Pinnie the Who and the Blustery Day

Happy New Year! Tim and I have actually been in the office since Monday, eschewing the traditional extra Scottish bank holiday in favour of getting cracking on our big stack o’ work. Today though we’re here in defiance of all the sensible advice to avoid travel! Trees down, tiles smashing onto the ground, signs being torn off buildings and thrown around the roads like crisp packets in the wind. There are a few nice things about being in a basement office, and shelter from the wind is one of them.

It’s been a while since the last blog post though, so I’ve missed the opportunity to post this gem from back in December (and #HurricaneBawBag)

The aerial on the building at the back of our office, bent and battered, trailing a polythene sheet in the awful wind

How to get poor reception

That is our back-yard neighbour’s TV and ham-radio antenna, trailing a big sheet of polythene. Note the mangled and bent spokes, as a result of the polythene catching the wind like a sail and whipping around for hours, very nearly pulling the poor man’s chimney stack over. Not that last months winds can hold a candle to today’s storm though. It seems Mother Nature is angry with us this winter.

To other news: we’ve picked up a new client for the new year which promises to be very interesting – a variety of code support work on PC/360/PS3. In addition to our existing clients, that’ll mean our own projects will have to be put to the side for a little while.

After yet another acquaintance saw fit to share their mobile app idea with me last night, I realised that what we’re short on isn’t ideas, it’s time. What with all of our client work and flitting back and forth, we very rarely get a chance to get heads-down, all-out concentrated on our own apps. There’s nobody to blame for that but me really, but we are rather at the mercy of the paying work. Tim’s been doing a bang-up job in December of bringing our latest creation up to a releasable standard, but I fear it’s not going to reach the quality bar before we have to put it back on the shelf and concentrate on our clients’ needs.

In an ideal world, we’d be able to take our time, concentrate fully on bringing our ideas to fruition, and the money made from releasing them would pay for the next round of product-making. In practice it’s not as simple as that; client work is money in our pockets now, but app sales are money in our pockets later, maybe. Of course, that’s a vicious circle, without taking a punt on our own apps, we’ll never have the opportunity to win big and break out of the work-for-hire mold. But in the meantime we take the work that keeps a roof over our heads.

We’re coming up on the end of our 7th year in business now, which is no mean feat these days. I’ve just updated our entry in SDI’s Gaming Brochure┬álist of Scottish developers, and it’s heartening to see all the small and large companies in there. Here’s to a bright and positive 2012, and to the opportunities it brings.

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Email: info@blackcompanystudios.co.uk
Black Company Studios Limited, 14 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3BL
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Last modified: August 14 2014.