In which I semi-retire

Written by David Frampton @ 1:15 am, March 5, 2015

It’s been a while since the last Blockheads update, but I haven’t started working on another update yet, and I reckon I owe it to the community to explain where the game is at and why there might not be another update for a while, if at all.

I can’t really do that without being completely honest about my situation, so here goes.

Basically I’m struggling to find motivation at the moment. It’s not just The Blockheads, but I’m finding it difficult to start work on a new game as well. But that’s OK, I’m not complaining!

In short, I am just so happy enjoying life in the real world, and don’t feel the need or desire to sit in front of a computer and code!

Chopper, Chopper 2, and of course now The Blockheads have all done extremely well, and the net result is that I’ve earned enough to retire if I want to. I don’t have any desire to make a billion dollars for the sake of it, buy luxury yachts and mansions, or develop an expensive drug habit. I’ve saved most of what my games have made, and I’m happy that I can now support my family and I comfortably from now on, so I no longer have any financial incentive to keep working.

But of course it wasn’t all about the money. I’ve also had tens of millions of downloads of my games, lots of fun building and interacting with a community of fans, and been right in the middle of the most exciting time in the birth and growth of an entire new industry. It was a great experience, but I reckon I’ve done that now. I’ve got no dream to become super famous and world renowned, no desire to make more of a mark on society and no agenda to push. The Blockheads has done as well as anyone could hope for, and I no longer desire to push it to further heights. I also don’t feel a need to try to beat or repeat its success with another game.

So not having any real desire to carry on coding, I basically haven’t been. I’ve re-found my love of surfing, and I’m spending a lot of time outside, and very little time at my desk. I’ve lost about 15kg in the past year and am fitter and healthier and happier than I’ve ever been in my life. And of course I have a young family which I am spending a great deal of time with, and these are the moments that are more important than anything.

So for now, I’m on an extended vacation. I don’t know what the future holds either for me or for The Blockheads, but I do know that the game will continue to be available, I’ll continue to fix major issues that come up, and will keep the cloud servers and everything operating for a long long time yet. A couple of hundred thousand people still play the game every day and if anything that number is rising. Milla is doing a great job on support and community management, and will continue to do so. But the game now feels ‘complete’ to me, to the extent where I am unlikely to add more content in the future.

I’m still thinking about the possibility of selling The Blockheads, as someone might be able to come to it with the passion that I once had, and take it in exciting new directions. Otherwise there is the possibility of employing someone to take over development. Either way, that would require finding someone who can not only cope with adding to (or even better taking away from) 200,000ish lines of Objective C++ code, but also is a fan of the game and has good ideas for the future. Let me know if you are that person!

I feel very very lucky to be in this position. I worked very hard for a few years, but I also had a lot of lucky breaks. I’m very thankful to everyone who has supported me by playing my games and buying my stuff. And who knows, VR is another exciting industry that is just getting fired up, and it might just be enough to pull me back in. In a few weeks or months I might find myself getting the creative itch again, this isn’t the first time I’ve taken a long break, so it might not be the last.