A moment to reflect…

Well, this will be the first personal post on this site for a while…

I’ve been so consumed with Lords of Midnight, that most other things have taken a back seat. Now that I have moved LoM to its own blog, I thought I’d post something personal here, and take a moment to reflect.

Last New Year’s Eve, I set myself two goals. I don’t normally make resolutions, but I did last year. The first became known as ‘Piss or get off the pot’. This was directed at Lords of Midnight. I made the decision that I had to finish the game, or at least have made enough progress on it by the end of the year, to warrant continuing. If I hadn’t, I had to step away from the project for good.

So firstly then, I shall reflect on LoM, and I shall do it backwards…

The last two weeks have been manic. I had an intended release scheduled for the 21st Dec 2012 which didn’t quite go to plan. Due to Apple closing down iTunes connect, their service used to push out Apps to iTunes, I had to release LoM early. I chose the 19th, hoping that a) it would give me a little time to fixup any issues that might occur during the release, and b) no one would notice. The problem was a) there were no issues, and b) people noticed. So ill prepared, I found myself in the middle of the release storm, a couple of days early, and from that point on, it’s been go go go, all the way.

I have to say that I am very happy with how LoM has been received. From a sales point of view, it’s shifted just over 2000 units to date. As numbers go, it’s nothing to write home about, it won’t make anyone rich, and in fact for me, I chose to split the royalties after Apple and the VAT man took their cut, and therefore absorbing my costs out of my earnings. So, if I really analysed it to detail, and depending on what cost I want to attribute to LoM, I probably haven’t broken even on everything I’ve spent over the last few years, getting to this point. But then, it was never about the cost, and I have spent that money anyway. For sales, moving forward, it is now about stimulating the market, and getting out the releases for Android, Windows Mobile, and desktop.

Midwinter’s day was bitter-sweet. It was great to finally, albeit in a different way, to have shipped the product that I have been working on for the last 2 years. In another way of looking at it, I have finally commercialised something that I started working on over 20 years ago; in some way that legitimises the work. However, I’m painfully aware that it only happened because of Mike’s death, and that he was not there to see the release. That aside, I had a great pick-me-up on the day when Julian, Mike’s son, called me to talk about the release.

The game has been pretty much universally accepted well by the press and the public. The reviews I have had so far have all been positive. And although the game will never be the one that Mike and I intended to release, I feel justified with the decision I made just over two months ago.

The Christmas break proved a much needed rest, even though I must qualify rest based on the previous 6 weeks, which meant I was still working hard, just not quite has hard as before. Either way, I was able to recharge some of my batteries! It was also great to spend a bit more time with my family!

The 6 weeks prior to release were just hectic. I managed to cram in during that time, so much work that I had been unable to do over the previous two years! I was working on LoM until 2am most days, and then getting up in the morning to do the day job; home from work, start on LoM. It was so much a relief when the game shipped even if it didn’t relieve the work load.

The two weeks prior to that were a little numbing. Mike’s death knocked me a little more than I expected. Mike was a friend, and although I only met him a few times over the last 20 years, and I wouldn’t have considered him a friend in the same way I would friends I went to school with who I am still in contact with, or friends that I work with, or friends that I see more regularly and go for a drink with. He was a friend I spoke to very regularly, some times many times a day, every day. So, if we analyse friends based on how much we have talked, he would be up there near the top. Add in how much he, and his work, has influenced me over the years, and that we were collaborating closely on a project, it really is no surprise that his passing had such an affect. I think what happened was, I realised that he was more of a ‘friend’ than I had ever considered.

The second goal that I set for myself back at the dawn of 2012, was to lose weight. I won’t go into any detail here about that, other than to say that I lost 3 stone/ 36lbs / 16.6kg over the year. My shirts are now slimline, my t-shirts are now large not extra large, I just bought two coats that were medium, and my waist size went from 38 to 32. Overall I feel that I changed my lifestyle without sacrificing much or excessively exercising, so on the whole, I am very very happy with the result.

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5 thoughts on “A moment to reflect…

  1. Pingback: Developer reflects on release of iOS Lords of Midnight - FourTech Plus

  2. Pingback: Developer reflects on release of iOS Lords of Midnight

  3. Pingback: The Lords of Midnight developer yet to break even | VG247

  4. Hi Chris,
    Just a note to say thank-you for all your effort over the years with Lords.
    The resulting ipad game is excellent, but it is so much more than that.
    This is a game which has literally occupied my thoughts since I picked up a Spectrum version in Games Workshop age 16. Your site/blog reveals a guy who cares deeply about not just this game, but its author, and its users. It is a real pleasure to play it again, and in less time as well.
    Finally, just as I thought it couldn’t get any more poignant on my first run-through today, Corleth ran into The Man Himself in the Forest of Dreams!
    Superb, and deeply respectful.
    Thanks man.
    Graeme

  5. Chris, I think you’ve done a fantastic job with the release of LOM, I’ve been an avid follower of your comments, and achievements with Mike for many years, the midnight engine is for me, the best program that represents the new with the retro. It must’ve been so difficult for you to carry the project forward without Mike, (rest in peace Mike) +
    I’ve read that up to mid January that you’ve only sold 2000 units, which apart from being a travesty, points me to my next comment. Every week I search for LOM and TME ports to iPad, open pandora etc, and it was only by chance that I found the OIS port recently. (wracking my brains how we can get it out there as so many ppl have said they didn’t know it was about) if I come up with earth shattering ideas I’ll shout them out.
    Apart from LOM my other breath was elite, now and back in the day, I’ve done quite a bit of programming, graphics, coding on the oolite version of elite by Giles, and as I’m now a disabled person (apart from when I get on my hotwheels scooter lol) I have time on my hands for testing, or any graphics assistance you may wish for projects, or testing, coding etc, hell!! I don’t need my legs to type lol :) then please keep me in mind. Again thanks for a fantastic port, hope we could have TME on iPad or open pandora etc, my condolences for losing such an inspirational innovator, mentor and friend, regards, milinks

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