I hope that Android port becomes a reality.
That would be amazing. I know way more people with Android phones than I do people with iOS devices.
Patrick, you put 'Harvey' instead of 'Henry' in your subtitle.
Smith’s interested in building a space exploration game with a huge focus on ship building
Now we're talking.
Swapped that typo, thanks guys!
"Smith’s interested in building a space exploration game with a huge focus on ship building. Smith was inspired by a board game called Galaxy Trucker, in which players try to build a ship out of junk parts and keep it going as long as possible. It sounds like Smith’s next game may be along those lines."
Actually, Spaceteam sounds similar to Space Alert, by the same game designer who did Galaxy Trucker, Vlaada Chvatil.
Or at least a round of Space Alert is nothing but 10 minutes of shouting at each other. Once you get the hang of the concept it's probably the most active and fun boardgame I've ever played.
It's incredible to me that any developer would restrict what employees develop on their free time. I would have thought more people would have learned from Google and their focus on personal projects. It's not only motivating but it makes for better programmers.
@patrickklepek: 4th to last paragraph, you have pushimg instead of pushing.
Seeing a shout out to Galaxy Trucker (an absolutely amazing and hilarious board game) on giantbomb was bliss.
'There is a moment in every Spaceteam game where someone hands* their head in disbelief, and realizes they’ll be forced to utter a completely ridiculous phrase.'
Did you mean 'hangs'?
Great article otherwise though
@amafi: Some are worried about ownership and separation of work done for the studio and personal work. If your artist has a work copy of Maya at home so they can work outside of the office but it is the company copy then do they need to buy a personal copy for thousands of pounds before they can use it for personal use? Is that inappropriate use of work equipment or even violating the contract of purchase for the software? There are several issues along these lines (along with trade secrets issues) which often make it easier to simply assert ownership of anything created during the time of employment in the field in which the person is employed. When part of what you're paying for is the thoughts of a person then dividing work and independent time gets murky and the industry is well known for trying to get 80+ hours a week from people to work.
I'm slightly concerned that the article seems to point to this being weird or unusual (despite being monetised, the stream seems to not bring in many sales and not the focus of the product) considering the rich history of free games. Is this the real legacy that app stores will provide? That everyone is expected to monetise their creation, to see what the market will offer for their work due to the very easy publishing model with various revenue streams from simply advert APIs to in-app purchase and 99 cent sticker prices?
Are kids raised to expect a store overloaded with everyone trying to be the one success for 99 cents a purchase to make something which many can offer and build so easily as to flood the market going to expect this? Are they going to look at the app repos from years before they were monetised (when it was all making best use of shared libs and building dependency chains for Linux and had no monetisation and even some copyleft areas that prevent future monetisation of anything on the top of the dependency chain) and wonder why all this free code was given away? This free code that has been turned around and is now underpinning the modern mobile apps (many of which are selling an API call to an underlying function which may well be using a lot of that free open source code to do the heavy lifting).
@patrickklepek your assessment that the commands are ALWAYS on other people's terminals is incorrect. In fact, that's one of the great components of gameplay in SpaceTeam - when you find yourself screaming for people to "Caramelize The Onions!" or "Defribulate the Flange Falve!" only to realize that those controls are on your own screen.
No matter how often I play SpaceTeam I find myself continuing to have those "DAMN!" moments where I look to the corner of my own control panel and find that what I'm desperately trying to get somebody else to do was my task all along!
Also, hope you're feeling better!
A few questionable sentences that jumped out at me:
Spaceteam is glorious fun and I'm delighted to read that the creator seems to be such a thoroughly good egg :)
I have bought, and will continue buying, every "extra" that he includes with this game. I want to support this game because it's absolutely fantastic. The new 8-player mode he added (also for free) is amazing! Played with 7 players the other night and it was crazy!
Dearly hope this finally makes an appearance on android. Refreshing to see a "social" game that doesn't imply that social = facebook/twitter integration.
It's super terrible that EA prevents people from working on personal projects on their own time. It's unnecessarily restrictive.
Somehow missed the Quick Look of this back in December, this game looks really cool!
My girlfriend hated Spaceteam instantly, but I love it and recommend it to people as often as I can. Glad to hear it's doing well. Looking forward to more updates if the developer can spare the time.
really like these articles, keep them coming!
Edit: Yeah, its not uncommon for developers to be forbidden from making games for profit I believe. I know Notch said he could only make games that were free while he worked at his previous employer.
Same here. All of my friends but one are now using Android phones (and myself as well) - mainly due to screen size and price. I've wanted to play SpaceTeam since the Giant Bomb video, and was really hoping for an Android port.
My concern about this happening is that I don't know how good the Android tools are for making ad-hoc wireless networks (what I presume Spaceteam does to communicate between devices). I haven't seen a lot of stuff (or actually any, but I'm sure it must exist) on Android that does direct peer-to-peer communication between devices.
@bvilleneuve: This is more a problem with the video game industry total and less of just EA.
You are expected to work 9-5 every day of the week on THIS ONE video game, and typically working overtime every single day as well. Video game colleges coach you in the ways of working at "crunch time" while you're taking courses so that you're conditioned to this well into working for a company to produce a video game. There's a reason that so many people burn out in their 30's and have to retrain themselves in something far more sustainable.
Independent work? Not so much unless you either teach yourself, or work with programs people have already made.
I guess this is more a rant on how making video games is a glorified factory job.
Thanks Patrick. As someone who played both Spaceteam and Joust on New Years Eve, and as an owner of Galaxy Trucker and other ridiculous board games, this article could not have hit my sweet spot more.
@shivoa: You may be reading a bit much into it? If I remember correctly, Patrick has stated multiple times that Henry Smith, or any developer for that matter (indie or not), deserves to be compensated for the work he put in it and for the fun he has provided Patrick.
On the other hand, other, less scrupulous developers have raised prices when their games have become popular.
And yes, @patrickklepek, that means I'm on to your agenda: campaigning for indie developers by highlighting their games and urging people to pay for them! Keep your politics away from GB!
I love Galaxy Trucker! Building the ships is great, even when you realize you've left open ports on all directions and forgot to put in batteries to power your double lasers and space pirates BLOW YOU AWAY! Ah, good times.
Man here I was hoping this was going to be about a new Star Trek Game =( O well this is better
Poor Harvey Dent.
That one line about EA and how it changed his job at BioWare tells you so man things.
Made for a great New Year's Eve party favor. Super-fun.
This is a fun read but I'd really enjoy more articles with developers of bigger games like Ken Levine for example. I don't know if GB or Patrick don't have enough pull for those sort of segments or if its just not his style. While these are some interesting reads I would enjoy a break from all this indy stuff for a while and maybe flip the script, getting some big name interviews in here. Or something akin to that Spec Ops spoilercast - there's nothing more fascinating to me than inside baseball talk with developers.
Just wanted to give a +1 for an android port please. Only my parents use IOS all the rest of my friends and family are on android and I've been wanting to try this ever since I heard about it.
Swapped that typo, thanks guys!
“I don’t regret it at all,” he said. “It was pretty essentially to keep it free."
Not sure if your fault, or sic.
Also also, neat article, thanks. Interesting to hear from a guy who has worked on triple A going to the indie side.
Spaceteam now allows up to 8 players. I haven't tried it yet because that number of people scare me.
"You don’t have to be into “games” to enjoy Spaceteam, you just have to enjoy screaming at other people. That's universal." - True dat haha. This game is one of the few reasons I would want an ios device.
Ah yes, I definitely want an Android version! My house is split 50/50 iphone/Android but I would love it if we could all play.
@bvilleneuve: This is more a problem with the video game industry total and less of just EA.
You're right, I shouldn't have singled out EA. The problem of fucked up working conditions is something that most of the big video game industry is accountable for.
I would love to see you guys try out Artemis.
Interesting to hear from him, Spaceteam is a really cool idea; and one which works so well because it's free, meaning convincing friends to try it is simple.
Thanks for posting this, Patrick.
Awesome game, lost my voice multiple times. Always die cause of the mistranslation problem.
Is it any different for other entertainment industries? Life of Pi grossed $583 million and was nominated for best visual effects, yet Rhythm & Hues Studios had to file for bankruptcy.
Behind the scenes people get zero respect in entertainment, and video games are 99% behind the scenes people.
@thepaleking: That game seemed so horribly impenetrable the two times ive played it with a few friends.
On another note, this reminds me i need to add to that tip jar.
I'm not even talking about respect, I'm talking about basic ethical employment practices, something that seems to have largely eluded the video game industry up to this point. Film actually passed through a comparable period decades ago, and things got way better creatively after the big studios lost their stranglehold and weren't able to control things as much anymore.
The instant I saw the quick look for this game, I checked the Google Play store and was sad to find it was iOS only... So I really hope he ports it to Android. And if there is some way to make it possible for Android and iOS users play together, that'd be even better!
Can't wait till it's on android. This is the single thing that made me briefly wish I had an iphone.
Can't wait to try it out. It's too bad my friends and family all seem to lean more to Android than iOS so...I hope I can find people to play it with.
This is a fascinating story, @patrickklepek. I've loved the term 'tip jar' in reference to the IAP in previous podcast, and applaud his decision to keep the game free. I sadly haven't had a chance to try Spaceteam yet (mainly because it's hard getting a group of iOS-owning friends together), but it's easily one of the most interesting multiplayer experiences I keep hearing about.
Best of luck to Smith, I hope his endeavor turns out to be a financially productive one!
Aw man, this is the only time I've ever actually wanted a smartphone. Once this phone that I've had for 6 years finally dies, I will crawl out of the dark ages, buy an iphone and get this game!
This game is wonderful. Just tried it out while hanging out with some friends, none of whom are hardcore gamers, and we had a blast. This is what casual games should aspire to be.