Howzit all,

Time for an update…

First off though an introduction a required. My name is Peter van der Watt; I am another part of the Blazing Griffin team and am most often the wearer of the business development and artist/designer hats. We thought that now would probably be a good time to let everyone know what has been/is/will be happening at Blazing Griffin.

Past: the Founding

Until recently (read: before we joined up with Trevor and started working on Distant Star – Blazing Griffin has mostly been focusing on business planning, meeting a bunch of developers/game industry professionals up here, and basically just coming to grips with what makes a small studio tick.

These are the joys (no sarcasm!) of self-publishing and doing everything yourself. If you’re considering doing this yourself I’m sure you’ll be amazed at all the different tasks you will end up doing. All I will say about that right now (insert: that’s another blog post) is that networking and negotiating are two very valuable skills. We’ve recently become an “official” Scottish company and we are expecting to grow the team in the near future. We’ll let you know as that happens!

Something that was rather exciting (in a very nerdy way!) happened to us a few weeks ago. We went up to DareProtoPlay to have a look around, just to meet all the teams who took part this year and get a chance to play their games. Congrats to all the teams that took part, by the way!

The main reason we went was a little more specific. We’d heard that David Braben (of Elite and Frontier Studios fame) was going to be giving a talk and we really wanted to hear him speak.

This turned out to be a pretty good decision.

During the Q&A of David’s talk Trevor asked “Are there any features in Elite that haven’t really been picked up on by subsequent games influenced by Elite, and that you think should be?” which was deemed worthy of “Winner of the best question” award, for which we received this:

This was awesome for a couple of reasons. Firstly we got a signed game (which is going on the wall!) and also got to meet David, have a really quick chat to him and show off Distant Star.

The 2nd reason was because David’s answer to Trevor’s question was, in a nutshell, more procedurally generated content. Which was made sweeter due to the fact that not half an hour before this we were talking to The University of Abertay Dundee about doing some joint research into procedurally generated environments. Bonus awesome!

Present: Nitty Gritty

So what are we currently working on?

Well, we’re redesigning a large chunk of Distant Star and adding new game-play, redoing portions of the art work and audio assets, and in general fleshing out the game as it stands now.

Alongside the “actual” game development stuff we also are in the final phase of negotiations with regards to acquiring another IP. It’s a PC title, and one that we’re all really excited to work on. More on this very soon!

Future: Blue Ocean

Due to the nature of change happening within the mobile space a few major changes/additions will be taking place where Distant Star is concerned. We will be re-looking at the current business model and adapting it as needed. This will most likely take the shape and form of a free base game (very similar to the current game, actually) with paid DLC/IAP packs for expansion content as development continues on Distant Star. However, we’re still internally these changes between ourselves, and we’ll definitely keep you posted. If you’re already playing Distant star, fear not – any future changes will be released free to anyone who has bought the game.

We will also be porting the game to other platforms (insert: Android) in order for players to be able to enjoy the game on their preferred device, in conjunction with that we’ll also be localizing it into languages other than English.

With regards to this blog/dev diary you can expect a weekly post from here on out, keeping you up to date on what we’ve been up to, likely be focused on a particular aspect of game or studio development. Trevor already mentioned he will be writing a series on technical aspects (code) of development but we will be talking about art, audio and design, as well as the business issues facing small studios/indies as seen from our point of view.

That being said, it’s not our plan to stay a small studio focused only on mobile games, and I hope you enjoy reading about out trials, tribulations and victories in the coming months (and hopefully years) as we go through this most awesome endeavor!

So with that welcome to Monday Blogs and until next week….

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