Hello Reverge fans and friends! It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a chance to give you an update, and with the recent release of the first Skullgirls patch, this is a good time.
More than a hundred people around the world put in months of long hours and dedicated effort on Skullgirls writing code, making art, and scripting gameplay and cinematics. We are proud to have enabled this enormous effort to make Skullgirls into a commercial game.
As anyone familiar with our industry knows, the time directly after shipping a game is the most difficult for any developer. Some of you may have heard that Reverge is currently not engaged to work on Skullgirls. While we kept our entire team together for as long as we could, we eventually had to make the difficult decision to make some layoffs in order to stay in business.
Layoffs are always a terrible situation, so we were happy to hear that Autumn Games was able to give Skullgirls Creator Alex Ahad and Lead Gameplay Designer Mike Zaimont the chance to expand and ultimately ship the Skullgirls patch. We wish them great success with their new venture, Lab Zero Games. If you have any questions about the status of Skullgirls, please contact Autumn Games directly. Autumn is the only official source of information about Skullgirls sales, development details and budgets, and future plans.
Meanwhile, the artists, and designers, and programmers at Reverge Labs continue forward with our company goals of creating new technology and game designs to fit the rapidly changing landscape of digitally distributed video games.
I wish everyone Happy Holidays and many more hours of fun playing Skullgirls,
-Richard Wyckoff, CEO
UK game news and reviews site NowGamer has posted an interview with Reverge Labs CEO Richard Wyckoff.
The interview talks about the game a bit, the game marketplace and some of the many trials and tribulations of being an indie game developer.
Give it a read here.
I saw the news last week that former Looking Glass (Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Thief) resident genius Doug Church has just joined Valve.
Normally I don’t follow this kind of thing very closely, but Doug is one of a special group of people from my very first days in the games industry who taught me what it takes to make a game, how to stretch my mind as a game designer, and even some management tips that didn’t become relevant until years later (I’m specifically thinking of his famously short emails – if you want people to read your mail, don’t bury them in words).
My very first job was at Looking Glass (officially Looking Glass Technologies at that time). They had just recently finished System Shock, and were in the last stages of Flight Unlimited when they had a spot to hire me. Looking Glass was quite simply my dream job, The Ultima Underworld games were some of my favorite games ever made (and still are), followed closely by System Shock. LG even happened to be located on the east coast, and I was just a simple boy from Maine. I was determined to work there and it took me a long time after graduating college to actually get hired. I didn’t even mind that they didn’t have a design job for me quite yet and I would have to do some testing and production assistance for a few months.
Flight was essentially in alpha when I joined, so the team was going pretty hard. I got a seat in a cube-walled cul-de-sac (“pit” in LG slang) surrounded by Looking Glass all-stars Xemu, Mahk, Buzzard, and Haydn. While I slaved away on localization data and they worked on what seemed like arcane programming things, I also pestered them with what must have been an unending stream of questions. Over a few months of conversations through days and nights that grew longer and longer as we drew closer to shipping, these guys became my friends and personal heroes. I think I learned more about design practice and theory in a few months of just talking to them than in all the rest of my career.
And as smart as the guys in my pit were, above them all was Doug, this mysterious presence who seemed to spend 24 hours a day in his office with the most amazing collection of CDs I’d seen outside of my college radio station. We could spend hours at our desks arguing about ways to solve various design problems and feel like we were no closer to a conclusion, but in a design meeting, Doug would just instantly come up with brilliant concise solutions without even seeming to have to stop and think about it.
I never got to work on a game like Ultima Underworld before Looking Glass started their long, slow decline, and I’ve never seen a game since that fulfilled my particular desire for RPG adventuring from a first person perspective as well as Looking Glass managed. And now Doug has joined Valve, possibly the most adventurous creator of first person games in existence. I have incredibly high hopes for this combination, and wish him the best of luck.
From PAX East, the man mysteriously known as "Grampa."
Grampa is one of our friends at Haunted Temple Games, the indie company responsible for the strategy game Skulls of the Shogun.
If you aren't paying attention to Skulls of the Shogun yet, now would be a good time to acquaint yourself with it!
For my inaugural blog post, I want to highlight one of the new features of our site, our media gallery, and let it tell you the story of preparing our office. Thanks to some modern web magic from Niles and Derek, our gallery is just a summary of media hosted on various sources – right now just Flicker, with YouTube coming soon.
Anyway, thanks to our combination of high design standards and low budgets, we spent a pretty intense couple weeks in early November shuttling to and from IKEA, stripping floors, hanging cables, and damaging our bodies, but in the end we wound up with something we're all really proud of.