We’ve been pretty quiet on all fronts lately. It’s been 13 months since we put a big game out. I apologize for that. We’ve been working on a big, risky and fairly ambitious project for about 8 months. I had hoped to have it out in alpha by now but complications like crunch at work and trips to Japan can really slow things down when you only work 8 hours a week in the first place. So I wanted to be upfront with what we are thinking right now.

Since Ben has taken a step back from the Hats, we find the programming side a little weaker. But the good news is that two other great dudes have joined the Hats. I met Tim and Benn at an IDGA talk a few months back and they have been really super great, providing us with art for the team. So now I’m programming (oh lord, what a mistake this is) and we have two really great artists on the team. Our last game was built for a team of two awesome programmers. Now we have a single awesome programmer and two awesome artists… So I wanted to re-evalute were we are going.

I want to give you a peek at the big game we’ve been working on, tentatively titled, “Story World.” It’s about creating and exploring stories with a community. It’s totally out of left field for all of us but we get really excited when we talk about the things it does. We’ve also been considering making it a sold product, which is a big step for us. This game is a whole post on it’s own that I will save for an alpha launch some day but it’s designed to be a interactive fiction nerd’s wet-dream.  Let us know if you want to hear more about it. Here is some concept art Tim made for a presentation we did at a local indie event back in August.

Well now, we have a different team and we’ve had a chance to step back from the edge and look at what we’ve been doing. I look at the big number of players we still get from Organ Trail (over 600k players so far) and I look at the feedback from the community and I realized I should stop fighting what the fans want. Everyone has been asking for it since day one… so I’m taking a break from Story World. Currently I’m remaking Organ Trail for PC and mobile. Meanwhile, Mike (The programming Wizard) will keep working on the complicated networking stuff that needs to get done for Story World.

The decision to move Organ Trail to mobile has a few hitches. First off, the orginal was made in flash. This version is being remade, from scratch, in Unity. Since it will use touch & mouse controls, I also have to redesign the interface quite a bit. The only thing we can reuse is the art and the game design. The music was all non-commercial so I have to find some new music. I might slip in a few little bits here and there but I won’t be expanding the game too much. Because…

I also plan on making a sequel with the engine I’ll be building. The tentative title is Super Organ Trail.

I’m not sure how we will put these out yet. I’d like to get a game on Steam but I don’t know if Steam will take a game like this… so I need to talk with the rest of the Hats and figure out the direction of Super Organ Trail. I hope we get to do it because it gets me all hot and bothered in my pants thinking about it. But it really comes down to the kind of support we can find for the game.

The reason we take so long to make a game is because this is still a side project for us.  Which is why I will also be cutting down on my gaming habits by the end of the year (Curse you Holiday game season!) That will be like killing children for me. I want to take the steps to start making the Hats something greater; something I could possibly lean on in the future.

I’m considering a Kickstarter campaign for Organ Trail because we need some funding to get the licences for the tech we use. That would be a huge step for us.

This is a terrible idea to do upfront but I figure… why not? Here is a list of the tentative features I want to see in Super Organ Trail if we ever get to it.

  • Free roaming map
  • Base upgrades
  • Convoy expeditions
  • Multiple vehicles (with stats)
  • Gather survivors
  • Slightly more “narrative”
  • Several win conditions
  • New SNES inspired graphics
Let us know what you think. Stay tuned for more info as it comes.