Psychochild's Blog

A developer's musings on game development and writing.

1 October, 2010

Announcing Psychoavatar Games
Filed under: — Psychochild @ 3:44 PM

It is with great enthusiasm and some trepidation that I announce Psychoavatar Games! Psychoavatar is my new company focusing on making games.

Read on for details, team members, and some of the plans we have.

First, don’t bother sending your resumes quite yet. We’re not paying salaries, and we’re focusing on the basics of getting some initial projects done. I might post up the need for some contractors on here if we run into a particular need.

Our current development team has four people, including myself:

  • Dave ‘Over00′ Toulouse is assisting as a coder. His game Golemizer did what one might call “the impossible”: it’s a browser-based sandbox game written by one person. He wrote the client completely in Javascript and wrote a game server himself. As I’ve told him before, if he had asked an experienced game developer for advice, pretty much any of us would have told him not to do it. It may not be pretty or high production, but he did it by himself, and anyone has to admire that sort of dedication. He also maintains an insightful game development blog and has been developing zombie games (available for sponsorship!) on his own.
  • Sara ‘No Silly Name’ Pickell is assisting as an artist and designer. She wrote me previously asking for advice about working on a portfolio for game development, and we’ve been talking with each other ever since. She’s quite multitalented and I admire her ability to dash off some quality artwork or write a clever snippet of text. She maintains a great blog, hosted by me after her former blog kept having trouble accepting my comments.
  • Kat ‘Skymare’ Foley is assisting as an artist. She has a long history of doing her own art and providing art for small games (including Meridian 59). She’s also my significant other, and we just celebrated 16 years together. (She’s sleeping with the boss, and I’m hoping she won’t file sexual harassment charges.)

The great thing about these people is not only are they great to work with, I consider them friends (well, and a bit more for that last one ;). I was emailing and chatting with Dave and Sara for a while before we started talking about working on anything together. I think that this has helped us stick together, since we didn’t come together with the expressed intent to only make games. We just kind of happened to have shared interests and I had some ideas to kick around. I’ve very excited about working together.

The company is currently completely virtual, as in only two of us have met in person, and we’re bootstrapping operations with no outside investment (read: nobody’s getting paid yet). The goal is to develop games that will bring in some income to fund future games. We’ve already completed a prototype of one game, but some server problems have prevented us from announcing the game. Look for such an announcement in the future. We have also submitted a proposal to the Activision Independent Games Competition for a small MMO. Completing these two projects has shown that we have the dedication to follow through on a project.

Our next project is going to be a bit out of the ordinary for me. Instead of focusing on an MMO, we’re going to dive into the realm of single-player RPGs in Flash. We’re participating in the Ludum Dare October Challenge: Make a game, sell 1 copy (or find a sponsor or make $1 in ad revenue). Our game is currently titled The Fae’s Wyrd. Obviously, making a game in only a month is going to limit what we can do, but I think we’re capable of tackling the challenge. And, by posting about it publicly we’ll also suffer public humiliation if we drop the ball. But, this gives us an opportunity to develop our Flash skills and to perhaps develop a base that we can expand upon. One element that we will incorporate is a slightly simplified version of the elemental advancement concept I’ve posted about before. It’ll be nice to see that in action. If I get some time, I might post up some sort of “developer diaries” to give a glimpse at the behind the scenes.

Don’t worry, though, I haven’t abandoned multiplayer games, just trying something a little different. We have a few more things that aren’t really far enough along to discuss yet. As soon as there’s anything to post, I won’t hesitate to do so.

Anyway, I’m excited by the possibilities. As I said, these are people I respect greatly who have already stuck together through two projects. So, I expect you’ll see some more fun things from us in the future. Hopefully by the end of the month, I guess. :)


  1. Flash? I sense a little social gaming and a little Facebook in the works.

    Comment by dynosaurus — 1 October, 2010 @ 4:46 PM

  2. Good luck with this venture, Brian – sounds exciting/scary.

    I’m actually a bit of a closet fan of Flash RPGs, so I look forward to seeing what you folks brew up in that space.

    Comment by Andrew — 1 October, 2010 @ 7:31 PM

  3. Very exciting news! I look forward to seeing what you folks come up with!

    Comment by Kumar "Destral" Daryanani — 1 October, 2010 @ 8:23 PM

  4. Awesome. Really can’t wait to see what’s coming out of this mix :)

    Good luck to all of you with your venture.

    Comment by Juuso — 1 October, 2010 @ 11:10 PM

  5. Congratulations Brian! All the best!

    take care,

    Comment by Daniel Cook — 2 October, 2010 @ 12:11 AM

  6. Yay! Best of luck!

    Comment by unwesen — 2 October, 2010 @ 2:27 AM

  7. Hurrah! I shall keep a keen eye on the new ‘site. Here’s to fun and profit!

    Comment by Sinnyo — 2 October, 2010 @ 3:07 AM

  8. To a new voyage, eh.

    Comment by Sara Pickell — 2 October, 2010 @ 4:52 AM

  9. Woot! :) Congrats all round. Here’s to many many flights of fancy and maybe even some dinner money!

    I know I’ve welched on my own offer of generic assistance when needed, but I’ve been snowed under with work. Also not a bad thing, just not a good-for-gaming thing.

    This is me shoving some karma at you. I’ve had so much good stuff descend on me in the last couple of months I feel like it may run out if I don’t somehow pay it forward.

    Comment by Ysharros — 2 October, 2010 @ 6:04 AM

  10. Congratulations on your existing successes, and good luck with the current challenge. Hope it goes well, and I look forward to seeing what comes of this melding of talents.

    Comment by DamianoV — 2 October, 2010 @ 6:54 AM

  11. We have gone through the hardest part of working in a team which is I think actually building a team with people that commit and do what they said they’d do. Even though none of our work is currently public as Brian said we already completed 2 projects which one had a real deadline. It’s quite amazing to me specially since the company is virtual nobody’s getting paid.

    The other hard part will be to not split in drama and sue each other once we become rich but let’s not skip steps here :)

    Comment by Dave Toulouse — 2 October, 2010 @ 8:58 AM

  12. The quest for $2 – Ludum Challenge

    [...] one is a team project. You can read about our small team here (yay! also artists in there!). While we have completed 2 projects this one should be our first [...]

    Pingback by Over00 — 2 October, 2010 @ 4:31 PM

  13. Well, this puts that “what’s required for success?” question into some perspective. :)

    Sounds like the experience, talent, motivation and dedication are all there — best of luck!

    Comment by Bart Stewart — 2 October, 2010 @ 11:13 PM

  14. That’s a terrific team.

    I was just saying on Spinks’ blog that Blizzard is trending towards the monolithic and game fans need a new cool game company to adore. Who knows?

    Best wishes and, as far as commercial confidentiality allows, do keep up posted.

    Comment by Stabs — 3 October, 2010 @ 1:26 AM

  15. COngratulations on the formation of your company. Here’s hoping it will be successful and make many games.

    Comment by Dblade — 4 October, 2010 @ 10:36 PM

  16. How Much Money Can an Indie Game Make? The 2010 Edition

    [...] Challenge. I’ve found that this is inspiring a lot of people – from absolute newbies to some fairly high-profile indies – to jump in and try to get a game to market by the end of the month. There’s no real [...]

    Pingback by The Rampant Coyote — 5 October, 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  17. Nice. :) Best of luck for you all!

    I really wish I could chime in and offer some production help, but life doesn’t allow for that at the moment. Still, many good wishes for you from my little corner of reality!

    Comment by Tesh — 5 October, 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  18. First game completed for Ludum Dare October’s challenge

    [...] With Mad Scientist Defense completed I can now focus on the team project which you can read about here. [...]

    Pingback by Over00 — 11 October, 2010 @ 2:29 PM

  19. Congratulations. (And shivers). New ventures are always scary, and going it solo (or with a small trusted crew) is more isolated than the big ivory tower.

    I look forward to reading more of the developer diaries; I’m amazed at how many developers read your work. Myself, as a lawyer, I try to read as many developer diaries and enterpreneur blogs as I can… after all, I “get” what exactly are the high points and also boredom of the lawyerly gig.

    Hopefully you’ll keep your same offbeat viewpoint as you become more entrepreneurial.

    Comment by Jay Moffitt — 12 October, 2010 @ 2:18 PM

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