Total Mayhem Blog #1

Welcome to the first Total Mayhem Games blog post!

Let me first introduce ourselves to you, dear reader. We, Total Mayhem Games, are a young Rotterdam based Indie Game Studio who recently launched their first game, named ‘We Were Here’. It is a free-to-play game, which we present to you on steampowered.com. You don’t need any money to play the game. Just a computer, a friend and your voice. Well… you don’t even need a friend, you are able to play the game with a complete stranger if you want to. As long if there is a ‘we’ in ‘We Were Here’.

We are a group of six game enthusiasts, who were able to bring their passion to the next level: this resulted in game development. Which, even if we really couldn’t, we would probably still do. But that’s what makes passion a passion of course. And if you are passionate about something, you probably know everything about how passion feels. We signed We Were Here up for Steam Greenlight, managed to get approval in only 3 weeks and launched the game on February 3rd 2017. This all happened between the walls of the University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam. Maybe you already know, maybe you don’t, but we are all still students. Except for one by now, our programmer Sam was the first to graduate (thank God, one functioning adult in this team, which is also the youngest member – life is strange).

We organized this big party to launch our game and the two other games that took part of the minor – Pool Party Panic and Cat Rekt (we only had 4 weeks to prepare the party; we’ve gone through organizing-hell with that). Our set goal was to publish a viable game within 14 weeks with 15 students (we are now with six left from the original team), some more rules that I forgot, and 1000 downloads before 00:00 on February 3rd. And that meant the whole production from beginning to end, even just coming up with what kind of game we wanted to create and develop. Imagine we only had one 3D artist. One… He’s still with us luckily, modeling next to me as I type. Okay… Back to the assignment. So we launched We Were Here on the 3rd at 18:00 on Steam. We were scared. We were afraid. Some of us were probably also already drinking away their nerves and fear of failure. And then the moment came when one of our 15 team members looked up the numbers of the current downloads, which were a few thousand in just 2-3 hours. You can probably imagine our reaction. This wonderful, somewhat blurry picture shows our excitement quite well. Maybe you’ll recognize some of our team members. And me: with purple hair.

GAME LAUNCH PARTY 03-02-2017 – Credits HRO

Now we’re 5 months and about 520.000 downloads later. You can probably still imagine how we feel. We are so proud of our team. Everyday we live in non-believe how this could have happened to us. You think: ‘Wow, these guys made a shitload of money in the past few months!’. Well… did I tell you it is a free-to-play game… Yup. That’s the wonderful, but awful truth. But no worries, it is our passion, we want this. We want as much people to play our game and share the experience we created with We Were Here.

And on Friday, the 30th of June, we had our first big moment since the launch of We Were Here. We won an award: 1st prize of best indie game of The Netherlands on an event called INDIGO, organized by Dutch Game Garden. Which is maybe not really a big thing if you come from a way bigger country than we live in. It’s just this small European country. But for us this meant the world. We stood there with the six of us (and all our supporters) for 12 hours being judged by players, journalists and professionals. The event took place in the old prison of Utrecht called ‘de Lik’ (Dutch slang for prison) and we had our own prison cell to display We Were Here (Too). After a long day of telling a lot of different people about our game, our ambitions, our drive, our new development, our long hours working on the game and the concept of bringing people together, it was 20:00 and the winning team was being announced. I seriously remember there was an open bar an hour in advance. We never thought we would win, so we took this moment to sort of… ehm… enlighten ourselves. That was kind of a bad idea, so to say. The third place was announced: Bolt Storm by Kuality Games. Okay, that’s not us *drinks a sip of wine* (super fun game by the way!). Second place: Lonely Mountains: Downhill by Megagon Industries. Also not us. We never ever thought we would win, so we actually kind of lost focus when the presenter shouted: ‘And the first plays goes to….’,  and all looked at each other defeated, with the acceptance that we couldn’t lose something we wouldn’t win in the first place. You know, people can dream. I’ll give you a summary of the following moments:

Presenter: ‘We Were Here by Total Mayhem Games! Congratulations!’

Me: ‘What?’

Benjamin: ‘We won!’

Me: ‘No way…’

Victor: ‘We have to get up the stage!’

*Benjamin starts hugging me out of nowhere*
Me: ‘Ben, why are you hugging me??? Get up the stage!!!’

*In the meanwhile people cheer, move over to let us get through and felt sober in a second*

Presenter: ‘Congratulations! Is there anything you want to say?’

*Uhm… No thank you. I’m slightly tipsy and I didn’t prepare anything to say*

*Presenter hands me the microphone*

Me: ‘Shit.’

 

Well… the next moment is still quite vague in my memory. There is video footage of me giving the speech, but no one -including myself- really understood what I was saying. Something about how we dreamed of this, never expected to win, something about being flabbergasted (love that word) and maybe some more about not expecting to win. I screamed a lot, waved energetically with my arm and tried to hand the microphone back to the presenter, which was quite an awkward situation since no one took the microphone from me.

Nevertheless, INDIGO was absolutely amazing. I can’t even describe in words how proud I am of the team. I remember the moment very well that Monday the 26th of June that I told our team I wanted an Alpha demo of We Were Here Too at the event (which was the 30th of June). They gave me the stink eye for the upcoming days until the event: now we regret nothing. We had dozens of players test our new puzzle and had a first look at our new visuals. Therefore I want to share with you, my dear reader, the first screenshots of We Were Here Too in my next post. One at the time, I’m keeping the surprise for later! And all I can hope for is that you are as excited as we are.

INDIGO 2017 – Credits Dutch Game Garden & Tamara Robeer.

In the upcoming weeks, or even months, I want to share all the ins and outs of our development. All our thought, our perspective, our adventures, our ups and downs and some background information about the company and our team. If you have any reactions, commentary, tips, or suggestions: please share them with us. Just as much as I love to share our experiences with you, we would love to hear everything you have to say to us. Stay tuned for the latest updates and news!

Love,

Lucia.

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