In 2011, we started designing and creating Skylands of Darmanis, our first attempt at developing and publishing a complete game. In early 2013, after a Kickstarter Campaign that felt like a secret (unfunded), we decided to take a break from the project to pursue other things.
Our first games were intentionally very small, very unpolished and very short. Our single intention was to make a few mini-games for fun, and so that we could begin learning how to create the game assets and program them into game form. The product of those first development sessions in 2004 were these four little mini-games:
Mage of Seasons
After years of working on what we consider our “brain child”, Isles of Keo (more info on it below), we stepped back from the ambitious attempts at creating that game prematurely, to focus on something smaller and more realistic for our skill levels. Specifically, we took a few months to make the first sort of chapter of a little RPG game called Mage of Seasons.
This game was created for a contest put on by YoYo Games, the owning company of the game development software we were using. The contest gave us 2 months to create a “Winter Themed ” game. Despite not being able to iron out all of the bugs before the contest submission due date, we received an honorable mention from the judges and some good reviews on the project. It was nice to have the whole game community playing our game and giving feedback!
After the contest was over and some time had passed, Arden went back into the game code and cleaned up a lot of the bugs, making the game a fun hour or so to go back to once in a while. Looking back, there’s a lot we would have done differently with this game, but I’m still happy with this; being something resembling a solid start to a real game. We may return to polish and continue it’s development some day…
This project was born out of a convenience: both a game competition and a school project that Arden had occurred around the same time. YoYo Games had many contests within their community, this time around with the theme “Ancient Civilizations”. We started making this game for that contest, but couldn’t complete the game by the submission due date.
Having done an RPG with Mage of Seasons, we wanted to move on to more of an action-based adventure/strategy game. This game was never published in any way, anywhere, but there’s a decent amount done on it (as you can tell from the videos below). We may return to finish and publish this project in the future.
Arden made a very nice 2-part video for his class, covering the programming language and the concept for the game:
If this project ever generates enough interest, we may go back and at least release a demo… or a whole game.
Isles of Keo
IoK is the largest and longest-running game we I have been working on.
It started in 1997 with a ton of drawings and story ideas. Over the years, we’ve rehashed and restarted this project probably 3 or 4 times, giving each retry a solid year or so of development. With each attempt, we realized that we didn’t have the time or the skill set to do our “brain child game series” justice. We’ve instead been realistic about it and have humbly backed away to continue to grow and make other games. We want IoK to be the game we’re most known for someday and are willing to apply some diligence and patience to get it there.
The other projects we’ve worked on between the initial concept of Isles of Keo and now have indeed become monumental in the long-term goal of creating our games set in the world of Keo. We’ll get back to this project again someday…