Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Phase 2 - Preparations for Chickan

Dear diary,

It's just me again, don't get up.

So far my previous diary entry has remained a secret with 0 views and 0 comments. Whilst some may take that as a bad sign I just assume all my readers are part of an underground cult who don't want their visits monitored (probably Americans). Anyway I've taken that as a huge dollop of inspiration and am here to enlighten you on the next stage of, what will come to be known as, the C117 Games phenomenon!

Phase 2 - Getting the band together

Where were we? Oh yes, I'm working as an IT Manager to pay the bills whilst writing and recording podcasts for Stevivor on the side. I've tried starting a magazine, a website and a book all without success and am still trying to find "that thing" to make my stamp on the world! Pretty nice roundup eh? Wonder why the lat blog entry was so long... hmmm.

So it's now July 2012 and I've got an idea. Remember that book I told you I wrote? And the proof of concept video game I made and was selling for $0? Well it took me a while but I finally put two and two together and decided to make a game of the book! Wow. I should put that on the front cover! "The game of the book"! Will confuse the crap out of people as there's no such book. I could even make a Wikipedia entry for the book and say that the book was the book of the game! Then I could get Julian to write a song about the game that's about the book and make the book the story of the song!!! Or I could just get on with this blog.

It's time for some truth nuggets.

I think the reason I failed with my home businesses is that I have unrealistically high expectations. I know how good things can be and, if they're anything short of perfect, I'm not happy. As a result, if I can't do something, I outsource it or learn it myself. If I try myself and have trouble I spend an inordinate amount of time achieving nothing. If I outsource, my expectations and price point are usually disproportionate to what others expect so that doesn't work either. It's not the best way to be and I was constantly setting myself up to fail (at both my private ventures and my professional job).

Luckily for me I met a gentleman by the name of Steve Wright; the man behind the Stevivor website. For those unaware is a successful Australian video games website run totally pro bono. During my time at Stevivor I watched how Steve worked with people, how he ran the site, how he communicated and came to realise that my approach to work was totally wrong. The way I did things was great if I wanted to work alone but terrible for someone who wanted to work as part of a team.

That's Steve on the left. I did a google search for him but could only find a pic of him naked cuddling a boulder. 
Not sure what's going on there. Guess he likes boulders.

It was at this point I decided to form C117 Games and start the game HIVE : Not by Design. I'd look after the bits I knew I could do and try to find volunteers to help with the rest. Steve had shown me that this model was possible and that, by having an open, sharing environment we could feed off each other's ideas and enthusiasm to create something great.

My first recruit was a Brazillian chap named Julian Ozuka. I'd know him for a while as we chatted regular on the GameSpot forums (we have similar video game tastes). When I mentioned what I was doing with C117 Games he offered to help out with the sound track. I'd only listened to a small portion of his portfolio when I realised that he was perfect for the role. This was further cemented when he sent me some sample music for Rosebrooke Village. I won't go into this in detail but Rosebrooke Village is named and themed after my Mother. She was a flute teacher most of her life and it was very important to me that the Rosebrooke music had a particular "feel". Ozuka nailed it first go. Quality of work aside he was a pleasure to work with and, as we chatted about the game, the ideas flowed and it made a transition from "my game" into "our game".

The next to join the team was Simon Sherry. If you've ever seen his work on Redbubble you'll know that he's an extremely talented gent who can think up some pretty fucked up concepts. I mean that in the nicest possible way. His work is amazing. It's just, if I hadn't met him in person, I'd probably wonder what sort of person had this kind of thing rattling around in his head. We hit it off straight away. We're very similar minded when it comes to religion, humanity, life... everything! We both have the same number of kids all around the same age and we're both in a similar stage of our lives. He joined the virtual office as our monster designer and, before we knew it, it was like he'd been with us all along.

I still had a few more holes to fill in the team. I needed sound effects, portrait art (Simon's monsters weren't exactly suitable for "goodies") and maps. I could design how I wanted them to function but I was terrible at making them look good!

Member #3 was a man by the name of Michael Alesich. He'd worked in the art department at one of my  previous jobs and had been a friend ever since. He also posts work on redbubble and is an accomplished artist and photographer. I posted a personal favourite sketch below. Anyway one night, after many beverages and games of Kinect Sports we got to talking about C117 and HIVE. Michael expressed an interest in the game and offered his services for making my crappy maps into super maps. Back then we were doing it a little differently to the way we do now but, again, his work was amazing and he fit into the team like a buttered hand into a latex glove. Please don't draw any lines between that and a night of too many bevvies and Kinect Sports. They are not related. Actually upon reflection, and after checking with Mike, it seems he responded to a Facebook post abbout HIVE. So I shared the Kinect Sports story with you for no reason whatsoever. Still it bulked up the paragraph so "job done" I say!

Unfortunately the next four team members for C117 Games didn't work out. C117 Games had become as much about the work as it was about chatting, sharing ideas and trying things out (again not referring to rubber gloves here) and that model didn't suit some people as well as it did the existing members. We also lost a couple of members due to other projects they were running and other things that came up in their personal lives. Fair's fair and doing free work with me isn't the same as a paid job somewhere else. Chatting about and sharing ideas doesn't repair your flux capacitor!

We added one other member to the team but I'll talk about that in phase 3 as Morty didn't join us until after some other, significant changes had been made.

Hope you enjoyed this entry diary. It had some pretty had some pictures this time so that should have  broken up the wall of text a little bit. 

I'd best be off now. I have other books to visit before home time.

Take care diary

love from Dave


  1. If it makes you feel better, I did actually read the previous entry. :P