December 22, 2008

Heatwave Central Studio Fully Staffed

You can read the press release HERE. In addition to those we've identified in previous press releases, we have a bunch of folks that have been with us a while longer including:

Along with Donn and Myself this group rounds out the "original" (pre-funding)Heatwave crew:
Kevin Saffel, CTO
Ed Groover, Senior Software Engineer
Tim Schubert, Senior Software Engineer
Kimberly Castoro, Office Manager
DeAnna Clendenon, Book Keeper

The following folks were brought on just before or since our series "A" round:
Sean Dugan, Creative Director
Todd Bailey, Senior Studio Designer
Jereamie Brady, Associate Designer

Jeremy Coker, Director of Business Development

Jeremy Dombroski, Artist (and future Dr!)
And our Newest Hire, Nick Carter, Senior Technical Animator

Combined with all the other folks we've announced, I really am pleased that we've been able to assemble such a senior and well-rounded studio. Really, only a 3-4 people left. Check Heatwave's job page if you're interested!


Posted by SunSword at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2008

3 Awesome things about Heatwave.

Awesome #1. We now have a great new domain: http://www.heatwave.com. It just redirects to the old heatwaveinteractive.com, but that'll get fixed shortly.

Awesome #2. By next week we will have reached 26 full-time employees!

While we've had a lot of success finding great local talent, we've also imported quite a few people. This is how it breaks down:

Arizona: 2
Austin: 14
California: 3
England: 2 (counting me, since I came back Austin after HI was incorporated :))
Florida: 1
Philadelphia: 2 (counting Donn)
Scotland: 1
Washington: 2

I wouldn't be surprised if we find 1 or 2 other out-of-towners in this process. So far, I think the mix is just as good for Austin as it is for Heatwave.

Awesome #3. Next week, we'll be moved into our new office space.Looking forward to showing and telling more about that, but for now, just check out this executive VAULT office:

Tell me that isn't awesome. As a matter of fact, it's so awesome, I bet if you're a game designer or an artist, you're just DYING to work at Heatwave now aren't you? That's okay, I know you can't resist...just CLICK HERE.

Posted by SunSword at 04:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2008

Heatwave AGDC party video posted

We had a great time throwing it. We hope you had a great time attending it!

Posted by SunSword at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2008

Heatwave is still hiring!

While we've filled several new positions recently, including a new Art Director, Senior Graphics Programmer, Senior Server Programmer, as well as a few interns, we're still hiring like crazy over at Heatwave!

Take a look at our Careers Page at our open positions, including our newest one for a Senior Character Artist.

Posted by SunSword at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2008

Heatwave Interactive Raises $7.5 million in series "A" round.

So, you've been wondering what I've been up to this year? Read about it on the Heatwave website. Also, VentureBeat.com picked up the story before anyone else and covered some slightly different angles.

I've got a board meeting coming this week, so I'm working late getting ready for that, but I'm sure some people would be very interested how we went around raising our capital. It was a facinating process and I have to say I'm very pleased with the result so far, but it was a long process and I learned a hell of a lot.

Now I just can't wait to start talking about what we're doing with that money...

Posted by SunSword at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2008

Hiring a CFO and our first internal Promotion!

First off, we're hiring a CFO. The job description is HUGE, but that's because the job is HUGE. If you think you're the kind of person that can tackle such a HUGE job, then by all means, apply now!

Secondly, I'm very pleased to announce that Kevin Saffel has been promoted from Director of Engineering to Chief Technology Officer!

Kevin has a great attitude, is highly reliable, very driven and detail-oriented. He's also a great friend.

Here's to you, Kevin.

In other news, the Heatwave team is growing rapidly and we're moving into our temporary space while our permanent offices are being fit out. We've had many qualified applicants for our Studio Art Director and Concept Artist positions. Interviews will be completed next week and the offers will go out, so if you haven't applied, you'd best do so now.

Posted by SunSword at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2008

Studio Art Director and Concept Artist

Two of the job descriptions have been posted on the Heatwave website. Lots of qualified resumes coming, but if you haven't applied yet and you're looking for a truly unique opportunity to work on games, film and T.V., make sure you head over to the Heatwave job site and check out the requirements!

Posted by SunSword at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2008

Heatwave is hiring!

Heatwave has just reached an important milestone. After a year of successfully bootstrapping ourselves consulting for an undisclosed three-letter-media company on the East Coast and several other gaming entities, Heatwave is breaking out on its own. We've decided to exchange the bootstrapping approach for a more aggressive one by raising a serious round of capital. That work has been in earnest since the fall of last year.

Last Tuesday, the first monies from that effort hit our corporate account. I'm sure that the details of that experience would be interesting and valuable to many, so I'm in the process of reconstructing it now. Once all the concerns are finalized, there will be all the usual pomp and ceremony (otherwise known as a press release and a re-launch party!).

In the meantime, we’re currently in the process of choosing our first physical office location. Until now, we’ve all been working virtually, which is a euphemism for “at home.” That’s been an interesting experience all around, with many pros to go with the cons, but the team is certainly ready to check out the alternative. ;)

In addition, we’ve begun a new round of hiring in earnest, which starts this week. We’ll be updating the Heatwave website with all of the job descriptions and requirements, but just to prime the pump, here’s a simple list of some of the positions we’re currently hiring for the Central Studio:

Heatwave is a fully funded entity and all members of the Central Studio will be offered stock options along with highly competitive salaries (we’ve always paid well, even in bootstrap mode). If you’re interested in learning more, send email to jobs@heatwaveinteractive.com with the job title in the subject.

Posted by SunSword at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2008

I updated my linked in profile, and thought it might be worth re-posting here

Heatwave was started 1 year ago with the idea that we would bootstrap through consulting. While that consulting did pay well, it became clear pretty quickly that consulting wouldn't provide enough of a buffer for the pre-pro teams to get enough done while meeting their obligations to their clients. That said, Heatwave is now in the process of securing outside funding. GDC went very well for us in that regard. We've gotten fantastic feedback on our business plan's unique strategy for dealing with the ups and downs of the game business, while focusing on great products. That said, I was reviewing my linkedin.com profile and decided "I make games" was a little out-of-date.

Here's what the new one says, and I think it sums up my feelings nicely:

I co-founded Heatwave Interactive on the premise that interactive entertainment is more than a way for young men to combat boredom; games are an important medium that can challenge individuals on multiple levels and tell stories that matter. Stories about ourselves, and stories about people we may otherwise never have the opportunity to understand.
I believe that by providing an environment that fosters not only creativity, but also respect for the individual and the highest of expectations, we can create powerful experiences, and be an example for the rest of the industry.

I truly believe all of that. And combined with a strong understanding of how games are and should be made, I'm looking forward to the challenges of re-entering this space in big way.

As we talked to various people at the conference, one thing was clear, some people are really down on the "MMO" space because of predictable failures like Tabula Rasa, Gods & Heroes and Hellgate: London, but I have two thoughts about that.

First, they WERE predictable failures. Anyone who paid any attention to those games (even if you just checked them out at E3 each year) should have had a good idea about how they'd do in the face of WoW, even if they avoided major launch problems (which some of them did not).

My criticism of those products isn't a reflection of my opinion of the many talented people who worked so hard for years on them, but rather it is an expression of my frustration at the business/production leadership that allows these things to happen.

I can guarantee you two things. First, neither of those teams had a working version of the game that they fundamentally believed was KICKASS within the first three months of pre-production. Second, neither of these teams had measurable feedback from the audience that they had a KICKASS idea within the first three months of pre-production. I'm sure I'm upsetting a lot of people I know and hope to work with in the future by these comments, but I have a tendency to tell it like it is (which is why I post so infrequently here, most of what I have to say is bound to irritate a lot of people).

My second response to that concern is that Heatwave isn't an "MMO company." Sure, we're considering an MMO concept or two, but don't be surprised if the first thing we do is a console RPG with a twist or a multi-platform action game with a cool story. Yes, they will all have persistence and connectivity, but no, they will not all be long-session multi-user dependent slog fests.

In any case, my personal goal for Heatwave is to provide a strong business for highly creative people to make successful products in Austin. There are tons of talented people here, but for some reason, the same few keep mucking it up for everyone else. No more.

Posted by SunSword at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2008

Heatwave's Player Advisory Council Sign-up Form!

Heatwave is now recruiting volunteers for its Player Advisory Council. If you'd like the opportunity to get an inside look at Heatwave projects, or you'd just like ot have the chance to affect the course of a game's development, just fill out the form!

More details about how this program will work will be released in the coming weeks.

Posted by SunSword at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2008

Heatwave Interactive announces its Board of Advisors

Hi folks and Happy New Year! 2008 has already been super hectic for me, mostly for the better. Heatwave is almost a year old now and we're finally going to be talking about some of the things we're up to! Most of the work we did in 2007 was "top secret" so I've not been able to talk about it at all.

The Heatwave website has some big news on it about our Board of Advisors. Many of you might know that Jason Bell and I worked together on UO, oh so many years ago, and he's always been an extremely intelligent, creative and savvy mentor of mine. He's got a lot of high level publishing and online experience and has an excellent critical eye for the creative. I'm really pleased to be working with him formally again. With just three initial members, the Board is amazingly experienced. Hell, we've got someone who worked in an executive role on "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Star Wars: Empire Stikes Back," not to mention folks who have worked in strategic roles at Disney, Atari and Turbine. Read more about them here.

I previously mentioned that we are going to be taking submissions for players to join our Player Advisory Council back in August. That plan was postponed because of several events last year, including an attempt to buy the company! Things were so fluid for Heatwave, that right after I made the comment, it no longer made sense to start recruiting. Fortunately, things have settled down and the original vision for the company is still in tact. So Tim Keating (MrTact) is putting together a sign-up survey on our site this week. I believe we'll have it deployed by next Wednesday or so (the 16th).

As for the rest, well, I'll just keep pounding away on until the all the hard work we've all put in pays off. If you're going to GDC this year, drop me a note and let's see if we can't meet up.

Posted by SunSword at 05:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2007

Me being snarky at the Austin Game Developer's Conference

I was just minding my own business not drinking the free beer when these three zombies accosted me.

GameZombie.tv Presents Heatwave Interactive

Posted Oct 21, 2007

GameZombie.tv Presents a conversation with Anthony Castoro, Founder of Heatwave Interactive, "an entertainment software company whose mission is to create original, character-based games that unite the power of online gaming with the excitement of traditional video games." Filmed at the 2007 Austin Game Developer's Conference. VJ'd by Jessica Frasher, Music by Chris Bates, Produced by Spencer Striker, Edited by Tyler Mager

Posted by SunSword at 03:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2007

Heatwave is looking for a Gamer's Advisory Committee

Hi folks. Since it has been a while, I'm going to cover a wide range of topics, both professional and personal.

Professional:

As the subject says, we're looking to form an advisory committee comprised of true blue gamers of all stripes. That's right, YOU could be a member of a select group of regular Jane's and Joe's who have the inside track on the upcoming products from Heatwave Interactive.

I've always wanted to do this, and as I'm up to my ears in other corporate muck, I thought I'd take a second to do something close to my heart.

So, pay attention to the Heatwave Interactive Website during the month of August for official details about how YOU could have serious input on Heatwave projects.

In other Heatwave news, some of our team members are working very hard on some very cool technology which will showcase at this years' SIGGRAPH. No, I can't tell you about it yet. Stupid NDA. I can hear you asking yourself, "Why does Anthony bother telling me about these things if he can't actually talk about them?" Well, because you should KNOW that there are four really talented guys totally busting their assess to make this company thrive. And they rock. And you should know about it. Now you do.

Personal:

You want to know more about that lightning strike, right? Okay, it's all repaired now. It did indeed hit the alarm box in the closet. It then spread throughout the house and either melted or shorted 50% of the alarm sensors in the house. Just to be sure, we had the entire setup replaced.

Here are some pictures of the damage and repairs for those of you who just can't get enough SunSword drama....

Hole in closet from lightning
This is where the lightning entered the house in the master closet and arched across the room to hit the alarm box.


This is what the damage looked like from the outside, as it was being repaired.


Frequent scenes like this from my deck are part of the reason we didn't sell the house immediately after the lightning strike.

All fixed now. Next up would be a tornado I suppose?


Posted by SunSword at 05:08 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2007

Heatwave Grows

Well, things certainly have been crazy since I made it back to the states.

Heatwave has added four highly talented individuals to the team. We've had success recruiting some of the top engineering talent in Austin. In addition, we've got two additional folks signed on and waiting to start.

In addition, there's been plenty of work for our first client, and things have really begun to take off. We've got more work than people at the moment, which is a nice problem to have, but certainly raises the question of securing more capital again.

Unfortunately, all of this starting your own business craziness has really kept me more busy than even before, and my blog has suffered for it.

Poor blog. Go Heatwave!

Posted by SunSword at 05:51 PM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2007

I made it.

Seems like I've been looking forward to this moment for three years. While I don't regret the two years I spent in California and the one year in England, I have to say I've been anticipating my return to Austin on an almost daily basis. It's been a struggle to keep my expectations reasonable.

Heatwave is growing quickly, we've just added another team member. Now that I'm physically in town, things should really begin to cook.

Speaking of cooking...I've been eating out since I got back to Texas on Wednesday (spent the first three days in Houston) and I have got to say...all the groaning about how the food in the US is better... it's true. I just can't wait to get some Chuy's and Rudy's BBQ.

Time to pick up an excersize regime...

Posted by SunSword at 05:29 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2007

Broadcasting live from MceeDees in Royal Leamington Spa!

Just a quick update as I know some over you are wondering how GDC when for us. It was fantastic. I was kept very busy in meetings with our primary client, but the team made significant progress in the vital area of a startup...funding!

In addition, for those of you who don't already know, MrTact of Ultima Online fame has joined the Heatwave Crew! He's a well rounded and very talented individual that isn't afraid to say what's on his mind. Better yet, he isn't afraid to say "Anthony, you're full of sh*t." That's an important asset to have around these days, believe me ;).

So, why am I at a MacDonalds in the middle of Shakespeare Country? My phone line has been damaged by the wacky weather we've been having, so I'm internet-less in my home-office.

DAMN. I need to find a healthier place to work than a fast food joint...

The movers come to the joint on Wednesday and will take (get this) 5 working days to pack and load our house up for the transatlantic boat ride. I find that astounding. We have less stuff than we did in our last moves (including the one OVER here) and both times, it took 1.5 days...

Anyway, for those keeping track, my official return to the great state of Texas is April 4th, 2007. Mark your calendars, invoke your hexes, hire your hitmen, or do whatever it is that you do. Should be having a great Heatwave Launch Party in the coming month or two...

Posted by SunSword at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2007

A couple of Heatwave Interviews

Two interviews that you may find interesting:

  • Gameplay Monthly has a fiesty entry from me about what's "wrong" with today's MMORPGs. Nothing new if you read my site. It also covers a bit about the company. Here's an excerpt:

    My point is this. People put up with a lot of DULL BS because in the end, gaming with other people can be a lot of fun and almost make up the difference. Yet, there's no reason game developers in this day and age can't find a way to make the rest of the experience more entertaining. You can't hide behind the old excuse of "We spent 90% of the project just making it work" anymore. There are too many tech solutions and a big 800 pound gorilla named "WoW" that says "We've made this as fun as possible. Try something else!"

  • Firing Squad asked me some decent questions about my motivations to start the company and how we chose the name Heatwave. A tidbit:

    Why now? I suppose because I'm ready. I've spent over a decade honing my skills as a designer, manager and businessman, and now the timing is right from a market perspective. I've spent the last few years working on a lot of "other people's" projects, most of the time trying to fix what was broken or improve what was there. That was true of Ultima Online, Battlefield 2 (I took a triage job as Online Producer after it launched) and certainly most recently at Codemasters where all the projects we shipped were chosen and signed before I arrived. I've always had strong opinions about how games could and should be made. Now that I've been on both the development and publishing side of the business, I've been able to confirm or adjust those opinions based on experience and fact. Time to put that knowledge to work for the benefit of gamers everywhere.

    Many more sites have picked up the coverage. We've even been picked up by Black News.com. Interesting tid-bit about our company, both Donn and I are of similar background, African-American and Italian-American.

    How's about dem odds?

    Posted by SunSword at 09:27 PM | Comments (1)

    February 22, 2007

    Holy EMAIL OVERFLOW, Batman!

    Well, the press release got some attention. Here's a shortlist...

    Game Daily
    Gamasutra
    MMORPG.com
    Fierce Game Biz
    Kotaku
    Games Industry.biz

    Lots of legitimate questions have been raised, particularly regarding the concept of bringing the excitement of single player games to online games. I'll post more about that in a bit, but first I have a ton of work for my current client to finish, then I've got all the interviews, job inquiries, business dev, GDC meetings and general spam to get through. Wee!

    Posted by SunSword at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

    February 21, 2007

    In response to MMO != VC

    Over on Terra Nova.com, Dan Hunter commented on the sad state of funding for online games.

    It frustrated me because the MMO development as a whole suffers from the scarcity of funding. Since I consult for one of the few venture groups that actually funds MMOs, I get a chance to talk to MMO developers. Specifically, I spend a lot of time hearing one thing: “VCs and I.Banks don’t get us.” I am a gamer. I want people to understand the industry. I want my colleagues to get the MMO industry, so they fund good games.

    Obviously, this topic keenly interests me, as Heatwave is considering taking on some external funding in the near future.

    Part of the problem is that MMO Companies aren't great at having a strong business plan that VC's can understand. I think this is widely true of the game industry in general. It's also a hit driven business and unlikely to support as many companies as the forecasted market numbers may indicate at first blush.

    To complicate matters, it's really really difficult to find developers that actually have all of the right components put together for a likely successful liquidation event. I can't fathom the number of online games that I evaluated last year that were non-starters within 15 minutes. Wrong idea, wrong staff, wrong business plan, wrong technology...

    MMOGs are hard. Perhaps the hardest thing to do in this business. I imagine it's a scary place for traditional VC's and banks to find success. I can only think of one major exit of an MMO company, and that's EA's purchase of Mythic. I'm sure there are others, and yes the industry is young.

    In all honesty, I've assumed from the beginning that we'd get our funding from non-traditional sources. Mostly because of the kinds of stories many game developers tell of the difficulties associated with traditional VC's. Control issues and external pressures don't always mesh well with a highly creative, iterative process. So it's possible the problem goes both ways. MMO companies may not want VC funding in the first place.

    Well, anyway, there's my perspective. I too bemoan the lack of funding in the game industry, but I also believe that it takes a special kind of backer to understand what it takes to find success in the MMO business. If you know any of those folks, feel free to send 'em my way ;).

    Posted by SunSword at 01:46 AM | Comments (0)

    February 20, 2007

    Well, I said I was going to have a new website...

    Of course, I really was referring to this one...but we've been a little more focused on Heatwave Interactive instead!

    So, this is only the first stage in a multi-stage rollout of our corporate website. For gamers, there's really not a lot there. Sorry about that, but we'll get to the fun part soon, I promise.

    One of the big things I'm curious about is what people think of the logo. I think it will serve for now, but I'm not totally sold. That's okay, we're a new company, plenty of growing to do.

    Many thanks to Mr. Anonymous who designed the website and logo for us under significant time pressure. As it should be obvious, the primary purpose of the launch website is to serve up the press release and let people know that some of us will be at GDC in a few weeks. That would be a great time to meet up with us if you're interested in talking about the future of Heatwave.

    I'll surmise that the most interesting thing to talk about regarding the new site is "the quote." In case ya haven't read it (or it was that forgettable!) here it is again:

    Content is King. I don't care how good your 'relationship with the customer' is, if people don't like what you do, the only thing you'll have to talk about is why they aren't buying your games."

    Let's get the easy part out of the way. I'm not saying I don't care about customers. I'm not saying I don't want to have a "relationship" with them. There, easy part.

    On to the point. I'm reacting to all of the companies out there who are so focused on establishing a relationship with the customer (or even better, "owning the customer") that they lose focus on the really important part... the reason they have customers in the first place: good games. Lots of people are making this mistake. Start-ups. Big publishers. Media companies. Do you think Blizzard worries much about their relationship with their customer? Well sure they do, all 10 BAZZILLION of them. Why do they have 10 BAZZILLION customers to relate with? Great products. As a player, I don't want to be monetized. I don't want to be leveraged. I don't want to be profiled, dynamically served up, or commoditized. I just want to play great games. If I'm having a blast, I won't even notice you've sic'd HAL9000 on my camping patterns.

    That's all I'm saying. At Heatwave, we're focused on one thing and one thing only, making great games that YOU want to play. If you like our games, hopefully we'll also have a wonderful relationship. Who knows, maybe we'll ride off in into the sunset together. And stay up all night playing that badass Heatwave game...

    I suppose for some, it's an understandable position to take. Making hit games is hard. I'm aware that there's a good chance I may not succeed (okay, I don't believe that, but I have to say it). But I'm willing to take that risk. For you. For me. It's been something I've been working towards since childhood. And it's been hard. I am consistently amazed that game companies have such a hard time finding the fun.

    Soooo... "what's the deal with Heatwave right now," you ask? Are we hiring? What are these kickass games you are hinting about?

    Well, as I've mentioned in previous posts, we already have one client, and I'm pretty much 100% focused on making sure they deliver that great content I've been ranting about. At the same time, Heatwave is gearing up for some of its own projects. My partner and I have a very specific model for the company that will enable us to weed out the blah from the YEAH early in the project's lifecycle. I suppose it's a combination of three compatible models: 1 for business, 1 for production, and 1 for development. Ideally, this crazy concoction will allow us to bring great games to market.

    Are we hiring? Right now on a limited basis, yes. Are you passionate about games? Are you a collaborator? Are you a self starter? Are you willing to take some risks to do something incredible? If so, Art Directors, Concept Artists, and experienced Game Programmers please make your way to jobs@heatwaveinteractive.com. We're always looking for talented people of any background, but those are the jobs we're immediately looking for.

    Okay, it's late. I haven't had a good rant in a while. Looking forward to hearing your feedback. This website is next. I've gotten another request to bring back the forums. Now that I can actually talk about what I'm doing...maybe I shall....maybe I shall...

    Posted by SunSword at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

    February 11, 2007

    Heatwave lights up the East Coast

    Since my previous post, Heatwave has already passed some very important milestones. We've made an offer to our first employee and landed our first business contract, all in the space of a few days!

    I can't discuss our first client, but I have to say, I'm pleased to see Heatwave already in the black. Assuming our first offer of employment is accepted, I think Heatwave is off to a solid start.

    I'd like to thank all the well wishers for their thoughts and advice on this new venture. I know some people may have felt a little "left out of the loop" because they didn't know what I was up to, and I'm sorry for that. I'm also flattered, as I didn't know so many people cared :). Allow me to explain. We have a very specific business plan that focuses on our first client and then bringing on a more sizeable staff. My experiences in the past have made me extremely aware of the affect my actions can have on other people's lives, and I'm going to make damned sure that we're only getting people excited and involved if I'm supremely confident that the time is right. That might seem like an obvious thing to say, but I've learned that even the slightest hint or indication can be taken by some as reality or a promise. Maybe that's because my enthusiasm is so infectious, but nevertheless, I've had to very carefully keep my expressions of excitement limited to a close group of trusted people.

    However, now I can talk about it! So, if you're interested in working with me at Heatwave or just talking about what we're up to, you can always drop me a note at anthony ||at|| heat wave interactive . com. While we're not aggressively hiring at the moment, I'm always happy to talk with people who are passionate about making games.

    Today, I'm in Philadelphia, PA. I've never been to the city of brotherly love before. So far it's been great. We came in from New York on Friday night, having completed some business there. We took the train from Manhattan and arrived in Philly about an hour later. The 30th street train station is an amazing structure. I'm staying with my business partner and Heatwave Co-founder, Donn Clendenon, in his very cool converted fire house.

    The weekend has been spent working on business plans and taking care of miscelleanous corporate details, such as a failed attempt to open up our corporate bank accounts. I suppose that's a tale worth retelling...

    We went to an American bank here in Philly on Saturday. The lobby was a little busier than expected, but that gave us the opportunity to watch Barack Obama's speech while we sat in the waiting area. It was very interesting to watch the other bank patrons watch the speech. Regardless of your political bent, or your thoughts about him as a candidate, Barack is undeniably an interesting person to watch. As Senator Obama delivered his speech, the bank, which had been blubbling with the hubub of tellers and customers doing business, grew noticebly quiet. Donn looked at me to get my attention and then pointed over to the teller desk where everyone in line had turned to watch Barack talk about his entry into the presidential race.

    I have to wonder if that will be something worth remembering, or just an interesting mote of experience, soon forgotten.

    Oh, and it was a failed attempt because after all that waiting, the computer systems went down and never came back online. We'll have to try again on Monday...

    Anyway, the "big thing" we've been discussing this week is the Heatwave Interactive Inc. logo.

    More on that tomorrow...

    Posted by SunSword at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

    February 07, 2007

    I feel a Heatwave comin' on... (holy cr4p, what have I done???)

    The past two or three weeks have been incredibly busy and because of the nature of that bustle, I really haven't had much opportunity to talk about what I'm up to.

    Last month, I blathered on about how I was going to make some big changes and things are going to change. I was serious.

    Last Friday was my last day at Codemasters. I've started a new company called "Heatwave Interactive, Inc.", as a vehicle to bring great games to the masses and "right" some of the "wrongs" in the games business. Currently, Heatwave only has a few employees, but we've already landed our first contract for a major client. What are these great games you ask? How about those wrongs? And can I really do anything about them?

    I'll get to that. But first, let me give you a little context for what my life is like in this transition.

    Codemasters & England. My family and I really are very sad to be leaving England so soon. We firmly expected to be there at least three years. We've had an amazing time. We've travelled all over the UK and parts of Europe. The kids have been exposed to a very different way of life, and as a family we've had to adapt to some pretty significant lifestyle changes (family of six with no car for 5 months...). The people at Codemasters are fantastic. Along with some great professional contacts, I've made what I hope are lifelong friends. In particular, the Codemasters Online Gaming (COG) division are an inspiring group of people, weathering very difficult conditions for a vision they believe in (not to mention holding up the banner for online gaming's "forgotten continent").

    I'll miss you guys.

    Heatwave & Austin. So, as of Friday, I've been phoneless and computerless. That's been rough. Particularly since I've been travelling quite a bit in the US. At the moment I'm in Austin, Texas doing a little house shopping and getting some fundamentals set up. Over the next month or so, I'll move the family and get into the groove with our new client. Also, we've got some corporate branding coming along, and of course a website (the current domain is purely a placeholder). I've got a great partner in a gentlemen named Donn Clendenon, who I've been working with "virtually" for a while. We've also got some very talented folks working with us on various parts of the business. I can't wait to tell you a little more about that in the near future. So far, it's been one of the coolest experiences of my creative/professional life.

    Over the next week, I'll address the "rights" and "wrongs," the reason for choosing Austin as our base of operations, the motivations behind the name "Heatwave Interactive," and other various topics as they arise.

    Anyway, this is just a quick update to say, I'm dead serious. I'm a man with a family of six with a good salary and I just quit my job. Serious coolness will result.

    One last thing, I'm considering doing some "reality blogging" about what it's like to start a new company, or more specifically, a new game company. There are a lot of implications to consider, but very few people have an idea of what it's like to start a business, much less a game company. Am I crazy enough to let the Intarweb vote on our company logo? What about which game project we should do first? Is that pure insanity? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about that.

    Peace.

    Posted by SunSword at 03:19 PM | Comments (1)