Fund-Raising & Promotion

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hey guys, you might have seen that we started an IndieGoGo campaign to help Castle Conflict 2.

This will help pay our audio engineer - Josiah, our artist - Sean, and any extra goes into advertising.  Advertising (is an essential but overlooked part of any game design budget that) can be quite expensive.

Unforeseen consequences can be hard for an indie to swallow, and your help will make sure we can push through to the finish with no financial snags.

We don't expect you guys to help us out for nothing. We tried to come up with fun, creative rewards for the campaign. If you have better ideas for rewards, or how to entice more contributors to help, please leave it in the comments below, or in the FanPage.

Please think about helping us out or sharing the link. I will post more details later.
Thanks guys!

Hello, Internet.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Work on Castle Conflict 2 has begun! Steve and I are both really excited and somewhat apprehensive about it at this point. Progress has been kind of slow from little bits of work here and there because we still have basic needs like food, and shelter. But small victories are better than no victories at all. Our friend Sean will be the lead artist for this project and he is awesome!

The Long Update: (might be cheesy)
Steve's busy with some contracting commitments, and he has been for several months now. Though it's great that the work doesn't stop, the design and imaginative aspect of programming something kind of withers whenever contracting for long periods. I'm sure you know what I mean, and it breaks my heart to see him slowly hate something he enjoys.

On that note, I think he is at a crucial point in deciding his professional future. We've been talking about the future of BrokenKings and our family lately, and I can't help but feel extremely proud of him whenever he has to make a decision. I think I love him best when he is put on the spot to think critically, and shines. He always tries to be thorough in looking at every possible option, studying different aspects, and identifying probable outcomes. Yesterday, he went to IphoneDevCamp as a positive step in picking himself up from whatever rut he was in, and again I loved him for it. Every day he shows me all the things I love about him just by being himself. Smart, professional, loving, adorably awkward, and silly.

Deaden is still on the back burner because the last time we've discussed it, (as the whole BrokenKings House) we've decided to update the art, and now that iOS 5.1 is out, there might be new bugs that need to get dealt with. Also, iCloud options might need to get looked at, too. Jenna is really busy with her own things to work on the updated art assets and Lopi's also swamped with work right now, but we still plan on finishing this because we really like it a lot.

Re: Happiness and Success

Monday, July 18, 2011

There's this entry on the Jelopi blog (JeLopi being Jenna and Lopi's brainchild which also has a facebook fan page - YAY!) that this was intended as a response to, but it turned out extensive and thoughtful enough to warrant an entry of its own. This blog has been on the meh side of activity anyway...

Stephen is probably one of the happiest people I know, in the way that he doesn't dwell on things that take him down a peg or two. He's also very weird and doesn't necessarily relate well with the populace. Being highly analytical and very automatic in many ways has awarded him being jokingly called a robot on several separate occasions. He doesn't like it, and he doesn't really need to like it. I on the other hand, am of the opposite. I can't get over things easily and often internalize simple mundane things until one day, I just explode. Rambling on and on about events from months ago and so on. I'm easy going for the most parts. But I don't forget when I forgive.

The fact of the matter is, that's just the way we are. He is true to himself and he's happy with who he is. I know I can always count on him to be honest with me, even when we don't agree, and that makes me happy. I know it's probably unhealthy to link my sense of happiness with one lone person, but it's true. To my uncertainty, numbers don't lie - and those who know Steve know that he's very much "numbers" and matters of fact. He steadies my flighty personality, much to my annoyance and appreciation. I think, the bottom line of happiness is being comfortable in one's own skin, strengths and weaknesses alike, and appreciating the people who stand by you. Something of a rarity, really. As for Steve's weirdness, even I don't get him sometimes, and I'm his wife.

Growing up, I was taught to subscribe to the notion that success means having a 'good job' and meeting a 'good man.' I feel like I'm failing on the first half of this success spectrum however stupid they may actually be. And to be honest, it's a really bad place to be specially when I personally believe that success is a matter of relativity. On the hypocritical flip side of that, I feel like a failure based on the preconceived notions of success by others. It's just something that's been so ingrained in me, formulating my own opinions about the matter has not erased it.
And as far as meeting society's typical, traditional expectations of a young woman, on that token, Stephen is considered a success of mine even though most people don't really understand him or what he does. I agree that he is my success, but not because of all the typical expectations of what a 'good catch' is. He and I relate well to each other 90% of the time... Among other things.

So yeah, we're happy, and we're successful. Maybe contrary to popular belief, but we're happy without most things people typically want and think they need. Although these days I've been feeling frustrated about the whole career thing, I don't even know if it's really what I want. Okay, so I guess happiness is at the core, being comfortable in your own skin. Comfortable enough to want something outside of other people's expectations. And success is struggling to achieve that most sincere and pure of your wants there is.

Dirt - in my heart

Monday, May 16, 2011

For the past two days, Dirt has been free. This of course means a lot of people are buying it without paying, the economics of which are always confusing. Surprisingly though, when Castle Conflict was free last year, was the most successful promotion we did for it, so when a website offered to promote Dirt free for free, I agreed. (That website is Free App Magic). It is still free so I won't comment on sales.


However, reading the numerous reviews that come in, I have to admit to feeling a bit of a rekindling. One thing I've always hoped is to create something that really touches people, and also means a lot to me. Reading all the reviews of people who played the game, and were reminded of their old pets or pets still alive, people who cried at the end, people who really got into the story, people who could not put it down - it's bringing a tear to my eye. Sure, not everyone loved it, but those who did truly seem to have got a lot out of it, to have experienced something that is to them unique and special, and to have been a part of creating experiences like that for so many people really does mean a lot to me.


To the fans, thank you all for the time you have spent playing our little game, for sharing our love for it, and for spending time with our poor, lost Dirt. You remind me why I love doing this.


-Stephen

What is up

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The status quo
Broken Kings House shut down in February, so it's been a little over two months. It has been a challenging two months, besides the financial struggles related to running out of money, many challenges small and large have cropped up in the personal life of myself and Bernadette.

Lopi, Jenna, and Josiah moved out on March 22. Bills and rent still need to be paid but we were now paying them entirely by ourselves instead of sharing them with three others, this after essentially running out of money (I am in debt for the first time in my life). Bernadette has been seeking work, I have been consulting, our cat has cancer, and my bike broke.

Despite this all, the desire to push forward is strong. Lopi and Jenna are now settled down at their new home in BC, Josiah is getting his schedule worked out, and I have been talking with Sean (Furious Tactics' art lead) about working on a new project, which he announced yesterday on our facebook page.

The following are all projects that Broken Kings is working on right now, around consulting and other obligations:

Deaden
The last project Broken Kings House started together has been on hiatus, but now that Lopi is settled in and my schedule has some openings, we are working on polishing the last couple of syncing bugs, finishing testing the levels, and getting it out there. Due to the difficulties in scheduling, no final date is set in stone, although I am hoping to have it out sometime this month.

Castle Conflict
Castle Conflict is Broken Kings biggest title, and Josiah and I intend to continue work on it. He's not in a position to provide a lot of new art for the next campaign update, so in my spare time I'm working on getting Game Center implemented - this will allow players to battle each other in globally online battles, not just over local wifi/Bluetooth like they are able now.

Sky Expedition
This is a new project Sean has been designing for some time and searching for a collaborator on. It bears similarity to Dirt in a few ways, being based on exploration to reveal more of the game world, but plays far differently and takes place in a designed world. We are both aiming to use the Broken Kings House ideology in this project - that is, iterate fast, release a quality project quickly to learn what works and doesn't work about it, and hopefully expand it in the future. The game takes place in a franchise Sean is developing called Empires of the Mist.

Furious Tactics
Furious Tactics is in our publishers hand, and once they have completed their pre-release advertising campaign it will go live. I am advised this will be in 5-7 weeks but everything is in their hands at this point. If it does well, we'll be assembling a bit larger of a team and working on an update!

Closing Words
There are a couple other projects that I hope to be announcing once we have these out of the way, and I think you guys will be pleased about them. Unfortunately, the way things currently stand this all has to happen around consulting schedules (and not just my own - Lopi, Sean, Jenna and Josiah all have other projects on the go), so right now only a day or two a week is being put into these efforts.

BKH lives on. Though differently.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lopi and Jenna moved to Fort Nelson, Josiah moved back to the island, and the house has felt so empty since they've gone.

It's weird having this much space to ourselves. Katie has been staying in her box, Stephen and I have been on our computers a lot, and one will likely find all of us in a 5'x15' area 95% of the time. We have not ventured much upstairs nor downstairs, practically living in a studio apartment setting. 'Camping' in the living room, working in the 'dining room,'and have practically been inseparable as a unit. I guess Stephen goes to his new music room with a fair amount of frequency... That is to say, when he isn't working a lot.

I have always been so content. I never wanted for more. But just like what happened to our home situation, changes happen. And though I miss the certainty and the sense of contentment I had before, there's a nerve wracking beauty in all this uncertainty. This uncertainty that can take us anywhere as a unit.

I just realized, I never felt more married than I do now. With Stephen as my rock, I can't feel defeated for long because everything will work out. (Yeah, so I'm ending this in the most cliched Hallmark moment. You're just jealous cause I'm unemployed and practically on an extended holiday, doing nothing but pet a cat, lounge or mope all day, and hug my husband whenever I want.)

Hiatus

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Unfortunately, Broken Kings House will be going on temporary Hiatus. This actually started last weekend but has been confirmed to be more than short-term this weekend. It will be likely for at least 3-5 months, possibly permanent.

Why? The answer is simple - we jumped the gun. We had an investor who was interested in funding us, who had been speaking of starting funding in January, and so we started development in January under the belief that we would be getting a cheque from said investor soon.

Unfortunately, end of February rolled around, we still hadn't gotten any cheques, and the deal wasn't as certain as we thought it was going to be. I was funding the project and my bank account had barely enough money to pay rent and buy food in March, and I owe > $7000 in taxes. This forced me to call things off. I was expecting, of course, to recoup all money spent when we got our investment cheques, which would have covered said taxes ... but that never happened.

So for the next month or two, I will have to focus on work that has guaranteed payment, in order to get my taxes cleared. Unfortunately, not everyone who has been involved with Broken Kings House wants to stick around without guaranteed work in the future, so Lopi and Jenna are planning on moving out of the city for a few months and Josiah might be moving out as well.

What can you expect in the coming months? Well, Furious Tactical will still be completed. The five of us still want to complete Deaden before everyone moves on. And I will be trying to re-build my bank account, that someday perhaps the five of us can work together again.

For those of you who have been along for the ride, thanks for all your support. Broken King is not dead - we merely hit a road bump.

-Stephen

PS. Note: I mentioned that Josiah might be moving out but he would like to stay in Calgary if he can. So if you know of a studio looking for an audio guy, please, let us know!