On January 1st, 2013, at somewhere between about 1am and 6am, two dangerously inebriated IT managers decided something. Very few things are clear from this entirely undocumented meeting, but it is alleged that the pair hatched a plot to start a computer game development company – with the vision to make games that “Everybody plays”, starting with a space game, later named… The Space Game.
Despite sobering up, the pair registered a company, several domain names, and began expanding on their original high level plans. While trying to come up with a name for the company, Louie, an 11 month old blue eyed ragdoll kitten decided to stand on the keyboard, in between one of the humans and their monitor (naturally).
“Weow.” he added to the debate, and thus the company was named Fluffy Kitten Studios.
Later that month, one of the pair, charged with writing a specification for the game, began evaluating various game engines. While evaluating Unity3d, version 4.0, he accidentally made a playable tech demo, with a space ship that could be manually piloted around a basic solar system.
Alarmed at this development, the same individual began two weeks’ leave from his full time IT manager role a week later. With his girlfriend stranded in Turkey and only a cat to keep him company, he promptly developed a fully playable demo of the game, with eight star systems, each with its own unique tradeable resource, dynamic availability and pricing that grows with player activity, a complete client-server model with shared multiplayer data, a basic dynamic procedurally generated quest system, and an early tutorial system.
Two weeks later, he returned to work and resigned the same day, stating “This may well be the stupidest decision I’ve ever made in my life, but the last two weeks were just way too much fun not to continue.”
More than a year later now, and as it happens, this wasn’t a stupid decision at all. Of course quitting a great job and taking the leap felt crazy – but the game is now paying for itself, has a steady and growing playerbase, is closing in on getting Greenlit on steam, is beginning to get media attention (with several reviews in the pipeline) and has a wonderful community supporting it – and us.
Ascent – The Space Game