Hoist up the Jolly Roger
October 10, 2011

Captain Backwater is released. This is one of the most exciting parts of developing his own games. The day of the release. The day when you find out if the players love or hate your game.

This is especially true for Captain Backwater. Believe it or not: The first email I got from Emmanuel (artist of Backwater) with the idea for pirate themed puzzle game was in April 2005 (!!!). Emmanuel attached some cheesy scribbles, here is the original scan:

We had tried out some early gameplay mechanics in two or three prototypes. But nothing seemed to work out. Our game design was poor. Back then, Emmanuel worked with different looks and cel-shaders. After a few weeks (or probably one or two months – can’t remember) we stopped working on Backwater.

In 2007 I had a new idea for an interesting puzzle gameplay. I started to work on it with the “old” graphics from Emmanuel. This time for Nintendo DS, but progress was slowly as I started my new job at Gameforge. When I finished the game in December 2010 JoWood was interested in publishing it, but one month later they went bankrupt. What a great timing!

This was the point when I decided to restart the project for Win, Mac and Linux. I’ve done it using BlitzMax and my own Horizon-Framework.

Everyone I showed the game in the early stages loved the gameplay. Towards the end of the project I stumbled over a blog post from Andra Dogaru. She did an amazing pirate ship, so I asked her if I could use her graphics in the menu section of my game. Andra was excited and even overhauled her work. The result is fantastic I think:

So, what’s next…?

I’m currently very busy with finishing the Linux version of the game. After that, I need to do a free, playable demo version – which is my most important marketing instrument for my direct sales. I also try to get the game into the big casual and indie portals.

I also have already received some feedback from customers. They love it, but they also found some small issues I should fix in an update. I also want to add more languages to Captain Backwater. At the moment, the game is available in german and english. If someone of you is interested in translate it to your native language, please contact me.

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