When I look back at my days at Ubisoft, what comes to mind is the amazing projects I was a part of, the experience I gained, not to mention the many ways we were pampered with cakes, goodies and endless hours of gaming. I was part of one of the most successful AAA game studios in the world Life, was amazing. The thing I loved the most though, was Interacting and working with Like minded people. What I found among the people was passion, enthusiasm and thirst to know more and hunger to do something amazing.
It’s where I met Sumeet and Aditya, Little did I know at the time that our friendship and passion for games would lead us to form Arcanheim. It all started with the three of us hanging out after work, to catch that last cup of tea together while we discussed games and ideas before calling it a day. With time our congregation of 3 saw significant changes with our post work rituals. Everyone carried notepads and pens, took notes, wrote down ideas, suggestions and feedbacks. These meetings grew longer, more serious and purposeful and I could sense something big just round the corner.
THE LURE OF THE STABLE JOB
If you are a 20 something working at a AAA Studio, doing something you’ve always wanted to do, guaranteed an X amount of money each month, its really hard to have any complaints. But at some point it will not be enough, if you’re driven by passion you will want more. More to learn, More to do, Different things to do, more challenges. We had this realization when we noticed our notepads slowly filling up with all the ideas, sketches and pseudo codes. We then started working on those ideas post work and on weekends . The many hours we spent prototyping, we came across a lot of obstacles like implementing a complicated Game mechanic , optimising our code etc. Cliched as it may sound, the time spent on overcoming them was some of the best times i have had in my professional life. These obstacles provided us with a challenge that we Craved at Ubisoft.
The choice was there, take up the new challenge full time and work and build something you believe in, or succumb to the security the Stable job has to offer.
HIGHS AND LOWS OF GOING INDIE
First few weeks were great, we worked endlessly and made some rapid progress. The challenge that we craved so much, was catered to by the project we were working on. Weekdays, Weekends, Festivals, didn’t matter all we wanted to do was wake up to start working, it was a lot of work but something we absolutely enjoyed. Unfortunately the reaction we got from our FPP testers (in my case my sister) was not very reassuring. “Is it the lack of art..??, are the mechanics not that interesting..??”. Self doubt crept in, and we almost canned the project. But we carried on and wanted to see how the game would feel with better, polished art and this meant hiring an artist.
Let me just say up until this point we were gamers, designers and developers and had no idea how to go about the important process of hiring people. I wont get into the details of how we conducted interviews, but let’s just say we have come a long way.
The team grew, the game took shape and with multiple iterations and countless sprints we were able to showcase it at NGDC 17 and have already started work on other projects in our pipeline.
HERE WE ARE
Its been a little over a year and what a year it has been for us. From almost scrapping the project to Showcasing it at NGDC and winning the Game-changers competition, its been an amazing journey so far. I must admit though we have been very fortunate for having a Young, passionate, talented and hard working team as ours, without whom this would never have happened.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as i did writing it. Plenty of more content coming up soon so stay tuned.