Tricktale moving foward toward the future

Breakups are hard.

Just like Charlie Sheen after Two and a half men, Ringo after the Beatles and Penny Hardaway after Shaq left the Orlando Magic, when a group breaks up, the pieces are not left the same and a drop off in quality is expected. However, Toby Land of Tricktale Games plans for a better story.

Land started Tricktale with Alan Cheung in 2009 when the group worked on Pyromanic and Vampire Rage for the Xbox Indie Game market.

“We both shared a passion for creating videogames,” said Land. The two were excited at the prospect of publishing “a game onto the Xbox 360 seemed like a dream at the time.” However, prior to Tricktale’s newest title, Diehard Dungeon, the partnership began to dissolve due to financial concerns, and Cheung eventually left Tricktale.

“It’s been a very bumpy ride, with many dreams shattered,” Land said. “But I finally have a clear idea of where I’m headed and how to get there.”

That clear idea begins with Diehard Dungeon, Tricktale’s entry in the third Xbox Indie Uprising and a top 20 finalist for the 2012 Dream. Build. Play contest, although that journey in itself was a long process.

Land began developing Diehard Dungeon two years ago, and on-and-off work with the game dealt mostly with fixing the presentation and

Meet Toby Land of Tricktale games.

workings of the game as Land’s skills and understanding of development progressed.

“I seem to spend most of my time at the moment fixing things, or re-doing things because I’m not happy with them,” he said. “I must have redone the art in Diehard Dungeon about three times over now as my Photoshop pixel art skills have increased.”

As Land finds himself on a slower pace, editing as he learns and goes along, he finds solace in his solo work since “there’s nobody here to shout at me when I’m not working hard enough.”

Although no one is pressuring him with hard deadlines, Land suggested Diehard Dungeon may be the last Xbox title for Tricktale.

Publishing a title on the Xbox Indie market does not mean “you are guaranteed to make hundreds of thousands of pounds in profit,” said Land. “We were clueless when we started development as to what the average XBLIG would make, and of course we were way out in our estimations.”

Even after the completion of Diehard Dungeon, Land has his doubts about his continual development for the Xbox Indie scene.

“Many serious developers have become disheartened with XBLIG as a way of generating an income and have moved on to greener pastures,” he said. “The success of Diehard Dungeon will determine whether I continue creating games for the service, myself.”

However, even after Cheung left Tricktale, Land wanted to finish what he started and not “throw the towel in after spending six months working on a game,” knowing he may “not even recoup the XBLIG membership costs.”

However, no matter the outcome of Diehard Dungeon’s success, Land has no intention of quitting the game development business. He said he enjoys making games and feels better equipped for the future.

“I love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Land said. “The positive comments I receive from gamers that have played my games is what really motivates me to continue doing what I do best; make games.”

And games are what Land has planned.

He has “a notepad full of game ideas.”


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