A new beginning
Just over a year ago today, I officially started Minsan. This was a big leap of faith for me personally. Leaving the corporate world where I had worked in digital marketing, user experience design and marketing technology, to return to my roots in the video-game industry after a 12 year absence.
The timing felt right though, with the changes that have occurred in the videogame industry from digital distribution, strong middleware software and a vibrant indie development community. This also coincided with the work experience I have built up from a 15 year career spanning video-games publishing, user experience design, digital technology, sales and business development that made me feel ready.
I have been incredibly quiet during this time as I have worked to build out the first game and the company identity, as well as totally retool myself. To say this has been a humbling experience, would be the understatement of the century. But for every learning experience, there has been an equally rewarding outcome and adventure.
The first game Next Earth: The Journey Trilogy™ is something I have always wanted to build out since childhood, when I played my first video games on the Atari St 520 in the late 80's. During that time, the video-game industry produced a lot of inventive action games. Some very popular like Pacman / Lemmings and others had large niche followings like Nebulus, Rock N Roll and Cloud Kingdom. All took you to a different world that was vibrant and fun, while you lost all track of time, just enjoying the world you played in.
But those games were built in a time, where the platforms tech specifications were limited. So while the 16 colour palette of the Atari St 520, the slow processor, one button joysticks and limited disk space led to focused experiences that were inventive, there were things that just could not be done during that time. As technology evolved, these limitations disappeared, but such game genres were also not developed further as the industry moved on larger scale games and 3D technology.
For my first game, I hoped to bring some of the magic from this era to an indie game using the technology and gameplay innovations that exist today. This has involved meshing up genres together, (puzzle, arcade, adventure and top down) as well as adding elements (60FPS, story based dialogue, endless lives and space time, hybrid graphics combining vector, pixel and photography with a vivid color scheme) that would have been improbable or impossible back in that time.
It is hoped that the fusing of these genres, gameplay elements and visual approach will bring something unique to the table.
The game Next Earth: The Journey Trilogy™ is a real-time puzzle arcade adventure. Set in the near future, the Earth is being evacuated to escape the threat of the Octians against which we are defenceless. The player controls the evacuation ships, using time and space to run away from the Alien threat. With the onslaught of relentless waves of Octians the player must use their strategy, reflexes and speed to win the day.
They use the new hyperdrive technology to slow down or speed up space, collect enough fuel cells to open the hyper gate to move out all of your ships to safety before you run out of time. Action tiles such as hints and extra time, or special tiles such as teleports and conveyor belts are there to help turn the tide.
It will launch in Q3 2020 on PC (with a beta in August 2020).
This is the start of a journey and not the end, as I already have ideas for around 6-9 games including extensions of this first game. To achieve this I have set up a formal company, so I can scale this over time.
The company called Minsan roughly translates to “sometimes”, but also “once in a while” in Filipino and represents the reality that sometimes life does not turn out as planned, but once in a while the twists and turns brings a rare opportunity to create something extraordinary.
“Be Free To Imagine” is our tagline and it represents the need for people to embrace this uncertainty to reach their full potential through effort and perseverance.
The logo mark is used to place a character from the relevant game to personalise the logo for each game. For Next Earth: The Journey Trilogy™, the character is the Octian that is the enemy that the main game characters are trying to escape from. It will be changed per game to give each game a distinct feel.
I hope this first game will be a success and the first of many games launched under the Minsan banner.
We will have a kickstarter campaign shortly, that will also feature a downloadable free demo. Please support us if you can and if you like the demo please share with your friends.
Managing Director and Founder