This is Kjartan, Studio Director, back with another studio update to talk about how 2022 went, why we’re excited about 2023, and what you can look forward to. My excuse for waiting until the end of January was going to be that we didn’t want to compete with everyone else’s “year in review” posts, but really it’s just that we spent the first month scheming.
2022 Was Challenging…
Insert “in this economy?!” joke here
But really, the macro shifts in the wider investment market from last year, especially the second half, definitely impacted what we were trying to do. We pitched Project: Janus to many publishers and funds, had several good conversations, one really good lead that was getting serious about it, and then it all came apart due to "strategic shifts in response to the global markets." We also had conversations with a company about some high-profile contract work, but they were unable to secure the investment they needed for the same reasons.
We were really proud of our initial run of contract work bringing in revenue to start the year (more on that in a moment), but struggled to secure more of it in the second half to keep building the momentum there. And due to this, we weren’t able to compensate several of our team members enough and had to part ways.
...but the accomplishments were still staggering.
We had many wins for the year that I’m very proud of our team for, including:
- We put From the Deep all the way through preproduction and announced it publicly
- We learned a lot about how leadership, production, and culture impacts development, and how we can be more deliberate in crafting the environment we all want to be in (for instance, we learned firsthand the wonders of shifting to a 4-day workweek; let me know if you’d be interested in a post about this)
- As the year finished up, we were able to sign a great client to push us into this year
- Between our contract work and Patreon support, we brought in enough revenue to cover a large portion of our (meager) costs for the first time
I’m going to take this opportunity to thank all of you, once again, for your support and cheekily plug that one of the best things you can do is share our content with friends you think will like it.
For 2023, as I said, we’ve been scheming...
Going forward, we’re finding ways to be more focused, more stable, more directed, and more intentional. To that end, we spent some time in January developing some schemes.
I want Causeway Studios to be a stable creative environment for our team, and last year took big steps in that direction. For this year, we’ve been planning about how we can build on that momentum and continue growing as people, creatives, and a studio.
We set forth some goals for the year:
- Finish a first playable version of From the Deep
- Increase what we share with you in terms of behind-the-scenes content and bite-sized development updates
- Release something interactive and game-like publicly
- Improve our stability with a more robust contracting operation
With the client we signed at the end of last year, this year will already see more revenue than last and we’re looking for ways to grow that even more. However, we want to strike the right balance between taking on others’ work that pays us and our own creative work, so we’ll be actively developing From the Deep and continuing to explore what the future holds for Project: Janus.
Inside of this, we want to share our progress more frequently with you. Our current plan is to share some bite-sized development updates every couple of weeks—you should have just received one on Monday—to give you greater insight into what you’re supporting, and we’ll see how that frequency works out.
We want to continue sharing stories from the Worlds Across the Causeway. This includes another short story coming soon and, very soon, making our first short story from last year, Page A6, freely available to the public. So if you know someone who may like it, please send it to them!
As you may have noticed throughout this, we’re being more direct in asking for your help to grow our audience. There are stories to be shared, and we want to find more people who will enjoy those stories.
...about what you can look forward to.
So, let me reframe all of that as what it means for you.
- You’ll get regular, frequent, bite-sized development updates of what we’re working on.
- Continued small stories in the forms of vignettes and the choose-your-own-adventure series (we’ll also be compiling and publishing the results of the first CYOA story)
- A more predictable release of short stories (3 per year)
- Likely a few playtests for From the Deep throughout the year that we’ll invite supporters to
- A release of a small game-like, interactive experience at some point this year, for free (this will be an experiment, almost like an interactive/immersive vignette)
As a friendly reminder: these are all continued experiments to see what is inspiring for us, what strikes a chord with you, and what is sustainable. We welcome any and all questions and feedback! Is there anything you’d like to see more or less of, or something you don’t see that you’re interested in?
Thank you for sitting by our campfire.
Again, we can’t thank you enough for your support. We’re very excited about what this next year looks like and can’t wait to share more stories (and we’d also love to hear some of yours!). If you ever want to get in touch, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to support us even more than you already do, here are a few ways that won’t cost you another cent:
- Follow and interact with us on social media (like, share, and comment on posts): Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Share our stories with your friends (especially those you think would like them!)
- Wishlist From the Deep on Steam
- Simply tell us when you like something we share by liking or commenting on it here or anywhere else
Till next time, with much love from the team here at Causeway!