I'm back! Kind of...
So I've been silent for a long time. Some of you may remember me from 2008-2010, when I brought you strange color-centric action gameplay in the form of Blue Defense, Blue Attack, and Red Conquest. I collaborated with a friend of mine who brought his genius forth in the form of Fastar! - a game that truly still warms my heart when I hear the intro screen's theme music.
I came from the beginning, right from the Canadian launch of the iPhone 3G all the way to iOS 4, and participated in the meteoric rise of the App Store. It was a thrill, and I had the highest hopes of making my games studio a success with my best friends and creative souls from university (who were also groomsmen at my wedding!).
And then I went quiet. So very quiet. And you all deserve better than that.
The basic story is that we weren't making enough money, and I was a newlywed looking to make ends meet and start a family. So I got a "real" job, and had less time to dedicate to my real passion of making video games.
The more complicated story is that I got that job at Research in Motion, who paid me very, very well - but did not at all let me work in my spare time on any project involving code. In fact, during the contract negotiation stage, I fought tooth and nail to have a clause added where I could continue at least updating our current games. Sadly, in the end, they refused, and I needed the money, so I accepted their legal terms. I was barred from promoting, updating, or even blogging about my games, and completely unable to create new games and content. Actually, I did get a clause amended where I could work on red conquest for two months after starting, but I didn't manage to get the update for red conquest out.
From there, Cat in a box fizzled out. Red conquest was too large for the others to carry on as they already had another project, which ended up taking a year of their time and then not being releasable due to crazy legal issues (that's a whole other story!), and then they also needed money and got real jobs.
However, there is hope!
Working at RIM slowly ate my soul, since I couldn't work on my personal projects. By early 2012, I was back in active discussions with RIM legal a out it, and generally being pretty depressed that I wasn't getting anywhere, all over again.
I resolved to quit.
For me of course, but also for you - the people who care about my games and want more. I loved the community.
I found a job where everything is completely flexible, they don't care about personal projects as long as I'm not stealing company IP or working less than I should, or doing something in the same field that they could use. As it should be! I guess it's easier to police that in a company of half a dozen people though, instead of the monstrous 10,000+ person company that RIM is now.
I'm done settling in there, and I'm finally back to being inspired to do my projects, so code is being written! Actions are being taken!
Cat in a Box is back!
All three of us Cat in a Box guys have day jobs. Generally that means if we do find the time, and are inspired, we still only have 1/10 the time to work on projects as we would when we were full time.
I am currently in active development on a side project, not sure of it'll go anywhere, but it's exciting to me, and that's the biggest thing - this is a hobby now, and I have to be able to come home from work and still feel the desire to pull out the computer and get going on a different code project.
So, my final question to you, the community - would you rather see updates, or new stuff? Or bringing back old stuff that's been pulled from the App Store? (Like Blue Attack and the original Blue Defense)
And be warned that any releases will be much slower than three years ago, but at least it will be much faster than they have been in the last two years.