It will be interesting to see what Mike Stemmle comes up with in that role, as the team is known for creating fun games for mobile platforms, such as last year's League of War, but they're not known for creating narrative experiences like we are used to from Mike Stemmle's projects. We'll keep an eye on them for sure, though. With Mike Stemmle at the helm, they might surprise us just yet.
While Bill Tiller was still at MunkyFun, he was the art director for the horse care simulator My Horse and the cartoon-styled first person shooter Bounty Bots. In 2012, former LucasArts and Telltale Games art director Mai Nguyen took his place. Since then, MunkyFun has released the medieval combat game Knight Storm, and the giant robot augmented reality game Droid Combat, all free-to-play games for iOS and/or Android. They also created the customized Panda3D engine for Autumn Moon's adventure games A Vampyre Story and Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island.
Gree's investment is part of a $10 million fund that is set aside for equity investments of $1 million or more for its partners program. The aim of these partnerships is to create high-quality titles that last for a long time in the market.
Adventure Gamers has published a new interview with Bill as his A Vampyre Story: Year One Kickstarter hobbles past $32k. It's a satisfyingly massive article covering, if I'm not mistaken, every single moment of Bill's life, including the explanation for why over twelve months separated his initial tweet about the Kickstarter and its launch last weekend. There's some art in there, too.
Go read it. Then check out the latest updates for the Kickstarter to discover that there are some new tiers available at $20 and $40. A $20 dollar pledge gets you a free copy of A Vampyre Story and its splendid soundtrack. You'd be a fool to not be all over that. And you can tell you I said so.
Cliff Notes: the Kickstarter video is 80% done, the campaign will launch "after New Year," and Bill is semi-hopeful that A Vampyre Story 2 could be his next project after Year One. He is also apparently full-on freelance again, having completed his stint as staff art director at MunkyFun.
Got a request for an update on all things AVS.
AVS2- on Hold. Waiting for funding. There is some progress in this area, but nothing final nor confirmed. That is all I can say without violating any NDAs. Crimson Cow owns the development and distribution rights for AVS2. So it out of AME’s hands.
AVS Year 1: When Mona Met Froderick- On tentative hold. The idea was to do this game back a year ago when I was free to focus on it, but in order to pay my bills I have started working on a really fun first person shooter for the iPhone and iPad with Munky Fun, the old Force Unleashed team who worked on AME’s game engine. So the project isn’t abandoned, it just not getting 100% of our time. But much progress has been made on it. We just need to script it, animate it, paint the backgrounds, and model the props. The game is designed, written, all backgrounds are drawn, and all character models are all built. There is some interest by Munky Fun in possibly developing it with me, but discussion on that won’t conclude till after the current game I am working on is complete. The game will get done regardless of whether MF doe it or not, but it will get done a lot faster and better with MF involvement.
AVS1 on Steam- Steam wants some major bugs to be fixed before they will put it on. Crimson Cow nor AME has enough money to go in and rewrite major sections of the engine to make Valve happy. So this will most likely never happen.
AVS1 on iOS- Crimson Cow and AME would like to see this happen, but we can’t agree on major aspects of the conversion process, so we are at an impasse. My guess this will happen eventually.
All these problems would be solved with venture capital money, but with the very sluggish economy and adventure games have a small profit margin, it’s hard to find a potential investor. So things progress slowly. Sorry, I am sure if I were a better businessman things would work out a lot better, but that is not where my talents lie, obviously. I hope you will forgive this shortcoming of mine, and I do very much appreciate you interest and patience.
Sincerely, Bill Tiller
The Steam hurdle they've experienced surprises and fascinates me. I know AVS had a showstopping bug that got corrected in a patch, but what else could be causing it to fail Valve's screening process that is predicated on "rewriting major sections of the engine?" Is the same thing keeping Ghost Pirates off the service as well? Paging that guy who funded Costume Quest PC...
Update: Bill shortly followed up with a brief Ghost Pirates status report as well:
All things Ghost Pirates- No interest from DTP (I think it was a break even game for them) in the sequel but AME owns the IP and distribution rights to Ghost Pirates and the Galley of Doom, so this may well get made if I find an interested publisher or investor.
Bill taking this gig means that production on the AVS prequel is "pretty much on hold till December at the soonest," but it may also translate into quid pro quo. Bill speculates that he and Munky Fun (who assisted Autumn Moon with creating their proprietary engine) may end up collaborating on the completion of Year One after this project is done.
In the meantime, enjoy the latest delay of A Vampyre Story: Year One!