Welcome to my blog! I’ll use it to post news and interesting info about my indie video game development, as well as other thoughts and musings. I hope you find it worth reading.
To kick things off, here’s the info from the blog’s original About page. Of course, the About page will be revised as time goes on, but this will stay here for history and posterity.
Who am I?
I’m Andrew P. Bilyk (pronounced BILL-ick), a video game developer. I live in Springfield, MO with my lovely wife Camille and our two cats.
I wanted to make video games since I was 9 years old. I got a computer science degree from Missouri State University, and shortly after college I formed a tiny game development company, Dungeon Monkey Studios, with my friend Doug Hill. Within a year, our company was acquired by Black Lantern Studios, and we began working there.
I worked at Black Lantern for 7.5+ years, in programming, production, and design roles. I was credited on 52 released games — mostly licensed kids games, across a wide variety of genres. But this past November (2012), I was terminated as a result of a company restructuring.
I want to continue making games professionally, and I also want to continue living in Springfield, MO. But game development here is sparse, and there aren’t any job openings right now. The only option that would allow me to continue making games here in Springfield is independent development. I know that the odds of financial success are low, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.
Though I am continuing to look for work in case something pops up, in the meantime I’m developing a small game for iOS, which I plan to release on the App Store this Spring (2013). If it turns out to be successful, then I can continue indie development. But if it fails, then I’ll have to move on and expand my job search — to another field, another city, or both.
Project Smart Birds
The “small game for iOS” mentioned above. It’s not an Angry Birds ripoff, I promise — that’s just a code name. I’m keeping the details close to my chest for now, but I can say that it’s a Popcap-style puzzle game that I believe will have a wide appeal. If the iOS version is successful, I will port it to Android, PC, Mac, and perhaps other platforms too.
Captain Dynamite and the Fallen Hero is an audio-only rhythm game, and Invisible Games is my development label for audio games. The game is similar to classic rhythm games like Space Channel 5 and Parappa the Rapper, but there are no visual cues, only audio. It’s essentially a radio drama (audio movie) about heroes and villains, with rhythm gameplay during the action scenes.
I worked on this as a side project separate from Black Lantern, alongside some very talented collaborators including composer Chad Seiter. We created the first quarter of the game in late 2010 and submitted it to several indie game competitions, and in 2011 I released a playable Windows PC demo to the public. But nothing came from those competition submissions, and I’ve dragged my feet on development since then. I do intend for us to finish it eventually, but I feel that right now my time is better spent on Project Smart Birds, which I believe has a greater chance of financial success.