New beginnings

// Hello World

A big, excited, "Hello" from Sombr – an independent game developer focused purely on fun gameplay, integrity, and respect for the player’s intelligence. A little bit of background:

I’ve spent the last (almost) three years working at Adhesive Games on Hawken. This was an incredible, interesting, roller coaster journey, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazingly talented individuals and just all-around good human beings and friends. I was responsible for sound design & implementation, music (with my production partner for Paper Sound), and the in-game HUD UI (design & ActionScript development). The dev team remained relatively small, allowing everyone to contribute in a major way. While this necessitated some crunch madness, it also fostered some pretty fast personal growth and experience.

Prior to Adhesive, I worked on a lot of Rails web development over the years, but my heart was always in games and I released a few iOS titles as learning/side projects. About a year ago I started working pretty heavily on a new iOS game project. However I wasn’t able to focus enough time on it as most of my time was occupied by Hawken development, and a couple other apps with the same idea beat me to market. Though I believe I could have executed on the original idea in a way that would have stood out, I also started dabbling in Unity around this time and I was completely hooked.

Unity seemed to combine all the gears of the way my brain works into one package. The ability to rapidly prototype reminded me of "sketching" with Processing, and the accessibility of attaching behaviors to game objects with simple scripts sold me. I believe to get the best possible gameplay experiences, you need tools that allow you to experiment freely and iterate with ease, and any barriers to this allow designers and developers to "settle."

About six months ago I had an idea for a local two-to-four-player arena game with a twist, and an initial proof of concept prototype took just a few days to complete in Unity. It’s my extreme pleasure to now be focusing 100% on this project, with all the excitement, danger and hurdles that lie ahead. While I’ve worked on my own projects before, this is the first time I’ve been completely independent without another gig "floating" these ideas. I’ll be self-financing this, which is liberating and frightening at the same time.

One goal is to keep a running developer diary of the progress. I’ll have to be careful to not reveal the core mechanics of the game (until it’s ready to announce), but I think it won’t be too difficult to skirt around it while still providing some development anecdotes. I hope to post frequently during development with bite-sized findings and Unity techniques, including code, graphics, and audio examples along the way. I may not do things the best way, but this is a learning journey, and comments and feedback are most appreciated. I hope this will be of interest to you guys out there... join me on the adventure!