Now that we've reached the end of 2020 (finally), I thought it would a good time to reflect on everything that's happened with Blinks in the last year and look forward to what will be a very exciting 2021. This update may get a little lengthy, so buckle up.
2020 in Review
This was a huge year for Blinks, so huge that I actually tried to write a play-by-play rundown and it got ridiculously long. So instead, let me just throw some numbers at you.
In 2020, the Blinks community:
- Funded 2 successful Kickstarters, putting Blinks into the hands of over 5,000 customers.
- Expanded the dev community from 250 in January to now over 700 in December.
- Published 14 games directly from community developers: Pirates & Lasers, Reactor, Group Therapy, Raid, Darkball, Paintbrush, Heist, Dynamo, Battle Balloons, Ghost Hunters, Thalassophobia, Dragon's Lair, Treasure Tumble, and Alchematch!
So yeah, a big year for our developer community, and we can't wait to make 2021 even bigger. Speaking of which, I want to tell everyone about two big developments coming soon:
Global Game Jam 2021
In January of 2020, we partnered with Playcrafting to host North America's largest Global Game Jam site here in New York. We brought developer kits and our expertise, and the jammers who worked with us brought their creativity and determination, ultimately producing some of our favorite games of 2020 in only 48 hours! Some of your favorite games - Pirates & Lasers, Reactor, Group Therapy, and Alchematch - were all made over that weekend. It was an amazing experience, and one that we are happy to be bring back for 2021 with a few (pandemic-related) changes.
For 2021, Global Game Jam is going virtual! This means we can invite every single one of you, whether you live in the New York area or overseas, to participate in the Playcrafting virtual site. Move38 is once again a partner in this site, which means we'll be there to help everyone develop brand new Blinks games and compete for the glory (and the prizes) to be had at one of the world's largest jam sites!
There's much more information to come, including info about prizes and dev support, but until then we highly encourage you to sign up for the site here and to jump on the forum to start making teams. We'll be sending a bigger update soon!
Official Game Submission Guidelines
This is another "more info coming soon" topic, but looking forward to 2021, we here at Move38 want to make the path from ideation to publication easier and smoother for you. Previously, the team would keep an eye out for forum games that we thought could transition into publishable games, then reach out to the devs to help them bring the code/rules/art up to speed for final publication. The process has worked well - pretty much all of the best Blinks games were found this way - but it's totally arbitrary and opaque to you, the developers.
Starting in early 2021, we'll be creating 2 things: a rubric the help developers determine if their game is ready for publication, along with an official submission process. In an earlier blog post, I mused on what, in my eyes, makes a good Blinks games, so you can take a look at that to get an early sense of what to aim for. There will also be a set of materials needed to submit a game, like rules, art, and more. A lot of games on the forum have been arriving with art and rules, which is amazing.
What is this building towards ultimately? Well, a few things. Firstly, we will continue to print and sell new game packs throughout the year, and we'll be looking to populate those packs with games from the community as well as with some games we've been working on internally. But more importantly, we've been working on a potential new way to distribute games, and we're hoping to unveil that sometime next year. When we do, we'll be able to start approving and publishing new games at a breakneck pace, and we want you all to be ready to put your incredible games out into the world!
That's all I've got for now. Keep an eye out for more Global Game Jam news in the coming days, and as always, happy developing! See You in the Forum