A New Beginning

Well, it’s been almost half a decade since I’ve updated this blog, and in that time I’ve been too busy actually making games at Klei Entertainment to dedicate any time to writing about them. In my time working as a programmer with Klei I cut my teeth on a real game engine working on gameplay for Shank 2, and I finally understood a great many things about how a game is put together by getting my eyes on the code behind the curtain.

Shortly after I started working on Shank 2 I moved on to another project, writing the gameplay for the prototype that would become Mark Of The Ninja. Once we brought on a second gameplay programmer I worked together with him to complete and finalise the game and it’s true what they say: you’re haven’t really made a game until you’ve made it all the way through! Mark Of The Ninja wound up getting plenty of accolades including a 10/10 review from Destructiod and we even nabbed Best Indie Game and Best Downloadable Game at the 2013 Canadian Videogames Awards!

After Ninja I went to work on Don’t Starve and helped take it from beta to the (nowhere near final) 1.0 release. Although there was plenty of decent reviews for Don’t Starve, even more rewarding was the way the fans of the game reacted and loved it. Don’t Starve was the first game that I saw fan art of things that I’d created, and it’s a most incredible feeling! Ask me to choose between fans who love a game enough to sit down and spend hours creating something inspired by it, and a basically-meaningless Metacritic number and I know what I’m choosing. One of the other things I love about Don’t Starve is that the game is still being updated and when I play it know with my friends there’s so many things in it that I’m not even aware of when I play it. That’s incredible!

After Don’t Starve I did some back-end stuff to add DLC support to Mark of the Ninja and release the Special Edition, before joining what would eventually become the Invisible Inc team. I spent a lot of time on that game trying to solve the variety of problems that arise from having turn-based AI that needs to react to things, but in the end I was pretty happy with the way it turned out and I hope to one day do a talk on it.

In the end though, all good things must come to an end. Or, as I prefer to think about it, a new beginning. The friendships I made at Klei will I hope be lifelong, and the experience I gained and lessons I learned have been invaluable. It was always the plan to return one day to the world of Indie Games Development to have a chance to make some of my own ideas, and it just so happened that an opportunity that could turn that into a possibility has come along and I didn’t want to turn it down.

So, for the next few months I’ll be working closely with Metanet Software to bring one of their much-loved N games to a variety of different platforms and after that…well you’ll have to wait and see!