2022 Recap | CHQ | December 29, 2022 by Michael Sim
Hello Spirit Sluggers!
It's already the last day of 2022. To close out the year, I'm debriefing everything we've been up to at Chonkers HQ this year. See you in 2023! 🎊
First, a recap in numbers:
1 new website
2 (.0) release of Homerun Miko on Steam
3rd place prize in the IGA Impact Jam
4 dev log posts
5 new Chonkers
6 game jams entered
7 new games on itch.io
15 original soundtracks on Bandcamp and YouTube
22 merch items on RedBubble
29 posts on Instagram
48 units sold on Steam (42) and itch.io (6)
We also got our first team logo this year! Courtesy of Annie Zhang
Overall, this year gave us opportunities to expand our game development skills as a team experimenting with new genres, engines, and even department roles. It's hard to compare the projects because they each had such different constraints going into them.
Electrolatch was made during the very first week of 2022 when we were still figuring out how our growing team would function with our 2nd new member post-Miko.
Throwaway Bay introduced a new brainstorming format where instead of coming up with ideas altogether during a meeting, those who felt up to the task would come up with their own pitches and present them to be voted on. As we competed in our first game jam that offered a monetary prize, we also switched from Unity to Godot as our go-to game engine.
To carry on the unofficial annual tradition of making a game for April Fools' Day, we made Zucchiniverse. It was a chance for us to mix things up by trying a new genre, putting more members in writing roles, and celebrating all the projects we'd completed so far.
With the prospect of being featured in a video by GMTK, we came together and finished our first in-person (+3 online members) game Dodgy Dice in two days with our biggest team yet of 12 Chonkers working all at once. Placing #2010 overall out of 6,112 entries, we had a chance to do a team retrospective on our processes and how to be more active in jam Discord communities during jams.
Throughout all the projects so far, we were also working on and off with Choke Slam, our first self-scoped, non game jam, project. Compared to Homerun Miko which was guided by the UCSC capstone series, it was hard to find our own direction and accountability when the game's future was still uncertain after 8 months of work.
Prototyping in Unreal Engine 5, learning netcode programming, and getting our first experience with proper art concepting, we decided to close out the project for the time as a game jam and make a prototype that we could focus on submitting to publishers.
While wrapping up Choke Slam, we spotted another prize-offering game jam and recruited our 16th Chonker to write our second visual novel, The Triar Incident. After seeing our game streamed and read live by another jam participant, this would mark the last formally organized project for the year and our 2-3 weekly meetings would come to a rest.
Given that our team functions based on time that people can offer outside of school, work, and finding work, the last two months of the year became decentralized as Gordian and Homerun Miko were finished in small strike teams.
Wilson, our main source of emotional support during the GMTK Game Jam 2022, blepping peacefully
Beyond the games, I think this year was a chance for everyone to work on themselves individually which makes me appreciate all the late nights we spent together each week. I'm grateful that we still get together just to hangout and celebrate the holidays. With 2023 on the horizon, I can't expect us to release 8 games again given our shifting priorities. Whatever happens though, this was an unbelievable year and I hope we can make something new together again soon.
Thanks for reading and that's all for now!