On the 20th of February 2021, year 1 of Bumblebee Mind comes to an end. Last year, I founded Bumblebee Mind on 2020-02-20 or 2/20/20 or 20/2/20 (pick your format).
Despite everything going on in the world in 2020, it was business as planned for Bumblebee Mind. The idea was to work from home, while developing the first game for the studio. So heads down, ignoring the world collapsing as far as possible, while making a game.
I did have the fortune to be able to hire Javier Olazabal briefly as a contractor for some 3D modelling work. In the past Javier and I have both worked at Avalanche Studios NYC, Defiant Studios and People Can Fly NYC, and now Bumblebee Mind can be added to that list. And I am sure this wasn’t the last time we worked together.
So far, the company hasn’t made a cent in earnings. That’s fine, I don’t want to rush it. And until we have a game that we can sell, I am not expecting any money coming in. A publisher could have changed that. And there were talks with a publisher in 2020, but I eventually decided to stay the course and self-publish. This allows the company to grow at its own pace. We can control exactly what games we are making. Bumblebee Mind will maintain control of the games after release. And we can communicate directly with our players. However, self-publishing does come with much more work and higher risk, but it does feel right for the long run.
The game currently in development, has grown in scope. Initially, I had hopes of completing the first project within a year. But after growing the scope and quality of the game, we are now looking at revealing it this year. I want to do it justice, make a great game! Creating a game with one person that would normally require a small team, and doing it without burning out. Self-publishing is also adding a considerable amount of time to the project. And since the publishing area is new to me, I have to study up on that and learn many new skills. But it will all be worth it!
The game is looking great! I have grown my graphics skills and art knowledge considerably in the last year, and I feel like I will be able to reveal a stunning looking game. Thematically it is in the climate fiction (cli-fi) genre, right along with the DNA of Bumblebee Mind. Cli-fi is on top of that an underrepresented genre in games. However, gameplay comes first! And I am confident that the game’s unique core gameplay will interest many strategy and turn-based tactics players.
Looking further into the future, there are already plans for a second game, and at some point we will grow. I am looking forward to assembling a team again. Bumblebee Mind will stay small, but eventually we will need someone focusing on publishing, marketing and community building. And we will need artists and programmers to make bigger and even more ambitious games. It won’t happen for the project currently in development and it might not even happen for the one after that. But with time it will.
We have an exciting year ahead of us! A game will be announced, and more details will be revealed about it after that. And hopefully I will also be able to give you a couple of surprise announcements!
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Lars Magnus Fylke,
Founder and developer at Bumblebee Mind