Last year, at about this time, I was on a bus somewhere on Vancouver Island, when Daniel called my cellphone. “You know,” he said, “everybody who downloaded the new expansion pack has suddenly found their game overrun with Giant Pink Scorpion Diggles and it’s totally unplayable.” I ended up fixing that bug, and putting up a hotfix, from a Starbucks in Ladysmith. At some point, somebody from the IRC channel – I never found out who – ended up tracking down which Starbucks I was working from, and arranging for somebody to buy me coffee and scones, to the bemusement of a very puzzled barista who had never seen this sort of thing happening before. That was the year that Christmas was cancelled, but it was kind of okay, really, because when neat stuff like that was still going on: when perfect strangers from the Internet were being very understanding about things screwing up and were stalking you to find where you were and buy you pastries – well, what more do you need in your life?
You remember moments like this as a game developer. And you also resolve to never schedule your holidays in the middle of release schedules ever again.
Now, it’s another Christmas – a year later. It doesn’t seem like a year ago that we were about to release Realm of the Diggle Gods; it seems like aeons ago. What a year it’s been. Things seem to have been overshadowed a bit by the announcement of Clockwork Empires, but somewhere in here we also managed to release two Dredmor expansion packs (You Have To Name the Expansion Pack and Conquest of the Wizardlands) as well. We have moved offices twice, and have grown the company from a handful of overworked lunatics and burnt-out biomechanical researchers in a sequence of increasingly desperate squalid basements to a motley gaggle of fourteen employees and contractors, working out of an office that doesn’t actually have people screaming outside the window every day. (It does, however, have an ominous sink.)
We have a modding community for Dredmor now, which continues to produce nifty things to this day. We also now sell stuffed Diggles, apparently. (Have you bought yours yet?) We have given talks at major conferences about what we are doing – Daniel at Penny Arcade Expo, myself at Casual Connect – because apparently people like what we do and want to learn about it. We have exhibited at a trade show for the first time ever, and have been on the cover of PC Gamer with a six page article about us and our work in it.
In short, it’s been an absolutely ridiculous year. We couldn’t have done it without you, our valued customers and loyal audience, who seem to gleefully put up with all our wacky shenanigans. As always, we thank you for your support, and we are glad to have you along as a part of it.
But now, we must rest. The Ur-sleep has come upon us. We are taking a break at the offices – shutting down the fleshy pods, tucking them into their nurting jackets of bubbling ooze, and letting the massive flywheel in the generator slowly come to a grinding halt. Soon, the offices will fill with the cryogenic suspension foam and… er, yes. That.
Please enjoy your doom-laden holidays, and remember to bathe in the light of the maddening solstice rays in a responsible fashion over the holiday season. 2013 is going to be amazing.
Weekly updates on Clockwork Empires will resume in January.