I've written a fair few of these blog posts over the last 10 months and they've always been from the point of view of the company: "We did this" and "We thought that" etc. This is going to be the first blog post from my own, personal point of view that I've written as part of TriCat.
I'm sad to say, that it's also my last blog post as part of TriCat.
THE TRICAT PLAN
When I left my job at Ninja Theory in May last year to form TriCat, I understood the financial risk I was undertaking. In the position I was in at the time (being recently single, no family dependant on me etc) I was able to happily take that risk without worrying about any other factors of my life suffering in the process.
The plan was always to release two or three small games and see if any of them made ANY money. If not, I planned to re-evaluate and -- if necessary -- find a new job. But as long as the games covered their own costs, we could keep doing this for a very long time and -- hopefully, one day -- one of them would be a huge success, allowing us to spin TriCat into something much bigger.
Unfortunately, things didn't go that way.
THE PLAN GOES ASTRAY
Defendy Rocket took longer than we expected it to (although we don't regret putting more time into it) and we've yet to release it due to the lack of Video Ad support at the time (for the record, Defendy Rocket passed submission this week so we'll be releasing it soonish). R.A.B.B.i.T. was our counter to that - a small game we could get out of the door quickly. But -- as anyone who has followed these posts up to this point will know -- problems with the Unreal Engine delayed us from releasing it for several months.
As the new year rolled around, I was beginning to run out of money. I really needed to consider moving on and finding a job. But I was sure that Epic would come through any day and we'd get R.A.B.B.i.T. out of the door. So I continued to hold on, bleeding through the last of my cash reserves and waiting for that day to come. Except it never did.
Then, towards the end of January, something cropped up that looked like it could save the day.
Out of the blue, I got a message from my old line manager back from my early Ninja Theory days. Facebook -- where he now works -- were looking to hire a Designer to work on Oculus Rift projects.
I wasn't sure what to make of this - I couldn't commit to a full time job, as I needed to finish our games. But I was going to need to start looking for work anyway and this sounded exciting, so I decided to (at the very least) go and see what they were offering.
Turns out what they were doing was a great opportunity. And, by a stroke of luck it was a new team that Oculus was forming, so part time work was a potential option on the table. I was asked if a two-day-a-week contract, for three months was good for me. It seemed perfect.
Unfortunately that sort of disappeared for a while. But I barely noticed as we were busy putting R.A.B.B.i.T. through iOS submission in one last, desperate attempt to make TriCat successful.
However, something else was coming that I wasn't expecting at all.
Several weeks ago something cropped up in my life that forced me to re-evaluate absolutely everything. While I'm not willing to discuss the details of that here in the public domain, suffice to say I needed to find some stability in my life and that included finding a new job pretty quickly.
This meant that, even if R.A.B.B.i.T. came out and made a ton of money, I couldn't risk that future projects would completely flop any more.
CHASING NEW THINGS
So in the first few days of March I started making new plans. I signed on for Universal Credit (formally Job Seekers Allowance), contacted some recruitment agencies and started hunting for jobs.
Then, by coincidence, Facebook decided it was time to move things forward and got back in contact. I had a full blown interview with them a few days later.
Two weeks later, I was offered two amazing job opportunities. One working with Sumo-digital on Dead Island 2 and the other working for Facebook on Oculus Rift experiences. It took me several agonising days to decide and I don't think I'll ever be sure whether I made the correct decision. However, two days ago I formally accepted Facebook's offer. My estimated starting date is the 11th of April.
And with that, it's time to say goodbye to TriCat :(
... COME TO AN END
I've really enjoyed the last 10 months. I've learnt far more doing this than in another other role I've ever been in before in my life. Not to mention we've made two really addictive games that we're both really proud of (I'm still playing Defendy Rocket in my free time - that says a lot).
And although it's going to be nice to have disposable income again and not worry about money every time I go to the pub, I'm really going to miss the indie life and the freedom that it brought.
Based on my current situation, I don't see myself returning to the indie scene any time soon, which is a shame. But at least I'll die happy knowing that I took the opportunity to do something like this at least once in my life.
And finally, for anyone that's followed and supported us throughout this adventure: I tip my hat to you. Thanks for all of the wonderful support :)
Over and out,