November 8, 2012 3:00 AM | Staff
"Build on our existing engines or growing expertise in genres we'd already tackled? Not for us!" says Tristan Clark, founder of Launching Pad Games, on what sank his indie studio.
Many studios are founded with high ideals, and end up floundering. One such was New Zealand-based Launching Pad Games, which released seven games before calling it quits.
The studio continuously transitioned between passion projects and commercial titles, never really finding its niche, Clark writes, in a new Gamasutra feature. The company released a casual flash game, Run Boots Run, but followed it with The Pretender, "a puzzle/platformer trilogy with a tragic tale of love and hubris weaved into it."
When it shifted to iOS, Zoo Lasso, a casual game, was its first release. Up next? Scarlett and the Spark of Life, "the closest I've gotten to the kind of games I want to make," writes Clark. This foundered, and the company moved back to casual games, finding modest success.
"But as many people have found, it's extraordinarily hard to pull free from the kind of projects that only allow you to limp towards the next project," writes Clark.
"To me, the story of Launching Pad Games is one of pursuing enjoyment over sensible decisions -- and of often never even knowing what a sensible decision was."
As for Clark? He now works at number two Facebook developer King.com. You can read the entire history of Launching Pad Games -- mistakes and all -- in his new feature, live now on Gamasutra.