• Ariadne

Open Development

Owl Sanctuary Studios has come along way since it first formed back in 2017. In those three years a lot has happened - we released our first game Roll+Heart, and the studio has expanded, shrunk and collaborated with a number of developers. We've also attended conferences and conventions, showed off our work and kept up with the rest of the game development community in Brisbane. We've also done our best throughout to share our progress and experiences with you as much as possible.

It's been nearly three months since the release of Roll+Heart at of the time of writing, and we've had a good opportunity for us to reflect on where we've been and where we are going. Roll+Heart's launch gave us our first real taste of the commercial side of game development, and it's safe to say we were in a bit over our heads! The launch showed us that we still have a lot to learn in terms of marketing, technical standards and understanding where our games fit in today's PC games marketplace. These lessons are counterbalanced by pride in what we achieved with Roll+Heart. We feel the game did deliver a solid gameplay experience, with interesting characters, story and a solid playtime with great replay value.

So that's the past - but what are we doing now and in the future? Well, that's where we can get back to the title of this post - Open Development.

But what does that actually mean?

Open Development is about establishing a studio philosophy of sharing our work and our stories as much as we can. In time, we believe this practice will help our community grow and become more engaged and supportive during the intense highs of game releases, and during the long arduous hours of effort required to get there.

Okay, that's a good mission statement... but what's actually changing?

For a start we are going to start doing weekly blog posts talking about our progress at Owl Sanctuary Studios. We're also going to be reminding our lead developer (who is also the person writing this) to actually post all the screenshots she takes during her work day. Open Development will give us the chance to engage with you more often about a wide range of topics related to our work. We're going to use surveys and polls across our various social media sites and Discord server to get your feedback on a regular basis.

One more possibility we are exploring for open development is the idea of opening up our projects for collaboration with game developers around the world. Using a points based revenue sharing model, such as that successfully used by Melbourne based studio League of Geeks in their early years of game development. We'll also be collaborating by creating assets for use by other game developers. Our first game-ready asset is currently in the midst of production, and we'll be sharing more progress updates about it alongside our other projects.

So, more social media stuff, is that it?

No, we've saved the best bits for last! As part of our move to Open Development we're providing access to our games as they develop via Patreon & Discord. Patreon Backers at Tier 2 and above are automatically granted a special role in our Discord Server that provides access to game beta store pages. Currently available play-test games include the latest development builds of Roll+Heart and Arty Swirly Colourful. All our game projects going forward will include a freely available element such as a Demo or Preview.

Well, that's about all for this blog post! We hope it's provided some interesting reading and a better idea of where Owl Sanctuary Studios is headed in the near future. Expect to see a new blog post soon talking about our plans for Arty Swirly Colourful sometime this week or next. As always, if you have feedback or just want to chat with us, join our Discord server or follow us via one of the social media links at the bottom of the page.


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