2018 will mark the four year anniversary of the formation of Point Bleep Studios. Four years ago we were just a couple of good looking guys with an idea and a pocket full of dreams. We’re still just a couple of hot guys with an idea but our pockets are now filled with night terrors, cold sweats and vacant expressions. What happened in 2017?
At the end of 2016 we submitted a game for Ludum Dare #37 called How to Cope with Boredom and Loneliness. The theme was ‘One Room’ so we wrote a story about a man that has been grounded to his bedroom for the past 30 years. It worked as a create your own documentary style game where you could choose objects in the man’s bedroom to discover how he coped with boredom and loneliness from 30 years of isolation. Once you pick some objects a 3-4 minutes documentary would be generated. It was really simple but pretty funny once we started adding voice overs to the stupid stories the man would tell.
When the results were announced in January we had won the Humor Category and finished 4th overall! A positive start to the year!
We have had an ongoing project since we started the team 4 years ago but we wanted to put it on hold to quickly create polished versions of our previous Ludum Dare entries. They were the first ever games we made together and wanted to fix them up in a collection so we had something to look back on fondly, immortalize them on Steam so we can show our kids in years to come and charge them a quid or two for the honour.
We recreated The Mind of Marlo first. During that time we took part in the next couple of Ludum Dare events and made another couple of well received point and click adventure games. Well, we wanted to add them to the collection too! The problem was we had too many games now and the earlier games, on reflection, weren’t really good enough to preserve, the shabby Ludum Dare versions would suffice for our future kids.
How to Cope with Boredom and Loneliness, The Mind of Marlo and the games we made during the next 2 events (Murder 38 and Super Helpful Man) had a strong TV show theme. We thought we could take the four games and combine them into a full game made up of odd TV show inspired mini adventure games called Point Bleep TV.
We completed The Mind of Marlo and we were really happy with the results. It’s a vast improvement on the original version and it turned into a quirky little talking head style documentary. After doing all that work we didn’t want the game to sit there not being played while we remade the other games, so we decided to release it on itch.io. Flying Interactive found it and offered to publish it on Steam for us. We figured, why not? Except, now we are a game down for the Point Bleep TV project.
We went over several concepts to package the other 3 games together, some really interesting ideas but we were getting further and further away from the entire point of remaking these games, and that was to quickly polish them up for a Steam release to prove to our future kids we aren’t losers and then continue with our previous ongoing project. It was meant to be a 3 month project to clean up the games and get back on track. We instead spent the entirety of 2017 working on these games while our super awesome big game languished in the development wastelands. So, we have decided that this year we will just release the games individually on Steam like we did with The Mind of Marlo. I’ll explain more in the next section…
So, yeah. It’s cancelled but we will release the games individually throughout 2018 and feed some of the ideas we had for the project back into our other project. Once the games have been completed we will create a Steam bundle under the Point Bleep TV name.
We are currently remaking the title with newly recorded lines, improved graphics and other extras. We will release it for FREE on Steam in the next month or two. We hope it will serve as a nice introduction to our world and tempt you to part with coin for our other wares.
We are already quite far into development and the game has seen some big changes from the Ludum Dare version such as a bigger story with deeper puzzles, more locations and mystery. A game about an 80 year old ex-superhero handyman might not be the best idea on paper but we promise you a touching and memorable experience. This game won’t be free but it won’t cost you more than a medium cup of cheap coffee, not Starbucks or anything, I’m talking burger van coffee.
The original LD version of Murder 38 was fairly popular. We finished 2nd in the Humour category and 5th Overall! The new version is still in the design stage as it needs a lot more work to stand out as a standalone game. We want to extend the story, scope and puzzles to make it fun for old players as well as new ones. There are a lot of detective style adventure games out there but we think the adventures of Detectives Biche and Dammit will be worth your time.
We used to write a lot of music together but since we started making games we only write music when we need a piece for our games. If we find time we would like to make a new album of music. We haven’t decided on genre, we typically make 8-bit music but we’d like to make music with real instruments and vocals. Whether we find time to make it or not we don’t know but it’s on the to-do list.
One thing we’ve noticed since our inception is just how much time all this game development lark takes up. Working full time jobs, creating games, trying to promote what we do and live normal lives all at the same time is incredibly demanding. Our weakness is keeping on top of the PR side but we hope to improve this year and increase our output, somehow!
Finally, we will continue working on our main project. When we started working on this game we soon found ourselves with an out of scope project being made by an under skilled team. It was our first ever project. Since then we have made 8 Ludum Dare games, improved our tools and workflow considerably and have a much greater understanding of game development. What was once out of scope is now easily achievable for us. We will use everything we’ve learned to create a game far better than we initially planned. Watch out for this one!
Thanks for reading and sticking with us through 2017. If you liked what we produced last year then you are in for a treat this year! See you soon.