Trouble in Paradise

We here at Sharkbomb Studios hit a bit of a roadblock lately.

For the last six months we didn’t really make much in terms of progress. Of course our day jobs and regular lives were keeping us plenty busy. Yet we still had time for Sharkbomb Studios and we kept working on our games. We published Hipster Zombies on the Amazon and Samsung app stores, we added new art to Touch of Death. However the one thing, we were looking for didn’t seem to happen.

A new project

Mid last year, after Hipster Zombies and Touch of Death were released, we started looking for a new project. We were aiming to maybe go for something bigger, more complex than our last two games. We had a bunch of ideas and we were enthusiastic to start.

Hipster Zombies photo shoot

Hipster Zombies photo shoot

We both took vacation for January and February well in advance. The plan was to have a concept by then so we could start the new year with a new project at full steam. We spent October, November and December prototyping, throwing around ideas, but nothing stuck. Instead we were only going back and forth with little to show for it. Eventually the new year came and we still had no new project.

So we changed the way we went about things. Instead of larger ideas and prototypes we tried to go for small, concepts. More of a jam than a real prototype. But try as we might, nothing stuck. Again. Drained and tired we hoped that maybe the Global Game Jam could provide some new energy. But, as you might have read in our blog post about it, that didn’t really happen either.

The root of this evil

From what we can see, the reason is pretty simple:

Global Game Jam 2013

Global Game Jam 2013

The two of us are, at heart, quite different players. While I, Martin, am more of an action gamer, Jo generally dislikes fast-paced games and prefers strategy titles. We’ve been aware of this from the start but we were confident that we were able to find some middle ground. Now however it’s been making our life difficult.

We want to do a game that we’re really enthusiastic about, no compromises. And so far we seem to be unable to find something that excites the both of us. This could be mitigated if one of us was able to hype the game and get the other one on board. However by now we’re both pretty drained and that just doesn’t seem to be happening.

Next steps

So, what now? We take a break.

A Maze 2013. Photo by Julian Dasgupta

A Maze 2013. Photo by Julian Dasgupta

We’ve decided to put Sharkbomb Studios as it was on hiatus. That doesn’t mean we’re closing it down. Sharkbomb Studios will still exist but we won’t continue in it’s current form.

We’re still friends, we still love games, and we’ll probably still make them. However we won’t neccessarily be making them together. The current plan is to keep Sharkbomb Studios still open and running. Instead of it a joint-development effort it will now be more of a label that the both of us can release games under. And who knows, maybe now that we’ve taken the pressure off we might just find something that the both of us are enthusiastic about.

Either way, things are changing.

- Martin and Jo


  • Andre Hellmann

    My beloved Hipster Zombies – awesome wise words from both of you and a very mature analysis and decision that you guys made. It’s brave both for colleagues and friends to be that honest to each other and the world.

    Rock on guys. Looking forward to hearing news of your new projects and passions. Looking forward to sharing our next beers – and there’s still this Sushi-thing we have to get to…

    • Martin Nerurkar

      Much appreciated. And on the sushi thing: Just say the word! It’s not like I got anything better to do now ;)

    • Joachim Eckert

      Hmmmm…Sushi!

  • André Bernhardt

    All the best for the future!

    • Martin Nerurkar

      Again: much appreciated!