Hmm, it’s been a bit, eh? Looks like it’s time for another Defective recap post! In fact, a lot’s happened and we have a lot to say about it all, so here today we’ll lay out the broad overview of what’s been going on, and soon, we’ll be putting up individual blog posts about a few of these things.
New Project: “VRMT” (working title!)
Anybody who’s encountered Defective at events lately is privy to a brand new project that we haven’t announced online yet: VRMT.
VRMT is a VR creation game and worldbuilding tool, aiming to be something between Minecraft and Maya. You’re presented with a set of props and tools with which you and your friends (multiplayer soon! Really this time!) can create environments. Much inspiration comes from Bruce Branit’s short film Worldbuilder.
We’ll save the media for VRMT’s proper dedicated announcement post… but eager fans just might be able to find everything about the project on the Internet already 😉
Some time ago we mentioned a number of jams and new projects we’ve been working on; VRMT is the first of those to make it out into the world, and more new projects will follow. We have a lot of ideas and a lot of things that work and we enjoy playing and making, and we’re eager to break from our history of neverending monolithic projects. As every game developer knows, you make good games by making a ton of games.
And despair not spacefreaks, the best CosmoKnots is ahead
We haven’t put out an update or news on CosmoKnots in quite a while, but worry not, significant updates are coming. We spent the months following the alpha release fixing things up, increasing the awesome, and adding a few new features — but it wasn’t enough. After taking a break, we realized that what CosmoKnots really needs isn’t an incrementally better version of what we have — which you longtime Defective fans may remember is a significantly pared-down version of our vision for the game — but entirely new features, living up to that grand vision. The first two major updates we’ll be working on are multiplayer (multi-Snake first; later, perhaps, bringing the racing-on-the-tail element back), and VRMT integration as the CosmoKnots in-game level editor.
UniMerge: Now an even better tool that all Unity devs need
UniMerge, our Unity editor extension for merging scenes and prefabs (something every Unity developer forever has desperately needed, and if you are one and just found out about this, you probably just peed a little), has seen various improvements, and the latest (version 1.5) is available on the Asset Store, still for the impulse-purchase-price of $15. It now features proper git integration, and is much faster, making the experience of working with the tool much more seamless and convenient. Both of these new features were the direct result of user feedback, so keep it coming!
Festivals, Conferences, Meetups, Showdowns
We’ve demoed our recent projects (including a couple still not mentioned here!) at a number of events: the Boston Festival of Indie Games, the Richmond Virginia Makerfest (Schoen lives in Richmond now!), Oculus Connect, and various Boston developer meetups and demo nights. Each of these events gave us invaluable feedback, suggestions, and notes on how to improve these projects before the proper public (Internet) reveal. And of course were tons of fun.
Paying for all this awesome
Since we’re not about to get $2 billion dropped on us by Microsoft or Facebook (Mr. Helgason: Just Say No!!), we’ve taken on contract gigs to keep the ramen flowing. We’ll elaborate on each of these in their own post soon, but since last you heard from us, we were hired to build a very cool “VR Home Screen” for the Gameface mobile VR headset, design and teach a number of classes for a nerd camp, and develop a new web platform set to blow up the ski and snowboard industry (we and the client hope!).
The Defective Collective
In the post-Defectivehaus (our old shared apartment+office) era, and with all this news here, you might be wondering, “so with the team so physically spread out, and working on such different projects, what is the fate of Defective Studios?!” But to us, it actually feels like not much has changed: we’ve always had lots of side / personal / jam projects going on, and wanted to release more of them, more often. Yet, we saw a lot of indie success stories centered around a singular idea or game (Minecraft, Braid, Bastion), and, naively, figured that we should follow in their footsteps. Little did we realize that, for one thing, there are plenty of other roads to success (Vlambeer, Owlchemy, and many more), for another, none of those big runaway successes were anything like the creator’s first big project, and finally, we didn’t do a very good job of picking an idea with extremely wide appeal and keeping the scope tight (despite setting out to do just that).
Going forward, we’ll be working on a variety of projects of varying scopes and more strictly following the strategy that each project has a lead who’s responsible for all major decisions and resolution of disputes. Cast in a certain light, this could give the impression that we’re not all one big happy family working together toward a cohesive goal. And certainly we haven’t always agreed on things. In reality, not much has changed. We’re broadening our focus beyond just shipping CosmoKnots 1.0, though that’s still happening. We have some new projects, but we’re still the same people with the same talents collaborating on cool stuff. Don’t worry, Defectifans, we’re here to stay.