Today the team at Bubble Gum Interactive office in Sydney had a small party celebrating the soft launch of the closed beta of the Little Space Heroes game that we have been officially developing for a little over 9 months. Although the game is still some way from being completed, today marks a significant milestone in our development plan.
I am proud of two things: a) that we managed to have come so far to meet today’s milestone deadline; and b) that we have worked together efficiently as a team.
Everyone in the team is very passionate about his/her job, committed, and took their job seriously. All of us have sacrificed our weekends and worked longer hours not only to catch up with deadlines, but more so to give the game the polish that it deserves to be able to compete with the fierce competition out there with hundred other MMO virtual world for kids.
We’ve got Phil, our executive producer slash technical director, who tirelessly worked crazy amount of hours with amazing level of passion and patience, steering the team and keeping it on the true path to the vision. Then we’ve got Paul, our marketing director, who can pretty much make any game feature interesting and plausible, oh and he’s a master at copywriting. Well he should really be in another post called “The Adventure of Little Space Heroes Community Team”, but really he’s our best friend when it comes to testing the game as he never failed to find the most obscure and unreproducible bugs.
We’ve also got Martina, who’s like single-handedly handling all the server development, integration, deployment, maintenance, infrastructure / architecture design, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Then we’ve got Tai, who’s the sick genius behind the mini-games, go talk to him a gameplay idea and he’d go and build it in two days. We’ve got Aaron, who’s got this infinite amount of patience doing all the 1700 or so frames of animated renders per character, environment setup, and content optimisation. As for me, my daily chores include building the virtual world and various tools to make their lives easier, or maybe harder in reality I’m not so sure, and to police cookies trafficking in the office. No cookies passes through without me knowing.
Throughout this journey I’ve learnt a lot from these guys, at lunch times we would exchange banters on any topics from philosophy, relationships, work processes, to gameplay ideas, usually at a park overseeing the harbour bridge. Yes mostly they were very enjoyable, until Aaron decided to feed some birds and Martina went berserk because of it. For an unknown reason that I still don’t get until now, Martina has a strange relationship with the birds. They love getting near Martina for some reason, for food perhaps (she eats mostly sandwiches), even though she kept shooing them away, sometimes with her shoe or some nearby twigs.
When we started, we did handpick a few people to join the team, but over the time as we have a formal interviewing process I’m glad to find out that the team that we have now has consisted of very genuine and professional people. It feels like we are sharing the same culture even though some of us came from Austria, China, and Indonesia. It’s truly a rare opportunity. (Note: I’m talking not only about the development team, but the community and creative team as well, they are very cool people too!)
I used to think that the game industry is a cutthroat one. Maybe it is, but the team that I’m a part of now makes it feel like we don’t really have to be cutthroat to become a player in the industry. We can still have fun and work at the same time, and hopefully the games that we’re producing carry that same fun elements and spirit.
Of course, this is no happy ending yet. The happy ending will be when players really love what we do and the Little Space Heroes becomes a popular MMO virtual world for kids and supported by an active community. At least thus far we’re very proud to have come this far to closed beta and to have worked as a team together. We will definitely keep doing our best to deliver the best gameplay experience in Little Space Heroes.
If you’re interested to play Little Space Heroes, feel free to sign up and play it on www.littlespaceheroes.com and we would love to hear what you think.