Hello and welcome to the Space Dust Studios game developer blog! I’m Michael Davies, Director & Lead Gameplay Developer, and perhaps the best place for me to start is by introducing who we are and the purpose of our dev blog.
Space Dust Studios is made up of five senior game developers who have been working together over the last decade at a variety of ‘AAA’ game studios. We’re a mix of artists, musicians and programmers who were fortunate enough to work together on popular gaming franchises such as Battlefield, Need For Speed, Dead Space, Tomb Raider, Burnout and Silent Hill. We’ve developed for virtually every gaming platform since the original Xbox and PlayStation, and constantly refer to ourselves as veterans, despite being in our 30s.
In 2013 we made the decision to go independent as a game developer studio. The aussie gaming scene was having a rough time with many studios closing or making huge cutbacks, and we were directly caught up in the turmoil. A lot of great talent was heading overseas to greener pastures, but we didn’t want to uproot ourselves for our careers one more time. We saw there was an opportunity to take control over our situation by starting our own studio.
Our plan is to build ‘AAA indie’ original IP for the world stage, luring back top talent from overseas in the process. It sounded a lot less like marketing hyperbole when we were talking about it over coffee.
We’ve spent the last year getting our company and projects up and running, and have completed pre-production on two original IPs. We can’t talk about the second title yet as we’re still negotiating with potential investors, but the first title will be the focus of this development blog, from inception through to final release.
Space Dust Racing is (and here’s the elevator pitch!) top-down galactic party racing mayhem. It’s our love letter to couch co-op party racers such as Micro Machines, Mashed, Circuit Breakers, Crash Team Racing and Mario Kart. But we’re not just rehashing the same old experience, we’re making something… bigger. In fact it’s so big, we’re having to build custom tech that’s never been done before in a game (as far as we know). We’re looking forward to talking about that some more in future posts, unless we can’t get it working, in which case we’ll be deathly silent on the matter.
We’re getting started on the PC prototype and vertical slice now, thanks to the generous support of Film Victoria’s “Screen Development – Games” program. We’ve decided to make this a transparent process (hence this blog) for a few key reasons:
1) We want the community to get involved. We want to show you all the cool stuff we’re building, and get your feedback and suggestions while we can still act on them. Good ideas come from everywhere, and we’d be fools to ignore them! We encourage you to leave comments on these posts, and to email us your thoughts directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) We want to share some of our hard-earned insight into making games. We’ve been part of some spectacular failures, and have learned the hard way how to do things “less wrong”. If you’re a game developer, hopefully some of that experience will transfer across and you can avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve fallen into on prior projects.
The five of us will be talking about various aspects of the development process in this game dev blog. We’ll try and cover everything that’s going on internally, from creative decisions through to gameplay, art style, technical notes, business stuff, workflow processes, and office gossip. Hopefully we’ll all learn something, and at the very least I will enjoy the catharsis. You don’t know me. None of you do!
What area of game development should we talk about first? Let us know in the comments!