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Building a studio from scratch: Week 12

[Go here to find all entries in Gahan’s diary]

Week 12

As Paul (coder) has started his contract work, I’ve decided to jump in and work on the Sudoku game. We still have an artist looking at the underwater 2D game, but everyone else is looking at the outsource work. It looks like we have another client on the go and we’re just doing a few small pieces for them – we’re treating them as tests, so we’re trying to do the best job we can on them.

I think 2 clients will be enough for us at the moment, but I am talking to a few other people about helping them out on their games too – I’ve just got to make sure that we don’t court too many clients, then get a pile of urgent work – it’s a fine balance between being ready for someone, and then being overloaded.

For the Sudoku game, I’ll do the artwork on this one as it should be fairly simple – the tricky part will be the programming and ensuring that we create puzzles that only have one solution. I realise that there are quite a few Sudoku games available, but ours is slightly different.

Firstly we have a wider variety of boards from very simple 4x4boards for children and anyone completely new to Sudoku, all the way up to the mammoth 25×25 boards for the very talented Sudoku players – hopefully this will appeal to veteran players and new players alike. Hopefully having a good range of boards (4×4, 6×6, 9×9, 16×16 and 25×25) should get the attention of current Sudoku players, enough for them to take a look at our game, find out that it is a new way of playing and entice them to have a look and find out more.

The way our game is different, is that along with the traditional number and blanks that you have to complete a regular Sudoku puzzle, we also have a set of clues to help you solve some of the blanks (that’s where the ‘logic’ part of the title comes in). So it’s kind of like a mix between traditional Sudoku and crossword style clues to help you solve each game. Sudoku Logic is the current title, I kinda like it, but it’s not set in stone.

For the art style, we’ve decided to go for a photorealistic, traditional Japanese style interior design (bare with me ☺ ), with lots of wooden framed paper screens. I think this will look good and distance us visually from the rest of the Sudoku games on the market.

Is the market saturated with Sudoku games? Hopefully not, and as we’re bringing something different, I think there’s room for us. With Sudoku being so popular, you never know, we might even sell a few copies.

As we’re still fairly small developer (let’s say boutique, it sounds fancier), we’re now at capacity, if we do get a bigger slice of outsource work, we’ll not be able to do it quick enough so we’d like to hear from any freelance environment artists. If we find the right people we will be able to take on more external work, or move people around to focus on the racing game, which is still cooking along in the background. So if you are a recent graduate, or a seasoned pro looking for work, drop us a line and we can have a chat.

Total money spent so far £292.63

* We’re at capacity with our current team on outsourcing so we would like to hear from environment artists looking for work.

* The Sudoku game is starting to take shape and we have the start of the art style sorted out
* The outsourcing with Art in Games is continuing well and we have a new client too.

The Pixel Bullies
Twitter – @AndyGahan

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