Worldbuilding 2.0 — Meet Justin Hung

Hello GC fans!  My name’s Justin Hung, and I’m really excited to be a part of the GalaCollider team as one of the creative writers on board.  Just wanna to introduce myself, and talk about my experiences with the project so far. Here’s me↓

I’m currently a narrative designer and writer working out of the Greater Atlanta Area, but my first experience with GalaCollider came when I saw the game’s booth at the East Coast Gaming Conference up in North Carolina.  There, I found out that the team was looking for more writers, and, after exchanging contact information there, Sebastian got in contact with me.  A few emails back and forth and a quick onboarding process later, I found myself officially welcomed into the GalaCollider project.

Aside from the fun mechanics that drive the game, I think what attracted me the most to GalaCollider was the vast expanse of GalaCollider’s setting.  Between the dimensions of two galaxies, the Milky Way and the Andromeda, and the time and space covered by the game, a multitude of stories can be written in a way that’s usually only found in sci-fi epics.  Unlike the other works however, GalaCollider’s factions, due to the limits of physics and technology, find themselves isolated from one another, and this creates a diversity in every single faction that’s not quite like any other I’ve seen before.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Jess and Sebastian since I came aboard the team.  Though I’ve had other works in the pipeline, both as a freelancer and an owner of a startup called Sphere 9→

I do my best to make time for GC. Lately, I worked on the heroes for the Coalition faction: specifically, on Sokura Ri-Changdor and Abagail Beransi Junior, heroes of the Gomeish and the Celanese respectively.  Each treads her own unique path, though their lives ultimately intersect in the moment of First Contact between the Coalition and the Sylith.  One rose above the others in a through resilience and a relentless attitude, and the other made herself a pariah after going too far in her attempts to improve her local civilization. Hopefully we can showcase both of them real soon!

Since writing for GalaCollider has been my first experience working with a card game medium, a few new challenges have come my way. One was in the limits of writing the actual story versus how much would be communicated to the players. With little room on each card, rationing words carefully becomes essential, and that leads to deciding which content should be showcased to the public and which should remain as internal references for the team.

Fortunately, I could rely on the experience that Sebastian has. Even though some stories stay internal, just being able to help fill GalaCollider’s world and connecting the pieces of its history to form a truly unique story has been a really rewarding experience for me.

I’m hoping to stick around the GC team for the future.  I really enjoy the game itself and the setting is rich for creating some truly fascinating stories.  I would very much like to see where this all goes, especially once the players’ inputs are accounted for through the game’s interactive elements.

Aside from that, I hope to get a full time position in the gaming industry, as well as continue to put out projects from Sphere 9such as A Casual Chat, which we released earlier this year.

Well, that’s enough about me. Until next time, stay tuned here for all your Galaxy Crashing news!

Follow Justin at @JustinHungWJ, or check out his site at https://justinhung.me/.

 

Banner image: Exoplanet by Edouard Noisette.

Worldbuilding GalaCollider

Hi! Jess Haskins here, creative writer for GalaCollider. I wanted to introduce myself and share bit about what I’ve been working on as I build out the setting, backstory, and narrative arc of GalaCollider’s “Milkomeda” galaxy and the characters who inhabit it. Here’s me:

I’m a game designer and writer based in Brooklyn, and I first got attached to the project when I met Sebastian during the brief period he was living in New York. He attended a monthly drink night I host for local indie game developers, and as we chatted, I learned that he was making this multiplayer digital card and strategy game about exploring and settling star systems in the new galaxy formed by the merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda some four billion years in the future. Cool. Even cooler, he was looking for a writer and worldbuilder who could help develop the alien races and factions and a compelling story arc for this vast universe. Why, I do all those things. I signed on immediately.

Prior to joining the GalaCollider team, I worked on a game called Guns of Icarus Online, a multiplayer steampunk airship shooter by developer Muse Games, where I was a game designer, writer, and, almost accidentally, community lead. (As the first person to raise my hand and say, “hey, what are we doing to make sure players aren’t ****s to each other?” everything related to community and moderation thereafter became my job—including hand-crafting the game’s extensive profanity filter, but that’s another story.) It was a small studio and I had a closetful of hats, but my favorite role was developing the game’s setting: an alternate-history post-apocalypse where World War I never ended and polyglot factions of raiders, traders, scavengers, and air pirates battled over ravaged earth in steampunk-styled airships with lashings of dieselpunk.

From stitching satellite images into a map to creating the styles and cultures of the game’s six factions to naming every town and outpost, ship class, weapon, and tool—I particularly enjoy naming things—I handled every aspect of story and worldbuilding. It was work I loved, and I was eager for the chance to do it again with GalaCollider.

I have, let’s say, a thorough approach to worldbuilding. After taking stock of the existing notes and GalaCollider lore left by previous writers, my first task was to develop a comprehensive story bible. I created a “World” doc and gave it lofty headings like “Space” and “Time,” establishing facts like terms for units of time at the relevant scales (a megannus is one million years, and an eon is one billion years; the universe is presently 13.8 eons old, and into its 18th eon in the time of GalaCollider); the width of the combined Andromeda–Milky Way galaxy (roughly 300,000 light-years); the average distance between star systems (we settled on four light-years; our own nearest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, is about 4.37 light-years from Earth); and the time it would take to cross the galaxy at our (fictional) maximum speed using hyperlight “jumps” of about two light-years every 90 days (3,300 years—in the real world where light speed is a physical limit, it would of course take 300,000 years for information to make the trip, and considerably more if you wanted to take any mass along).

All of this is not just proof that I’m a massive nerd, although that’s true, but an attempt to determine the ground rules and boundaries of our universe, which shape the terrain from which everything else unfolds. A spacefaring civilization will develop very differently depending on whether the nearest habitable world is ten years’ travel away or 10,000, after all.

To bring things back to a more human scale, apart from figuring out details of gameplay like the distance between nodes on a game map and how long a match takes in “world time,” the eventual goal of all this table-setting is to create rich, compelling histories and engaging identities for the factions that the players will variously inhabit and battle against. I’m particularly excited about our first two factions: the Coalition, a diverse mix of disparate Sapiens species descended from humanity ↓

and the Sylith, an ancient alien civilization originating from the Andromeda galaxy →

More about them in the next post!

You can follow Jess on Twitter at @jess_haskins, or visit her site at jesshaskins.com.

Quiet before the storm

Today we were hoping on getting the first video of our game play recorded and up. Alas we still have one or two bugs preventing this from happening.

We could talk about how a game turn is played, but without the video this would probably be a boring read and there is just so much more you can tell with a video than with still images.

It is tempting to share with you Mods and Spy cards, but we’ve decided to keep these a mystery for a while longer…

So today we’ve decided to keep it light. The “quiet before the storm”.

To calm you over, we have our Lore pages now up. As more factions are revealed, their lore will be added. So hop on over to the lore area and enjoy your read!

Join us

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Meet the Coalition

We’re the ones left over, Wanderers like me. Nobody wanted us way back when Earth was crumbling to bits, and frankly, none of ‘em wants much to do with us nowadays either. As far as I’m concerned, that’s full-on copacetic. I don’t trust ‘em any more than a whistle on a ship. That’s how you end up dead.

Me? Eh, I’m just a guy. A fleck in the starry seas, same as you and everyone else. But I settled down with a lady a few years back, Jessa’s her name; so that’s been a nice change of pace. We even got assigned to a bigger cabin here on C3, seeing as Jessa’s in the family way. We get by.

Been a mercenary most of my life. All kinds of mercenary though, so it’s not like I’m always staring the inky blackness in the face, if you catch what I mean. Sometimes I’m escorting an unlucky leashup or an important somebody or other; I just go where the credits are flowing. Of course, protecting some richwad’s trade goods is always a lucrative stint, ‘cause its got to be done. Those bastards in the rest of the Coalition will steal our merch faster than a beamer, if you don’t already have one trained on ‘em, that is.

This whole Coalition nonsense seems like some lonely imbie’s plan to buy himself a group of friends. Captain Osmium says it’ll be good for us, but so far I’ve only seen us Wanderer’s doing all the heavy lifting, and for what? We’ve been roaming the stars forever, so we can go wherever we want. It’s those other colonies that have planets ‘at need protection. That lot of pretentious twits up in government formed the Coalition and signed that pact, not me.

The Captain told us that she threw our lot in with the Coalition forces “as a defensive measure against an imminent alien incursion.” Dogpiss. Way I see it, those Alnitaki folks are about as alien as can be, so why are they on our side? They say there are documents and DNA and whatnot to prove that they came from Earth too, but I’ve never seen the proof, have you? But hey, a man with certain talents like myself stands to profit during a war, so if I can build up a little nest egg off of this mess, I’ll hold my tongue.

 

Harlin Pewter, mercenary aboard the Wanderer civilian vessel C3-Xoraxis

 

Background

Scattered throughout the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy, the disparate human settlements gradually forgot one another as they turned inwards to the challenges of establishing their civilizations. The Third Supereon saw each group adapt to their new environs, both physically and culturally, widening the ever-growing chasm between the colonies as the stars themselves spread farther apart. The impending collision of Andromeda ushered in an era of reunification and resulted in the formation of the Sapien Coalition of the Milky Way. Working together, they began preparations to colonize new sectors amidst the shifting galaxies. The Coalition launched a volley of exploratory missions to find suitable systems to call their home, but they discovered a far more immediate threat: an entirely alien species.

Coalition Strategies

The Coalition Final
In the far-far future, there are many types of sapiens. Pictured from left to right we see a Gomeish warrior, an Alnitaki professor and a Celanese engineer. Concept art by Eko Puteh

 

The Coalition is a loose alliance of long-separated, distantly related sapiens that have each taken different paths, both culturally and evolutionarily.

Strategically, the Coalition is a methodical faction. They can be highly adaptive, manipulative and colonial; winning over neighboring sectors through political intrigue or through subversion via military efforts or even media-driven coups.

Or perhaps you will choose the path of militarization, and lead vast invading armies and call down planetary bombardments from gargantuan mega-cruisers.

Or maybe you will take an interest in exploring their artistic, poetic side. Focusing instead on culture, knowledge and the arts. Your skin might even turn blue from it.

Or when you tire of that, let go of your physical body, free your consciousness to live eternally, and then download it into a new skin of your choosing. Somewhere in that massive cloud of data, is something thrilling, waiting to be discovered and researched.

Whichever path you choose, the Coalition will have something for everyone.

Concept art progress

Eko Puteh and Zhangx have been paired up and working, respectively, on Coalition characters and their space ship designs. Above, you can see a finished trio showcasing examples of sapiens from three of the five most successful sapien species. The remaining two dominant branches: the Praecians and Wanderers, will be revealed in more detail at a later time.

Below, is a nice detail of the atypical teeth found on the Gomeish:

WARRIOR-update

And some of the iterations it took to arrive at our current Alnitaki, the first was too human and the second iteration was too alien:

ALNITAKIALNITAKI-update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In parallel with Eko, another artist by the name of Zhangx powered out our space ship concepts for the Coalition. Here, you can see an example of their Frigates:

Coalation Frigate
Coalition Frigate, Harpoon class. Typical crews of 6 to 12 sapiens. Boasts adaptable payload configurations.

And their large Dreadnaughts:

Coalition Dreadnaught
Coalition Dreadnaught – The Tyrant – Space power controller with typical crew populations of 4 to 5 thousand.

Next steps?

We’re really happy to have been able to show you this artwork today. Our core game will offer Coalition and Sylith decks to play. We have more alien factions designed but those will be revealed somewhere in the future. Each faction has its own distinct play style and will provide you with a different set of strategies to implement

Join us next Friday as we reveal even more about our game on the journey towards our big summer 2015 Kickstarter.

GalaCollider tm. is an expandable scifi turn based card game by NeoCrux Ltd. If you want to keep informed please like our facebook page and sign up for our infrequent newsletter and tell your friends about us! You can also follow us on twitter.

Featured image courtesy of Zak Foreman, all rights reserved 2015. You can find out more about him on his Facebook and Art Station pages. All other images copyright 2015 NeoCrux Ltd. all rights reserved.

Meet the Sylith

Countless ages ago, the planet Elgyin – who nurtured the Sylith into being – was nearly swallowed by her Star Husband, Elos. It was then that Hathṣtī, the Great Mother of the Void, blessed our people and bestowed the Sight upon us.

Those gifted with the Sight can see truly wonderful visions: the very nature and motion of the omnipresent Void. It is with our benevolent Mother’s gift that the Seers were able to join their powers together and free Elgyin from Elos’ fiery grasp. Even then, much of the destruction was irreversible.

To escape the burning fury of Elos, the Sylith had long taken shelter within Elgyin’s bosom. Beneath the surface, my people built a new home, replicating and preserving as much of our natal environment as was possible at the time. The Elders sought to collect all creations graced by Hathṣtī’s touch, to protect them from the negative forces stirring within the Void. This undertaking continues to this day; only now, our efforts reach far beyond Elgyin.

You see, the Great Mother Hathṣtī nurtures all within Her womb. Ever changing, Hathṣtī’s womb expands to gently cradle Her growing child, until such a time that She is ready to give birth. We do not know what we Sylith will become, only that we have a part to play in the formation of the Almighty Void.

Just as a single cell in my body might attack another, this current courtship between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies is but a miniscule change within Hathṣtī’s developing babe. It is my duty, as a priestess of Hathṣtī, to help ensure that the Sylith continue to prosper and proliferate throughout the Void, such that Hathṣtī’s child will become the best version of itself, in Hathṣtī’s own image.

An account by the High Elder Gī’an Hathṣtī, Priestess of the Void.

Sylith Strategies

Sylith Warrior Concept Final nBG 1.1
Sylith Warrior Concept Art, By Cloud Quinot

Welcome to another Friday-spoiler. This week we introduce one of our alien races: the Sylith.

While we have many alien races planned, the Sylith are one of the two starting factions in the base-game. Each faction in GalaCollider will have their own strengths and weaknesses that help define them.

Sylith are a fast moving, striking faction. A Sylith force could attempt to rush their opponents with light, quick to build craft, capturing and raiding a sector before their opponent can respond. Or they could focus instead on stealth, espionage and cloaking technologies. Alternatively, some Sylith commanders are known to focus instead on the pure glory of battle, by asserting dominating control of star-space as they rapidly expand their empire.

Contrastingly, Sylith Elders have a more mystical connection to the universe. They have a connection to the Void and the natural world around them. It is not uncommon to see Sylith Elders floating inside of giant moving planetoids outfitted for battle with thousands of crew protecting preciously revered and ancient sacred trees. Elders are known to possess otherworldly senses of sight, foresight and inter-dimensional abilities. These abilities aid in maneuvering Sylith spacecraft, not only with more efficient propulsion, but by folding and shifting the space around them.

As a Sylith commander you will choose your path to victory, deciding which strategies to employ against your enemies.

Concept art progress

Over the last weeks Cloud Quinot has been iterating concept art for their warriors and elder. We see here both the final render of the warrior (above) as well as some of the sketches made to reach the final concept:

Sylith concept 2.1

From these we selected the purple one then got it’s head rendered before modifying it further into what you see above.

Sylith head concept 2 revised v4

Currently we are now working on the concept sketch for a Sylith Elder while in parallel another artist: Leonardo Peñaranda is busy sketching out Sylith space ships for all of their various types of craft.

Leo has great penmanship and is working on Sylith Spacecraft concept designs.
Leo has great penmanship and is working on Sylith Spacecraft concept designs.
An example of Leo's skills 3D modeling skills.
An example of Leo’s 3D modeling skills.

Production Process

Once we have the complete set of Warrior, Elder and their various spacecraft concept art pieces completed we will then transition into commissioning specific needed card art (to be done by many different artists) and we can also start creating the 3D models for their various ships, based upon the concept art designed.

GalaCollider tm. is an expandable scifi turn based card game by NeoCrux Ltd. currently in development and building towards a summer kickstarter campaign. If you want to keep informed please like our facebook page and sign up for our infrequent newsletter and tell your friends about us! You can also follow us on twitter.

Featured image courtesy of Zak Foreman, all rights reserved 2015. You can find out more about him on his Facebook and Art Station pages.

 

Shaping the story

So the last time I posted about the back-story I focused on the conditions that could lead to a 4X scenario: cataclysmic events, empires collapsing, war, titanic galaxies colliding. I tossed this concept towards Amy Ballinger (Creative Writer) and in the process a much more refined and compelling story is taking hold.

Instead of transporting ourselves to unknown corners of the universe, our game is going to take place here; well almost here. See we are going forward ~4 billion years in time. What will this place be like then? Well two important things will have happened:

  1. Earth will no longer be habitable because our sun will have burned it away from expanding in its old age, and
  2. The Andromeda galaxy will be in full-collision with our Milky-Way.

48d8782c-54d8-4d74-986a-1035233659b8_972This creates a really interesting premise for a story. In the future we are painting, humanity has expanded outwards from our solar system to colonize new planets, and on each of them we have evolved and become isolated from each other in the process. “Earth” is forgotten, the remnants of a myth among our various genetic evolutionary offspring.

Galactic collisions span millions of years, with systems changing position ever so slowly but surely in the process. Andromeda brings with it, however, more than just disturbance: Andromeda is more importantly a galaxy inhabited by other alien factions. The Andromeda collision “encounter” is where our story begins.

New Designer

A new designer is going to join our crew and – nearly final – discussions are still in progress with 3D modeling talent as well as dozens of other candidates for various positions (from concept art, to card art to production and more). I will certainly share more here soon!

Test party

taste-testThis weekend we will be holding an in-person test party in LA. It will be a chance for investors, friends and enthusiasts to play our early Alpha and to give us feedback. Chris and I have been working on the coding+testing of the game to ensure it is ready for them; we will have a solid portion of the game itself coded in time for the event; you can be sure I will post back here what people thought and if anything in particular needs improving!

Out from the Shadows

You know the thing about finding a great partner is that you want to work with someone with similar interests but yet with different skill sets.  It is an interesting mix that can be very hard to accomplish!

GalaCollider and the company we have formed to create and manage the project is a tale of finding that tough mix.  Sebastian and I met at a Game Convention which led to a number of discussions that became a partnership.  Sebastian has already told that tale form his perspective and I will endeavor to do the same in my next post.

This post however is just a quick Hello…  and a promise of more to come.  This adventure is exciting and challenging and cool and well…  I will be telling you all about it but first..   a brief introduction.

I am Rob, a Southern California transplant from Boston, MA who actually transplanted there form Eastern Canada.  I work in the Tech Industry and am an avid gamer.  My role in the project has been largely helping to build out the infrastructure of our company.  It is the unglamorous but important stuff that has to happen so that the organization can actually move ahead and get stuff done.  Beyond that it is also about helping to create a way for us to realize a vision. Sebastian and I share a vision about what kind of company we would like to create.  We share a frustration that so many designers cannot get their visions realized and that we would like to change that.

We think great game designs need a place to take root.  We want to create that place where great ideas and the people that have them can find people to help them nurture and realize those ideas.  We want to be able to help those ideas see the light of day and bring delight to the people that get to share them.

GalaCollider is one of those amazing ideas.  I cannot wait until you see the final product because as I see the elements come together I get goosebumps…

Art, Finding Direction

Lorcan was working on the 3D interface and Chris was completing our first Alpha build in parallel. I still had a giant list of prospect artists but none had worked out thus far as a hire to fill in the supporting game UI needs, I wasn’t getting any luck. I found some artists who were clearly talented but would need close guidance, or there were language barriers, or they were not responsive enough or…

Like anything that takes time to resolve, you learn along the way. What came to the surface was that I really needed to find someone who could be our next right-arm on the project. The design area of this project is quite a large undertaking with a substantial team. The right person was not only going to be a stylistic match with Lorcan, but was also going to be someone with whom I could chat/talk easily while being able to set forth an over-arching style in place. If the stars aligned I’d find someone with Art Direction skills who could help to off-load eventually some of the work I would otherwise be doing while coordinating the specific details across our growing creative team.

I had been using Behance, Deviant and Shadowness heavily but started to feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Not much came up from using Indie gamer forums and websites. I knew there were some great artists on Dribbble but their search features were limited unless you became a premium member. I checked the price for the membership, was about $20 for the year and decided it might be worth it. So I slid my virtual credit card and got the portfolios of about 30 artists common to Southern and Northern California that matched my keywords.

From this new pool of candidates I found an artist by the name of Drew Hoffman who seemed to fit the bill. He had strong UI examples that looked like they could make a good fit with Lorcan’s work, and had experience in Art Direction too. Drew seemed interested in the game we were developing, we had a few calls over the course of a couple weeks and right before Christmas 2014 he was hired and brought on board as our 3rd Contractor / Contributor.

One of the first activities Drew undertook was setting up a mood board for the game’s style and artistic elements. I’ll leave you with these two links to our Pinterest boards:

GalaCollider inspirationsScreen Shot 2015-01-19 at 11.07.06 PM

GalaCollider Geometry

Creative hiring process begins

With funding secured to build up our game for a kickstarter we moved our attention towards all of the necessary creative components we would require for the game. Our game needs quite a large creative team to make it happen, some of the roles we knew we would need included:

  • Art Direction
  • Interface / UX design
  • Card template design
  • Logo design
  • Logo animations (cinematics)
  • Icons
  • 3D modeling
  • 3D animations
  • Sound design and composition
  • Character illustration (Concept artwork)

And anywhere from a half a dozen to a dozen or more contributing artists of various technical and creative styles.

I started by compiling a very large spreadsheet with different artists in it, I was mainly looking for someone to start of with who could work on the game’s UI. We want a minimum viable product and getting the game itself to look as good as possible is a part of that.

I spent many dozens of hours looking at portfolios. I think there is a lot of pressure here around the recruiting process, picking the right people will make it or break it. We want our game to be amazing, and that means finding stars in the sky you can hire, but still afford with your limited budget…

As it turned out I actually found quality artists who had more of a TV and film background first, before I was able to secure the right fit for a UI artist. Out of several such artists I narrowed the list down to two candidates, interviewed both and eventually settled on Lorcan O’Shanahan:

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.20.00 PM

 

Rob, Chris and I all really appreciated his experience on major TV and Film projects and thought that his quality of work would make for a great fit on our planetary UI interface.

Lorcan was added to the project sometime around November and has been creating various cinematic animations and 3D concept models for the UI ever since. We can’t wait to show you some of his work a bit closer to our kickstarter because it is really looking phenomenal!

With Lorcan on-board one puzzle piece was completed but I still needed to find someone now to work on the general UI and all of the other game screen components. The hunt continued onwards to build that perfect star-team.

 

 

 

Fundraising scales up ambitions

Happy holidays everyone! In today’s dev-blog post I’ll talk a bit more about the fundraising side of things. Not sure if that’s the best topic for the holidays, but maybe it is if you imagine the funding helps to create presents under a tree!

With Rob, Chris and myself on board we now moved in earnest to creating a presentation and an overall plan. We did budgetary planning when we decided to code GalaCollider and we knew that we would need funds to get our product developed enough to reach a kicksarter. In our experience and observation, a successful game kickstarter will show you finished artwork for a part of the game, but not necessarily all of it. We also felt that we needed to go into a kickstarter with a game that could be Beta-ready within 3 months of a successful campaign.

Planning for success.
Planning for success.

This meant that we needed to hit a kickstarter with a game that would be fairly close to done, mechanically, but could still have a lot of artwork missing. What artwork it did have though, needed to reflect the quality of the finished product.

We evaluated that the game-play needed to be done iteratively. We should be building from a “minimum viable product” and then iterate feature sets on top of this until we had something that we could release. It is critical that we code the game in such an order that we can go live even if the kickstarter isn’t successful or raises less funds than we would like it to. Additional features can always be added on after release or as time goes on.

In terms of quality, we really want to hit the ball out of the park. Top visual artists, top coders, top game play. There is no reason to not aim for the best game here we can possibly produce.

When we put this all together we came up with our pre-funding goal. We needed immediate cash to hire the quality players we required to present a solid product in the kickstarter.

We had several talks about how to attract and reward early investors. Rob put together some great slides, we created an FAQ document and the necessary paperwork.

A slide from our current presentation.

Several friends and family members adopted early and we not only met but exceeded our initial funding goals. Go back a month or two to October/November 2014 and we already had a tree “bursting with presents”, so to speak. Hopefully this time next year we will be talking about a whole new kind of holiday special. With funds in place Rob and I could now start expanding the team with all the bright-star visual artists we so desired!

It’s been so awesome to get such great support and a high vote of confidence from a good dozen+ group of people. We wouldn’t be here building the best game we can, if it wasn’t for the stellar support of our friends and family members. Thank you and happy holidays!

Two steps forward, lightning strikes back

Miroslav was our game’s sole C# Unity programmer at the time, this is now around June of 2014. Before starting the work Miroslav acknowledged that he didn’t have experience making a game of this level of complexity but he assured us he was capable of doing it. To be sure things were going well, I wanted another more experienced developer to review the current code. Miroslav himself also expressed that he would appreciate us adding a more senior person to the team, so that he could ask questions and get guidance.

Rob did a bunch of pre-screening and narrowed it down to about 3 developers. Then out of the blue a guy name Chris Kirby applied to review Miroslav’s code and just blew out of the water (with his extensive experience) everyone else that we had been considering.

At pretty much the same time we were finalizing everything with Chris, Miroslav disapeared, missed a delivery goal and couldn’t be reached for days.

He then finally resurfaced to tell me that lightning(!) had struck his house and fried his computer, router, phone and more.

lightning-comp
Too much of anything, in this case Electricity, is a bad thing.

Miroslav expressed to me that this set back was huge and that he wasn’t sure anymore if he could continue to freelance on our project. After some consideration and discussion I offered to advance payment to Miroslav to help him buy new hardware. He refused this. Miroslav informed me that he may be available again in a few weeks/months but he was uncertain.

Chris was added to the GIT repository and performed his initial code audit of the work that Miroslav had done. By the time Miroslav contacted me again we had completed not only the code audit but assigned to Chris the task of refactoring and furthering the development of the game. Miroslav’s last communication to us was to tell us that he would no longer be available.

It was sad to lose Miroslav, but Rob and I were both incredibly happy with the work quality and awesome character of Chris.

Planning and serious development for Alpha-1, the first release of GalaCollider now began.