What have we been up to ?

Hi Guys,

Its been quite some time since I've been to sumea, and a fair few people have asked what the hell weve been doing for the past 6 odd months, so I thought I'd take a little time to give an honest brief of what's going on in our 'hood.

The last year has shown us a lot of the dirtier and uglier side of game development, having been ripped off on more than one occasion by reputable developers who shall (Regrettably) remain nameless, which in turn forced a relocation for Kalescent, which in turn forced a downsize, etc etc and like a katamari ball we seemed to attract CRAP from all corners of the globe that we could not seem to shake.

Despite many meetings and presentations for larger clients to increase awareness about what we do and how we work, we still face ridiculous deadlines & expectations and are constantly met with the strange stigma that as an outsourcing studio we are the answer to all the problems teams face when reality strikes.

"Guys, we cant get this done on time, outsource it!"

Despite developers best efforts to hide this, its become ridiculously obvious every time we are approached by someone whose missed a deadline.

If you cant get it done in-house, where the team knows something about the project, are familiar with in-house protocol, systems, pipelines - have the ability to stand up walk over and act like a big gorilla and say " Do you want him to move like this ? " How is it possible to think that a team half way around the world could do it in the same amount of time ?

It would be so refreshing to have a developer come to us and say "Guys, we f**ked up big-time, and need your help!" But I think its too much to expect the truth.

As a culmination of all of this its fair to say in 2006 Kalescent Studios took a financial critical hit, and will be nursing wounds for some time to come.

After much deliberation, many sleepless nights, it was determined that unless I could increase cash flow - Kalescent Studios would be officially classified " A Sinking Ship "

So in July 2006 as the founder and director of operations of Kalescent Studios, I decided the best thing for me to do would be to swallow my pride and 'Get a Real Job' to bolster cash flow and support all round business operations.

I have been since employed at a local independent developer - Fuzzyeyes Studio where I am a 3D Character Artist working on the Edge of Twilight. I plan to see this project through to completion and get a solid credit under my belt for which there are numerous benefits both personally and for Kalescent Studios.

Meanwhile, Kalescent Studios is still operational, and currently has a couple of people completely dedicated to handling what needs to be done. We will be uploading a whole bunch of work in the new year to our website that weve produced in 2006 and finally, in late 2007 Kalescent Studios will be revealing glimpses of what has, and will continue to take up the majority of our time and efforts.

In a nutshell that pretty much covers it, 2006 was a crazy year - But I eat rollercoaster rides for breakfast so BRING ON 2007.

So a big Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all,

Telling it like it is,

Troy HazarD2006-12-18 07:28:36

Johnn's picture

well, that is less than rosey news to be reading first thing Tuesday morning. Hope 2007 brings better opportunities for you and the Kalescent team.

Jackydablunt's picture

:) You're pretty much nailing it on the head with the deadline thing. I've found a few companies to just be all talk in the initial stages "Nah we wont need outsourcing with proper management, it's other companies that have to do that"

They feature creep to hell fuelled by their blind confidence in their abilities till one day they hit a time where they see what still needs to be done and go "sh*t... how about outsourcing? Yeah outsourcing, they can get whatever we need done instantly because they've got hundreds of experienced artistic prodigies that they've somehow managed to chain to their desks and pay nothing, In fact, lets just get them to do the whole game and we can keep starting our sentances with 'Wouldn't it be cool if...'"

Then they give them no time, no info, very little feedback and demand sh*tloads, delay pay, then get it back and wonder why the work looks somewhat.. 'rushed' They wonder what ever happened to their shiney polished crown jewel, their secret weapon that no one else knows of, and work out it must've been the outsourcer's fault.

What gets me more is the blind faith of sending work overseas to places like China and not have someone on the ground overseeing. I mean yeah sure its cheap, but how more dodgy could it be? They have this massive language barrier which is a huuuuge issue, and the Chinese companies hire on mass so how could you possibly expect there to be the experience needed. They're mostly just kids who don't know the difference between games and movies and just model whatever, however.

Then companies get the work back and what do you know, it's crap, way too high poly, poor quality, no time left to send back, and what happens? The poor inhouse artists have to spend the next however many nights cleaning it up, unpaid, because all that money has gone to China.

Companies seriously have to start thinking a bit broader when it comes to this kind of thing. Logic? Common Sense? ... oh hang on, it's the Games Industry...

souri's picture

Man, that's a bummer. I am hoping on Kalescent pulling through and making it eventually. Evelyn Richardson said she was happy to see small devs like Halfbrick and Firemint grow from a few people into full studios, and it would be great to see some success come Kalescent's way so you can join that list!

unknownuser2's picture

Hey guys,

I might have made it sound like all alarm bells are ringing and we are abandoning ship, luckily thats 100% not the case.

Were still alive, but needed to shrink a bit, cut back and avoid what would be about 75% of all jobs due to the simple fact that we refuse to be called upon to work 18 hour days 7 days a week for 6 - 8 weeks at a time.

Those days are gone

Kalescent will join that list Souri, just give us another year or 2

Mdobele's picture

Sorry to hear about the bad run so far. I wish you luck over at FuzzyEyes and look forward to reading a much more positive forum post not too far down the track.

Red 5's picture

Hi Troy, I'm sorry to hear about this but I know you'll spring back eventually... you seem like one of those people who has a burning desire to succeed, so I'm sure you will :)

I've found that in the the line of business we both share, you have to rely on your gut instinct above all else... if you have any doubts whatsoever about a company or the project they're offering, it's best not to take it on... it's sad that one sour contract can ruin a company.

Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your job at FuzzyEyes and all the best for Christmas and the new year :)

Makk's picture

Hey Troy, yeah sucks to hear some of the bad news. I am sure you will pull through it though :)

"we refuse to be called upon to work 18 hour days 7 days a week for 6 - 8 weeks at a time."   /cheer!

unknownuser2's picture

Red 5: Thanks mate Thats probably the biggest thing I've learnt over the past couple of years, I need to trust my gut instinct alot more than I do - its a damn good piece of advice for anyone.

Some good news, I'd like to add - I've been promoted to Lead Character Artist @ Fuzzyeyes

And as a side, are working our way through a bunch of new (actually 12 - 18 month old) work that we can only just now release publicly anyhoo - back to it.

Will keep posted.