29 December 2010

The Explodemon Saga - Part Seven - by Jonathan Biddle

The previous part of the Explodemon Saga left off in May 2008. At that point we were poised to start development on Explodemon with a UK publisher, having first gained both XBLA and PSN approval as they’d requested. However, when the deal fell through, we were left with slots on both platforms, but no cash. Still, we did have those slots, which - especially considering how difficult it was to get onto XBLA as an indie – we highly prized.

In the early stages of producing a PSN title, Sony pretty much leave you to get on with it until the game is roughly at an Alpha stage. Microsoft are a bit more hands-on, assigning a producer to your project and liaising with you throughout production. From pretty early on we were upfront with Microsoft about losing our funding. We told them our plan was now to start production in November. They were supportive of this, and said that the new start date would be fine as long as it didn’t slip into 2009. This gave us a clear goal; get started by November 2008 or else!

So, once more, work had to be halted on Explodemon while we concentrated on our paying work – the phenomenal Buzz! Brain Bender (which we completed in less than six months) and our more experimental work on Project X. We aimed to use the fact that we had approval for both XBLA and PSN to attract publishers, in that any game that already has the support of the platform holders is a less risky proposition. Less risk is good, right?! We spoke to a number of people, including Microsoft themselves, as well as publishers that had previously passed and entered the murky world of green light meetings one last time (note: this was not the last time).

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