I am Gwen - a veteran game dev. (Marvel, BioShock Infinite, etc.) I've been through 2 studio closures, burned out, went solo, & I'm launching my indie game on the Epic Store today. AMA.
I've been a game developer for over 10 years now. I got my first gig in California as a character rigger working in online games. The first game I worked on was never announced - it was canceled and I lost my job along with ~100 other people. Thankfully I managed to get work right after that on a title that shipped: Marvel Heroes Online.
Next I moved to Boston to work as a sr tech animator on BioShock Infinite. I had a blast working on this game and the DLCs. I really loved it there! Unfortunately the studio was closed after we finished the DLC and I lost my job. My previous studio (The Marvel Heroes Online team) was also going through a rough patch and would eventually close.
So I quit AAA for a bit. I got together with a few other devs that were laid off and we founded a studio to make an indie game called "The Flame in The Flood." It took us about 2 years to complete that game. It didn't do well at first. We ran out of money and had to do contract work as a studio... and that is when I sort of hit a low point. I had a rough time getting excited about anything. I wasn’t happy, I considered leaving the industry but I didn't know what else I would do with my life... it was kind of bleak.
About 2 years ago I started working on a small indie game alone at home. It was a passion project, and it was the first thing I'd worked on in a long time that brought me joy. I became obsessed with it. Over the course of a year I slowly cut ties with my first indie studio and I focused full time on developing my indie puzzle game. I thought of it as my last hurrah before I went out and got a real job somewhere. Last year when Epic Games announced they were opening a store I contacted them to show them what I was working on. I asked if they would include Kine on their storefront and they said yes! They even took it further and said they would fund the game if I signed on with their store exclusively. The Epic Store hadn’t really launched yet and I had no idea how controversial that would be, so I didn’t even think twice. With money I could make a much bigger game. I could port Kine to consoles, translate it into other languages… This was huge! I said yes.
Later today I'm going to launch Kine. It is going to be on every console (PS4, Switch, Xbox) and on the Epic Store. It is hard to explain how surreal this feels. I've launched games before, but nothing like this. Kine truly feels 100% mine. I'm having a hard time finding the words to explain what this is like.
Anyways, my game launches in about 4 hours. Everything is automated and I have nothing to do until then except wait. So... AMA?
EDIT: This was intense, thank you for all the lively conversations! I'm going to sleep now but I'll peek back in here tomorrow :)