Dear friends, fans, and followers
Welcome to our brand new newsletter!
As you know by now, we’ve been making some changes - setting ourselves ut to refocus our efforts to stay in touch with you guys We know it’s been relatively quiet from our end these past few years, but we aim to change that, and what better way to start than with a recap of what’s been going on before the holidays.
This will be a bit of a long one, so feel free to skip to the parts you find interesting. We’ve put some headers in to make that easier for you :)
The pandemic story
As many stories go these days, it all started in the spring of 2019, when the world shut down. At the start of that year, we were a team of 7, and we had both in-house projects and commissions in the pipeline. H&G has always been a work-for-hire studio parallel to doing our own projects, and most of our income comes from the former. Our clients are primarily businesses who depend on visitors, so when everything shut down, we knew we’d be in trouble unless we acted quickly.
We didn’t see another way than to shut down operations entirely for a while, and so we did. Some people found other jobs (with our complete support), and for six months the rest of us put ourselves on leave. The only activity was the bare minimum of administrative work needed to keep the company afloat.
In the fall of 2019, we started bringing people back, and since then, we’ve been slowly and carefully rebuilding. Since we were forced to shut down and cut our expenses to the bone, we decided to take the opportunity to go through all our systems and processes. We cut what we could, changed what needed to change, and generally streamlined our operations (this newsletter is the latest part of that process).
In the end, we managed to take a disaster and turn it into an opportunity. It wasn’t easy. There were many hard decisions made along the way. But, although we’re still not at full capacity, we came out of this stronger, and we’ll keep building, brick by brick, slowly and carefully, so we can keep making great games for you guys.
Right now we’re a small but happy team of 4.
Yngvill is still our CEO and resident artist, in addition to doing design and narrative work. During the pandemic, she’s also been putting her art skills to work on Fun Run 3 for our good friends at Dirty Bit.
Henrik is our main game and narrative designer. Originally, his background is in 3D - doing modeling, rigging, and animation, though he's also managed to become a self-taught programmer.
Steffen worked as an artist, graphic designer, and programmer on Pode, until the Switch release in 2018. Lately, he's returned to H&G and added finances, biz dev, and marketing to his plate.
Morten is our lead programmer. During the pandemic, he’s been working with the wonderful people at Inkypen, and while he will be staying with them for a while still, we enjoy having his insight when needed.
So there you have us! Our ragtag band, working tirelessly to bring a bit of fun and beauty to the world.
Finally! Let’s get to the good stuff. We have an announcement to make!
For the past few months, we’ve been working on a tiny project (wait for it…) in the Pode universe! We present to you; Pode Kids! A small activity app for children (2-5yrs).
We wanted to make something nice and small. So we decided to make some cute activities for kids (or people who like kids’ activities). We wanted to do this for ourselves to have a small project to put our energy into, but also as a way of giving something back to our loyal fans who have been waiting so patiently for us to release something new.
The launch version of the app will have a music section, a coloring book, and a very small runner, and we’re hoping to add more. Stay tuned for more updates on Pode Kids!
But that’s just for kids; what about more stuff for grownups?
Fret not! We would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that we do have bigger things in the pipeline.
Before the pandemic, we had already shared some vague details about our next game, project Nenia (working title). Although the pandemic situation put a big dent in the progress plan for that, it is still moving forward. We now have a very basic alpha version of the game, and we are currently looking for a publisher or partners to help fund the rest of the development.
Although talks are going well, and most of the publishers/funds/etc. seem to find it interesting, the lack of a vertical slice (also partly due to the shutdown) is making things difficult. We’re working on it, though, and we feel good about the way things are moving along. We’ll make sure to share any news we can, as soon as we can.
There was an article published about the game in the Norwegian Public Broadcaster (NRK) a few months ago. It’s in Norwegian only, but for those especially interested and willing to go on a google translate journey, there you have it :)
In the meantime, here’s some concept art and a few alpha screenshots for you to enjoy <3
That’s all, folks!
That concludes the stories and news we have to share with you right now. And with that, we would like to wish you all very happy holidays!
All the best to all of you from Yngvill, Henrik, Steffen, and Morten!
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