The Struggles of an Indie RTS


We have been deadly quiet in the past few months.  Anyone reading this shouldn’t think they are special though.  We have been quiet to each other as well as publicly.  I’m going to spend a couple of minutes to make sure you guys understand why.

Making a video game is hard.  Making an Real Time Strategy video game is even harder.  It’s a genre that a lot of ambitious developers start and never finish.  It requires a lot more art than other types of games, with various units needing to look different and the top down perspective requires hundreds of images for each unit.  It requires a lot more programming than other types of games, with complicated path finding, opponent AI, and a fun to use combat engine just giving you the bare bones.  Lastly it requires a lot more balancing than other types of games, we aren’t just stomping mushrooms, we are trying to create a dynamic war simulator that is fun.

On top of that three out of four members of the team started new jobs.  Keeping a schedule and holding each other accountable are staples of our work flow, and we have been dropping the ball on both of those items.  We have regularly allowed each other to push back peer reviews and haven’t kept a steady schedule since we started new jobs.

All of those things have come together to break us down.  The drive that we posses to create something that we want others to love got slowed down by all of the little things piling up.  We have a vision and it’s truly starting to come alive, but every time we think it’s ready for it’s first step we find a graphical glitch, a major defect, or an unbalanced unit.  This broke us down and drove us to take a break.

Unlike other indie developers though, we will not stop.  We have continued our work quietly, coding between meals, managing emails to voice actors, pushing each other to pick up the pencil, and to devote more time to the game we have put so much hard work and heart into.

More than just a post of excuses, I’m here to tell our few fans that still check this blog every few months that we’re back.  We’re going to smash keyboards, break drawing pads, blow some speaks, and finish what I feel is a great game.

Cairn lives and Cairn kicks ass.


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