Archive for January, 2010

Amazon.Com has announced an upcoming beta for an Active Content development kit for the Kindle called the KDK.

We’re signed up and will be developing the interface as soon as the KDK becomes available.

With the iPhone and Mac development happening too, we’re soon going to be delivering to all platforms, natively.

Last year was, to say the least, interesting. Some of our accomplishments include:

1. We managed to complete and publish two games and get a third game into the programming stage.
2. We have a relatively stable and functional, if boring, website.
3. We’ve had talks with interesting partners, including Infocom implementors, about working with Textfyre.

Some of the things we’re still working include getting the word out to the audiences that we think will appreciate our works. This is the primary goal of 2010.

I also have some other business I’d like to attend to…finally. As I have mentioned many times, Textfyre is currently funded entirely by me and a very small number of sales of games. To say 2009 was difficult can’t possibly describe the year we had. Since I can’t work at Textfyre for a living, I have been doing computer consulting work, independently. Prior to 2009, this was a fairly stable endeavor. I made enough money to provide for my family (I’m married with five children) and siphon off just enough to keep Textfyre rolling. It was never enough to really go all out though and that’s why I have always been looking for external sources of funding.

In 2009 though, things went south. Like south pole south. Like to the moon Alice south. Some know about my endeavors with a company called OneDegree.Com, but I will give you the summary. I took a contract to hire position with a start-up that claimed they had a million dollars in the bank. They didn’t. They went under and my consulting business lost about $90,000. To top that off, when I found out they were out of money, I did start looking for other work, but didn’t find anything until August, but that only lasted four weeks. Then I was out of work until the middle of December. I’m just now getting invoices paid for the first time in five months.

So needless to say, Textfyre has had to weather some troubling financial times. But most entrepreneurs will tell you, you can’t fail unless you quit. I haven’t quit and I don’t plan to quit. We’re making some headway in getting the word out. Sales are slow, but enough to keep the website up. I’m back to work and the consulting market looks to be improving slowly. We also have very passionate people helping us that understand that building the business isn’t a cake walk. It takes hard work, dedication, and most of that before anyone gets paid.

One of the things I have discovered is that there is one sector of help we need that doesn’t like the “get paid later” scenario. That is the artist. Well, I should say the _talented_ artist. There are plenty of people who think they’re artists, but if you want someone who you can direct and will deliver, you have to pay them. This is one of the things lacking in our process and would be the first thing rectified when we finally draw more revenue or find a funding source.

In 2010 we’re already looking at ways to get the word out. I will be attending PAX East in Boston in late March. I’ll be there Friday afternoon through Sunday night. If anyone wants to get together, please let me know. Drop a comment on the blog or e-mail me directly.

There’s a fall middle-school convention that I was sore to miss last year, but will not miss this year. By then we should have an official booth, CD’s, and several more games published. I plan to have at least one Infocom Implementor in the fold this year and possibly more than one. If we can convince Activision to let us at the Infocom material, we might do something there too.

We’re evolving. I started with many plans, but some of them have been set aside and new ones have taken their place. That will continue.

We’ve only just begun…

This week, I got news that a friend of Textfyre (who shall remain anonymous for now), who knows iPhone development pretty well, is going to help us build FyreVM for the iPhone.  This will allow us to publish our games to the iPhone App Store. The timeframe is fluid, but it looks like we’ll be sending our first three games to the App Store this spring.

In other news, Empath’s Gift is chugging along on the coding side, sales of Shadow in the Cathedral are slow, but steady, and we’ve added a fourth development team to the mix. The new team is still working out their story idea and as soon as that’s solidified, there will be a formal announcement.

There is also a fifth development team in the works and I’m waiting on one more e-mail to solidify their involvement.

As always, stay tuned!