Happy Birthday to…us!

bts_birthdaycake_2016

Happy new year! We hope you had a great start into the new year. We sure had and today we’re also celebrating our first official birthday! Did you know that exactly a year ago we officially founded “Behind The Stone” in Hamburg? No? Well, now you do. Some of you might think now:
“Wait! You’re team and website is up and running for more than a year.” That’s true. Inofficially. On paper it was a sole proprietorship and I had to include my full name on every official paper. Back then Monika didn’t sign any papers, but she was informally the co-founder. Back then we ran the studio as kind of a freelance-thingy, officially. But last January we decided to change that and founded it officially with both of us, Monika and I, as the founders. So today is basically the first official respectively legal birthday of our studio. It’s a great first birthday, since 2015 was a real special year for us. I’ll elaborate.

Since Monika and I met and decided that we’ll work on games together, that that should be what we’ll do for the rest of our lives, lots of things happened:

– after four semester I succesfully dropped out college
– Monika finished her Bachelor-Thesis
– we moved from Trier to Hamburg
– Monika started her Master-Studies in Hamburg
– Monika dropped out of college, also successfully

Now we don’t want to state that studying game-development or related studies is dumb or a bad idea, but the moment we dropped out the whole development on our studio and our game “Sir Eatsalot” gained a big boost, since now we could focus on the “important” stuff, you know, making games – we were motivated and made up our minds.
We helped establishing and still organize the official indie-meetup in Hamburg and have big plans for the future of the local developer-scene.
We redesigned our website (Eddy <3).
We went again to the AMaze Festival in Berlin and participated at the Hamburg Games Celebration, went with a bunch of local indiedevs to Groningen and meetup with their
indie-scene. 2015 was a year full of events for us. We met new folks, talked and shared experiences.
Of course it doesn’t stop there: We worked hard (and still do) on our game. Those of you who follow us here or on our other social-media-channels know by now that “Sir Eatsalot” isn’t an iOS-Title anymore. We’re developing the game exclusively for SONY’s PlayStation Vita and in June we showed this new version the first time officially to the public at the MaGnology-Event, which is organized by the great Hirofumi Yamada, who’s also responsible for the japanese localisation of the game. After that our team grew, shrank and grew again, since we got an artist and lost him again, because he had to leave us after roughly three months.
Fortunately we found new artists (<- yes, plural!) really quick. Beyond that a good friend of mine helps us with his great programming-skills.

I don’t want to go too deep into the development of our game, since I’m writing these things down for our big Post-Mortem of the game.

2015 was a really great year for us. Lots of things happened. But there was something odd: it seemed we were and still are lucky.
As mentioned above – we met new people and shared experiences, and some of them told us how bad they had it. Team-Members left, no money, no support from family or friends, players didn’t like the game and other possible negative impacts. Some of the developers I talked to thought about stopping game-development at all.
Yeah, we sure do have our problems, I mean we have no money at all and also “lost” team-members, but we never really struggled during the development to the point where we thought about quitting. I guess it has something to do with motivation. The whole year we had really great motivational-boosts. Our pitch to get PS Vita DevKits was succesful although we NEVER pitched anything to anyone ever before. We got interviewed and featured by the the (PS Vita) press. We could show our game to the public and the people liked it. I sincerly can’t tell you what we’d have done if none of this happened. But I know one thing for sure: we wouldn’t have quit. We won’t quit. No matter what.
In a way we’re already struggling, investing all our resources in a game developed for a platform which is proclaimed dead by so many – but it doesn’t feel like struggling.
This whole ride is an indescribable experience and there is nothing more satisfying than to overcome obstacles.

At this point we want to shout out to all these fine folks who helped and supported us in different ways (order isn’t relevant : P ):

– Of course our families, who support us and don’t think that gamedevelopment is a wasting of time
– Many hugs and kisses to all the people who helped on the actual development of our Sir Eatsalot and still do
– Many Thanks to Sascha, who helped us get our website up and running and still helps us if we’ve got issues
– Kisses to Eduard, who helped us re-design our website
– Hugs to the folks of 4 Horizon Productions, who are responsible for the soundtrack of our game
– Many Thanks to Alexander Bakst and Hiro Yamada, who localise our game in English and Japanese
– Thanks to Christian and all the other fine indie-devs, who help us organizing the awesome Hamburg Indie Meetup
– Many Thanks to Shahid Ahmad, who helped us becoming licensed PlayStation Developers and get hands on PS Vita DevKits
– all the awesome game-developers we ever met and talked to
– everyone else who supported us this far and believes in us and what we’re doing

– and of course you PS Vita Players who look forward to play our Sir Eatsalot : )

We hope that 2016 will be
full of old and new people, we can meet, share knowledge and wisdom with,
full of events we can participate, where we play and learn new stuff
full of good experiences, which we’ll use as motivational boosts.
And of course there should be at least some bad experiences we can learn from and which will shape us as humans and game-developers.

We know for a fact that at least all of these will happen at some point so the year is going to be great! We sure hope your one will be, too!
We see you guys at the next birthday-party, bring some cake!

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