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Now It Can Be Told: Bushi-go is a Go

posted Aug 30, 2012, 12:17 AM by Douglas Sun
Originally posted: July 27, 2009

I’ve been sitting on this news for a month or so, in part because spilling beans only make a mess; but mostly because of a dark and primal fear that speaking too soon would somehow jinx the deal. One’s idiocy messing with the cosmic flow of chi, and all that. But Kim Unger signed the contract with Hands-on Mobile on Friday (and blogged about it), so I guess it’s finally official: She’s going to develop a series of iPhone games for HDN, the Hands-on Mobile Developer Network, and I’m riding shotgun with her.

In short, it’s finally go time for Bushi-go.

The project is the latest incarnation of an idea that she and I first brainstormed almost a decade ago. In its current form, it will manifest as a series of six separate downloads, each consisting of a little action-strategy game and a related 10-minute animated mini-drama. They’re all sequential — linked by a common story line and characters — so when you put them all together, the effect should be rather like an action movie in which the action sequences are interactive. My present task is writing the mini-dramas and the in-game dialogue, and I’m sure Kim will have more for me to do after that.

I had thought that once the contract was signed — meaning that our advance money would soon be on its way from HDN — that jubilation would naturally follow. I expected to break out a victory cigar, or at least do a little Snoopy-style happy dance (which is about all the dancing I have room for amid the clutter in my house). But instead, I took a deep breath and thought, “Well, it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get serious.”

As Kim wrote in her blog, having a real contract to develop a clean, commercially viable product for a real publisher (and to do it on schedule and with a minimum of fuss) changes the psychological calculus entirely. This is not a self-indulgent indie game, or an open source project (like that admirable, but apparently endless effort to develop a freeware successor to X-Com). We’re working for The Man now, and that means no more goofing off and no more excuses. Someone has actually called our bet and given us the chance to show that we’re more than just fine talk and written proposals. And when you get down to it, that’s pretty sobering, if not a little scary.

Anyway, the upshot is that blogging will probably continue to be sporadic for a while.