We're making a game this weekend!

October 9, 2015

Ever wonder how a game gets made? Well, this weekend you can get a glimpse into the bizarre machinations of Bscotch game development by watching us BUILD A GAME FROM SCRATCH!

Check out the live doc where we'll keep an updated schedule, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you know when we go live, and keep an eye on our Twitter feed for general updates.

Today at 15:30 CST we'll kick this thing off with a live Q&A. This weekend's jam comes from two sources: the StL ScatterJam (which Sam and Seth started last year) and the Indie Speed Run (in which Sam and Seth got 2nd place in 2013 with the game Shep Hard).

[Ep22] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: Questionghazi

October 7, 2015

This week, everyone is DISEASED. Except Seth, who uses his biceps to tenderize steaks. In this episode we give an update on Crashlands (summary: the artwork is all DONE) and hit player questions super hard. Learn how flies cause forest fires, how hurricanes modulate gravity, and why we don't believe in pre-order bonus content.

You can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, and can submit questions at podcast.bscotch.net.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums.

I'm too busy making Crashlands to outline the podcast this week, so I guess you'll just have to listen to it!

Indiepocalypse? More like INDIESCHMOCALYPSE!

October 1, 2015

Adam Coster is 1/3 of Butterscotch Shenanigans, and is a card-carrying PhD scientist. That doesn't mean you should believe anything he says, but it does increase the probability that he can do logic and statistics properly.

It seems every time I open Twitter or look at gamedev-related subreddits someone is linking to yet another article about this scary "Indiepocalypse."

If you haven't heard of it, the idea is (roughly) as follows: The barrier to entry for making and distributing video games has become super low. Consequently, the market is becoming supersaturated with indie games, and it is therefore increasingly unlikely for indie developers to find financial success in the industry even if they make a great game. The idea is that the pie (total games sold) isn't getting bigger, therefore the shares are getting smaller, and soon the market will be untenable for indie studios.

Figure 1 | AHHHHH! Apocalypse!!!! (Data from Steamspy)
And that argument sounds legit. I mean, just look at Figure 1. On Steam only 10-20 indie games were released per month at the start of 2013, a mere 2.5 years later there were up to 200 indie games launched per month.

As with any impassioned (or web-based) argument, most discussions about the upcoming demise of indie-game civilization are founded on loosely-defined terms and undefended assumptions. And so mostly I've been ignoring my inevitable indie-doom, because the best move whenever you hear words ending in "-pocalypse" (or "-gate") is to walk away with your fingers in your ears.

"SO WHY ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT IT NOW!?" you might be asking.

Well, we're closing in on the all-platform launch of our pride and joy, Crashlands. While planning launch strategies we came across a different piece of suspect industry wisdom. That is, that indie studios should not launch their games during the pre-holiday months, because that is when the huge developers release their games. Since a small indie game can't compete with a major AAA title, our launch would fail. Or so the logic goes.

That argument is well-reasoned, but its assumptions (that indie games even do compete with AAA titles) have no data defending them. And I couldn't find such data elsewhere on the interwebs. We really want to be able to launch soon, so I decided to test that claim. In the process, I realized that I also had the data to test the Indiepocalypse Hypothesis. So I did.

The result: There is no seasonal conflict when releasing indie games, and there is no Indiepocalypse.

[Ep21] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: We are the aliens

September 30, 2015

Why aren't Martian rovers sterile, and how should we feel about the tears of Mars? Adam notes that Fallout: Shelter does not get any more interesting after the first 15 minutes, and Sam and Seth talk about WoW private servers. Find out why Crashlands won't have multiplayer, and where our company got its name.

You can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, and can submit questions at podcast.bscotch.net.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums.

  1. Adam is finally starting to exercise, but is stuck in Turtle gear.
  2. All kinds of things are happening on Mars. It has salty water, and The Martian comes out this weekend.
  3. The StL Scatterjam is coming SOON!
  4. Adam has maxed out some dwellers in Fallout: Shelter, but the game hasn't become any more interesting than it was in the first 15 minutes.
  5. Sam and Seth have been playing Burning Crusade.
  6. Edward Snowden is now on Twitter. He only follows the NSA.
  7. In Crashlands, the Bawg bosses are nearly complete and Adam has rewritten most of the story.
  8. Internet wisdom says we shouldn't launch Crashlands during this time, we aren't sure there is any evidence for this claim.
  9. Player Questions
    1. LittleGamer: How did you guys came up with the name Butterscotch Shenanigans!?!
    2. spectral_hunt: YWhere did the name Butterscotch Shenanigans come from? Specifically the "Butterscotch" part.
    3. LittleGamer: Is there going to be a multiplayer in Crashlands!?
    4. Ulnarevern: Will Extreme Slothcycling also be a part of your universe? And was it planned to b a part of it before Crashlands?

[Ep 20] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: Slurb 'n Save

September 22, 2015

In this extra-long episode we talk about all kinds of things, ranging from the lunacy of Sam's double-day workdays, how to hold our games the right way with iOS9, the relationship between jerkdom and competitive online gaming, and the upcoming St Louis Scatterjam. And, of course, we give an update on Crashlands: things are moving along GLORIOUSLY.

You can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, and can submit questions at podcast.bscotch.net.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums.

  1. Sam's Double-day workdays and the limitations of BRAIN ENERGY
  2. iOS9 broke all of our games, but the Gamemaker: Studio licensing server is down so we can't fix them yet!
  3. We'll be doing the St Louis Scatterjam on Oct. 9. Seth will be rep'ing the studio.
  4. Crashlands is moving along amazingly. Key updates:
    • We'll delay launch of the Creator until the first patch. That way we'll be able to launch the game itself weeks earlier than if we did it all at once.
    • Because of the new Creator launch plan, Adam is freed up to play "Enhancement Shaman" for the studio.
    • The Savannah is 100% complete. The rest is moving rapidly.
  5. Player Questions
    1. bragbirch66: Who out of all of you the hardest worker; and who is the slacker of the group?
    2. spectral_hunt: You guys have mentioned doubling your money in half on multiple occasions. My question is: how do you guys continue to operate if only one of you is getting paid?
    3. Nea: Windows vs Mac. Discuss.
    4. spectral_hunt: What are you're favorite games of all time?
    5. Allenmb: So considering that most of your games were made within what, 12ish hours? Does the fact that Crashlands is almost 2 years in the making mean it'll be approximately 20 billion (give or take a couple) times better and more involved and awesomer?

[Ep19] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: Omnidirectional Rocket Horse

September 16, 2015

Sam is back from his 4-week hospital stay, and we get right back to business by casting this very tri-pod. We talk about the new de/buff system in Crashlands, recall stories of players arguing with robots, and hear about Seth's journey over Rainbow Road.

You can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, and can submit questions at podcast.bscotch.net.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums.

  1. Sam is out of the hospital and has a shiny new immune system. But he can't be around other people and has to take a fist full of drugs every day.
  2. We gave a talk at PixelPop Festival (view the slides or watch the video; thanks to Living the Nerd Life for the recording!).
  3. Carol Mertz has a sweet cardgame called "Pass the Buck." Keep an eye on Kickstarter.
  4. Seth got back from vacationing in the clouds and traveling along Rainbow Road.
  5. We finished an internal playthrough of the first Crashlands biome. It took Adam 20 hours, and Sam 9 hours. We now have a super-long todo list of things to fix, but nearly all of them are really easy!
  6. Player Questions
    1. Thecactigod: Do you have any entertaining stories about the journey to where you are now that you can share?
    2. krischanstclair: Sam is there a reason you prefer Inkscape to other programs such as Illustrator?
    3. Thecactigod: Are there any secret items in crashlands that not many players will find?
    4. spectral_hunt: What are you're favorite games of all time?
    5. beansmyname: The alpha trailer for Crashlands shows Linux as a target platform. Do any of the BS team run Linux? How are builds being tested? And what distribution are you targeting?
    6. hermes: Hello cool Stempunk guy that fond out about you guys at indypopcon and i rely like your games so far! so my question for you is what was each of your guys favorite part of the con? and do you think going was a success for you guys?

Sam's got new blood, and we're skipping this week's podcast

September 11, 2015

GREAT NEWS: Sam got out of the hospital this afternoon after a 4-week stay for his final stem cell transplant. He's doing great, if a little anemic. He'll be immuno-suppressed for quite a long time, so must avoid crowds (and their dirty diseases) for the foreseeable future. But hey, that's a hell of a lot better than being stuck in a hospital or having cancer.

This weekend is PixelPop Festival, at which Seth and I will be giving a talk on how to build a game studio (from a philosophical perspective).vWe are super busy preparing for that talk, celebrating Sam's blood freedom, and working on Crashlands. Therefore: this week's podcast, which is already late, is now OFF THE TABLE. Sorry about that! But next week's will include Sam, so it'll be worth two casts anyway :D.

We'll be getting back to regular Crashlands updates soon, now that our lives are getting back in order.

[Ep18] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: A Red Bowl

September 2, 2015

Sam is still the hospital but is now stemcell-transplanted and just waiting for his blood to grow. Seth and Adam carry on with the podcast. In this episode we talk about dog sarcasm, which animals we would be if we could choose, and lots of Crashlands stuff.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums and influence future episodes at the podcast hub!

  1. We'll be at PixelPop Festival Sept. 12 & 13, giving a talk about starting a game studio.
  2. Seth is on a social media purge, and a Redbull splurge.
  3. Slurb: a new word meaning "to go slowly and awkwardly into another thing in a deeply dissatisfying way."
  4. A journey of a thousand miles is completed on the final step.
  5. What if dogs are super sarcastic and actually don't like people at all?
  6. Crashlands update
    1. BOSSFIGHTS! Baary Diggs, Blockstock, and the Baconweed Fairy all nearly complete.
    2. BscotchID and Cloudsaving are fully integrated and functional. So saves can be uploaded to and downloaded from our servers, meaning your progress will be PORTABLE.
    3. Q, the main villain, got a name change. He is now Hewgodooko.
    4. Sam has been adding tons of sidequests.
    5. Goal is to be ready to start internal playthrough of the Savanna this weekend.
  7. Player Questions
    1. ThecactigodWhen: making a new game, who is the first to hear about it?
    2. Ulnarevern: How "scripted" will be the main campaign of Crashlands? (proportions of outposts, how you position them and all)
    3. cloudmir: What are the chances that we get to see some more merch (crashlands or otherwise)? I could use some Butterscotch in my wardrobe!
    4. scotchste: Chauncy the Rabbit, discuss.
    5. Nea: If the bros were an animal, what animal would each of you be? (answers limited to dragons, phoenixes,...wait ITS LIMITLESS. LIZARD PEOPLE WEWWWW)
    6. racing4thefinish: Knowing the universe might implode on itself due to sheer awesomeness, would you ever consider recording the audio and video for Coffee with Butterscotch and placing it on Youtube? Thanks for the super sweet podcast, and keep up the hard work!

[Ep17] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: Burrito TARDIS

August 26, 2015

Sam is still stuck in the hospital (send him some good vibes!), but Seth and Adam carry on with the podcast. Seth discovers a second living Time Lord working at a Chipotle, and shows Roid Rage on local TV. We talk about Crashlands delays, why publicly traded companies suck (ahem, Rovio), why we hate user reviews, and the importance of keeping one's eye on the ball.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums and influence future episodes at the podcast hub!

  1. Sam is still trapped in the hosptial. Leave him a message on the Wall of Vibes!
  2. Seth was on TV with SmuggleCraft's Carol Mertz, talking Pixel Pop Festival and demo-ing Roid Rage.
  3. Seth discovers another living Time Lord working at Chipotle.
  4. Rovio fires a lot of its staff because publicly traded companies have effed-up priorities.
  5. Youtube Gaming launches
  6. We've been delayed by, but are crushing, Crashlands bugs.
  7. Beta test invites have not gone out, there is still time to apply at crashlands.net
  8. Nea: "Will there be randomised events that shake up the map? Like in terraria there is a spread of hallow/corruption, so will there be other events other than the day/night cycle?"
  9. Nea: "Will crashlands have an upgrade/skill system? Like in QR where your player gets stronger and stronger? Or is it just the ?augment? ?extrawhatchamacallit? system?"
  10. Nea: "In the crashlands creator can we choose what modifiers the weapons get? (answered?) (delete?)"
    • Developer preview of the Crashlands Creator (part 1, part 2)
  11. cloudmir: "Seth, what's the first game you ever made once you started using GameMaker?"
  12. Etrusan: "You should totally do the user review stuff again. Like 1 review per podcast?"
  13. MeaKitty: "What's you most inspirational quote/saying that keeps you going when you're down or frustrated?"

[Ep16] Coffee w/ Butterscotch: The meaning of life

August 19, 2015

With Sam stuck in the hospital (send him some good vibes!), Seth tries to emcee Ep16 of CwB and Adam tries to edit it. We talk about juicing rabbits to cure cancer, the Android launch of Fallout Shelter, and the meaning of life.

You can discuss this episode over on the forums and come up with your own questions for us at the podcast hub!

  1. The healing powers of juiced rabbits 2:00
  2. Leave a message for Sam on the Wall of Vibes4:23
  3. Pneumatic hospital beds prevent heart attacks? 5:50
  4. Dog high fives 7:41
  5. We're still playing Rocket League 8:50
  6. Discord, VoIP/chat for remote working and gaming 10:50
  7. Fallout Shelter now on Android 12:15
  8. Hawkeye: "Is there an overarching unifying mythos of the Butterscotch universe in which all your Creations exist? Or it just total batshit insanity? It's awesome either way. -Ben the Lawyer (yes that Ben).21:03
  9. Crashlands update: beta testing and BscotchID integration 24:50
  10. Aggravatus: "Where do you guys want to take Butterscotch Shenanigans in both the near, and distant future?28:00
  11. kevin888: "Oh buttery and brotherly Butterscotch Shenanigans, What is the meaning of life?32:45