From the makers of The Ship. On XBLA for 400 measly points. Will be out on Steam next week for $5.
What was it like working with Ubisoft on the game?
Contractually, no comment.
In general, having worked in the industry for over 12 years, I can say that the creative freedom and the efficiency of independent development is somewhat inevitably lost, and that the milestone driven nature of working with a publisher is both open to abuse by publishers due to it’s basis on subjective results (try to define “good” & “fun” in a contract!), and inefficient due to the slow turnaround of feedback and the distance of the working relationship.
While I have never met a developer who has a good thing to say about a publisher, I was still hoping that it would be a lot more of a co-operative venture, taking the best of Outerlight, and the best of Ubisoft, and combining them. On a positive note, I can say they had an excellent QA team in Romania.
While people often compare the games industry to the film industry, I’d rather compare a games team with a band, trying to come up with a new hit album, the publisher being the guy that sits in the corner and suggests you try a major rather than minor key for the chorus, and maybe change the lyrics to mention lady Diana…oh, and have you thought about hot backing singers, and maybe wearing monkey suits, marketing says they are both big right now. Not ideal.
For some time the official Outerlight web site as well as the official site for The Ship have been down. Has Outerlight been dissolved?
Outerlight has all but been dissolved. The team and the office are gone, all that remains is myself working unpaid in the hope to recoup some royalties from the game. It’s been a pretty brutal period, losing the team being the hardest part, as they were the biggest asset for the company, and we shared a lot of good times together. At the moment, the life line for the company is ongoing Ship sales, which have meant we can keep trading until we hopefully see some BGT royalties.
With Bloody Good Time now officially announced, what is the current status and fate of Outerlight? Will the company be revived after the game is released?
The status of Outerlight is “critically endangered”. Personally, I really hope the company will be revived. I know we made some mistakes, but I also know we got a lot right, we had a very happy, and very productive team, and we produced some innovative ideas, and I know I had a lot more good ideas, which I hope will see the light of day. I’d also say that while games development is challenging, it’s also very rewarding. So, if there are any savvy investors out there, please get in touch!
The game looks good. For $5, I’ll get it.
Too bad about the Ubi deal.