It’s a new year! Hope everyone had an awesome Holiday Season. I completely missed out on my chance to draw an awesome holiday card this year!
Well, Valdis Story has been doing really well, especially after our Daily Deal on Steam on January 1st. We got the attention of Destructoid and they gave us a 9/10 review! If you’re thinking ” It’s about time” you’re right. Sorry for the lack of updates and press push. We’ve been working on the game but for a very long time I had something I had to work through. I’ve been meaning to tell everyone something that happened to us in the middle of releasing Valdis Story.
So let’s turn back the clock a bit to late August 2013.
At this point in time, we weren’t greenlit yet but we were really excited to release the game. We made a promise Valdis Story would release by the END of August. You know this story. Due to issues with setting up the store vender, we failed to release on August 31st. We really wanted to keep up with that promise but there was just no way. We started conversations up with Gog, Gamers Gate, Desura and Humble Bundle and it would take about a week to completely set up with them. To make up for it, we made a promise that we’d post art everyday until the game was out. We were frustrated that we’ve disappointed everyone but at the same time now there’s this energy that was building.
The week before we officially released Valdis Story, Kyron and I were really pumped to finish up what each portal requested. Then there was the task of getting the word out. I started reading every article I could on Pixel Prospector about it. I made plans and long to do lists. On September 9th, we released on Desura. It was finally out there. The thing we pumped our passion into for a year and a half, was now in the hands of players! It was overwhelming and I was happy to see my inbox full of emails come in from players. So much happens when you release a game. There’s good emails, review requests, support help, bugs fixes, and opinions to read. On September 10th, I woke up with a lot of energy to work on stuff. There were still other portals to release on and so many Desura comments to respond to. Things started happening quickly and all of our attention was poured into supporting the game. I expected the rest of everything to go really well.
I’m not really sure how to properly write about what happened next. The best way I could describe it: I was on a high velocity joy ride where the adrenalin was pumping and emotions were high and then I just hit a wall.
Around 12 in the afternoon, on September 10th, on the second day of releasing Valdis Story, I got a phone call. My brother called us to tell me my dad had passed away. He had a heart attack. That day was now the worst day of my life. I didn’t know what to do with myself but not a lot mattered to me at that point in time. I just wanted to turn back time. I’m really lucky that Kyron could take over as much as he did because I was pulled completely out of the picture for a while.
The next day, September 11th, I was flying to Peru where he was vacationing at the time. He was visiting relatives and friends. I really thought I’d see him again when he left because I saw him almost every weekend. My family on that side is pretty strong. My grandmother lived until she was 102. So I never thought he would have a heart attack out of the blue the way he did. I was home a week later but down for a long time afterwards. All I can say is developing games takes up a lot of your time. You have a self inflicted pressure to finish up a game. Even though you control how much time you spend on your work, don’t forget to spend time with all the cool people in your life.
It’s been a while now. I meant to write a post like this a lot sooner but just couldn’t do it. I’d rather stick my head in work than admit what happened by writing about it. My dad was a pretty big deal to me. I’m the artist that I am because he was my mentor. He saw I had interest in art when I was 4 years old and ever since then he had always given me serious art critiques. He never babied me when it came to art. I think that mix of love and dedication is rare. My dad was a painter, a writer and also a guy who just loved to draw weird shit.
He helped us a lot through out Valdis Story. When we had to evacuate our neighborhood due to hurricane sandy my dad gave us shelter. For a month Valdis Story was developed under my dad’s roof. I now look back on the hurricane sandy days in a more positive light because it was a time we had together. Also four words. BBQs in the snow. But in general my dad always was there to help us with anything. He even critiqued my paintings for Valdis Story and he was a fan of Zack’s music. Also, around this time, last year I got really sick and we also stayed at my dads house for about 3 weeks. That’s a whole other adventure. Point is, we were all very close.
I’m sorry that I started this post like YAY HAPPY NEW YEAR! And now you are probably depressed. Please have a Kitten.
Well, It’s what happens in life and I’m able to write this because time has passed.It’s a relief to share this story with you now. It provides some closure for me because I know that my dad would want me to move forward. I hope that also sort of explains why endlessfluff blog and updates were so inactive at times, at crucial times.
As a side note, when I came back from Peru, Kyron coded in a place for my dad in game and Zack composed a song for it. That was really awesome of them. I can’t possibly express how much I loved my dad in one post but I miss him so much!
But enough of the feels for now, I promise a more frequently updated 2014 blog.