We had our game, 3SB. Before diving into marketing and promotion, which would cost money, we released the game into the world. It was free. And life would intervene.
A Tepid Start
While we had high hopes, we also knew that with limited marketing and promotion, the odds that the game would just “take off” was pretty low, verging on zero. Jonathan spent a long time crafting the description and the various identifying elements for the iTunes App Store presence. Picking keywords, and writing a description that was informative and would generate interest, takes time. Jonathan has some skill in this area. But we were simultaneously optimistic and realistic.
Unsurprisingly, the game had a handful of downloads by people who weren’t us or a few of our friends. From time to time, a copy would get installed by someone. But the already slow trickle basically stopped. We would go weeks or even months without a download. But perhaps that’s just as well, because life would rear its head.
In the late fall of 2017, I started to experience physical symptoms that were actually a result of psychological issues, specifically anxiety and depression. Any interest I might have had in working on the game, or building a new one, evaporated, as did my desire (or even ability) to write code at that time. As a team, we had all drifted off into other areas anyways. While building the game was fun and exciting, some of the team just seemed to lose a degree of interest. There were other obligations, and other challenges to face.
On The Shelf
For all of 2018 and 2019, Vintrock Studios basically sat idle. Game downloads had essentially stopped. I wasn’t in a place psychologically where I could do anything with the company, at least not in its form as a game company. Jonathan had other challenges to face, and other obligations. While it was fun, I think we discovered that being a game company was a nice idea, but not necessarily a thing we wanted to do full-time.
So, until January 2020, Vintrock Studios sat quietly, waiting. With a new year, and a renewed sense of purpose, I decided that I would like to use it for some other creative ideas I had been working on. Jonathan and I spoke about it several times over the course of 2019, and once I formulated something for myself, it was time to see what Jonathan wanted to do. He had no immediate plans for the company itself, but he and I both agreed that the name was simply too cool to let it fade out of existence.
After some formal paperwork, FarWest Software acquired the remaining shares Jonathan held in Vintrock, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. While I haven’t written off the idea of future games, for now the focus will be on my fiction works, something I was able to do. I may not have been able to build software, but I could build worlds and stories. I also have some ideas to explore in music, as well as other media. Vintrock Studios may not be a game studio (at the moment), and the team has been reduced to one. But it will still be creating. Our mantra is now:
Building worlds, and filling them with stories and songs
I look forward to sharing my stories in the very near future.