Earlier this year we rather excitedly covered the upcoming project from indie dev Brain&Brain; the folklore adventure Burly Men At Sea. You can read our preview here and also a subsequent interview with husband and wife duo, David and Brooke Condolora. You may be familiar with Brain&Brain from their stand out debut title, Doggins.
After months of solidly plugging away at its title, the dev has offered up some good and bad news. First, the good news. The latest blog over on Brain&Brain’s website estimates that around 90 per cent of the story has been completed, with 20 per cent of the game now playable. The playable section has been submitted to a number of game festivals to gain invaluable feedback from testers.
But here comes the bad news. As is so commonly the case with indie projects, the money is drying up faster than expected. In the words of the dev:
"We set out to make this game with a lot of optimism. We knew our initial deadline was aggressive, but we didn’t really have a choice, budget-wise. David had to quit his job at Pixar in order to have any involvement on a new game, as the company no longer allows games as side projects. It wasn’t ideal timing, and Doggins didn’t make enough to support us. But we both knew what we wanted, so we jumped. We initially hoped to quickly release a smaller game and start on the next, but the game we discovered we wanted to make was complex. Again, we felt the risk was worth it.
So here we are now, at our budget’s deadline, and we need to make some sort of decision. We are making this game, so our options are 1) move to a cheaper place, 2) seek funding, or 3) take a break from the game to do contract work. None of these are ideal, and all will delay the game to some capacity, so we’re still mulling it over. Meanwhile, the work goes on!"
I’m sure you’d agree that this is not particularly nice news to hear. Another interesting (but sad) titbit of information from that post is that the dev didn’t make enough money from Doggins to support itself. We absolutely loved Doggins, awarding it 4.5 (out of 5) stars and calling it "a wonderfully charming, humorous and casual adventure that should be loaded onto every iPad." You can read our review here. It’s such a shame that indie devs can produce games like these of the highest calibre and still not be rewarded for their hard work.
We’ll keep you posted as more information comes to light but we probably shouldn’t expect Burly Men At Sea anytime soon. In the mean time, do the devs a solid and grab Doggins.