i’m not even sure what that means.
Derrick the Deathfin is the real name of the game formally known as project DERRICK. It is the world’s first underwater papercraft game with a goofy shark called Derrick in it.
It is coming to console at the end of 2011 summer-ish 2012 and to PC / Mac sometime thereafter. Myself, Tuna & Ronzo will be frantically working away for the rest of the year trying to make it as amazing as possible. Just for you.
Check out Derrick’s holding page to discover almost no additional information!