Uncertain times followed

Uncertain times followed

Each year at GenCon they have a meet-up for game designers organized by the Game Designer’s Guild, and in this particular year game designers were showing off prototypes to publishers. Emerson and I had a great conversation, and I showed him several of my game prototypes. While our discussions didn’t result in any publication so far, we did decide at the time to try and come up with a game idea together. He knew I had worked as the lead game designer for ShadowEra and suggested we try and design one together. I had just gone through this process with another card game called: Spell Battles and I knew from experience how difficult it is to fund and release a card game and was therefore a bit hesitant.

Spell Battles, another CCG I designed that has yet to find a publisher.
Spell Battles, another card game I designed that has yet to find a publisher.

Nevertheless, we proceeded. After a couple hour-long Skype calls we had the basis for a sci-fi card game with 4X elements, GalaCollider was born. Sadly as these first couple weeks continued Emerson had less and less time, and was unable to really contribute. We talked at the time about staggering development over several years, or finding another programmer who could assist, neither which option seemed to be be panning out.

As far as I could tell, it looked like this game may never really move further, and be “just another game” that ends up being on paper and never actually becoming a product.

One of the people I had been play testing with though, had a friend who lived to offshore in Serbia. He said that he would have time and the ability to begin coding the game, and for a very good price.

Emerson wasn’t really a big fan of this, and it was around about this time that Emerson decided to step off fully from the project. After some back-and-forth Emerson told me that he felt it had become more my game than his, since I had put in considerably more time than him, and retracted all his rights and responsibilities.

serbiaI always prefer working on a project as a team rather than solo, and it seems to be a bit of a pattern I’m trying to break, that sometimes I end up having to go alone on something that was begun as a team endeavor…

On the one hand I didn’t want to end up alone, but on the other it seemed kind of natural to take up this opportunity and to see how far the coder from Serbia could take it.

I checked with my playtesters and they all felt it was a solid enough concept to be worth the risk and time to move along further, so I went for it.

I had a few calls with Miroslav, the new programmer from Serbia, and it seemed like things could indeed move forward. I wasn’t sure where this would take me, but I did know that he felt it was a relatively easy game to code, and that we could indeed have a working Alpha product within about six months. This seemed encouraging.

And thus it was that programming began.