|4/16/2006 7:16:32 AM - Superluminal is five years old!|
Today is April 16, 2006 - five years from the day that Superluminal was officially incorporated. (I actually started the company several months before that, but the first few months were primarily spent working on technology and figuring out what exactly the company would do.)
I created Superluminal because I wanted to maintain ownership in what I created. I wanted a sense of security that I would never get working for another company. I wanted freedom.
In its first five years, Superluminal has created six games for the PC, converted two of its titles to work on Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, and ported one of its products to a handheld game machine. It has done a significant amount of consulting and development work for other companies such as Ubisoft, Wolfpack Studios, and Online Alchemy. It continues to do work for the University of New Mexico for a graphically intensive robotic medical simulation.
Superluminal has several more games in development and you'll likely see at least a couple of them this year. That said, it's getting close to the point where I'd like to slow the development pipeline down a bit and focus on a single, more ambitious title for a longer period of time. I have a lot of ideas that I've long since wanted to make into games, but the base of technology that Superluminal had wasn't sufficient to allow them to be created in a reasonable amount of time given the small team size necessary due to the tight budgets. That's changing. Superluminal's core of technology is getting close to the point - after over five years of effort - where some pretty spectacular things can be done in a very short period of time.
I continue to believe that there is a place for niche, professionally-created titles that fill gaps in the current marketplace. Retail games have grown into huge, sprawling behemoths that often need to generate sales of at least half a million units to justify their staggering costs. The need for massive sales volume is exactly why you see such a lack of diversity - publishers are obviously hesitant to commit such resources to games in an unproven genre. The prototypical independent game, on the other hand, is usually based on a simple game concept that can be easily created in a period of six months or so with just a few people and little or no starting technology. I think that there is a substantial market between these two extremes, and I think that a company with the right technology can capitalize on it while minimizing its financial risks. Superluminal's eventual goal is to be a significant force in that market.
In honor of Superluminal's fifth birthday, I've decided to release a game conceived of back in September of 2004. The game was created in a couple of weeks in February 2005, but it sat idle for over a year as Superluminal focused its attention elsewhere. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I would address the few remaining minor issues and release the game today. The game is called Hexed and it's got some obvious similarities to the old "click and collapse" genre of games. It also has some very unique aspects, though, and I'd recommend checking it out...it's pretty fun.
Happy birthday, Superluminal!