Our Summer
Dev Blog

By September 19, 2017Dev Blog, Happy Volcano

It’s been a while since we updated our blog post. We’re not sorry. We worked hard, went on holiday and a lot of stuff happened. Summer has been good to us. Let me tell you what happened these last few months.

June

After six months of quiting our job and becoming full time entrepreneurs, it was time to reflect on where we are and where we want to go with the company. We set out on a weekend retreat to the beautiful city of Ghent and had a lot of discussions about our future. We set a course for the next 10 years. Which is both terrifying and super exciting. We also played a lot of the fantastic board game: The Great Western Trail.

The Great Western Trail

The Great Western Trail

We started preparations for Gamescom with the Gaming Lab: prepare the fair event, organised by sector organization FLEGA together with Flanders DC. It was an afternoon filled with talks by devs, publishers and PR agency’s on how to approach a game event and get the most out of it. It was very insightful.

Mid-June, Pierre Lecouvey from Paris, joined us for a six-week concept art and 3D modelling internship. We’d been looking forward to his internship the moment we saw his portfolio. Normally we don’t do short internships, but we have no regret. Pierre proved to be a quick learner. Look at some of his work below.

Concept art - houses

Concept art – houses

Concept art - Park

Concept art – Park

David, Peter and Jasper worked very hard to finish and polish the first chapter of The Almost Gone. We even threw in a sneak peak of the second chapter of the game. Pierre also showed that he had video editing skills and made a trailer for Gamescom.

June wrapped up both Tom and Jasper’s internship. But we didn’t miss them for very long. They did so well that we asked them back for a summer job.

July

In July, Jeroen went to Develop Brighton to give a talk based on the blogposts we wrote about how to get an internship in the games industry. While the weather was great, most of his time was spent attending the awesome talks and meeting with publishers. One of the best talks in years was the opening speech by Brenda Romero.

One of the most funny and relevant talks ever. Tears from laughing and crying.

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At Develop, we came in second place at Steel Media’s (Pocketgamer) Big Indie Pitch. Which won us a media budget and an Amazon Fire. The best thing about participating in the event is that you meet a lot of great judges. They are industry specialists and brutally honest. After the event Simon, the organiser, sends you a comprehensive feedback email. We learned a lot.

Second place, yeah!!!

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August

The first week of August, our beloved intern Pierre ended his six-week internship. Leaving us with a lot of concept art for the Suburbs level of The Almost Gone. In his place, we welcomed Sofia Liila, a talented youngster from Finland who will stay with us for a 10-month internship. Talk about dedication. Look at her portfolio and at some of her concept drawings below she already did.

Concept art - forest

Concept art – forest

We attended Devcom and Gamescom at the end of August. Jeroen spoke at Respawn Gathering about getting a job in games. This time aimed at junior profiles from in and outside the industry.

Jeroen giving his talk (photo: @fishieflopoog)

Jeroen giving his talk (photo: @fishieflopoog)

At Gamescom we had a booth in the business section with 16 Belgian game developers. A diverse mix of games and platforms from Switch, to mobile and from Desktop to VR. We gathered some good press, like being called one of the 11 best games at Gamescom by The Guardian. We also got a lot of great feedback and suggestions. There’s always room for improvements!

The Almost Gone booth at Gamescom 2017

The Almost Gone booth at Gamescom 2017

Next to the booth we had some 40 odd meetings with publishers and media. We’re still almost a year out from release, so we have plenty of time. But it feels like The Almost Gone is at a stage where we can approach a publisher. And while almost everyone seemed to like the concept, the game is not a fit for every publisher. This was the first time we really went for it and we had a lot to learn. By the end of day five our pitch and deck where on point.

Which is probably why we won Steel Media’s first PC Indie Pitch. The PC Indie Pitch is the same concept as the Big Indie Pitch but only for desktop games. Yeah, no kidding. This time we won the baseball bat and I must say three guys walking home in the darkness with a baseball bat… you tend to get some weird looks J

Jeroen together with Simon Aubrey Drake from Steel media

The future

So, what’s in store for the upcoming months? Well for starters, Jasper will join us as our first employee, starting from October. His summer job was the finishing touch on his internship and we couldn’t let him go. We’ll also welcome Louis Vissers who will do an art internship until January. And hopefully we find a publisher that fits our project and company. We’re in a few very promising talks, but nothing concrete yet. We’ll keep you posted and our fingers crossed!